Breakfast Briefing: Disney forces Star Wars URL closure, BT demands Sky reviewed

Welcome to Marketing's morning briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos. Today we look at Disney using its legal might to force a UK retailer to drop Star Wars-themed domain names and BT's call for Ofcom to include Sky in its telecoms market review.

Jokers' Masquerade: Disney forces fancy dress online store to relinquish Star Wars URLs
Jokers' Masquerade: Disney forces fancy dress online store to relinquish Star Wars URLs

Disney forces UK fancy dress retailer to drop starwars.co.uk web addresses

Disney has forced a Berkshire-based fancy-dress retailer to change its starwars.co.uk web address.

Jokers’ Masquerade, a trading name of Abscissa.com, had been using the domain address for 10 years as a means of directing shoppers to a section of its website selling Star Wars costumes.

The retailer was asked to surrender the domain name a year ago but refused. Nominet, which oversees dot uk web addresses has ordered that it must be dropped

When the retailer was contacted by Disney’s lawyers, it offered to transfer the starwars.uk domain to the US group on the condition that it could continue to use starwars.co.uk and star-wars.co.uk to sell legitimate Star Wars merchandise. Disney refused.

Abscissa has been asked to give up a further six Star Wars-themed domain names, including starwars.uk, star-wars.uk and starwarsco.uk. The company has until 21 July to decide whether or not to appeal the ruling.

Mark Lewis, Abscissa's chief executive, told the BBC: "If the new Star Wars films by Disney were not being released, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

"They wanted the starwars.uk domain, they haven't [got it], and in essence they've thrown their teddies out of the pram.

"That's how we feel. Are we disappointed? Yes. Are we surprised? Not necessarily."

Source: BBC

BT demands that Ofcom include Sky in telecoms review

BT has called on Ofcom to include pay-TV in a review of the telecoms industry, arguing that the dominance of Sky is leading to higher prices and poor service.

John Petter, chief executive of BT’s consumer division, highlighted that Sky owns a 64% share of the pay-TV market and argued that consumers were paying £500m a year too much.

The telecoms, broadband and pay-TV group’s demand comes after Sky called in March for BT to be broken up.

Source: The Telegraph

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