Since someone requested more info, I thought I’d post what has been going on since the last post on ICE and the US government seizing domain names for alleged infringement, without due process, and without warning. The legality of the entire thing is called into question.
Quite a lot has happened, but sadly nothing good. ICE has been bragging about how the raids were a complete success. They don’t mention the mafiaafire script (which Homeland Security tried to take down, that renders the seizures useless.
They also stalled for a little while, and still are. Freedom of Information Act requests go unanswered, or get pointed towards people who ignore them. They declared numerous times that no one was challenging the seizures, and yet the owners of the seized goods claim differently. Here’s the list of current domains contesting the seizures:
So far, the government is just ignoring them. This is why Rojadirecta, and its parent company Puerto 80, hired some of the top IP lawyers and are now suing the US government, demanding they return their domains. Rojadirecta has been ruled legal in Spain, no less than three times, yet the US refused to acknowledge that. Not to mention that the domains were seized for merely linking to material, which has been deemed legal many times in the US.
For some of the other domains, it’s simply impossible to sue. Most don’t have the monetary resources, or are simply not willing to fight it. However it’s important to remember that all the domains were sued at the express demand of the MPAA and RIAA. Some of those domains even have material given to them by the said organizations, to promote new material.
Hopefully, Rojadirecta will win this case and set precedent for the others. In the meantime, anyone doing anything slightly on the border of legality should buy alternate domain names, and use Google’s Webmaster Tools to make the official switch, should anything happen.