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Carmen Electra wins control of Web name

U.N. panel orders transfer of Internet name back to actress
/ Source: The Associated Press

Former “Baywatch” star Carmen Electra has won control of the Internet name in a ruling by a United Nations panel, a U.N. spokeswoman said Thursday.

An arbitrator for the World Intellectual Property Organization ordered the transfer of the domain name to the 31-year-old actress, who had complained that it was being used in bad faith to divert Internet traffic to a commercial site, Celebrity1000, said WIPO spokeswoman Samar Shamoon.

The ruling upheld Electra’s complaint against the company that registered the name — Network Operations Center of High Prairie, Canada.

Arbitrator Jon Lang said he had no response from the company, but he assumed it “does derive a commercial advantage from the Web site, particularly in view of the advertisements contained in it.”

Lang said use of the Carmen Electra Web address “creates a likelihood of confusion that its site is sponsored, endorsed or affiliated” with her.

Electra, who was born Tara Leigh Patrick, said she’d adopted the name Carmen Electra 10 years ago.

Lang noted that a U.N. panel also had held in favor of James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan against the same Web address registrant.

A number of celebrities have already won the Internet version of their names back from Network Operations Center — also known as Alberta Hot Rods — or the man who controls it, Jeff Burgar.

They include Michael Crichton, Kevin Spacey, Pamela Anderson, Celine Dion and Bruce Springsteen. On Tuesday, the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien won a similar case against the same operation.

Anyone can register a domain name for a few dollars, which has led to so-called “cybersquatters.”

The U.N. arbitration system allows those who believe they have the right to a domain to get it back without having to fight a costly legal battle or pay large sums of money.