Killing domain names as means to enforce court rulings

Posted in Internet, Legal at 1:11 pm by Jens Hardings

Ed Felten asks interesting questions regarding the Spamhaus.org case. You can read his post for details, but basically, Spamhaus.org has ignored a ruling in which it should pay a plaintiff for damages and publish a declaration stating that it has erroneously published the plaintiff in its “spammers” lists. It might be possible that a court rules that Tucows (as the registrar managing the domain registration) and/or ICANN has to withdraw the name assignment of Spamhaus.org, so that the domain ceases to exist. Felten’s questions are:

  1. Is it appropriate under U.S. law for the judge to do this?
  2. If the spamhaus.org is revoked, how will spamhaus and its users respond?
  3. If U.S. judges can revoke domain name registrations, what are the international implications?

As for question 1, I reserve my opinions.

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