US wins right to seize foreign country domain names

A judge has ruled against an appeal from the sports streaming site Rojadirecta, saying it won’t be getting its seized domain names back.

Following an appeal, Spanish Puerto 80 appears to have lost its fight with the Supreme Court having had its .com and .org addresses robbed back in January.

While others shied away from a barney with US lawmakers, the plucky Spanish firm decided to march over to the US to demand that it have its domain names back, with ruling to be made under the First Amendment.

It said that it hadn’t committed any copyright crime, having only provided a forum where people could post what they liked.  Nevertheless, it was deemed necessary for Puerto 80 to haul itself over to Yankee-land in order to demand its belongings back.

But it was bad news for Puerto 80, which was told by a judge that it would not be getting its hands on the domain names any time soon.

According to TorrentFreak, United States District Court Judge Paul Crotty told Puerto 80 that it could forget about getting Rojadirecta’s domains back, saying that the domain seizure did not violate the first amendment.

He argued that, while it was claimed that the US government suppressed content in the forums, any fool could see that these were linking to illegal sites and that “any argument to the contrary is disingenuous.” 

He also said that the site would not be affected by having major domain names taken away, as it could inform its users on its other websites. He argued that Rojadirecta actually “has a large internet presence and can simply distribute information about the seizure and its new domain names to its customers”.

Furthermore, the judge reckons that any whinging about loss in profits would fall on deaf ears, with Puerto 80 claiming that it doesn’t get any revenue from the content to which it links. 

So, as it is not making any cash, why should it care about having its property taken from it by a foreign government? Well, because it is having its property taken from it by a foreign government.

According to the EFF, an organisation involved in supporting Puerto 80s case, there was not a lot of consideration from the courts for the First Amendment.

It also failed to look into First Amendment flaws in the initial seizure, “that a mere finding of ‘probable cause’ does not and cannot justify a prior restraint.”

“How the court believes that the seizure satisfies the First Amendment in this regard is a mystery,” they responded.