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Cybersquatter Faces Contempt of Court Charges

Anti-abortion extremist and self-described “abortion abolitionist” William Purdy is back in the spotlight for refusing to comply with a judge’s order to relinquish his registered Internet domain names that intentionally mislead web surfers and consumers to connect to his graphic anti-abortion website. After being sued by various large corporations for trademark infringements and being denied an appeal to those charges, Purdy now says he is prepared to go to jail rather than give up names such as “thewashingtonpostjesus.com” and “the washingtonpostchristian.com.”

In July 2002, US District Court Judge Ann Montgomery ordered Purdy to give up 30 registered domain names with names similar to large corporations such as Pepsi-Cola, McDonald’s, Washington Post, and Coca-Cola. Since then, Purdy has refused to comply. An attorney representing the corporations told the Pioneer Press Purdy has registered new names such as “washingtonpostspeaks.com” and “lovemcdonalds.com” that direct viewers to his website “abortionismurder.org” which features graphic photos of what he claims are aborted fetuses.

In October 2002, when he was facing contempt of court charges for refusing to surrender the domain names, Purdy told reporters that he was targeting news establishments “to criticize their pro-abortion editorial agenda.” “I’m really more interested in the New York Times… As soon as I get established what I can and can’t do then I have every intention of going after the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. I also have USATodaySays.com.”

Purdy claims his efforts are meant to expose those companies that are, in his view, “pro-abortion” and he insists his actions are protected by the first amendment. Judge Montgomery says Purdy has until February 4 to comply with the order or he will be arrested.

Sources:

Pioneer Press, 1/23/03; Star Tribune, 1/24/03; CNET News.com, 10/8/2002

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