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Irwin Huckster Told to Croc Off

10/10/2006 2:09 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Just weeks after reports claim a cyber-squatter snatched up the rights to a website named after Steve Irwin's daughter, a close friend to the Crocodile Hunter's family has apparently set things right.

Shortly following Irwin's tragic death, Wayne Smith, a former volunteer at the wildlife enthusiast's beloved Australian Zoo, bought the website, claiming he was intending to dedicate the site to the grieving 8-year-old. But instead of tributes or poems, the site reportedly contained links to several anti-Israel websites.

Now, after facing tons of harsh criticism, it seems the cyber-wrongs have finally been righted, as Steve's friend and former manager John Stainton has officially obtained ownership of the site. Stainton has since programmed the site to automatically redirect visitors to the official website for the Australia Zoo.

Calls to John Stainton were not immediately returned.

TMZ has obtained a statement from Wayne Smith claiming that once he purchased, he redirected the site to a remotely hosted non-profit message board. "I did have a political forum at the board which of course contained controversial topics but I closed it. I realised [sic] that it would be in poor taste to have politics and wildlife discussions together. "


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Alyn Brodsky    

They should feed that bastard to the crocs. I'm glad Steve's pal caught him and got things back on track.

2899 days ago


Sick bastard! Shows how some people will capitalize on a tragedy....and using that poor little girl's name for his own agenda. He should be put in a pen with the boa's or crocs and let nature take it's course.

Glad the family realized what was happening and took control again.

2899 days ago


jay---- so why are you posting it for others to see???!!!!!!!

2898 days ago


Whenever a tragedy occurs like the death of Steve Irwin, there are the good people that offer love, support, tributes and prayers - we need these people because they are the bedrock of society. Unfortunately, there are also the awful, terrible people that will exploit any situation for their own gain either monetarily or to push their propaganda. We don't need these people - they are scum. To bad there is no way to put this guy in jail with other people of his ilk.

2898 days ago

blah blah blah    

I'm for opinion #4
I feel the same way.
It's sad when an opportunist takes advantage not only of a death, but an innocent child as well.
Thank God that he had such a great friend to leap in and jerk this opportunist out of commission

2898 days ago


looks like jays posting and links been taken off anyway

2898 days ago

Wayne Smith    

This story was a complete fabrication. I emailed Australia Zoo shortly after buying the domain offering to transfer it over to Terri Irwin for free. This was weeks before the Press villified me. John Stainton acknowledged getting that email on September 11. It began with an unresearched story at the Sydney morning Herald on Oct 5 which was then copied and rewritten in all of the other tabloids before going international. I made a second attempt to contact John Stainton after the memorial service was over and just days before the media beat me up.

I don't own any websites. The political forum at the message board was actually closed and nobody could see the heated discussions in there. I had initially pointed the bindi domain at Australia Zoo's website but after hearing stories about fake Wildlife Warrior websites decided my actions might be misconstrued. So I redirected it to a non-profit message board.

This was all just a big beat up and John Stainton was actually very appreciative of what I'd done. I knew that Bindi would soon be very famous and I secured it to prevent Cybersquatters from buying it.

This is what happens to celebrity domains that aren't purchased by their rightful owners.

I have done nothing wrong. I did in fact save the Irwins a fortune. A real cybersquatter would have very soon bought that valuable piece of internet real estate.

I have never made a cent from the internet in my life.

2895 days ago

Wayne Smith    

By the way, I myself redirected the domain to Australia Zoo's website after the transferral which took place at John Stainton's office in Brisbane. Nobody else there knew how to do it. The reason John Stainton didn't secure the domain for the Irwin's himself is that he isn't very internet savvy. He's a wizard at television and film production but doesn't have any time left over for the internet. I don't think he even has a computer.

Tom Cruise had to fight in court to get TomCruise.Com and only won because he claimed the owner was advertising products he himself would never endorse. Many celebrities aren't as lucky.

My advice to up and coming celebrities is to purchase your domain names early. By law anybody can register any .com domain. After the way I was treated by the press you certainly can't count on any good samaritans securing them for you.

Despite what you may have read I was never forced to transfer the Domain over to Terri Irwin. By law I could have easily kept it forever and gotten fat on advertising revenue.

2895 days ago


Methinks someone doth protest too much.

2890 days ago

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