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MPAA threatens British citizen over domain name

June 6 2003

The Motion Picture Association of America has threated a British citizen, who has registered the domain name, with legal action if he does not take immediate steps to either have the name deleted from the domain name registry or transferred to the MPAA. 

The man, Lawrence Skegg, uses the site to publish a weblog and to release themes he has written for the Linux window manager, Blackbox. 

The domain was registered on June 15, 2000. The letter was posted to the Politech mailing list by which is run by journalist Declan McCullagh. 

In its letter to Skegg, the MPAA's vice-president and senior counsel, Barbara Rosenfeld, wrote: "MPAA owns Federal certification mark registrations for the NC-17 designation. Specifically, MPAA owns U.S. Trademark Registration No. 1,661,271 for its certification mark NC-17, which registration is in full force and effect and is incontestable. The certification mark NC-17 is widely known and famous throughout the United States as designating motion pictures rated by MPAA." 

She continued: "It has come to our attention that you have registered the domain name "" This domain name inherently refers to the MPAA rating designations. There appears to be no good faith reason for you to have registered this domain name, since you have no connection to the MPAA or its motion picture rating system." 

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