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Tuesday / January 22.

Gulf News asked for $25,000 for Vatsupbabu.com

Dubai: VAT’s the topic of the hour and an online user decided to capitalise on it.

He sent Gulf News an email, which read: “Dear Sir, I have following domain name available for Sales. www.VATSUPBABU.com. It can be used for your program ‘VAT’s Up Babu?’ If you are interested to buy please get in touch on the following contact details.”

He was talking about the daily column on gulfnews.com and the newspaper that helps readers with their queries about VAT, answered daily by Gulf News Banking Editor Babu Das Augustine.

A quick money-making enterprise?

Well, the reader’s missive first landed on the desk of the Social Media and Readers Editor Anupa Kurian-Murshed.

She said: “I was rather taken aback on seeing this email. Initially, I thought he was offering it to us but then realised he was being quite opportunistic.”

No query to Gulf News goes unanswered, Audience Editor Jaaved Khatree looked into the matter: “He wanted us to make an offer, and I asked him to make an offer, instead. He said he wanted $25,000. Although that is a ridiculous amount I asked him to justify it, and he gave a very weak explanation. He said VAT is a very big issue and that Gulf News is clearly investing a lot of time on this section of the website and might, therefore, need a domain name. He wants to sell. It is of no value to him but our website is doing fine without it!”

Banking Editor Babu Das Augustine said. “When something gets popular, people track it to make money from it. Let’s see what happens.”

And he’s not the only one, a website in India GSTIndiaguide.com decided to copy our entire column VAT’s Up Babu and paste it onto their page – a blatant violation of copyright laws. No permission asked, no attribution given.

Coming back to our domain selling online user, he definitely did not tell us if he wanted VAT added to his selling price or not!

via GN