Menu
No, you can't seize country TLDs, US court rules

No, you can't seize country TLDs, US court rules

That's good news for those who worry about the power the U.S. government has over the Internet

In a landmark ruling that signals a win for the current system of Internet governance, a U.S. court has quashed an attempt to seize Iran's, Syria's and North Korea's domains as part of a lawsuit against those countries' governments.

The plaintiffs in the case wanted to seize the country's ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) .ir, .sy and .kp after they successfully sued Iran, Syria and North Korea as state sponsors of terrorism. The domain seizure was part of a financial judgment against those governments.

The claimants wanted to seize the domains from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit US-based organization which oversees the Internet.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia however denied the plaintiffs' motions to seize the domains earlier this week, ICANN said.

"This is very good news," said Peter van Roste, general manager of the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR).

"It is very important, especially in these times, to show the world that domain names cannot simply be seized by U.S. law firms with all the possible consequences for the global use of the Internet," he said.

ICANN had argued that ccTLD's can't be seized because they aren't property. Instead, they are more like postal codes that allow users to go to websites and send email to addresses under those domains, it said.

However, the court didn't rule that domain names aren't property, said Van Roste, adding that the domain name sector would have welcomed such a verdict.

Rather, the court found the ccTLDs have the nature of a contractual right, and ruled that rights arising under a contract cannot be seized as part of a judgment.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetlegalICANNintellectual property

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments