Rupert Murdoch out-foxed in domain name row

Rupert Murdoch has been outfoxed!. He may own the Fox Business Network on American TV (that of course is in addition to the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal) but he can’t use the name online.

An arbitration board has ruled that the Fox Business Network, launched six months ago, does not have the rights to the domain name of FoxBusinessNetwork.com. It belongs, it ruled, to Florida businessman Derek Hodges who registered the name in February last year, just a few hours after Murdoch first announced the launch of the Fox business channel.

Although he had not officially registered the name earlier, Hodges claimed that he had used FoxBusinessNetwork.com for at least five years. His business, he said, is offering and selling domain names and internet marketing services.

News Corp however argues that the last-minute registration of the name was an effort to create confusion and charged that Hodges tried to extract $50,000 from them for the name last August. Hodges responded by claiming that he was only trying to avoid confusion, not create it.

Although the World International Property Organisation, which was called in to arbitrate the dispute, conceded that the timing was “suspect” , they did find that Hodges had used the phrase Fox Business Network for promotional purposes for several years. In fact the Florida businessman had been known asThe British Fox since the late 90’s.

A legal spokesman for News Corp, Charles Silvestri, admitted disappointment over the panel’s ruling, but said the company was now considering “other options”

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