Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Thursday, 24 July 2008 14:15 UK

Family lose Narnia web name fight

CS Lewis
The company managing the estate of CS Lewis wants the domain name

An Edinburgh couple have lost a battle with the estate of Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis over a web domain name.

Richard Saville-Smith said he paid 70 for the name www.narnia.mobi so his son Comrie, 11, who is a CS Lewis fan, could use it for his e-mail address.

But the company which owns the rights to the late author's work lodged a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization.

It ruled that the domain name should be transferred to C.S. Lewis (Pte) Ltd.

The WIPO panel said Mr Saville-Smith had registered and was using the domain name in bad faith.

We have not done anything illegal or wrong, we were perfectly entitled to have this domain name
Gillian Ferguson

The CS Lewis company was not available for comment.

Mr Saville-Smith's wife Gillian Fergusson said she was shocked by the decision.

She said: "It should have been pretty straightforward.

"They had to prove that we had made a bad faith purchase, that we had been using it to make money.

"We provided very clear statements from the internet registration company saying that we had not tried to make any money and yet somehow it has just simply ignored the evidence."

Made available

She said she thought the WIPO had decided to transfer the domain name because the company has other Narnia trademarks.

"It did not really matter what we said," Ms Fergusson added.

"They should have to prove it but unfortunately they ignored the evidence and did not accept that an e-mail address for a child was a legitimate use."

In 2006, companies had a three-month period to express interest in .mobi website names before they were made more widely available.

This panel cannot, in the circumstances of this case, find the respondent's intended use as asserted to be legitimate
WIPO ruling

Ms Fergusson said: "We have not done anything illegal or wrong, we were perfectly entitled to have this domain name.

"There was three months in which they could have registered this. There was a private period for any trademark holder to register any .mobi domain name when they went on sale in 2006.

"We did not buy ours until after that three-month period had expired and it was open for public sale."

In its judgement, the WIPO said it could not think of any "plausible" reason why Mr Saville-Smith would think he could use the Narnia mark for an e-mail address.

It said it was "equally disturbing" that he went on to register the domain names freenarnia.com and freenarnia.mobi after the complaint was filed.

"While the respondent (Mr Saville-Smith) denies making any active use of the disputed domain name, the passive holding of a domain name can be considered as bad faith where it is not possible to conceive of any plausible actual or contemplated active use of the disputed domain name that would be legitimate," it said.

"This panel cannot, in the circumstances of this case, find the respondent's intended use as asserted to be legitimate."


SEE ALSO
Microsoft hits 'cybersquatters'
14 Mar 07 |  Technology
Rooney wins his fight for website
13 Oct 06 |  North East Wales
Thousands of EU net names frozen
26 Jul 06 |  Technology
Narnia's inspiration is revealed
14 Jun 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific