Tiny Town Fights For Its Domain

I'm at the Provincetown International Film Festival on Cape Cod, where I attended the North American premiere of "Dot.Com," a charmingly funny and beautiful firmed comedy about a small village in Portugal whose residents are being threatened with a 500,000 euro (about $800,000) lawsuit by a multinational Spanish company because the town's Web site happens to have the same name as a brand of mineral water the company has trademarked.

Prior to this most townsfolk were blissfully disinterested in the Web site, but once the company threatened to sue, many in the town rallied around keeping the site open -- to fight the "Spanish invasion." The international media got wind of the story and the little village became a cause celeb ultimately leading the Portuguese prime minister to pressure the town to keep the site open as a patriotic gesture.

I don't know if this film will ever make it to U.S. theaters or to TV or the Internet, but if it does, I highly recommend it. It highlights the absurdity of the value of "dot-com real estate," and satirizes the real issue of conflicts of rights over domain names.

The 103 minute film, directed by Luís Galvão Teles, is in Portuguese with English subtitles.
  • Larry Magid

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