Bush library searches for Web site name

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While President Bush's advisers were taking offers on an ideal spot for his library and museum, they probably should have paid more attention to the virtual real-estate market.

Officials finally settled on Southern Methodist University in Dallas to house the $250 million complex.

But online, some of the very best addresses are gone — snapped up for a mere fistful of dollars by squatters who have no connection to the library yet hope to make fun of the president, protect him or simply cash in on his name.

At one time, the Bush Library Foundation owned the easiest Web site to remember: www.GeorgeWBushLibrary.com.

But whether on purpose or because of an oversight — foundation spokesman Taylor Griffin wasn't sure — it lost that domain name last year. Illuminati Karate, a Web company in Raleigh, N.C., picked it up for less than $10.

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Maarja Krusten - 4/5/2008

Ah, the usual confusion over the library and the foundation. The former will be governmental, the latter is a private sector entity. That being the case, GeorgeWBushLibrary.com never was a proper name for such a website as the library will not be a private sector enterprise of the type to which .com domain names apply. The George W. Bush Presidential Library will be a governmental entity and have a .gov domain name. Squatters are unable to affect those. After the Library opens, its website most likely will be something such as GWBush.archives.gov. Most Presidential Libraries use the President's surname but in this instance there will be two Bush Presidential Libraries, one for 41 and one for 43.

During the period after January 20, 2009 but before the library opens (construction will take some time, of course), the collection will be housed in a temporary space under the administrative name of the George W. Bush Presidential Materials Project of the National Archives. During that phase of its existence, the website will reflect its governmental project status.

The Bush Foundation is a private sector entity which most likely will end up with a domain name such as GWBLibraryFoundation.org. It will be a foundation which interacts with the Library in certain educational and outreach activities. But it will not house the former President's governmental records in an institutional that it administers nor will it constitute a Presidential Library.