News Burst: BT says show me the money

Those pesky American ISPs are making money out of BT's hyperlink technology, so it's only fair it gets what it's due... isn't it?

A day after it was announced that BT would pursue its claim of ownership over the Internet's hyperlink technology, ZDNet has been inundated with mail questioning the telco's motives. According to its press office however, there is no secret behind BT's motives: it wants the money.

BT is now in the middle of "negotiations" with American ISPs who face a charge for using hyperlinks, according to a spokesman. Asked if by negotiations he meant those ISPs had agreed that the telco owned the rights to hyperlinks and were now quibbling about the actual cost, the spokesman conceded that "we are in the early stages".

Full story to follow

BT's attempt to claim a patent on a hyperlink is just one of many bits of nostalgia which the corporation is trying to get credit for inventing. Guy Kewney is incredulous at the brass neck of BT. Go to AnchorDesk UK for the news comment.

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