Friday, August 12, 2011

Follow-up on ICE Domain Name Seizure

As blogged previously, the U.S. Customs has seized domain names from those who post infringing works on their websites.  One of the seizures was for and owned by Puerto 80 Projects S.L.U. (“Puerto”). It is alleged that the two referenced websites collected a list of third party links to live sporting events and pay-per-view events. 

Puerto sought to obtain the domain names back seeking immediate release of the seized property. The U.S. government argued that Puerto could not show substantial hardship and giving back the domain names would only lead to further criminal acts. 

Puerto claims harm because of a reduced number of visitors. (Puerto operates other websites such as that were not seized.) The Court rejected this as substantial harm. Puerto also raised the First Amendment; however, the court rejected this argument finding that the forums for comment are not the purpose of the websites seized. The court finds the purpose of the two seized websites is to catalog links to copyrighted materials.  See the Court's August 4, 2011 order here.

The court did not reach the question of whether giving back the domain names would only foster criminal activity but may take up the question when Puerto’s motion to dismiss is heard next month.

No comments:

Post a Comment