Villagers With Pitchforks

The flaming torches were delayed in transit, sorry.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Back, My Preciousss.

I'm back from over hill and dale and across the Water. Also British Columbia, where I stopped briefly to pick up the first four Harry Potter books in the original Canadian. Also got sneered at by a US Border Patrol agent who thought I was bringing cheap Canadian pharmaceuticals into America. Actually I was taking expensive American pharmaceuticals to Canada (and back). So there!!!


Silly lawsuits are such easy targets that they usually fall well below my radar. But not always. The Register has found a doozy:

As was explained so coherently to the owner of, Tarrant Costelloe, in a letter from the lawyers representing all three parties, Addleshaw Goddard: "The SHIRE name is well-known in the UK and elsewhere, to readers of the Lord of the Rings books (and others) and the goodwill in the name has been achieved through sales of such books.

"The incorporation of the SHIRE name into a domain name by you is a misrepresentation to the public that the domain is connected to the Lord of the Rings books and/or films. In particular, the registration by you of the domain name constitutes a representation to persons who consult the Whois register that you are connected to or associated with the name registered and thus the owner of licensee of the goodwill in the name, which of course you are not."

All the company wants is for Mr Costelloe to realise his mistake and hand over the domain on which he has run an email business since September 2003.

Umm. Guys. Get a linguist:

Well, it would be impossible to argue with the legal letter's initial assertion: "shire" is extremely well known in the UK. In fact, it has been well known since around 600AD - not long after the Romans had wandered off. "Shire" in fact stems from the Saxon word "schyran", meaning to shear or divide. It has been used to divide up land for over a thousand years and a majority of counties that still exist in the UK today possess the suffix "shire" (see at the bottom). It was also the origin of the word "sheriff", stemming from "shire-reeve".

Read. Boggle. Question: Do the British courts posess more common sense than the American courts?

- via BoingBoing


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