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Monday, August 26, 2002

Kerala portal piques ‘Dinosaur’ director

HOLLYWOOD director Steven Spielberg’s lawyers have served notice on a Website in the southern state of Kerala over its name.

The Indian Website design firm has a site called dreamworkzweb.com, similar to the production company DreamWorks set up by Spielberg and producers Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

Spielberg’s lawyers have asked dreamworkzweb.com to give up its domain name in 15 days or face legal action, BBC reported on its Website. The lawyers alleged the Indian firm was trying to promote its business interests by illegally using the trademark of DreamWorks.

BBC said the Kerala company was standing firm. "The group of engineering and software professionals are reportedly taken aback by the demands," it reported. "It says that the Hollywood director and his company were the last thing on their minds when they launched the site three months ago."

Pawan Duggal, an expert on cyber laws, told IANS that India did not have a law on domain names and Spielberg’s lawyers would have to proceed under the "uniform domain names dispute resolution policy" of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

ICANN, which was set up in 1998, is a broad coalition of Internet communities that coordinates the technical management of the domain name system.

"This is a pretty grey area," Duggal said.

"But Spielberg’s lawyers can go to an American court and get an injunction if it can be proven the Indian firm had registered its name in bad faith to ride piggyback on (Spielberg’s) intellectual property rights."

"If the Indian firm’s usage of the domain name is bona fide, then it is on sound ground."