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Um, ICANN Had Nothing to Do with Torrent Domain Seizures

You can blame ICANN, but not for this one.

I was just looking at ICANN’s page for next week’s meeting in Colombia and noticed they show a twitter feed picking up comments on ICANN. Today it’s flooded with this tweet:

@brokep: Hello all #isp of the world. We’re going to add a new competing root-server since we’re tired of #ICANN. Please contact me to help.

This discussion stems from the U.S. government seizure of a number of domain names last week that were allegedly used for infringement.

OK folks, let’s get this straight: ICANN didn’t have anything to do with seizing the domain names last week. Frankly no one familiar with ICANN would even think that it had something to do with this. It’s outside of what they do. But Kevin Murphy asked them anyway just to be sure.

The idea of creating an alternate root has been suggested multiple times. And fear of U.S. government interference will certainly stoke that.

But this time (and this time only) you can’t blame ICANN.

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  1. Kevin Murphy

    I’m glad somebody else is finally backing me up here. The number of normally respectable blogs and tech news sites quite happy to take the pirates’ claims at face value this week has been maddening.

  2. jp

    Someday there will be an effective alternate root. Probably a reallylong time from now. I wouldn’t say that there is 0 demand for it, nor is it technically particularly difficult to implement. Just really hard to get a lot of people to use it. Makes getting people to use a new .tld look easy. Neat though, would kind of be like forming a new virtual country in cyberspace.

  3. stewart

    Please allow me to disagree with your premise that ICANN had nothing to do with the gvt’s action?
    ICANN is tasked with the responsibility to administer a modicum of authority over these sites does it not?
    I mean really, near every day you as well as other sites report on the functions of ICANN and you critque the org’s actions.
    If ICANN is the regulating entity then ICANN was remiss in its duty to see to it that the very sites ICANN regulates were running amock, ergo, ICANN in not addressing the obvious was most responsible for the gvt taking action in response to ICANN’s inaction.

  4. Russ

    @stewart – no, what matters is the jurisdiction of the registry. Since .com is administered by Verisign (a US corp) a US court can order them to turn domains over, and they have to comply (like it or not).

    When you register a domain you are entering a contract which relies on the law of the land where the registry is located. Hence the recent problems those short .ly domains.

    ICANN (and its rules) cannot trump the laws of any sovereign country.

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