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Former Singapore leader being immortalized with Net name

Someone has registered the domain name LeeKuanYew.com, the name of the former prime minister of Singapore, and is hawking it on Yahoo's auction site.

SINGAPORE--Lee Kuan Yew, the man credited with revitalizing Singapore, might be flattered to know that his efforts have not been overlooked in the flighty world of cyberspace.

Someone has registered the domain name LeeKuanYew.com. If it is used, it will be one of the few public facilities bearing the former prime minister's name; thus far, no public buildings or streets carry his moniker.

The senior minister may not be thrilled by the fact that the domain name is now being hawked to the highest bidder on Yahoo's auction site, however.

The seller is "deepakchugani," a newcomer to Yahoo auctions. He did not provide any information about himself, other than his asking price of about $57,600 (SGD $100,000) and the fact that he accepts personal checks.

With one day to go, anything could happen--bidding at online auctions usually becomes heated in the last hour or so before the sale is closed. But the person who coughs up cash for the Net name may find himself buying more than a patch of cyberspace.

Recently, there have been court cases about domain disputes involving film stars and other celebrities. Julia Roberts went to the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization to help her wrest "www.juliaroberts.com" from someone who was selling it on eBay.

Earlier this year, Stan Lee Media, founded by "Spider-Man" cartoonist Stan Lee, sued a fireman, Stanley Lee, in a domain name battle.

It will be interesting to see if the Singapore Lee reacts with a paternalistic smile or if the man who battered the communists decides to pull on the old boxing gloves.

Note: We had earlier said that thus far, the offer has attracted just one bid at SGD $25,000. The amount mentioned actually denotes the starting price. At press time, LeeKuanYew.com has not attracted any bidders.

Singapore.CNET.com's Susan Tsang reported from Singapore.