This message was sent to you by [log in to unmask], as a service of The Seattle Times (http://www.seattletimes.com). Comments from sender: a bit of light humor. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Mike may be Rowe, but 'soft' is trouble Full story: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001839586_mikerowesoft19m.html By The Associated Press VANCOUVER, B.C. — Mike Rowe knew he needed a catchy name for his Web-site design company. "Since my name is Mike Rowe, I thought it would be funny to add 'soft' to the end of it," said Rowe, a 17-year-old computer geek and 12th-grade student in Victoria, B.C. As in, but not quite, Microsoft. But the folks at the world's biggest software company are not amused. They've demanded that he give up his domain name. Rowe registered the name in August. In November, he received a letter from Microsoft's Canadian lawyers, Smart & Biggar, informing him he was committing copyright infringement. He was advised to transfer the name to the Redmond-based corporation. "I didn't think they would get all their high-priced lawyers to come after me," Rowe said. He wrote back asking to be compensated for giving up his name. Microsoft's lawyers offered him $10 in U.S. funds. Then he asked for $1,000. On Thursday, he received a 25-page letter accusing him of trying to force Microsoft into giving him a large settlement. "I never even thought of getting anything out of them," he said, adding that he asked for the $1,000 only because he was "sort of mad at them for only offering 10 bucks." He said family and friends are backing him, and a lawyer has offered to advise him for free. He's also keeping his sense of humor. "It's not their name. It's my name. I just think it's kind of funny that they'd go after a 17-year-old," Rowe said. Company spokesman Jim Desler said yesterday, "Microsoft has been in communication with Mr. Rowe in a good-faith effort to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. And we remain hopeful we can resolve this issue to everyone's satisfaction." ========================== ADVERTISEMENT ============================= If you can do it, watch it, eat it, buy it, or live it in the Pacific Northwest, you'll find it at NWsource.com ====================================================================== TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE SEATTLE TIMES PRINT EDITION Call (206) 464-2121 or 1-800-542-0820, or go to https://read.nwsource.com/subscribe/times/ HOW TO ADVERTISE WITH THE SEATTLE TIMES COMPANY ONLINE For information on advertising in this e-mail newsletter, or other online marketing platforms with The Seattle Times Company, call (206) 464-2361 or e-mail [log in to unmask] TO ADVERTISE IN THE SEATTLE TIMES PRINT EDITION Please go to http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/contactus/adsales for information. ====================================================================== For news updates throughout the day, visit http://www.seattletimes.com ====================================================================== Copyright (c) 2003 The Seattle Times Company www.seattletimes.com Your Life. Your Times.