30 April 2003
Next: the Auckland A's
What makes this even weirder is that the government had first gone to the World Intellectual Property Organization and charged that Virtual Countries, the Seattle-based firm that owned the domain, had no right to it because "New Zealand" was a trademark belonging to the nation and Virtual Countries had no legitimate interest in it. WIPO, unimpressed by this argument, dismissed New Zealand's claim.
So, unable to force the domain owner to give it up, the government hence, the taxpayers decided to buy it. I can conclude only that they wanted this domain very, very badly.
Would newzealand.co.nz have been so bad?
(Via Tim Blair)Posted at 11:55 AM to PEBKAC