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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Freeman wins cybersquatter battle
Morgan Freeman
Freeman won best supporting actor at this year's Oscars
Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman has won the rights to the internet domain name www.morganfreeman.com.

A United Nations arbitration panel ordered the transfer to the Oscar-winning star, after he complained it was being misused.

Freeman, 67, complained the name - registered by the company Mighty LLC - was being used to divert internet traffic to a commercial search engine.

The actor argued that it suggested he had authorised or sponsored the site.

Upholding the ruling, arbitrator Peter Nitter said the company - which offered no response to the actor's complaint - was using the domain name "for its commercial benefit to lure internet users to its website".

Madonna successfully battled cybersquatters in 2000

Anyone can register a domain name for a small sum, and celebrities are common victims of so-called "cybersquatters".

Stars including Julia Roberts, Madonna and Robbie Williams have won back their internet domain name through UN arbitration.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation, which began in 1999, allows those who think they have the right to a domain name to win back the name without having to fight a costly legal battle.

Freeman, whose films include Million Dollar Baby, The Shawshank Redemption, Seven and the forthcoming Batman Begins, applied to trademark his name with the US patent office last year.

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