Scots boy must give up Narnia website: U.N. judge

Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:30pm EDT
 
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By Robert Evans

GENEVA (Reuters) - A Scottish schoolboy must surrender a Web address tied to the Narnia fantasy world, which his father said was a birthday present, after a ruling by a United Nations arbitrator, an official report said on Thursday.

The U.N.'s patent and copyright agency WIPO said the independent arbitrator had ordered transfer of the site, www.narnia.mobi, to the estate of C.S.Lewis, late author of the popular "Chronicles of Narnia" books.

"We are shocked by the decision," Gillian, the mother of 11-year-old Comrie Saville-Smith told the Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh after they were given advance notice of the ruling on Wednesday.

"We put up a spirited fight because we wanted to prove that you do not have to hand something over just because someone richer and more powerful tells you to do so," she said, according to a report on the Scotsman website.

The case was brought to WIPO in May by the multi-billion dollar Lewis estate, registered in Singapore, as "Prince Caspian," the second of a planned series of films based on the Chronicles, was about to go on worldwide release.

The estate's lawyers, the U.S.-based Baker and McKenzie, filed the complaint in May after the Saville-Smiths rejected offers to buy back the site, for which they paid 70 sterling ($140) when the .mobi domain went on sale in 2006.

Media in Scotland have portrayed the case as a Narnia-like battle between a family determined to defend what they see as justice and a wealthy corporate giant -- a theme some have compared to the "good v. evil" thread in the books.

BAD FAITH   Continued...

 
<p>A scene from the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe." REUTERS/PRNewsFoto/2005 Disney Enterprises/Walden Media</p>