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Classical News, Jazz, Opera, World Music, Theater, Ballet ...

Opera house evicts 'cybersquatter'
Sydney Opera House has won a battle to own the web address of the same name.

The famous Australian venue has won the rights to the domain name www.sydneyoperahouse.net, which had been registered in 1999 by a Sydney-based web development company. The opera house claimed that the name was recognised around the world and any attempt to use it commercially would be in bad faith.

The company, Trilynx, had claimed that the opera house was world famous by virtue of its cultural heritage as a symbol of Sydney and Australia. "This dispels the complainant's assertion that the Sydney Opera House is made famous as a result of the complainant's activities and trademark rights in merchandising products for the Australian and Japanese tourist markets," the company said. It also pointed out that the disputed domain name was "totally different" from the complainant's official website address www.soh.gov.nsw.au, which it said distinguished the opera house's web address "from the 'other' hundreds of thousands of web sites worldwide that have the Sydney Opera House as a topic".

But an arbitrator appointed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the United Nations' copyright protection agency, disagreed. Alan Limbury ordered that the name be transferred to the opera house.

The building known as the Sydney Opera House has been world famous since its official opening in 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II. In recent years over 4 million people per year have visited it. Some 75% of all international tourists who come to Sydney visit the building. It is one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world and is often used as a symbol of Sydney in advertising and promotion. Sydney Opera House was a generic symbol reflecting the

The ruling by the WIPO can be found on its website: http://www.wipo.org

Thu Nov 30 2000 (4:48:30 PM)

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