Hand over Domain Names for City Festival; Ex-Council Man in Website Row

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Byline: BY DAVID BARTLETT Daily Post Staff

ONE of the men primarily blamed for the cancellation of the Mathew Street Festival has become embroiled in a row over the ownership of the domain names for the event's website.

A letter was sent yesterday to Lee Forde demanding that he surrender control of the websites to the directors of the Liverpool's Mathew Street Music Festival Ltd.

The directors gave Mr Forde seven days to transfer the domain names mathew streetmusicfestival.co.uk and mathewstreetmusicalfestival.com to them.

Festival directors, Bill Heckle and Dave Jones, maintain the website names, registered by Mr Forde after the 2005 festival, were supposed to be handed over to them two years ago by Liverpool Culture Company.

Now they say that, not only did that not happen, but Mr Forde, who resigned from his events job in June, re-registered both web addresses in his own name on August 29 this year.

Last night, Liverpool city council said he officially stopped working for the authority on August 24.

Mr Forde and ex-operations manager Chris Green took most of the blame for this summer's cancellation of the Mathew Street Festival in an internal council report into the matter.

Since its publication, Mr Forde has strenuously denied it was his fault and has demanded an independent investigation which he believes would clear him of any wrongdoing.

Last night he said: "They can have the domain names, I am happy to talk to them about transferring them.

"The domain names were bought for pounds 20 each in 2003 as a precautionary measure to ensure that no-one else could use them. …