Gillian Ferguson, the woman who bought the domain name Narnia.mobi for her son, has written an article for today’s Scotland on Sunday, which is published on Scotsman.com. As I reported in June, Ferguson and her husband (Richard Saville-Smith) say they bought the domain in 2006 to give as a birthday gift to their son so he could have a special e-mail address.
The C. S. Lewis Company, responsible for the Lewis literary estate, recently filed suit after demands that they hand over the domain were rejected. Ferguson states that they are well within their rights since the domain was not purchased with the intent of making a profit–something The C. S. Lewis Company tried to refute in the courtroom. A decision in the case is slated for tomorrow.
Ferguson’s article reviews the evidence from her point of view, and ends on this note:
The first film alone grossed $745m. Yet CS Lewis gave away the books’ profits to charity, with the rights sold by his stepsons in the 1970s. A young boy having a magical e-mail address to have fun with his friends seems more in keeping with the spirit of Narnia, established long before its huge commercialisation.
It’s sad, Narnia being the focus of legal action. Still, we haven’t turned to stone and, with all the support received during this fantastical tale, it proves the world has not yet frozen over.
Editor’s note: To be precise, Lewis only gave 2/3 of the profits to charity, due to British tax laws. One must wonder, however, if Professor Lewis would agree with the actions taken by the ones who are supposed to be responsible for safeguarding his legacy. I will try to post the results of the court decision as soon as I find out.
Note: This article was corrected to reflect the fact that Ferguson is the mother, not the father, of the boy. My apologies this egregious error.
Update 21July – See Comments.