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Microsoft Puts Pressure On Canadian Teen

A Canadian teenager is being sued by Microsoft Corp. because they claim his Website, MikeRoweSoft.com infringes upon their copyright.

Mike Rowe, 17, received a letter from Microsoft’s lawyers on November 19, requesting that he transfer his domain name over to Microsoft immediately. Rowe’s Website is for a Web design business he has started.

Rowe says on his Website that he was originally contacted by Microsoft via e-mail. He said “I was not ready to give up my domain name since I had put so much time and effort into establishing my name, getting my business cards out and posting my services on the Internet. If I were to give up my domain, I would lose all the time and effort I had put into it.”

He requested that they offered him a monetary settlement and Microsoft countered with an offer for $10, which was his domain registration costs.

“I was surprised that they would offer such a little amount of money to persuade me to hand my domain over to Microsoft. In response to this recent email, I sent one back to them describing how much work I have put into my business and that the domain was worth at least $10000. They refused to give me anything more than $10USD so I proceeded to ignore their most recent email. I didn’t hear anything from them after their last email” he said. 

Rowe received a package from Microsoft’s lawyers on January 14 containing a 25-page letter to him. According to Rowe, In the letter, Microsoft stated that it was his intention all along to sell his domain name to Microsoft for a cash settlement. Microsoft also stated that their customers could get confused between MikeRoweSoft.com and Microsoft.com, Rowe said.

The attention has made Rowe a star, with him making recent TV and radio appearances.

Designtechnica will follow the story and keep you up to date.

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