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Sir Richard Branson Wins in .XXX Web Domain Dispute

Sir Richard Branson has prevented his name being used in on a .xxx web domain. The website which bore his namesake was being held by a “cybersquatter” – someone who takes up ownership of an unclaimed web space in order to sell it for a higher value. Branson’s name is reputable as the entrepreneur behind the Virgin brand, which includes television, broadband and mobile networks as well as an airline. Suffice to say Branson has a bit of cash and this is presumably the reason the domain was snapped up and held for ransom.

We covered the news of the Virgin tsar filing to have the richardbranson.xxx domain removed back in January, and his complaint with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy through the World Intellectual Property Organisation has been heard and passed and it was deemed that the offender, an Australian who grabbed himself the smutty suffix four days after .xxx went live to register, actually had no rights to the web address which was registered with unfair intention.

In his defence, Sean Truman says Virgin and its leader Branson had “ample opportunity to register the name if he believed that his rights may be under threat by another person” and the cybersquatter added “you snooze, you lose”.

Clearly the suffix did not reflect the type of business being run by Virgin and could have proved damaging. .xxx domains are quite obviously reserved for a certain industry and their sector of the internet has been referred to as an “online red light district”.

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