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09|25|2008 07:58 am EDT

ICA Responds to Kentucky Seizure of Gambling Domains

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Up to the Minute

Jeremiah Johnston, the president of the Internet Commerce Association has responded to Kentucky’s seizure of 141 gambling domain names.

“The Internet Commerce Association is aware of the extreme concern of ICA members regarding the action of the Kentucky Attorney General ordering the seizure of 141 gaming related domain names. It appears that there may be no statutory basis for this unprecedented action, that Kentucky may lack sufficient jurisdictional grounds and that it also may violate the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution.

The ICA intends to immediately investigate this matter, including outreach to affected ICA members as well as to those registrars subject to the Kentucky order. Once we have gathered additional information, the Board will consider further appropriate action to confront this dangerous precedent.”

While it seems unlikely the seizure will withstand legal challenge, it has created a lot of controversy in the domain industry.

Earlier this week Enom became the first registrar to transfer the targeted domains that were listed with them – HighRollersLounge.com and LuckyCasino.com (whose registrant died of a heart attack this summer)- to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Strangely enough, these two domains no longer resolve, going against the court order’s instructions which state the “domain configurations shall remain unchanged.”

According to TheDomains, the court hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning, September 25. Anybody who had their domains listed for seizure must be represented at the hearing or the domains will be officially seized.

[Update]: ICA initially stated incorrectly that this seizure order was initiated by the Kentucky Attorney General. I received this statement from the Kentucky Attorney General’s office. “The initiative was taken by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. The Attorney General’s Office has no involvement in the seizure of the gaming domain names.”

[Update 2]: Word at the TRAFFIC Conference is that GoDaddy is not planning to hand over the domains registered through them.

[Update 3]: The hearing has been postponed until tomorrow. [via TheDomains]

[via ICA and TheDomains]

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8 Comments

Mickie Kennedy

September 25, 2008 @ 12:15 pm EDT

“While it seems unlikely the seizure will withstand legal challenge …” I’m not too sure. Legality seems to go out the window when it comes to domainers. Then due process kicks in: “Anybody who had their domains listed for seizure must be represented at the hearing or the domains will be officially seized.” I suspect some domainers won’t bother. I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. Illegal seizure … but you have to traverse the bumpy, expensive legal system to get your domains returned to you. God bless America.

Chad

September 25, 2008 @ 1:02 pm EDT

I believe the domainers can be represented by their registrar at the hearing.

David

September 25, 2008 @ 8:15 pm EDT

I believe the domainers can be represented by their registrar at the hearing.

Sigh, one can only hope.

Jeff Meyer

September 30, 2008 @ 4:46 pm EDT

It’s my understanding that GoDaddy did turn over their domains. I was at TRAFFIC when it all went down and that was the word there. Seemed that Moniker was the only one that stood strong against the order. Have I been fed the wrong info?

Adam

October 7, 2008 @ 2:34 pm EDT

jeff you are right about godaddy

Frank Michlick

October 10, 2008 @ 1:53 pm EDT

From the official GoDaddy statement by General Counsel Christine Jones as posted on DomainNameWire:

We did not give the names to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as stated in the order, as the registrant had not had a proper chance to be heard on these issues.

We provided the court a registrar certificate giving jurisdiction to the court. Meaning whatever the end result of this litigation, we will implement the court

[…] Johnson, the President of the Internet Commerce Association who earlier condemned the seizure, has responded to the court’s decision with displeasure:

[…] Johnson, the President of the Internet Commerce Association who earlier condemned the seizure, has responded to the court’s decision with displeasure:

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