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'Diddy' name challenged in Brit court

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LONDON - A London-based record producer launched his bid on Thursday to force U.S. rapper and hip-hop music producer Sean "Diddy" Combs to change his alias or stop using the hugely popular MySpace and YouTube Internet sites.

Richard "Diddy" Dearlove says that Combs has breached an earlier undertaking not to use the name "Diddy" in Britain, because people there can see Combs' pages on the international MySpace and YouTube sites were he appears as "Diddy."

"We want him either to use a neutral name like P. Diddy or to shut them down," said Iain Purvis, Dearlove's lawyer at the High Court in London where the case is being heard.

Both Internet sites have become key marketing platforms for international artists, and Combs' site on www.myspace.com showed that his profile had been visited nearly 10 million times.

Purvis said that in keeping with an earlier agreement, Combs ensured British visitors to his Web site www.diddy.com were diverted to a British site where the offending name was not used.

However, he was powerless to do so in relation to pages on MySpace and YouTube.

"It may be tough for him, but that is just unfortunate," said Purvis. "He has made his bed, he should lie in it."

Combs has undergone several name changes, including "Puff Daddy" and "P. Diddy."

Dearlove complains that Combs' MySpace page can be found by British Web users at myspace.com/diddy.

If the judge rules that Combs has breached the earlier undertaking, Dearlove will ask for an injunction barring him from continuing to do so. Dearlove could then seek damages. The hearing continues.