James Bond evicts cyber squatter

Diamonds may be forever – but cyber squatting is not a licence to misuse celebrity names, international arbitrators have ruled.

Pierce Brosnan has rescued the web address that bears his name
Pierce Brosnan has rescued the web address that bears his name

As a result, James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan won a legal battle on Monday to claim the Internet website bearing his name.

The Irish star brought the case against a company which was a front for the now infamous cyber squatter, Jeff Burgar.

Burgar had redirected Internet users aiming for piercebrosnan.com to a commercial website.

But international arbitrators played Dr No and ruled in Brosnan’s favour.

Burgar has been involved in several other disputes over celebrity Web sites and has lost cases against singer Celine Dion, rock group Pearl Jam and former Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson.

Bad faith

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) said Burgar’s behaviour “constitutes a pattern of conduct intended to capitalise on the goodwill associated with others’ fame for its own illegitimate purposes”.

It declared Burgar had used the domain name in bad faith. He has 10 days to appeal against the ruling, after which time the site will be transferred back to Brosnan.

The United Nations copyright agency has dealt with 91 cases involving famous people and has ruled in favour of the celebrity on 77 occasions.

Source : Reuters

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