Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 22:48:21 -0800
Reply-To: Law & Policy of Computer Communications
=46rom: "James S. Tyre" <j.s.tyre@CYBERPASS.NET>
Subject: Double Reverse Domain Name Anti-Piracy?
UK SCHOOLBOY EMBARRASSES BIG INTERNATIONAL COMPANY
WITH INTERNET DEAL
INTERNET whizzkid James Stell has proved a smarter businessman
than the highly-paid executives of a huge international corporation.
James, 11, has left the bosses of glassware manufacturers Waterford
Crystal red-faced over their internet bungle which could cost them
millions of pounds a year.
The London schoolboy is receiving a staggering =A340,000 worth of
orders every week for Waterford Crystal through a joke website he set up
James and his father tried to find an email contact for the Irish
company to let them know what was happening. James father finally got
through by phone to Waterford who snubbed him by saying it has
no plans to take orders over the internet - a move which James' site
has shown could cost it at least =A32 million a year.
The company currently only has an out-of-date and hard-to-find site
showing a few items from its line.
"I don't know what Waterford Crystal's shareholders would think about
that," says James' dad Richard.
Internet-savvy James launched his site when Richard began registering
domain names for his hugely successful business selling kitchenware over
the internet at www.cookcraft.com.
"James went round the house looking for names he could register and
because we had some Waterford Crystal he registered waterfordcrystal.com,"
Richard explains. "We were both very surprised that Waterford Crystal
hadn't already snapped up the name.
"The site went live at 4pm on a Thursday and then we thought nothing
of it. It wasn't advertised on any of the search engines and there was
nothing on the page. But by the next day the emails started flooding
in and they haven't stopped since."
It's a publicity disaster for Waterford Crystal. Many of the emails
James is receiving are heart-felt pleas from people desperate to replace
broken heirlooms or to find presents for loved ones at Christmas."
And the company is believed to be in the middle of a special Millennium
sales push selling replicas of the giant-size crystal ball which it will
drop into New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve - with many emailers
keen to get hold of the in-demand item.
James' waterfordcrystal.com site is available for the company - but so
far bosses haven't shown any interest in taking it up.
Richard finally turned for advice to Margaret Manning, Commercial
Director of top web consultancy, Reading Room Ltd.
"I advised Richard that he should return the name to Waterford Crystal
as they are the legal owners of the company name, but this has proved
harder to do than it first seemed!" Margaret said.
"They could sell thousands of the replica crystal balls over the
internet, but they're just not interested," Richard said in amazement.
"When I saw the number of enquiries James was getting, I actually
contacted them about selling some Waterford Crystal through
www.cookcraft.com. It took phone call after phone call to get through to
the right person, and then they told me they didn't like shops selling
their products over the internet. In this day and age, that's an
astonishingly backward stance."
Waterford Crystal could do worse than looking to Cookcraft for guidance
on how to be a hit internet business. The company has made a fortune selling
the high-quality kitchenware seen in TV's most popular cookery shows to
buyers all over the world.
James added: "I want to have an internet site when I grow up and need
to get good names before they all go. I already have a few names ready for
when I'm 16. I help my dad by telling him all the new things that are
happening on the internet."
James S. Tyre mailto:email@example.com
Bigelow, Moore & Tyre, LLP 626-792-6806/626-792-1402(fax)
540 South Marengo Avenue Pasadena, California 91101
Co-founder, The Censorware Project http://censorware.org