Tattoo artist squats on presidential website
If, as expected, President Sarkozy announces he plans to run for re-election in 2012, he will find that the obvious domain name, nicolassarkozy2012.fr, will not be available.
When internet users click on that site it is not the French president whose image appears, but a black and white image of a woman and the title "un combat, une vie, 15 ans" (a battle, a life, 15 years).
The site is being "cyber-squatted" by Corinne Dubosque, the owner of a tattoo parlour in Pontault-Combault, a town to the east of Paris, reported Le Parisien.
Dubosque bought the site name as a way to get the work of tattoo artists recognized as an "artistic profession," which would then allow her and others to benefit from a lower VAT rate of 5.5 percent, rather than the standard 19.6 percent rate.
"Tattooing is not considered as an art while others, such as graphic artists working in advertising, are," she said. "It's not right."
Dubosque rejects the term "cyber-squatting" and claims it is "completely legal to buy a domain name." In 2007 she registered carlabrunisarkozy.eu for fun and has done the same with several members of the government.
She claims her aim is to get her cause heard, rather than make money from selling on the domain names.
"What matters is that people listen to me," she said. "Although if I can annoy Sarkozy as well, then all the better, because I really don't like him."