What kind of person would make off with the domain name for a site to honour Princess Diana? Developers of one Princess Diana memorial site are charging that a group of Portland, Ore.-based domain-name "bandits" registered the name of the Spencer family estate -- Althorp, Princess Diana's final resting place.
A new official Althorp site explains that Althorp "has been home to the Spencer Family since 1508. On 6th September 1997 the Park became the focal point for the World's attention, when Diana, Princess of Wales was laid to rest there after her tragically early death. She now lies on the island in the Round Oval, an ornamental lake, surrounded by her Family's ancestral heritage."
The Althorp estate has become embroiled in an effort to win back a number of URLs from the group in Portland.
One of the U.K.'s top media lawyers has advised the Spencer family on how to get their names back from the domain name warehousers who've registered all the Althorp and Princess Diana names.
The efforts to get back the names may bear fruit. At the time the site was launched, Althorp did not have access to the URLs. The company that had registered all the combinations of Althorp and Princess Diana seems to have taken them all offline, so it looks like Althorp will be able to get them.
A site search using InterNIC's Whois service showed that www.althorp.com was registered to an organization called the Domain Club, a Portland, Ore.-based group offering "...Domain Names @ Rock Bottom Prices!" The same group also owns www.althorp.org and www.althorp.net.
Domain Club representatives could not be reached for comment. The only names obtainable for the Domain Club through InterNIC were for people who were next-to-impossible to reach by telephone. Also, the Domain Club group did not respond to several E-mail queries, nor did it have a listed phone number.