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Cybersquatter? Not Me, Says Owner Of Greatdomainrobbery

by Tim Richardson

A Surrey man has spent 40,000 buying 5000 Web addresses even though he says his domain name business is "just a hobby". Asked whether he thought 40,000 was a lot of money, he said: "It's nothing in terms of business." John Pepin told The Re gister that most of the 5000 Web addresses are "innovative" domains that would appeal to businesses. But he's also registered some personal domains including tonyblaironline.com, ronaldbiggs.com and davidshayler.com.

Pepin doesn't regard himself as a cybersquatter and believes those who accuse him of it are guilty of "sour grapes". "A quick thinking, fast moving entrepreneur is the term I would like to use," he said. "If I hadn't registered these domains then some American would." Pepin was contacted recently by Michael Biggs, the son of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, to see if he would hand over ronaldbiggs.com. "We're still in negotiations," said Biggs. "He [Pepin] is a very nice bloke."

Events have happened so quickly Pepin is still setting up his own site, GreatDomainRobbery.co.uk, and, no doubt, he is hoping to cash in on the lucrative sale of domains. Only recently the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) paid 120,000 for Architecture.com. If Pepin only lands a couple of deals like this, 40,000 will be chickenfeed.

 

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