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Reid plotting more raids on dot.com web addresses

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After spending £126,000 on the purchase of architecture.com, the riba has asked a small Kensington-based practice using the name riba.uk.com to consider ditching it.

The move is part of the institute's plan to swoop on more architecture- related Internet names and director general Alex Reid telephoned Robert Ian Barnes Architects before announcing it had scooped architecture.com.

'He called and asked 'do you have this address?' and 'do you think it is confusing?'' said Robert Barnes. 'He didn't offer to buy it but suggested we might want to change it'. Barnes bought the name for £35 just two years ago.

Reid told riba Council last week that it needed to look at acquiring other domain names in 'a precautionary way'.

But the proposal to hoover up more names was met with objections by some council members who warned that riba should not attempt to promote architecture to the exclusion of other bodies.

'I'm against this plan. Let us promote architecture but also let other people get in on the act,' said council member Roger Stonehouse.

Nevertheless Reid received warm applause from the riba Council last week for acquiring the domain name. Council members said it would provide a legacy of his term in office when he steps down later this year.

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