Porn-site prankster didn't break rules, says Internet authority

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The "real men don't buy girls" billboard in Sudbury, Ont., features a web link to a porn site. (Jonathan Migneault/QMI Agency files).

Jonathan Migneault, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:26 PM ET

SUDBURY, Ont. -- The person who redirected an anti-prostitution campaign website to a porn site did not break any laws, according to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CRIA).

The Coalition to End Violence Against Women did not register the domain name featured in their billboard campaign, Real Men Don't Buy Girls.

Because domain name registration is done on a first-come, first-serve basis, the campaign's error left the door wide open for a third party to register the URL featured on the billboard, and do with it as they wished.

Which is exactly what someone, who has chosen to remain anonymous, did on Nov. 14, then created the redirection to the porn site.

If the campaign plans to use the domain name featured on the billboard again, they will have to wait for it to expire on Nov. 14, 2013, and hope the person who registered it doesn't renew it before then.

But Tanya O'Callahan, a spokesperson with the CRIA, which handles the registration of any domain name ending with .ca, said the Coalition to End Violence Against Women does have recourse.

“If someone has a legitimate right to a domain name, for example has a trademark, and finds out someone else has registered their domain name in advance, there is a dispute resolution process,” O'Callahan said.

While it is possible for these cases to go to the courts, they are usually resolved by a third-party organization called Resolution Canada Inc.

The website on the Real Men Don't Buy Girls billboard was removed Wednesday. The coalition has a new web address: Coalitiontoendviolence.ca.

Jonathan.Migneault@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @jmigneault


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