The UK release of the next Narnia film is just round the corner and, in a handy piece of timing, the domain name narnia.mobi is at the centre of a dispute.
As reported by the Guardian, CS Lewis Ltd, which controls the rights to the works of CS Lewis, has threatened the current owner of narnia.mobi with legal action.
That current owner is Richard Saville-Smith, who purchased the domain in 2006 and planned to give it to his son as an 11th birthday present.
He received a dossier from New York lawyers Baker and McKenzie this month, urging him to relinquish the domain or face a hearing at the World Intellectual Property Organisation. (The dossier was 128-pages long, so it presumably went into a little more detail than that, but you get the gist.)
It’s an interesting move on the part of CS Lewis Ltd, not least because the case seems to be garnering a reasonable amount of press attention.
Whichever way this one goes (“we’re not backing down,” says Saville-Smith), the lesson is obvious. The people at CS Lewis Ltd could have put a claim in for the domain during the ‘sunrise period’ in 2006. If they had, they could have bagged the domain then and saved itself a lot of bother, expense and unnecessary public attention now.
If you’re registering a domain name to build a website or starting a business, take a few minutes to think about any alternatives you want too. It could save you a headache later on.