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|PopesFuneral.com Condemned by Church|
- British firm under fire for bad-taste cyber-squatting
The Pope is the latest target of a company accused of cyber-squatting.
Cyber-squatting involves registering internet addresses similar to official sites and brand names, then selling them on to the highest bidder.
Domain Hypermarket, a domain name dealership, are offering the website address thePopes-Funeral.com for a lucrative £15,000. Other sites up for grabs include The HousesofParliament.com for £5,000, The PizzaHut.com for £10,000. ManchesterUnited.com has already invited offers of £50,000.
But the Roman Catholic Church are less than impressed, branding the company as " callous and exploitative". The RCC are among those who have called for tighter policing of the Internet. EasyGroup, which own EasyJet and rental car business EasyRentacar, won a case last month against a man trying to sell the domain Easy Jet.net.
Chairman of the EasyGroup, Stelios Haji-Ioannou said,"We will not tolerate anyone sitting on domain names that could easily be confused with EasyJet. The EasyJet name is among the company's most important assets and we will defend it rigorously against abuse."
Founder of Domain Hypermarket, Martin Newman denied that the company was trying to blackmail other firms. "In gold rushes, the people who make the money are not the gold prospectors, but the people who sell the picks and the shovels, " he said.