A federal court has sanctioned the efforts of U.S. law enforcement to seize domain names belonging to suspected pirate sites.
In February, U.S. customs agents seized the domain names Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org. In June, Puerto 80, the owners of the domain names, filed a lawsuit and asked that the names be returned.
Yesterday, however, a U.S. district court in Manhattan denied Puerto 80's request. According to court documents, Rojadirecta was being used to publish links that led users to illegal Web broadcasts of live sporting events and other pay-per-view shows, which is a copyright violation.
Managers at Puerto 80 said that the seizing of the domain names would cause a financial hardship and violate First Amendment rights of readers and viewers since many posted comments to the site's forum. Critics of domain-name seizures say that the practice could be used as a form of censorship. Anytime that the government wants to silence dissension on a Web site, all it need do is claim that the site is guilty of copyright violations. … Read more