Euroweb Internet, the company that controls the domain name great_britain.com, has been accused of extortion by the UK Internet industry.
In an open letter to industry leaders, domain name registration expert Netbenefit has revealed that a company calling itself Euroweb Internet Limited is mailing large numbers of companies attempting to scare them into paying for domain names.
According to Larry Bloch, managing director of Netbenefit, Euroweb tells companies that someone has attempted to register their name and trademark in the great_britain.com ?main Internet domain?, and that they have seven days to send #65 + VAT to secure it or they will let it go.
Bloch added that the letter constituted a ?blatant attempt to intimidate companies into spending money on an arguably worthless name.?
Although trying to get companies to register a sub-domain name under a domain name is not illegal, the veiled threat - that if a company does not register then another company will - has incensed members of the industry. To date, over 60 ISPs and registration companies have signed the open letter. Signatories include ONYX Internet, PSINet, Netnames, Easynet and Netcom.
Bloch said that the industry?s rapid reaction to Euroweb?s action answered doubts about whether it could regulate itself effectively.
Euroweb has no Web page on the Internet and was unavailable for comment.
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