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11 October, 1999 4.22pm pdt | Zip Edition
Belgium Sues Be, Inc. In Domain Dispute

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) The country of Belgium filed suit today against Be, Inc. today. Belgium seeks to prevent Be, Inc. from using the domain "BE.COM" ("BE" is the international country code for their country), claiming mass confusion on the part of the "Belgium-loving public".

The lawsuit was apparently inspired by past and recent events, including reports of one couple who canceled a trip to Belgium to buy a BeOS computer and an invitation to Be, Inc. officials to join the European Union.

"We would be greatly honored to include a pervasive multi-threaded country among our number," read the invitation in part.

"Unwary netsurfers, seeking information on our fine country by the reasonable means of typing "BE" into their web browser will find themselves instead at the web page of Be, Inc.," said Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt. "While this may seem amusing at first, it is a major inconvenience for those seeking information on our fine country."

Others believe BeOS to be a Belgian export.

"I have always enjoyed your chocolates, and now I may also enjoy your wonderful operating system," read one email cited in the lawsuit.

Be, Inc. officials have no plans on relinquishing the domain name, and is considering filing a countersuit to gain control of their country code.

"It is our contention that people visiting websites ending in '.be' are likely to think we somehow endorse those sites when that very well may not be the case," said a Be, Inc. legal representative.

This is the latest in a series of conflicts between Be, Inc. and Belgium that began when Be hired away engineer Benoît Schillings.


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