Framlingham College in Suffolk, England finally has a chance to get the website www.framlinghamcollege.co.uk to refer to itself, rather than the Canadian porn links that have been sitting there for the past four years.
Back in 2005, the college tried to set up its own website, but found that the URL had already been bought up by "Realm Solutions, Inc." in Canada, which was using it to link to "Mature Sex" - not a great brochure for a Christian school.
The College appealed to Nominet, the firm set up in 1996 to handle .uk disputes. Nominet determined that Realm Solutions bought the site in January 2005 and so its rights to the domain were totally legit.
In the event of a complaint, the charge is sent to the domain's owner, who has about 15 days to reply. Nominet gets about 700 complaints every year. Ten percent of the cases are resolved almost immediately in the complainant's favor, about a third settle in mediation, and another 25% go to to an independent adjudicator.
Four years and at least one appeal later, Nominet ruled in Framlingham College's favor and Realm Solutions turned over the domain name, free of charge.
"In general, if there is a legitimate complaint from a business or individual, we will hand over the domain name," said Realm Solutions spokesman Rob Montgomery. "Unfortunately, in this case, we dropped the ball and didn't get back in time to allow that to happen."