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Claim of 'Most Downloaded Woman' heats up
(CNN) -- Whether staking a reputation as a dot-com or promoting the latest e-service, everything on the Internet relies on a name.
So it may be a case of semantics, but former exotic dancer turned Web entrepreneur Danni Ashe has usurped the official Guinness Book of World Records title held by actress Cindy Margolis as the 'Most Downloaded Woman' on the Web.
And the battle is heating up.
Guinness Records in London is recognizing Ashe as the new queen of the download, with more than 240 million in 1999 alone. According to figures compiled through her two Web sites, Ashe has been downloaded more than 840 million times between February 1996 and June 2000 -- excluding pirated sites and newsgroups. Margolis has been downloaded a total of 58 million times, as stated on her Web site.
"I've known for a very long time that I was being downloaded more than Cindy Margolis," Ashe said during a telephone interview from Los Angeles. "I got fed up, and I finally had time to pursue it."
Ashe says she doesn't harbor any ill feelings toward her downloadable opponent, adding that "she is a beautiful woman" and it's a "healthy competition."
Neil Hayes, a spokesman for Guinness Records, said the final calculation was made by counting the total number of unique visitors multiplied by the average number of downloaded images. He said two Internet authorities, eCaravel Consulting and Flying Crocodile Inc., have verified the data and methodology.
Margolis' camp remains skeptical
Margolis' publicist says he isn't convinced the record is accurate.
"We're trying to get to the bottom of this," said Neil Cirucci from his office in Atlantic City, New Jersey. "Danni is claiming a Guinness record, but Cindy still has the title from Yahoo! Internet Life magazine."
Cirucci also said it's possible that Ashe's total downloads could include photos of her with other models, which would inflate the numbers.
Cirucci likened the dispute to the various boxing titles that carry the distinction of heavyweight champion of the world, each one recognized by a different sporting body.
"In this case, one is rated PG and one is rated R," Cirucci said.
Claim helps market site
But why is the claim significant?
"It's important because obviously I market my company through publicity," Ashe said. "I make no bones about that. It (the claim) helps symbolize how hard I've worked over the years."
And Margolis managed to establish a presence in the entertainment industry through her Web site.
Although Cirucci said Margolis still intends to promote herself as the Most Downloaded Woman, he added that the title isn't as important as it initially was when she received the accolade four years ago. In addition to her site, Margolis currently hosts a weekly TV show taped in South Beach, Florida, and has appeared in "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery."
"The Internet has widespread appeal and is a very powerful tool in which you can interact, access and download programs, pictures, music and video files," said Guinness' Hayes.
No plans for multiple titles
Hayes said there are no plans to create multiple titles even though Ashe's adult site displays nudity and Margolis' doesn't.
"There is potential for additional categories like Most Downloaded Man or Most Downloaded Program, but we wouldn't make the distinction between clothed or unclothed or tattooed or not tattooed," Hayes said.
In a statement released by Margolis, she writes, "I honestly don't believe a respected book like the Guinness Book of World Records has a category for pornography. If it does, however, I am SURE that having no nudity on my Web site would automatically disqualify me from competing with girls or Web sites of this nature."
Cirucci said he is concerned with requests that have been sent by Ashe's staff to Kingworld Productions and WindowsMedia.com instructing them to no longer refer to Margolis as the Most Downloaded Woman.
"Now it's getting annoying more than anything," he said.
The scenario could take a different twist in October when Yahoo! Internet Life releases its new tally.
Fake 'Star Wars' trailer surpasses 1 million downloads
Guinness World Records
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