Saturday, 27 November 2010

US Government seizes domains

The US Government - to be precise, the Department of Homeland Security - has seized a load of domain names used for file-sharing (or suspected file-sharing) sites. Thanks to Dan Ballard (Twitter: @ballard_ip, http://www.sequoiacounsel.com/) for explaining that this was following a court order pursuant to a seizure request by the DOJ in furtherance of its criminal investigations into counterfeiting, nothing to do with the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) (another entry for the second edition of my Dictionary of Intellectual Property) which has not yet become law.
However, my understanding is that COICA will allow a Web site's domain name to be seized if it "has no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than" offering or providing access to unauthorised copies of copyrighted works. The Attorney General will be given extensive powers to do all this.
I had fondly (in the "foolishly" sense of the word, as in that wonderful north-eastern expression which my parents used to apply to me from time to time, fond gonniel, meaning silly fool, or worse) imagined that the DHS was exclusively concerned with preventing terrorist outrages, but it seems its writ runs further than that.

Read more here.

1 comment:

Dan Ballard said...

The seizures were not done pursuant to the yet-to-passed COICA but rather via court order pursuant to a seizure request by the DOJ in furtherance of its criminal investigations into counterfeiting.

 

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