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Wednesday, 29 March, 2000, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Oxford University in cybersquatter row
Oxford University
The University of Oxford is taking action to try to secure the domain name
An Australian cybersquatter is embroiled in a row with the University of Oxford after changing his name to Oxford University and setting up his own website.

The site, oxford-university.com, is deeply critical of the university, which is now in an ownership dispute over the domain name.

Mr University, formerly known as Doc Seagle, says he is determined to keep his new name and website, but the university has referred the matter to its lawyers.

The lawyers are planning to take action under the international domain name dispute resolution policy, operated by the organisation Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The University of Oxford's website address is simply ox.ac.uk. It also owns the domain names oxforduniversity.com, oxforduniversity.co.uk, oxford-university.co.uk, oxford-university.net, and oxforduniversity.net.

'Powerful tool'

Mr University said he decided to set up his website after he tried in vain to find the University of Oxford's site when looking for information to help him with one of his other websites.

He said he preferred the name Oxford University to Doc Seagle, and that he was now called Oxford by his friends and family.

He added that the university had not approached him directly, or answered his e-mails.

An spokeswoman for the University of Oxford said in a statement: "Our lawyers will be making application to ICANN to invoke its dispute resolution policy regarding this site.

"The web is now a powerful tool for providing information, and we are concerned that people with a genuine interest in finding out about this university could waste time, effort and money on a useless search."

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15 Nov 99 | e-cyclopedia
Cybersquatting: Get off my URL
30 Jul 99 | The Company File
EU Internet address inquiry
26 Nov 98 | Sci/Tech
US approves new Internet authority
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