17 Dec 2008

A web developer has made thousands of dollars from George Bush after registering the lapsed domain name for his presidential library. 

George Huger bought the domain GeorgeWBushLibrary.com for just $10 (£6.60) after the web developers for the library website failed to renew it.

He then sold the domain back to the Bush family and their contractors for a whopping $35,000 (£23,000) - a 3,500% return on his investment.

GeorgeWBushLibrary.com is the official website for the presidential library of Mr Bush, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer at domain registrar NetNames said opportunist speculators are so quick to pounce, "that brands, businesses and even former presidents can be at risk".

But internet and domain law expert Adam Taylor, principal at Adlex Solicitors, says there were several other options available.

He said: "It surprises me that they paid the $35,000 on the face of it. There are a whole range of options here."

Mr Taylor said the usual course in a case like this is to seek recovery of the domain name through arbitration under the "uniform domain name dispute resolution policy".

This protects rights owners where domain names have been registered and used in bad faith.

Court is also a possibility if it could be proven Mr Huger was misrepresenting himself as connected with the library, if he infringed a registered trade mark or if he broke the US laws on cybersquatting.

Mr Taylor added: "It looks to me as though there's a possibility the web development company paid it off their own back, perhaps out of embarrassment.

SOURCE: Sky News

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