A British court ruled on Wednesday that U.S. rap star Sean "Diddy" Combs had breached an agreement with a London-based record producer not to use the alias "Diddy" in Britain. However, the judgment st

A British court ruled on Wednesday that U.S. rap star Sean "Diddy" Combs had breached an agreement with a London-based record producer not to use the alias "Diddy" in Britain.

However, the judgment stopped short of ordering the performer to change his stage name or stop using the hugely popular MySpace and YouTube Internet sites, where his pages attract millions of viewers worldwide.

In a written ruling from London's High Court, judge David Kitchin said Combs had advertised himself as Diddy in a song on his latest album "Press Play," violating a deal reached last year with London-based Richard "Diddy" Dearlove.

Combs has promised that the offending lyric, "mainline this Diddy heroin," will be removed from the song "The Future" when it is performed in Britain from now on.

However, Kitchin found that it was record companies, not Combs himself, who controlled the content of his pages on popular Web sites, and the companies were not party to the agreement.

A spokesman for Combs called the ruling a victory for common sense.

"The judge has not upheld any injunctions against Sean Combs," the spokesman said.

"His record 'Press Play' is in shops as usual and in a matter of weeks he will be in the U.K. with Snoop Dogg co-headlining his European tour. It seems as if this case has wasted an awful lot of people's time."

Dearlove had argued that Combs broke their agreement because people in Britain could see his pages on international sites MySpace and YouTube, where he appears under the "Diddy" alias.

"We want him either to use a neutral name like P. Diddy or to shut them down," Iain Purvis, Dearlove's lawyer, told the court earlier this year.

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

The extent of Combs's control over the content of the MySpace and YouTube sites will now be the subject of a full High Court trial scheduled for October, unless attempts at a compromise between the two sides are successful.

In July, 2006, an agreement was reached settling Dearlove's initial legal claim in the name battle, with Combs paying 10,000 pounds ($20,000) in lieu of damages and Dearlove's legal costs and undertaking not to use the Diddy name on its own in Britain.


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