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Sunday, 7 May, 2000, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Diana website squatters targeted
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana: Earl Spencer is trying to protect her memory
The Princess of Wales' brother Earl Spencer is trying to stop unscrupulous internet entrepreneurs cashing in on websites associated with his sister's name.

Several sites have been set up using domain names connected with Diana to try to take advantage of her huge public following.


Earl Spencer
Earl Spencer: Succesfully closed down unofficial site
Earl Spencer is working with the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund to reclaim about 100 domain names associated with the princess.

The Earl successfully shut down one site which was advertising overpriced tickets to Althorp - Diana's family home - and then not delivering them to people who had paid for them.

Pornographic

The Earl's spokeswoman said: "We realised this site had downloaded pages from the official site and was hoodwinking people."

The domain - www.princess-of-wales.co.uk - has now been put up for sale for at least 300,000

A spokesman for the memorial fund said it had had considerable success in closing down sites that featured pornographic images and pictures of the crash in which Diana died.

"We want to prevent people who are making a financial gain from the princess' name or who are tarnishing her memory," she said.

Registering a domain name which could arguably belong to someone else is known as cyber-squatting and is becoming a prevalent menace in the online world.

Manchester United and the BBC are among a number of organisations which have resorted to legal action to protect their brands.

A new US law to be introduced on domain name rights aims to help people reclaim names to which they can show a legitimate right.

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