Web domain hunter clarifies position
PHUKET TOWN: A bid to “return Thai names to Thais” was not aimed at taking control of dotcom businesses that had been created by foreign investment, says a leading player in the Internet domain name debate. Samroeng Chaisorn, vice president of the Phuket OrBorJor, denied this week that he would try to use the law to take control of dotcom businesses currently using the word “Phuket.” “I don’t really want to take over any websites,” he said. “The online images and information belong to the firms involved.” But he added that he believed it would benefit all Thais “if we got a full right to have Thai words back, to belong to Thais.” He still maintains that sites using the word “Phuket” could be making up to 80 million baht a year based on his estimate of tourism statistics, the number of online hotel and resort bookings, and likely commissions. He says he has been in communication with the Prime Minister’s office and plans to continue his campaign through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO has in the past ordered the transfer of domain names – most notably in the case of Barcelona.com – but only in cases of “cyber-squatting”, never in the case of legitimate websites.
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