Domains Locked in London Police Takedown Ordered To Be Transferred.

wewinThe National Arbitration Forum has just handed down its decision in respect to the three domain names locked down at Public Domain Registry in response to the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit takedown requests. The decision is in favour of easyDNS and orders the three names to be transferred to us.

The full text of the decision is available here, the notable finding is that:

No court order has been issued which would prohibit the transfer of the domain names at issue from the Registrar of Record to the Gaining Registrar.  Therefore, there is nothing in the Transfer Policy which authorizes the Registrar of Record to refuse to transfer the domain names.

Yes, exactly, that's what we've been saying all along. It's unbelievable that we had to take this all the way to a second level appeal to get a decision enforced that is simply straight-forward compliance with a clear, unambiguous rule that all registrars have to play by.

More importantly, the panel went on to say:

"To permit a registrar of record to withhold the transfer of a domain
based on the suspicion of a law enforcement agency, without the
intervention of a judicial body, opens the possibility for abuse
by
agencies far less reputable than the City of London Police. Presumably,
the provision in the Transfer Policy requiring a court order is based on
the reasonable assumption that the intervention of a court and judicial
decree ensures that the restriction on the transfer of a domain name has
some basis of “due process” associated with it."
(emphasis added)

This is precisely the reason we felt obligated to go all the way with this. It is now official, and out there for all to see: Even if a registrar suspends service to a domain for any number of ill conceived reasons (including the flimsiest of takedown requests from overreaching law enforcement agencies) they cannot prevent those domains from seeking greener pastures in the form of more clueful registrars – unless they have a COURT ORDER to lock the domain down.

It's been a long haul, but it's worth it.

Update

Ironic, given the timing, we've just received a letter from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (whoever that is), explaining to us why we have to take down any domain name they tell us to in direct contravention to everything the NAF just upheld in this finding.

Further Reading

 

Comments

  1. Victor Granic says

    This is a big win for common sense, and more importantly, my sanity. Great work guys. Toe to toe with the thin blue line and you didn't flinch. Impressive!

  2. William says

    Congratulations on your legal victory! You've done humanity a great service, by ensuring that everyone is afforded their right to due process.

    Thank you EasyDNS! You'll be my first choice for a DNS service provider when the time comes.

  3. Mike says

    It seems /. is divided on whether you are in the right or not here, which I find more than odd.

    As for me, however, I just want to let you know that you have earned a customer by going above and beyond the call of duty here, and I will be transferring my domain over to EasyDNS when the time comes. It's not much, but I'm sure I won't be the only one.

    THANK YOU!

  4. says

    Well done, you will be overlooked from now on they will pretend that you do not exist and continue making their demands elsewhere. Quangos need to justify their existence they will continue like nothing has happened and hope nobody notices.

    "You have tried to access a website that is under criminal investigation by the UK: Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) This site is being investigated for online copyright infringement. For a safe and reliable guide to online content, please visit:"

    http://pipcu.co.uk/

  5. Dave says

    Very well done guys. I'm very impressed with what you did. I'm in the UK and was disgusted when I read about the City of London police trying to order people about like a load of thugs with no due process or court orders but justice has prevailed.

  6. Andrei says

    I'm impressed with easyDNS stance on this matter. Well done! Wish there were more stand-up registrars like easyDNS out there.