Dam, who worked on new TLD applications, claims she has been cut out of equity ownership of .Music top level domain.
Former ICANN staffer Tina Dam, who left the non-profit to work with Constantine Roussos on new top level domains, is now suing Roussos and related companies.
Dam claims that she owned half the shares of MYTLD, a company formed with Roussos, which in turn was due to own a portion of DotMusic Ltd through an agreement between the companies.
The lawsuit alleges that Roussos later tried to renegotiate the deal but Dam didn’t sign the updated agreement.
Roussos later claimed that he considered MYTLD inactive and dissolved.
DotMusic ultimately prevailed in the heavyweight battle to get .Music, defeating companies including Amazon and Google.
Dam believes she has been cut out of ownership of some of the DotMusic equity. Her lawsuit (pdf), filed in Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles in July, states 15 causes of action.
The lawsuit also discloses how DotMusic might have managed to stay in the hunt against big companies for so long and ultimately prevail. It includes a signed investment agreement between one of Roussos’ companies and Tudor T & Credit Union Societe. Under the terms of the agreement, Tudor T would invest $5 million in DotMusic for a 10% share in the company, valuing it at $50 million. [Update: Lawyers representing Roussos and the related companies told Domain Name Wire that no investmetns were ever made and the agreement was not fully executed.]
Tudor T also bought a majority interest in DotSong and DotOnline for a combined $5 million, according to the agreement. Other companies won those contention sets.
The DotMusic valuation was based on lofty expectations that many new top level domain applicants had at the time. Roussos forecasted $62 million in revenue from the first year of .Music including over $35 million of sunrise revenue.
Lawyers for Roussons and related entities released the following statement to Domain Name Wire:
Mr. Roussos intends to vigorously defend against the allegations set forth in the complaint. These claims have no merit and we are confident the case will be resolved in our favor.