Seven forces Rafters fansite to shut
Network Seven lawyers have instructed a fan website for Packed to the Rafters to close down and hand over the domain. TV Tonight talks exclusively to a disappointed webmaster, who is all of 18 years old.
The Seven Network has muscled in on a website packedtotherafters.com.au run by an 18 year old fan, after it deemed his site would cause confusion with the show’s official website.
Seven’s own website is at the clunky address http://au.tv.yahoo.com/b/packed-to-the-rafters/
But now the network wants the webmaster, Michael, who started the site based on his love of the new Seven drama, to close down the site and hand over the domain.
Michael says he was shocked when he read the email from Seven lawyers.
“I couldn’t believe they required me to hand over the domain which means shutting down the entire site,” he told TV Tonight. “I had a feeling that one day they might require me to make it more obvious that it wasn’t the official website. I would get emails from other fans saying how much they loved the show and asked questions, I would always make sure I stated that we weren’t the official website and pointed them in the right direction.”
The site now tells readers: ‘Due to matters out of our hands packedtotherafters.com.au has been shut down & taken offline. We would like to thank everyone who helped get the site up and running & appreciate all those who visited the site and left comments. I hope you enjoy the final episode of the series on Tuesday night. I can’t wait for series two!’
Fans would always compliment him for updating the site, which added content more regularly than Seven’s.
But a disappointed Michael is complying with the request, saying he can’t afford to take Seven on legally. He says Seven has agreed to cover the cost of the initial registration fee but he is hoping the network may reconsider its demands.
Given the revenue Seven has generated from the number #1 series of 2008, it would certainly be nice if they could find it within their pockets to dig a little deeper, especially for a fan who was smart enough to register it.
“I’m left extremely disappointed that after all the time and effort I put into it the blog has gone to waste and all because I wanted to keep other fans informed about news, rumours & information about the show I fell in love with,” Michael said.