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Monday, 7 August, 2000, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Hendrix family wins 'cybersquatting' case
Jimi Hendrix
The late Jimi Hendrix, who died 30 years ago
Relatives of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix have won a battle giving them the rights to an internet address bearing his name.

A United Nations arbitrator ruled that www.jimihendrix.com belonged to the family of the late rock star.

It had been registered by American Denny Hammerton, but at a hearing in Geneva, the World International Property Organisation ordered him to surrender ownership.

They ruled that Hammerton, who registered the site in the name of The Jimi Hendrix Fan Club, had no legitimate interest in it.

Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts was successful in her domain name case

The hearing was told he had a history of 'cybersquatting' - buying up domain names of famous stars with a view to selling them on.

Arbitrator Marylee Jenkins ruled he had showed "a pattern of such conduct of registering and offering for sale domain names incorporating well-known names".

Hendrix was 27 when he died in London in 1970 after choking on his vomit.

Rights

In 1995 his half-sister, Janie, formed Experience Hendrix with other family members which owns rights to the musician's name, image and recordings.

The organisation has been operating from the address www.jimi-hendrix.com after the discovery that their preferred title was unavailable.

Experience Hendrix produced copies of web pages from a re-sale site where the name www.jimihendrix.com was being offered for sale at $1m.

They told the hearing Hammerton had been involved in the attempted sale of a host of other star names, including Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger, Paul and Linda McCartney and Jethro Tull.

Before the UN introduced a ruling on cybersquatting last year, corporations and individuals were being forced to fork out staggering sums to buy the rights to an address.

WIPO has ruled in favour of a number of celebrities recently, including Julia Roberts and Jethro Tull, although last week Sting lost his case against a man who had registered sting.com, because it was not his real name.

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See also:

28 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Sting stung online
02 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Roberts wins cybersquatter battle
15 Nov 99 | e-cyclopedia
Cybersquatting: Get off my URL
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