Why We Haven't Seen Any Lawsuits Filed Against The Government Over Domain Seizures: Justice Department Stalling

from the running-scared? dept

We've been covering the various illegal domain seizures by the US government quite a bit, and with the latest round, I did want to loop back on one point: how come none of the seized sites have sued the government yet? We've heard a few times that the lack of lawsuits from those who have had their domains seized is "evidence" that they know the seizures were legal and that they would lose any court case. I began to wonder about this myself, and spent the last two weeks contacting people on all sides of these cases and found the answer to be exactly the opposite: it's not the site holders who are scared. It's the Justice Department, and they seem terrified to have one of these cases actually go to court.

What was really incredible was how everyone I spoke to involved in these cases (even though not at all connected with one another) had an identical story: they'd all love to take their cases to court, but they're waiting for the government to actually get in touch with them. If it was just one site, there would be no story. But I spoke to people associated with many sites, and the story was nearly identical. To hear John Morton and other proponents of domain seizures talk about it, it's "easy" for the owners of seized sites to protest and file suit against the government over the seized sites. Tragically, the reality has turned out to be quite different. Many of the sites were not even officially notified about the seizure until months later. Prior to that, they weren't even told what the sites were accused of, let alone who was doing the accusations. You try responding to a government action against you completely blind. You don't know who you're suing or for what.

Even once notified, the "notification" often came in the form of an "offer" from the government to effectively give up any and all legal claims against the government. From there, the process sounds like something out of the movie Brazil. Any attempt to speak to the government has been met with either a total lack of response or directing people to someone else, who then won't respond. Some of the people navigating this situation said it took months just to figure out who in the government they should be discussing the issue with -- and once it was figured out, actually getting those individuals to respond to basic questions that are normally answered as a matter of course in discussions prior to any litigation, has been an exercise in futility.

Basically, the same story was heard over and over again: the Justice Department doesn't seem to want these lawsuits to proceed and is stalling as much as possible and trying to avoid the legality of the seizures from being tested. At the same time, the site holders are eager to take these issues to court and are tremendously frustrated and distressed over the idea that the US government can simply seize domains without hearing, notice or effective process of appeal. However, nearly all of them expect that it will eventually end up in court (though one suggested that we might all be dead before a case moves forward at this rate).

Of course, I reached out to the government as well. I spoke to the press office of the part of the Justice Department involved in these cases, and beyond pointing me to the press releases they put out, they had no comment. I asked if there was an official process to protest domain seizures and was promised they'd get back to me. It's been a week and no one has gotten back to me. Separately, I reached out to people in other parts of the government that are heavily involved in the seizures, and despite multiple people promising to respond with details of the process, or to pass on my question to others who might know the process, days have gone by with no further response.

So, apparently it's "easy" to protest these seizures, but the people most involved in these seizures don't want to even let us (or those who it matters most to!) know what the process is. After talking to so many people on this, it's become abundantly clear that the lack of lawsuits has nothing to do with the strength of the government's case, but the very opposite. Multiple site owners would like to file suit, but can't. The government, who insists that it's easy to protest their wholesale seizure of a domain without prior notice or hearing can't even provide me a straight answer to what the process is to protest such a seizure. It's almost as if the government never even expected anyone to want to protest such censorship and were totally caught off-guard by this.

But the real tragedy is for the folks who ran these sites. Even as many have found alternative homes, they're frightened and disillusioned by the US government. They don't feel they did anything wrong, and yet were blindly punished by the US government, declared as criminals with no clear recourse -- and when they sought out information or details, have been met with the bureaucratic equivalent of a brick wall. We can all disagree over whether or not these domain seizures are legal or productive, but I would hope we can all agree that those who have had their domains seized should at least have a clear path to protest their innocence if they believe that they did not commit the crime Homeland Security, the Justice Department and a magistrate judge already declared them guilty of committing.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    r, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Would an FOIA request help?

    So, does one need to resort to an FOIA request for any and all documents relating to or mentioning a post-seizure process or abstenance thereof? If each of the related and relevent offices were presented with an FOIA, would that begin to open the doors to progress for the effected parties (eventually)?

     

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      Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 10:39am

      Re: Would an FOIA request help?

      From the sounds of it, do they even HAVE materials concerning the post seizure process?

       

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      MrWilson, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:41am

      Re: Would an FOIA request help?

      I doubt a post-seizure process even exists. Maybe they're stalling because they haven't pulled a process out of their asses yet. If they didn't expect anyone to fight the seizures, then why would they need a process?

       

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      Any Mouse (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:35am

      Re: Would an FOIA request help?

      Probably, but your FOIA request will take exact 'oodles and oodles of cash' to research.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    1) Any update on the FOIA requests you filed Mike? Isn't it past the 5 days they're required to respond by?

    2) You mentioned in a previous article that you're hearing rumblings from inside ICE/DHS itself that they're are people who feel its a complete waste of time and that they should be focusing on actually productive. Did you hear this from your investigation on this article? Could you elaborate?

    Thanks for the info. This is unbelievable. I wish we could could have gotten more details though, especially about this "offer".

     

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    monkyyy, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    i think they need to cause a scene, chaining themselves up to the door of the office of whoever they're suppose to talk to calling the press a week in advance?

    wait who am i kidding both the press and the officials would ignore them

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    They're going to try to seize as many domains as possible before legally they're stopped from doing so.

    They're going to ignore requests and fumble around literally until legally they are ordered to either prosecute the sites, or stop seizing domains and giving back seized domains to the owners.

    What does this accomplish? Well, nothing actually because the sites are coming back stronger than ever...but I think they believe the longer they can hold out these lawless procedures then the more sites they can destroy in the process based on "favors" they're performing for their big content buddies.

    It's amusing that they thought once they seized the domain and put up their lame banner that the sites audience would vanish and the site would be crippled forever. This has back fired on them in a big way since the exact opposite is happening.

     

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    Vic, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Great job Mike! That information is a bomb!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Also, when is John Morton going to be held responsible for flat out lying to Senators and to the public?

    He flat...out....lied...and continues to do so. It's unbelievable, where's the checks and balances? They don't exist. These guys are allowed to use tax payers money to commit crimes upon citizens and when asked about it they can literally lie about it with no recourse.

     

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      Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 10:58am

      Re:

      Not disagreeing, but can you elaborate?

      There's a lot of people in quasi governmental jobs that have lied and gotten promotions. The FBI and CIA are famous for it.

       

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        Dave, May 24th, 2011 @ 6:02pm

        Re: Re:

        The lies were probably where he said:
        The recent seizures, following the seizure of eight domain names in June, were controversial, but reviewed by judges, ICE director John Morton said Tuesday. In "every single case," federal investigators were able to obtain materials that infringe copyright from the websites that had their domain names seized, Morton said during a speech at the Congressional Internet Caucus' State of the 'Net conference.

        "They were all knowingly engaged in the sale of counterfeit goods," Morton said. "We're going to enforce the law. It's that simple."

        http://www.csoonline.com/article/655918/us-official-defends-domain-seizures-for-copyright- violations

         

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    iamtheky (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    They are simply telling them they cant have that string of characters on the signs pointing to their location. ok thats a dick move, but its not exactly the most brutal inconvenience, and making a new better sign that draws more visitors seems more worthwhile than waiting for the chance to fight for your sign back.

    Unless you expended all your wit on the first url....

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      Some people have built a brand around a specific URL. It takes time and resources to rebuild that brand under a different name.

      If you want a real life example of this, look at Facebook.

      Facebook has a tendency to do just as the Justice Department is doing, but to pages. Facebook will ban a page with no warning, no explanation and no clear way to challenge the ban. The people who run these pages try and try to find out just why their page was banned and never receive a response from Facebook.

      They are then forced to do what you suggest, try to rebuild under a different page. Unfortunately, that doesn't work.

      I was an admin on one such page. We were a fan page for a popular Facebook game. We had over 90,000 fans and it was growing every day. Then our page was killed. After a few days of fighting Facebook for even a scrap of information, we started a new page. It took 6 months to get that initial 90k fan base. After 9 months on the new page we weren't at even half that. When people saw that the old page was gone, they never tried looking for the new one.

      If it weren't for those dedicated few fans, our page probably would have died completely.

       

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        tim8w (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Shutdown with little or no explanation

        Zachary,
        Yahoo does this as well. I had a great reputation for great help on Yahoo! Answers and my account was suspended without explanation and despite numerous inquires, was never able to find out why it was disabled. All requests for information go into some black hole never to return...

         

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      Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:29am

      Re:

      Plus, what good is a new URL if the government still has the power to seize it without warning or recourse? If the government kicks you off your land, you can fight for your rights or you can go move to a new house and wait for them to want that land too. I know which one I'd choose.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re:

        stop pirating land and you wont have to worry about it

         

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          Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm assuming (well, hoping) that was sarcasm...

           

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            HothMonster, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            i feel that in assuming you are pirating my intentions. If I had wanted you to have my intentions I would have given them to you, or offered them at an outrageous sum. Please cease and desist having knowledge of my intentions.

            If you would like to license my intentions in the previous post I am sure we can work something out

             

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    This is some hilarious bullshit, Masnick.

    So, you're saying no lawsuits have been filed because the government isn't returning phone calls? ahahahahaha

    Are you saying these sites are retaining lawyers that don't know how to go file a lawsuit?

    I wonder if I can avoid paying my electric company bill by simply never returning their calls...

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:06am

      Re:

      How can you file a lawsuit when you don't even know who to send the summons to?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re:

        Go read up on the Federal Tort Claims Act and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

         

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          Karl (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Go read up on the Federal Tort Claims Act and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

          Those are rules dealing with situations where citizens sue the government for negligence. They have nothing to do with contesting seizures.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Nice try at adding to the lying and spin, Karl, but no.

            Go read up on it.

             

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              Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm no expert, but a cursory reading would suggest Karl is right. According to 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b), the FTCA is limited to:

              "circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred."

              But if the charge is that the government infringed on your constitutional rights, there is no "private person" equivalent - that is a charge that can only be leveled against the public government.

              But like I said, I'm no expert - so can you explain your position a bit more? How would one use the FTCA to sue the government in this circumstance? What would they sue them for?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                First off, the accusation of infringing constitutional rights is not a charge that can only be leveled against the government; a restaurant owner refusing service due to race is an example.

                Nonetheless, the above act does work- look at the full sentence in context:

                "The Act allows monetary recovery against the United States for damages, loss of property, personal injury or death. In seeking recovery, one must show that the damages occurred as a result of the negligent or wrongful acts of government employees acting within the scope of their employment, under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred."

                 

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                  Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  First off, the accusation of infringing constitutional rights is not a charge that can only be leveled against the government; a restaurant owner refusing service due to race is an example.

                  Um, is that the case? I thought the only thing the constitution guaranteed for people of all races and colours was suffrage. Anything else would be covered by anti-discrimination laws enacted by congress. A private business selectively offering service might be illegal, but is it unconstitutional? I don't see how. So no, I don't think it is possible to sue the government under the FTCA for violating the first amendment.

                  And then there's this:

                  The Act allows monetary recovery against the United States for damages, loss of property, personal injury or death.

                  But this isn't about monetary rewards or recovering damages - this is about the First Amendment. Censorship is unconstitutional whether or not there are measurable losses. The FCTA might work if someone wants to bring a lawsuit against the government for lost profits, but what if someone simply wants to defend their constitutional rights?

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Marcus, if you or they thought it was a First Amendment issue, then what would happen is that they would sue for damages and say their First Amendment rights were infringed.

                    capice?

                     

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                      Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I'm not really sure what you mean by that, but nothing you've said has convinced me that the FTCA has anything to do with this. Seems to me like you have plucked a completely unrelated act and are trying to make it apply when it doesn't at all. But I'm no lawyer (and you CLEARLY aren't) so I think I'll wait for someone with some actual knowledge to clear things up. Unlike you, Karl seems to know what he's talking about, and is always able to provide detailed citations, so I'll wait to hear what he has to say...

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Sorry, I had misunderstood you in that I didn't realize you were specifying the First Amendment.

                        I mentioned both the FTCA and United States Court of Federal Claims as the avenues by which these sites could sue for all the reasons Masnick says they can.

                        Yet they haven't.

                        And no, Karl does not know what he's talking about.

                         

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                          Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          I mentioned both the FTCA and United States Court of Federal Claims as the avenues by which these sites could sue for all the reasons Masnick says they can.

                          And yet nothing suggests that the FTCA applies here at all. So I'm hardly convinced.

                          And no, Karl does not know what he's talking about.

                          That is a fine assertion if you want to make it. But he backs up his arguments with much, much more supporting information than you do. It's also quite clear that he believes in what he says more than you do, since he is willing to attach it to a name and be held accountable for it later, which you are not.

                          So given all that, and since you are both just words on the internet from my perspective, what would possibly lead me to believe you over him?

                           

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                            Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Well, I'm not a lawyer, but I am a law student. The FTCA would a silly way to bring a claim. But Anonymous's original point (before he got sidetracked on this FTCA nonsense) was somewhat relevant -- you can bring a First Amendment claim at any time by suing the the head of the relevant agency. In this case, it's probably DHS. No Tort Claims or special courts. Just say "DHS broke the First Amendment" and "I want an injunction making them stop."

                             

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                              Hephaestus (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 6:35am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Someone should do this quickly. To me, it seems the reason they are stone walling is to prevent this practice from being ruled unconstitutional. If it is, it has the potential to kill PROTECT IP before it is passed into law.

                               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                What would they sue them for?

                Are you saying you don't agree with Masnick's mantra that the seizures were "unconstitutional" and "illegal"?

                I would like to believe you've seen the light, but somehow I don't think that's what you meant...

                 

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                  Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I think it's pretty clear what I meant, but I'll set it out clearly:

                  IF: the FTCA only allows you to sue the government as a private entity wherever a private entity would be liable

                  AND: private entities are not bound by the First Amendment (they're not)

                  THEN: what would you sue them for?

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Ok, First Amendment lawsuit? That's why I posted the United States Court of Federal Claims.

                     

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                      Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      You're going around in a circle in these arguments.

                      All signs point to the USCFC as if that's the magic answer when no one has been able to advise on these issues.

                       

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                      Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The way you bring a First Amendment suit is to just bring it. You don't need to rely on the FTCA or the Court of Federal Claims. You can bring a First Amendment suit in any court.

                       

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                        Karl (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        The way you bring a First Amendment suit is to just bring it.

                        I think there's some confusion here.

                        As I stated, the site owners are not talking about "bringing a First Amendment suit" against the government.

                        They're talking about the simple ability to go before a judge and contest the seizures - where they would presumably argue that the seizures are unconstitutional and/or procedurally unlawful.

                         

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              Karl (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Go read up on it.

              I did. The procedures for contesting seized property are laid out in Rule G, and 18 USC 46. Both state that the owners of property seized ex parte must be notified where, and with whom, they can file a claim to get the property back.

              This is where ICE is stalling. The site owners are not talking about "suing the government" in the colloquial sense; they're talking about the ability to go before a judge, in an adversarial hearing, and contest the seizures. They have not been allowed to do so.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Citation to Rule G?

                 

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                  Karl (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 6:35am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Citation to Rule G?
                  (b) Notice to Known Potential Claimants.

                  (i) Direct Notice Required. The government must send notice of the action and a copy of the complaint to any person who reasonably appears to be a potential claimant on the facts known to the government before the end of the time for filing a claim under Rule G(5)(a)(ii)(B).

                  (ii) Content of the Notice. The notice must state:

                  (A) the date when the notice is sent;

                  (B) a deadline for filing a claim, at least 35 days after the notice is sent;

                  (C) that an answer or a motion under Rule 12 must be filed no later than 21 days after filing the claim; and

                  (D) the name of the government attorney to be served with the claim and answer.

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                they're talking about the ability to go before a judge, in an adversarial hearing, and contest the seizures.

                What's the point of hoping to do that now?

                Masnick says the seizures are "unconstitutional" and "illegal".

                If that was really true, then these sites could immediately go file a lawsuit and force the issue instead of waiting.

                Except it isn't true. It's a figment of Mike Masnick's piracy-loving imagination.

                 

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                  The Infamous Joe (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 6:07pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Don't you ever get tired of typing out this slander? Never once has Mike ever said he loves piracy, or that he even condones piracy-- he has only stated that copyright holders, while fully allowed by law to go after pirates, would be better off leveraging it into increased profit.

                  If you don't agree (and it's quite clear you don't) then fine, but don't you have better, more constructive things you could be doing?

                  If you have children, would you encourage them to behave as you do? I think it unlikely. Try and grow up and remain civil, please.

                  I know Mike doesn't need the likes of one random dude on the internet to defend him, I'm just tired of reading your bullshit. I trust next time you contribute here, you'll attempt to bring something to the table.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 6:14pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Mike Masnick runs one of the most blatant piracy-apologist websites on the net. That is a gutter exercise.

                    I will hand his ass to him every day from now until eternity till he stops or is rendered irrelevent.

                     

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                      The Infamous Joe (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 6:26pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      *sigh*

                      Fine, have it your way, pal.

                      Mike Masnick runs one of the most blatant piracy-apologist websites on the net.

                      [Citation needed]

                      I will hand his ass to him every day from now until eternity till he stops or is rendered irrelevent.(sic)

                      I do not mean to condescend, but what on earth makes you feel that you, a very anonymous coward, are handing anyone their ass? You come off as a petulant 8 year old child on your best days and as a hormone-fueled tween with keyboard courage on your worst. You are obviously not swaying anyone to seeing your point of view-- even if you were making all the sense in the world, (hint: you're not) your delivery and childishness ruin any credibility you might have had.

                      I enjoy reading other points of view, and actively seek them out online. For some reason, the people who come to TD with opposing views act like children. Even professionals with opposing points of view can't seem to keep it civil in their posts. This does not help you or your cause. It certainly prevents you from handing anyone their ass. Pro-tip: You don't hand someone their ass by calling them names.

                      I'm still curious as to what you hope to gain by posting here.

                       

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                      techflaws.org (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 10:39pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I will hand his ass to him every day from now until eternity till he stops or is rendered irrelevent.

                      Don't flatter yourself, shilltard. You haven't handed his ass to him EVER.

                       

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                      The eejit (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:30pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Wow, the crackheads are comoing out again, Mike. Might want to get the meth out to sensible them up again.

                      Here's the skinny: In the laws under which the domains were seized, the domain registree MUST be givewn a timeframe within a reasonable time, in which to contest the seizure. This has not happened. Like, at all. Which is, y'know against the laws written for Congress.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2011 @ 12:19am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Then why don't they sue?

                        If they really felt that strongly that they had a case, they would simply sue and force the issue.

                        But they're not. They're hoping to try and get a couple (at best) of the seizures tossed on what will ultimately be viewed as an irrelevant technicality. It's BS.

                        Here's the bottom line: Mike Masnick hates copyright.

                        But he isn't an artist so he does not understand the mindset of one.

                        He thinks that the world should change the way it works because of how he happens to view copyright.

                        His followers here lap it up because they're scared to death of losing their free lunch and having to pay for the content that they are so hopelessly addicted to- despite claiming that it "all sucks" or that "they wouldn't buy it anyway". Yeah, right.

                        There isn't a single reason to listen to a person like this, who is putting his interests ahead of those whom these laws are designed to protect.

                        His selfish crusade is massively fucked up and narcissistic.

                         

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                          techflaws.org (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 3:43am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Ass handed to him? FAIL!

                           

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                          The eejit (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 4:13am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          No, we hate current copyright. I mena, if you're going to be deliberately obtuse, at least do it in such a way that doesn't make you look like a hypocrite.

                          I don't have a free lunch: I pay for it through hard work and careful living, something that seems to be lost on Big Media; living within your means is a much more admirable goal than the pursuit of wealth for wealth's sake.

                          And 'those whom these laws are designed to protect' are bribing officials through perfectly legal means (in the US) to change the laws for THEIR benefit, no the public's. Go have a look at the 'Age of Copyright', then go have a look at the age of Mickey Mouse. See a correlation?

                          There's this funny little conept called 'connecting with fans'. You should tryt it sometime, instead of feeding the entitlement culture in Big Business. "Look at me, I'm relevant! Now give me my free lunch!" The RIAA's bonuses for the last fiscal yearwere larger than the CEOs of just about any other company in the US. And that's saying something.

                          YOUR crusade is equally selfish, by your own logic.

                           

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                          HothMonster, May 25th, 2011 @ 7:15am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          i feel sorry for you. You started making music to make money. Know one wants to buy your shitty music cause it has no heart. Obviously its not cause you are a failure at making music people want to hear. It is some outside force that is keeping you from making it. Those damn pirates are to blame, it can't have anything to do with your inability to make good music and engage a fanbase.

                           

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                          Karl (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 7:52am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          But he isn't an artist so he does not understand the mindset of one.

                          I am, and I think I do. So is Nina Paley, and she sides with Mike. I'm sure that the many artists who Mike has helped make money would probably side with him, too.

                          There isn't a single reason to listen to a person like this, who is putting his interests ahead of those whom these laws are designed to protect.

                          U.S. copyright law was not designed to protect publishers, it was designed to "promote the progress." Copyright is not an artist's Constitutional right; rather, it is Congress's Constitutional right to grant it to them. Congress, in turn, is supposed to be the "voice of the public" - meaning copyright laws are granted, or not, solely at the discretion of the public, and primarily for their benefit.

                          So, it is you who is "putting his interests ahead of those whom these laws are designed to protect."

                          And you're right: there isn't a single reason to listen to a person like this.

                           

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                          Wayne Borean (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

                          Hello Anonymous Coward!

                          Then why don't they sue?

                          If they really felt that strongly that they had a case, they would simply sue and force the issue.

                          But they're not. They're hoping to try and get a couple (at best) of the seizures tossed on what will ultimately be viewed as an irrelevant technicality. It's BS.

                          Here's the bottom line: Mike Masnick hates copyright.

                          But he isn't an artist so he does not understand the mindset of one.

                          He thinks that the world should change the way it works because of how he happens to view copyright.

                          His followers here lap it up because they're scared to death of losing their free lunch and having to pay for the content that they are so hopelessly addicted to- despite claiming that it "all sucks" or that "they wouldn't buy it anyway". Yeah, right.

                          There isn't a single reason to listen to a person like this, who is putting his interests ahead of those whom these laws are designed to protect.

                          His selfish crusade is massively fucked up and narcissistic.


                          Unlike you, I'm not afraid to attach my name to my post. Unlike you, I hold a series of copyrights, on music, software, and literature.

                          I can assure you that Mike 'doesn't hate copyright'. I don't hate copyright either. I do however have a rather cynical viewpoint towards the CRIA member companies, who I've been having an ongoing war with for the last couple of years. They are the ones who hate copyright.

                          Wayne

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 11:22pm

                            Re: Hello Anonymous Coward!

                            I can assure you that Mike 'doesn't hate copyright'

                            I can assure you that you have a serious reading comprehension problem then.

                            Mike Masnick despises copyright.

                            I couldn't care less why he does; that's between him and his therapist. But he's apparently managed to make some sort of living off this pro-piracy blog.

                            He is seriously one of the worst people I've never met.

                             

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                  Karl (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 7:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  they're talking about the ability to go before a judge, in an adversarial hearing, and contest the seizures.

                  What's the point of hoping to do that now?


                  And here, we're seeing exactly the reason ICE is stalling.

                  They figure if they stall long enough, the "defendants" will run out of either willpower or money, and quietly go away. I'm sure that, in a few cases at least, it worked.

                  If they stall long enough, the defendants' only option would be to do as you suggest, and sue the government. But this is a) far more expensive and difficult, legally speaking, and b) would put the burden of proof on the defendants, which is against the fundamental principals of criminal law.

                  It's against exactly these sorts of abuses that the requirements of seizure laws were written - requirements that ICE steadfastly refuses to follow. Situations like this were also the reason that 18 USC 512 was created, a section of copyright law that ICE believes simply doesn't apply to them.

                  They're acting unlawfully, and they know it. They're stalling in a deliberate attempt to cover their tracks.

                  And let's not think this is about "piracy," either. They've already started using exactly the same tactics against poker sites, and these same tactics resulted in the "mistaken" labeling of thousands of websites as being child pornographers. There is no question that, if they're not stopped by the courts, they'll use these same tactics against "enemies of the state" such as Wikileaks.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 11:28pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    God, you are an insufferable fool.

                    They have hired lawyers supposedly.

                    Give us the exact difference in cost between protesting the seizures and filing a suit.

                     

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                      The Infamous Joe (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 4:46am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Are you suggesting that it costs the same to consult with a lawyer as it does to have said lawyer do stuff for you?

                      I disagree.

                       

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          Any Mouse (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This is a very good NON-answer.

           

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          Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, you don't need to rely on the Tort Claims Act to sue for a constitutional violation. And if you're suing the heads of DOJ, DHS, and/or ICE, you could bring the suit in the U.S. District Court for D.C. I think.

           

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      HothMonster, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      No he is saying they can't file lawsuits because they havnt been charged with anything. Its kind of hard to argue that they didn't have good reason to take away your site if they wont give you the reasons for taking away your site. You also have to know who is accusing you of doing whatever you did, yes ICE took the site down but they may just be the acting authority, the order may have come from somewhere else.

      You see when you file a lawsuit it cant just say "i would like to sue 1 government for taking my things." You have to name the parties you are suing and give reasons as to why they didn't have the right to do what they did. Since they don't have a party to name or that parties reasons for their actions its hard to sue.

      "I wonder if I can avoid paying my electric company bill by simply never returning their calls"

      It would be more like they stop sending you bills and then shut off your power for not paying them. When you ask how to get it turned on they say pay your bills, when you ask how much you owe they just hang up on you. How are you suppose to pay bills they never send you? How are you suppose to dispute something when they never give you something to dispute?

      We missed your horrid logic and bad analogies in the article about canadian music growth, hope to see your stupidity make it in there

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:13am

        Re: Re:

        Bullshit.

        You can a file a lawsuit over anything you want.

        Now look at all the verbiage Masnick has spewed these past few months about these seizures being "unconstitutional" and "illegal".

        IF that were true, that is exactly what you would sue over.

        Except it's not happening, is it?

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You can file a lawsuit over anything you want; but if you don't know who to sue or what to sue about, it's going to get thrown out. Sure, you can waste all that time and money on a lawsuit that's going to go nowhere, or you can get the information you need and actually do something productive. I know what you would chose, but logical people try to do things right.

           

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            Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually, you'd sue Eric Holder and John Morton, in their official capacities as the U.S. Attorney General and the head of ICE. When it's unclear who's in charge, you can go straight to the top.

            You would claim violations of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments (free speech, search and seizure, and due process). And you'd ask for injunctive relief -- e.g. stop blocking my site. Assuming there's no statutory remedy, you might also ask for damages for the violation of the 4th Amendment, relying on a "Bivens" claim.

             

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              SeanSatori, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:40am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Exactly. Anybody who claims they "don't know who to sue" is just blowing smoke. The real issue is, who is going to pay their attorneys?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                its not that they dont know how to file a lawsuit it is this type of suit is suppose to follow certain rules. If they government doesn't do their half the defendants can't file the proper response.

                http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/RuleG.htm

                 

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                  SeanSatori, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Whether the government follows proper in rem proceedures doesn't have anything to do with whether the party whose items were seized has the right to file 42 U.S.C. 1983 actions for purported constitutional violations.

                  At worst, filing an action would cause the government to have to come to court and assert that they are properly trying to seize the domains, at which time the court hearing the matter could decline to allow the 1983 action to go forward while the forfeiture action was pending.

                   

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                    Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I mostly agree, but you wouldn't file 1983. That's only for actions by individual states. Here, you would just straight up sue the US Attorney General, or Secretary of Homeland Security.

                     

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                  Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  No, I'm saying the sites should be the PLAINTIFFS. The government is the DEFENDANT here.

                  If the government treats you like a defendant without actually bringing charges, you can sue the government to make them stop. If they're not complying with Rule G, then you can sue them to make them comply.

                   

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                    Karl (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 8:04am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I'm saying the sites should be the PLAINTIFFS. The government is the DEFENDANT here.

                    This is one of the reasons the government's actions are so wrong here. The sites are the defendants; the burden of prof lies on the government to prove these seizures were legal. To reverse the burden of proof in this way is against the fundamental principals of criminal law.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2011 @ 1:01am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      What?

                      The government already did that when they got their warrant.

                      Put up or shut up.

                      You people HAVE NO CASE.

                      If you did, a suit would have been filed THE NEXT DAY.

                      Mike Masnick is stiffing a music CHARITY, one that provides health care for the people he advocates RIPPING OFF EVERY DAY.

                      You people are truly the worst, and will no doubt rot in hell; if it does indeed hopefully exist...

                       

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              btr1701 (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > Actually, you'd sue Eric Holder and John
              > Morton, in their official capacities as
              > the U.S. Attorney General and the head of
              > ICE. You would claim violations of the 1st,
              > 4th, and 5th Amendments (free speech,
              > search and seizure, and due process).

              Yep. This is one of those times I'm actually going to pull a TAM and say "There's more here than we're being told."

              If these plaintiffs really are raring to go and want to sue the government, it's a simple matter to do so, regardless of whether the government is returning their calls or not. If they haven't filed suit, I don't buy that as the reason. There's something else going on.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          need to know the reason they took it down so you can argue those reasons do not justify the action. Why waste money on a brief that just says "what they did was illegal or unjust." You wait until they provide their reasoning and then give your argument as to why those reasons are bullshit. Why play all your cards before your opponent has shown any?

          Also why waste money filing a brief if you are not sure who you are suing. If they put the wrong person down it can just get tossed out without any useful knowledge coming out of the money spent.

          Dont worry the lawsuits will come. I would say you will look like a jackass when it happens but its a little late for that.

           

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            Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, lawsuits don't work that way. The claim is that they violated the U.S. Constitution. You don't need to wait for them to offer a justification for it. And really, the point of the suit is to make the government justify its actions.

            See my above post -- but you can sue the AG and head of ICE in their official capacities.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/RuleG.htm

              they have to file a complaint
              notify the defendant of the complaint
              and the defendant has to respond to that complaint

              this isnt just filing a lawsuit against the government this is a response to a government action. there are rules that are supposed to be followed. Please excuse the defendants for trying to go through the process as they are suppose to as opposed to just filing willy-nilly lawsuits. They would like to actually file the appropriate responsive pleadings.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Yet they haven't done anything.

                Because they have no case.

                It's one gigantic boondoggle dreamt up in Mike Masnick's piracy-loving brain.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Yet they haven't done anything."

                  so my post is about why they havnt done anything giving reasons why they wouldnt. and this is your response? really need to work on those arguing skills.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    What are you talking about? If these sites supposedly feel their seizures were "unconstitutional" and "illegal" they don't have to wait for the government to do a goddamn thing.

                    They file a lawsuit.

                    Your link had nothing to do with these sites being prevented from filing a lawsuit.

                    This whole thing is one of the biggest epic fails Masnick has ever pulled.

                     

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                      Gwiz (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      They file a lawsuit.

                      You act as if these sites are making money hand over fist and have tons of cash to waste on lawyers and lawsuits like the MPAA or RIAA does.

                      I would be surprised if any of the sites seized for copyright infringement barely made their operating costs back.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Of course you would. Mark Gorton was the only guy making piles of cash. All the other noble pirate site owners are eating ramen...

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Thats limewire douche right? your right he was, and the rightfully took it from him. If they found anyone else making tons of money they would take them down to.

                          Sites like release.com that get 10k users a month come out near even.

                           

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                  Gwiz (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  It's one gigantic boondoggle dreamt up in Mike Masnick's piracy-loving brain.

                  Ahhh, irony can be so funny...

                  boon·dog·gle
                  –noun
                  1. a product of simple manual skill, as a plaited leather cord for the neck or a knife sheath, made typically by a camper or a scout.
                  2. work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
                  3. a project funded by the federal government out of political favoritism that is of no real value to the community or the nation.


                  Take a look at definition #3.

                  This really is a giant boondoogle. Not dreamt up by Mike though, but by the legacy gatekeepers.

                   

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                btr1701 (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I find it incredibly dubious that no one has sued the government because no one knows what to sue about. Nonsense. File anything (Section 1983, inverse condemnation, some violation of the FCC, common law injunction, trespass, etc.) in the district court or in the magistrate's court moving to show cause why the ex parte order should be extended at all. Or, in the alternative, move a district court to authorize pre-suit discovery to make inquiry into these matters to narrow the range of controversy prior to filing suit. In fact, this is just the kind of scenario for which such procedures are designed in the first place. But to say they can't do anything because they don't know what to sue about is complete nonsense.

                At a minimum, even if you got to the point where a motion to dismiss your claim was to be heard, it might at least afford you the opportunity to make the government show up and answer some questions before the judge dismisses the case.

                 

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            btr1701 (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > need to know the reason they took it down so
            > you can argue those reasons do not justify the
            > action

            That's what discovery is for. All they need to allege at this point is that their property was seized without justification. After the suit is accepted by the court, they can make a motion for discovery and ask the judge to compel the government to provide documentation and justification for its actions.

             

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          Spaceboy (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, you can file a lawsuit for any reason, but you stand a better chance at winning if you can counter the exact charges. If they take your site down and don't give you a reason, what do you sue for? How can a judge reverse a decision if he doesn't know what that decision is? Furthermore, if your website was taken down, wouldn't you like to know why so you can properly defend yourself?

          You are obviously familiar with the process, so you should be already aware of this.

          But then again, trolls gotta troll...

           

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            Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You don't have to wait for the gov't to file charges. This is similar to what happened to the Guantanamo detainees actually -- in that a lot of them are basically being held without having formal charges pressed against them.

            But the Guantanamo detainees WERE able to bring suit to challenge that detention, and in Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court said that the government had to provide some semblance of due process.

            Granted, the process for the Guantanamo detainees is moving along super slow, but that's largely because (1) it's difficult for lawyers to get access to the detainees, and (2) courts are super cautious on issues of national security.

            But that's not the case here. It's clear which websites were blocked. Their owners could probably contact a lawyer in the U.S. And although the domain blocks are being enacted by DHS, I seriously doubt any court will buy that this is a "national security" concern that it shouldn't touch.

             

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          DannyB (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, it is true that you can file a lawsuit over anything you want.

          I'm sure the dinosaur industries have lots of experience with filing lawsuits that:
          * don't know who they're filing against
          * don't have proof of what they are alleging
          * in some cases have no standing to sue (eg, don't even own the copyright *cough* wrong haven *cough*)

          The problem is that the people who had their domain names taken want to actually WIN a lawsuit and not have it thrown out. Furthermore, they are not in the dinosaur business of filing a lawsuit under false pretenses for some other purpose (extortion shakedown) rather than actual litigation.

           

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          Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Now look at all the verbiage Masnick has spewed these past few months about these seizures being "unconstitutional" and "illegal".

          IF that were true, that is exactly what you would sue over.

          Except it's not happening, is it?


          Okay, then look at all the bullshit you have been spewing about these sites being guilty of contributory infringement or even direct infringement.

          IF that were true, those are exactly the charges the government would make and bring to a court of law.

          Except it's not happening, is it?

           

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          keiichi969 (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ugh, I hate to do this but I'll use a car analogy. In this analogy, cars cost $9.99 per year on CarDaddy.com

          Imagine driving around in a city and needing to park. You see a sign in the middle of a block that says "No parking, here to corner." So you park before the sign.

          Your car gets towed. You're told the sign meant the other corner. You don't think this was right. So you want to get your car back.

          You go to the city and they say they get impounded car reports once a year. If you want it back sooner you need to talk to a tow company. There are 50 in the city.

          Each tow company tells you that you need to pay $500 to file a "go look for my car in your lot" report.

          What do you do?

           

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        Michial Thompson, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re:

        I would have thought that by now at least one of them would have taken actions against the Domain Registrar. This would set of a chain of events that would eventually place them before their accusors.

        They may not get any monetary settlement from the Registrar, but they would at least get it before a judge, and the judge would be able to order the registrar to return the domain to them, and that would force ICE to then go directly after them, or back down.

         

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      Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:35am

      Re:

      I'm kind of with Anonymous on this one -- you don't need the DOJ to respond to anything to file a suit. Have these sites retained a lawyer in the U.S. yet?

      There's a clear claim -- violation of the Constitution. And you can always sue the head of ICE or the DOJ for injunctive relief (stop blocking my site).

      If the site is actually legit and hasn't filed suit, then the only reason I can think of is that lawsuits are expensive, and that they'd prefer to resolve this directly through administrative action on DOJ's or DHS's behalf.

       

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        HothMonster, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

        Re: Re:

        "then the only reason I can think of is that lawsuits are expensive"

        This was my point above, yes you *could* make a suit against Morton and the USAG for unconstitutional actions. But we dont know that is the right people and we dont know their reasoning. You could probably do a john doe but whats the point. Why should these citizens have to spend money and file suits just to find out who and what is charging them. If they had money to burn and wanted to prove a point they could blow their money approaching it this way.

        Since most of them (all?) don't have a lot of excess money set aside for legal and are generally in no hurry to do this (all the sites I looked into are back up w/ a different domain) the smart thing to do is to wait and get officially charged with something so you can refute it.

        Its only been a couple months if it had been a couple years I would agree that they probably decided they dont have legs to stand on.

        When this does go to court these are going to be long and expensive and complicated cases. Why rush into it blind? Why spend money filing a weak suit?

        I would think the government not being open about what is going on is much more telling than the lack of blind lawsuits.


        Side note, anyone know what ever happened with this:http://torrentfreak.com/movie-site-pleads-for-to-fight-feds-100723/ ?

        Those guys have had almost a year to put something together. Are they a party you spoke to Mike, or have you just been talking to people from the November seizures?

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          sorry let me make that link work:

          http://torrentfreak.com/movie-site-pleads-for-to-fight-feds-100723


          and a quick follow up. I know last july's seizures were different as they actually charged the owners and seized the servers instead of just the domains. Here is a great summary of those early seizures and a look at the people running the site:

          http://www.businessworld-australia.com.au/australian-business-profiles-and-featured-article s-bwa-magazine/why-ninjavideo-matters-us-news/

          but i still can't find anything on the state of the case, or charges filed ect. and ninjavideo's forums seem to be down now, don't know if thats recent or not (i know they worked about 6-7 months ago and they were very vaguely keeping people abreast of the situation)

          anyone have pacer access wanna do a scan for ninjavideo?

           

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          •  
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            Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            NV was up as recently as yesterday, I believe. Odds are they have a facebook as well.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2011 @ 7:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              they do have a facebook but it is very tame and never talks about what happened or pirating.

              The forums are back up, I am surprised to see they are linking to videos in it.

              I remember them having a big post about the seizures on their forum back when it happened, I don't know if its still there or have time to find it.

              You make mention of them coming to a deal in another post, I find that hard to believe they made any deal with the gov and are linking to content on their forums now. I remember Ninjavideo.com went down suddenly and they said their servers were taken, I don't know if you mean they agreed not to use the domain anymore or repost the site, but like I said their activity on the forums makes me doubt any agreement or at least it was a really weird one if it happened.

              That article from the Australian website has some mention of the raids but not much. Unfortunately its the best coverage of the incident I could find.

               

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                Jay (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 8:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "You make mention of them coming to a deal in another post, I find that hard to believe they made any deal with the gov and are linking to content on their forums now. I remember Ninjavideo.com went down suddenly and they said their servers were taken, I don't know if you mean they agreed not to use the domain anymore or repost the site, but like I said their activity on the forums makes me doubt any agreement or at least it was a really weird one if it happened."

                It's what I can surmise from everything that's happened. Their servers weren't taken, is all I can say on that. The domain name was taken down and if anything, I remember there was an issue of a raid, which I've heard nothing else about.

                In regards to the videos, those are mainly Youtube videos, nothing else. They're not the videos coming from Megavideo in regards to full length movies, merely stuff like Nyancat. That's a lot different than the movies that were placed on the site before this ICE mess started.

                Notice who the complaint was for from the first seizure (link is down but it has the websites)

                Link

                Then we move on to the second one. Link

                Third one

                Since Mike has already stated most of these sites have gotten lawyers to represent them, I would wonder what exactly happened with NV's being excluded from the first seizure. Did they take the deal? I don't know. Since it was the first time this had happened, the terms could be much different than what ICE has now decided to do.

                 

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                  HothMonster, May 25th, 2011 @ 9:24am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "In regards to the videos, those are mainly Youtube videos, nothing else."

                  Oh I didn't click through. I used NV regularly for BBC documentaries and British Sitcoms (PeepShow & IT Crowd, mainly) so I know what it used to look like. I just saw the familiar banners on their forum and assumed they were back to old tricks.

                  "Notice who the complaint was for from the first seizure (link is down but it has the websites)
                  Link
                  Then we move on to the second one. Link
                  Third one"

                  Can't follow your link through for the first one, firewall is blocking zeropaid, but I have seen it before. Not sure what your point is in listing these though. I figured it was all reference to the July seizures and NV's name dropped off, but these are individual actions and a list of who was "attacked" during each action, not a list of everyone effected by Op in our sites so far.

                  "It's what I can surmise from everything that's happened. Their servers weren't taken, is all I can say on that."

                  I agree that something is quietly afoot. I disagree with the servers not being taken. I remember reading about it on their original blog post about it (full disclosure: I remember that they were physically raided I don't remember what was taken, but why kick down a door if they are not there to take some shit?) which was on www.saveninjavideo.net which appears to be down these days, as is the quick link to their "legal defense fund" on Google search under the hit for their forum. Though they may just be having issues, I couldn't get the forum up yesterday/ saw it this morning / and now cant get at it again. The Australian news story also mention raids and servers being taken but that's just in general for the whole July operation it doesn't mention NV's servers specifically. I would link it again but each time i did it required moderator approval to post(??) but its just a few posts up.

                  The whole thing, as you mention is odd. I would love to see any info you find on it. Gonna do a little digging on my lunch break today as well. It weird they went from "Give us money to fight this" to "___________" with no mention of what happened inbetween.

                   

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                    Jay (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 10:05am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Not sure what your point is in listing these though."

                    Just for convenience in finding all the sites and trying to calculate how many have been affected with these takedowns. It's easier to go through my posts and find this, than constantly google searching it. :)

                    Well, there were a few things that were amiss:

                    Link

                    "The crackdown spanned New York, New Jersey, Washington, North Carolina and even the Netherlands, and involved the seizure of assets from 15 bank accounts and the execution of several residential search warrants.

                    Servers have not yet been seized, however, so it's possible that some of the sites could simply set up shop under different domain names"

                    So they raided people's houses it seems, but I've not seen one affidavit in that regard.

                    The servers weren't seized (maybe they were not physically with the people?). And remember, this was when COICA was FIRST run through the Senate so Wyden did a great job of blocking this legislation. I believe this is what the Justice Department is waiting for. They're looking to take out these sites and their financial backing but they don't have the laws in place to do it. Of course, this could be an Occam's Razor on my part but it makes the most sense.

                    Unfortunately, I can't say too much because I honestly don't know all of the details. I remember that Mike asked about crowdsourcing funding for defense, but nothing has come out of the donations. So I have to assume that NV has since moved on and are no longer interested in fighting this.

                     

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                    •  
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                      HothMonster, May 25th, 2011 @ 11:57am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "So they raided people's houses it seems, but I've not seen one affidavit in that regard."

                      Interesting that they would go to residences and not where the servers are, but the more I think about it even sites whose owner/operator are in the US usually rent European server space for projects like these so it makes sense.

                      "They're looking to take out these sites and their financial backing but they don't have the laws in place to do it."

                      I would agree it seems as if they started enforcing before they really had the law to support them with the knowledge that the laws were in the pipeline. However, those laws didn't ever make it out the other side so as it stands they have acted outside the law and are trying to stall until there are laws that support them.

                      "I have to assume that NV has since moved on and are no longer interested in fighting this."

                      Yeah I guess either some kind of deal like you mentioned before or they realized they weren't being charged with anything so don't have to defend themselves and they don't have the money to go on the offensive.

                      Didn't get a chance to look for any new items of interest on lunch spent it arguing about the intentions of artists on some other post. :(

                       

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          Andrew F (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "But we dont know that is the right people and we dont know their reasoning."

          I dunno -- seems clear to me. Don't these domains now say, "This has been seized by DHS for infringement" or some sort? So ... you sue the head of the DHS. That is the right person. Federal law lets you sue the head of the agency even if it's one of their underlings, so as everyone is acting in their official capacity.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2011 @ 1:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          holy fuck...

          lawsuits aren't expensive, LAWYERS are expensive.

          Masnick says they've hired lawyers...

          AND??????????????

          What is the difference in price between contesting something and a filing a suit?

          mmm?

          Tell you what-

          I'll pay the filing costs for the lawsuit.

          Let's go.

           

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        Mike Masnick (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 2:43pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm kind of with Anonymous on this one -- you don't need the DOJ to respond to anything to file a suit. Have these sites retained a lawyer in the U.S. yet?

        Yes. All the sites I spoke to have retained US lawyers. And, yes, they could sue, but there are very good reasons for at least talking to the Justice Department first. There will be lawsuits, but the lawyers involved are being smart in how they handle this.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          yes, they could sue, but there are very good reasons for at least talking to the Justice Department first.

          LOL. Like what?

          "Pardon me, but would you mind if I sued you?"

          the lawyers involved are being smart in how they handle this.

          Yeah, they are. They're not suing.

           

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            Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think you should make an account and go on record saying you don't believe there will be any lawsuits. Then you will be required to actually stand by that and admit you were wrong if there are lawsuits. Otherwise, what point is there in continuing this conversation with you? If Mike turns out to be wrong, you will never shut up about it. If you turn out to be wrong, you can just pretend you never said any this.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 6:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I *want* there to be a lawsuit. What I believe is that they will lose. I've already made a bet with Masnick about it, and would obviously admit if I turned out to be wrong.

              But I'm not going to be.

              Masnick likes to shout in his headlines about how "unconstitutional" and "illegal" the seizures are, but then when the rubber meets the road apparently that isn't the case.

              But do you think he cares?

              Of course not. His job is to post FUD headlines that show support for the pirate cause.

               

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              •  
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                Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:41pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You're doing a much better job of spreading FUD than he is...

                 

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                •  
                  identicon
                  HothMonster, May 25th, 2011 @ 7:23am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  he also generates a lot of page views....! its a conspiracy TAM is Masnick. He argues with himself to generate interest and he can put out double the fud output if he argues both sides.

                  DAMN YOU TAMasnick

                   

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    •  
      icon
      Gwiz (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      So, you're saying no lawsuits have been filed because the government isn't returning phone calls? ahahahahaha

      Are you saying these sites are retaining lawyers that don't know how to go file a lawsuit?


      So basically, you are saying that these small individual business should spend huge amounts of cash to fight the US Government (with it's endless tax payer money) just to discover why their property was taken from them?

      That's not the way it's supposed to work.

      On top of that - there hasn't even been legal precedence set concerning whether just linking infringing material is even a crime.

       

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    •  
      icon
      techflaws.org (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 10:36pm

      Re:

      I wonder if I can avoid paying my electric company bill by simply never returning their calls...

      Please give it a try. Once they turn off power to your house and puter we'll have a nice break from your bullshit postings.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      darryl, May 25th, 2011 @ 1:41am

      Re:

      exactly what I was think AC, what a joke..

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    "but its not exactly the most brutal inconvenience"

    I won't even waste my time responding to that...I'll just highlight it for others

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    "I wonder if I can avoid paying my electric company bill by simply never returning their calls..."

    No need to return their calls they'll just turn your electricity off.

    Brilliant observation broke legacy friend.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      Exactly dumbass. You figured out the analogy without realizing it...

       

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      •  
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        Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:07am

        Re: Re:

        "Are you saying these sites are retaining lawyers that don't know how to go file a lawsuit?"

        None of them can get lawyers in the first place. Why be disingenuous in the argument?

        "I wonder if I can avoid paying my electric company bill by simply never returning their calls..."

        What's most pertinent which you seem to have missed.

        " They don't feel they did anything wrong, and yet were blindly punished by the US government, declared as criminals with no clear recourse -- and when they sought out information or details, have been met with the bureaucratic equivalent of a brick wall. "

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There is no brick wall. They don't have to wait for the government to do anything. If they feel they were wronged, they can sue.

          What a gigantic pile of bullshit.

           

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        •  
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          Mike Masnick (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 2:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          None of them can get lawyers in the first place. Why be disingenuous in the argument?


          Just to be clear, this is not true. All of the sites I've talked to have been able to retain US counsel (and some really top notch lawyers are involved). But those lawyers -- smartly -- are trying to talk to their counterparts in the government first and having amazing difficulty doing so, which is not at all par for the course in most such situations.

           

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    •  
      icon
      Gwiz (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

      Re:

      "I wonder if I can avoid paying my electric company bill by simply never returning their calls..."

      You got it backwards, my silly Anonymous friend.

      It's more like: Do I have to pay my electric bill if the electric company never sends me a bill and never answers my inquiries as to why I have no bill?

       

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      •  
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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re:

        "I wonder if I can avoid paying my electric company bill by simply never returning their calls..."

        Am I missing something? It sounds like the government is trying to avoid paying it's electric bill by not returning the call. The electric company (the sites) are calling the responsible party (government) but aren't getting calls back. The government is the cheapskate trying to avoid paying.

         

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    icon
    cjstg (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    notification

    congressman notified. will now wait several weeks to get a form letter.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    None of them can get lawyers in the first place.

    WHAT?

    wait a minute, is this true?

     

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    •  
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      Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:22am

      Re:

      How much are the rates for lawyers for a domain seizure versus all of the other issues?

      Then add to this, European domains have very little chance to represent themselves in a US court. There's also the amount of legwork involved such as travel costs which makes this entirely cost prohibitive to a lawyer, who gets paid a lot for researching these.

      I know of at least two or three domains that have problems in this area, in finding representation. Yes, the EFF can assist in certain aspects, but money is still required. And when your site is only making enough for server space, you have an entirely new problem where you have to appear in court for a domain seizure.

      These "pirate" sites aren't run by Google level businesses. Some are run by smaller communities that enjoy watching films. Having these domain seizures occur is majorly disruptive to people's everyday life. Now you're asking them to get a lawyer while they don't know where exactly they can respond?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re:

        he still thinks all these "infringing" sites are making $$$$$$$

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, if there really was a case here, then the EFF, CDT, etc. would be all over it.

          They're not. There is no case and Masnick is too much of a coward to admit what is really going on. Nothing has changed alright, but it's on the site owner's end. He just goes to them and says "Are you gonna sue? You're gonna sue, right?"

          Then they don't and it's somehow the government's fault.

          What a fucking joke.

           

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          •  
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            Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You act as if attorney's fees are cheap in doing research into this. I guess it's easy when you can ignore all of the factors that make a lawsuit cost prohibitive that I showed above.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And I just told you that if there really was a case here then the EFF and CDT lawyers, hell maybe even the ACLU, would be ALL OVER IT.

              But there is no case. You're all drunk on Masnick's kool-aid.

               

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              •  
                icon
                Mike Masnick (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                And I just told you that if there really was a case here then the EFF and CDT lawyers, hell maybe even the ACLU, would be ALL OVER IT.

                There are lawyers. And they are all over it.

                But there is no case

                There is a case. Many cases.

                Why do I expect that you will have amnesia to these comments once the first case is filed?

                 

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                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 3:05pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You are such a buffoon.

                  There is nothing in the world I would love more than for them to try and do this; even just for the caselaw.

                  But there's ZERO reasons why they shouldn't have sued already if they really had a case.


                  You are saying the EXACT same things you said months ago.

                  All you're doing is stalling.

                   

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                    Marcus Carab (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Clarify something for me. What are you asserting exactly?

                    1) That Mike is lying about having spoken to lawyers, or about these sites having lawyers at all?

                    2) That Mike is lying about what the lawyers said to him, and that they in fact do not plan to sue?

                    3) All the lawyers were lying to Mike when they said they plan to sue but the situation is unusual and difficult?

                    I am genuinely asking here... who are you accusing of lying?

                     

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                      identicon
                      hothmonster, May 24th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I would likke to tack a question on

                      4 if the govs case is so strong why are they avoiding speaking to opposing counsel? Or is that made up by masnick as well?

                       

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                The Infamous Joe (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I'm curious: How would you feel if this happened to you? Let's say, France feels you've broken one of their laws and seizes your domain. You get no notice, nor an explanation. You only make money from ads and donations-- barely able to pay your server costs. You know little to nothing of French law, *and* your site is legal here in the US.

                What do you do?

                 

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    xs (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Must have been too much contact with the Chinese

    The government of USA is increasingly operating like the Chinese government. This unexplainedm unwarranted, unlawful seizure, followed by stonewalling and buck passing is just so typical of Chinese government. All that's left is official statement telling people that "relevant department" is handling the issue, with no further explaination about who the "relevant department" is.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:14am

      Re: Must have been too much contact with the Chinese

      Actually, China has a piracy rate of 99%.

      It's you pirates that want the US internet to look like China's.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re: Must have been too much contact with the Chinese

        what the fuck is a piracy rate of 99%

        99% of all goods in china are pirated?
        99% of pirated good are pirated?
        99% of internet traffic is piracy?
        99% of the bullshit you make up is bullshit?


        I think i actually know what you are talking about which was widely discussed. The % of software installed on computers that is pirated. Which has nothing to do with music, your favorite thing to cry about.

        Also a quick google search shows the 99% figure you post is complete garbage.

        So your bullshit rate is 99%

        http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-05/11/content_9831976.htm

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:27am

        Re: Re: Must have been too much contact with the Chinese

        Piracy = Any use or activity that "I" don't like or doesn't put money in 'MY" pocket no matter what your laws, traditions or social norms are.

         

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        D. Hope-Ross (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:28am

        Re: Re: Must have been too much contact with the Chinese

        It's you pirates that want the US internet to look like China's.

        Wow, I'm not even sure where to start on that one. From looking at your posts, it would seem that you're the one that wants the US's internet to look like China's. What with the arbitrary seizures and all.

         

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        Any Mouse (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re: Must have been too much contact with the Chinese

        [citation needed]

        Dumbass.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re: Must have been too much contact with the Chinese

        I thought China had a piracy rate of 999%? I mean, which is it, 99% or 999%?

        It has to be one of those two, so which is it? And why?

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 7:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: Must have been too much contact with the Chinese

          Either is correct. The statistic he's referring to is just missing the margin of error. It's actually 99% ± 900%. I know because I'm an expert at making up bullshit statistics. I have been working in the entertainment industry for years.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    This lack of info will provide fodder for those times when ICE has to do a question and answer. At some point they will look ridiculous ducking and dodging the question of how to reclaim the domain site. When it's thrown in their face in public often enough, even the blind will smell the smoke.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    John Doe lawsuit

    Why can't the websites pull a page out of the RIAA's playbook and file a John Doe lawsuit? There is plenty of evidence that rights were violated. Use a lawsuit to help uncover the mechanics under which they were violated.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    "We missed your horrid logic and bad analogies in the article about canadian music growth, hope to see your stupidity make it in there"

    Haha, exactly.

    You won't see it there, the music industry is thriving and when he sees data that supports that unfortunately I don't think broke legacy friend can think of any analogies quick enough that either don't apply, don't make sense, or both.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    I'm starting a pool to help pay for our broke legacy friend's electric bill, I think he was trying to tell us something that he maybe a little embarrassed about.

    Please send donations via PayPal to JohnMortonsPuppet@ analogy.com

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    "Okay, then look at all the bullshit you have been spewing about these sites being guilty of contributory infringement or even direct infringement.

    IF that were true, those are exactly the charges the government would make and bring to a court of law.

    Except it's not happening, is it?"


    haha, ZING

     

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    icon
    RobShaver (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Sue the domain registrar

    They bought a domain name. The domain name doesn't work now so why not sue the domain registrar for breach of contract or something like that? Then the domain registrar will say they were ordered by the ICE so then ICE is added to the suite as a co-defendant.

    I'm not a lawyer but can't this get started with a civil suite?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    I have installed http://mafiaafire.com/ into my Mozilla Browser and I see it is now available for Chrome.

     

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  •  
    icon
    FUDbuster (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    I'm no expert on procedure by any means, but is this really that mysterious? It's property that's been seized by a warrant issued on probable cause. The government can sit on the property while the criminal activity is being investigated. Eventually, i.e., in a reasonable time, the forfeiture proceedings must be brought, and notice is published. The Federal Rules govern: http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/RuleG.htm

    I don't think the owners can bring suit so much as they must wait for the government to file a complaint first. That's my understanding at least. I haven't really researched this issue, so please correct me if I'm wrong. It's certainly an interesting issue, and I'm as anxious for the courts to look at these seizures as the next person.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

      Re:

      " in a reasonable time,"

      Please define this. It's been a year since the July takedowns with NO charges filed.

       

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      •  
        icon
        FUDbuster (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't think they ever have to file criminal charges, if that's what you mean. They just have to file the civil complaint against the property in a reasonable time. What's reasonable depends on the facts of the case. I think judges are quite deferential to the government in such matters.

         

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        •  
          icon
          Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And that's another problem. They can go to a magistrate judge and charge for anything, which makes it "Quasi-legal". It doesn't mean that the affidavit is valid, just that they've gotten an affidavit without an adversarial hearing. Right now, the government doesn't seem to have a case. At ALL! What facts do they have other than a massive stretch of law and the mantra "we are currently investigating?"

          If they had a case, I'm sure they would have been a lot more confident to go to court. As it stands, they seem to be scrambling for a cause to build around.

           

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    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

      Re:

      "government to file a complaint first"

      Further, the government filed a complaint on TVShack, not some of the later seizures. We got to see the affidavits for Onsmash and all, but that's woefully different from seeing what the exact problems arose and the charges against, at the very least, the first sites taken down.

       

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      •  
        icon
        FUDbuster (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re:

        There's the seizure warrant, and then there's the complaint. The complaint comes after the warrant. How much later? Depends. Keep in mind that the government's theory is that this is property used to commit a crime. Imagine if you owned a gun that the government thought was used in a murder. They could get a warrant and seize the gun. Could you go running to court to get the gun back? Not right away, I don't think. The court would give the government a reasonable amount of time to keep the gun.

         

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        •  
          icon
          Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Okay, so why is it that out of the 100+ sites, they have yet to file complaints on all of them?

          Out of the first 9, 7 were filed.

          Out of the second round, we saw only the affidavit.

          Out of the February takedowns, I didn't see much of anything save an affidavit or two.

          The complaints should have come out a long time ago. I'd grant a 3 month leniency, but any longer is beyond "a reasonable time". If so much effort is put into the enforcement, there should be a lot more effort put into organizing the exact reasons why this is needed.

          There should be a beginning, middle, and an end game for the government. Right now, it seems more of a "make it up as we go along" while everyone is shuffling duties.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          from your link: (ii) In an action governed by 18 U.S.C. § 983(a)(3)(D) the complaint may not be dismissed on the ground that the government did not have adequate evidence at the time the complaint was filed to establish the forfeitability of the property. The sufficiency of the complaint is governed by Rule G(2).

          so maybe they are stalling until they do have adequate evidence of foreitability. or until they have modified the laws to make the sites forfeitable.

           

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          •  
            icon
            FUDbuster (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Maybe, but to be honest, I'm not sure I buy the idea that anyone's stalling to begin with. I know that in some of the cases complaints have been filed and notice given. Those owners could have challenged the seizures, but apparently chose not to. I highly doubt that ICE or the DOJ is afraid of being challenged on these seizures. I could be wrong, sure, but I'm really skeptical about it.

             

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            •  
              icon
              Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Then why have no charges been filed and why the strong arming?

              I can say that where Mike says "the government tries to make you give up all legal claims against the government" is entirely accurate. That fits a lot with what the Executive Branch has been doing under Obama's reign. It's more a "head in the sand" approach than an actual approach at the issues.

               

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              •  
                icon
                FUDbuster (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I think charges have been filed in two cases. The majority of the sites and servers were overseas, so that explains the lack of charges. They've said that more charges of domestic people will be forthcoming, and they've also said they're seizing servers in some cases. I imagine with most of the sites it's not a simple matter to bring charges and to make an arrest.

                 

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              •  
                icon
                FUDbuster (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Where I was getting information about the seizures is from ICE's letter to Rep. Zoe Lofgren: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55446034/ICE-Answers

                I don't know if Mike covered this letter or not. It's a good read.

                 

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    •  
      icon
      Karl (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

      Re:

      The Federal Rules govern:

      Here's what I've been able to make out of Rule G.

      Rule G(4)(b)(i) states:
      Direct Notice Required. The government must send notice of the action and a copy of the complaint to any person who reasonably appears to be a potential claimant on the facts known to the government before the end of the time for filing a claim under Rule G(5)(a)(ii)(B).

      Thus, direct notice is required, and the deadline is in Rule G(5)(a)(ii)(B). Here's what that states:
      if notice was published but direct notice was not sent to the claimant or the claimant’s attorney, no later than 30 days after final publication of newspaper notice or legal notice under Rule G(4)(a) or no later than 60 days after the first day of publication on an official internet government forfeiture site
      Here's the problem. As far as I know, notice was not published. That means, instead, that Rule G(5)(a)(ii)(C)(2) should apply:
      if the property was not in the government’s possession, custody, or control when the complaint was filed, no later than 60 days after the government complied with 18 U.S.C. § 985(c) as to real property, or 60 days after process was executed on the property under Rule G(3).

      Note that Rule G(3) refers to the execution of the warrant.

      So: even if the government decides that 60 days is not "a reasonable time after filing the complaint," they still must send notice, directly to the defendants, within 60 days of the seizure.

      They have not done so. The question is: what do the defendants do about it?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Kafka

    This is all starting to feel like a Kafka book, link below

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trial

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Don, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Can't they go after the domain name registrar for altering domain name without a proper warrant, etc. Take them to court and then maybe the proper people in the government will show their faces.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

      Re:

      from my understanding there is a proper warrant, the gov just hasnt filed the complaint yet which is what the defendant is suppose to respond to

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall as John Morton desperately tells his subordinates that they have to come up with something

     

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  •  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Suit

    > and once it was figured out, actually getting
    > those individuals to respond to basic questions
    > that are normally answered as a matter of course
    > in discussions prior to any litigation, has
    > been an exercise in futility

    They ought to just file suit against the DoJ in general and name Eric Holder as defendant. Once the suit is accepted by the court, I'm fairly certain the DoJ would route it to the right set of lawyers to respond to it.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Bengie, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Founding Fathers

    Our founding fathers killed people over this kind of stuff in the name of freedom.

    Out government doesn't just piss on the Constitution, they openly wipe their asses with it.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Russia, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    welcome

    Welcome to Soviet Russia

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    The notices to which ICE has redirected the seized domains cite 18 U.S.C. Sections 981 and 2323 as the basis for the seizure. Section explains that forfeitures of property under 2323 are governed by "Chapter 46" of the same title, which includes section 981. (The titles are organized by chapter and section, and chapter 46 contains sections 981-987.  18 USC Section 983 spells out the general procedures for civil forfeitures, including the filing of claims opposing the forfeiture.

    So even though some may not like the actual procedures available (and many of us may find the inadequate or problematic), there are procedures set out in the law, and a lawyer versed in forfeiture law would have an idea of where to begin.

    It seems like one issue that may be slowing the process is that in some cases, the parties using the domain may not be getting notified because they are not actually the owners of record.  It looks like many of the seized domains were registered through proxy services, so if notices were sent to the mailing address of the registered domain owner, they would go the the proxy service, which actually has the registration.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    "And I just told you that if there really was a case here then the EFF and CDT lawyers, hell maybe even the ACLU, would be ALL OVER IT."

    And I just told you that if there really was a case here then THE DHS/ICE/JUSTICE DEPARTMENT would be ALL OVER IT...except...they aren't. It's easy for them to abuse their powers to get a judge to rubber stamp a warrant that is riddled with errors, now comes the part where they have actual work to do. No wonder nothing is getting done.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

      Re:

      hit reply to this on the bottom of the post you are replying to, it makes everyones life easier.

      well everyone who wastes time on techdirts life that is

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    With a days work I could give you a list of 1,000 URLs of hip-hop related websites that should be seized based on the same criteria of the onsmash & dajaz1 seizures...yet for some reason out of the 1000s of websites that post the exact same content these 2 were cherry picked.

    These are favors ICE/DHS are executing for their big content friends. They aren't based on "tips" received, it's favors. Plain and simple. Ever heard of CONFLIT OF INTEREST? For some reason those 2 sites aggravated a label executive (they probably didn't post all of the content the label sent directly) and thus they were targeted.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Remember the first music seizures? They listed a song by an artist who isn't even signed to a label, let alone affiliated with the RIAA. On top of that, the "special agent" was literally fresh out of training and riddled the warrant with errors...yet, no accountability. When will DHS/ICE have to respond to shutting down a business for among other things, POSTING MUSIC FROM A 100% INDEPENDENT MUSICIAN.

    Let's not forget these details, let's not forget just how outrageous all of this is.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    For the people saying it takes time for the Govt. to conduct investigation...imagine that. How many millions of dollars of tax payers money do you think will be allocated to these cases? And for what? To shut down a site with 10k visitors a MONTH?? Truly and utterly unbelievable.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Dan, May 24th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

    Why Have We Not See The Seizures Of Islamic Terrorist Webistes?

    Hi,

    Homeland Security and ICE have “Banners” made up for “Child Porn”, "online Poker Sites, Copyright Infringements for “Music Download Sites”.

    One, has to wonder if they currently have a ‘Banner’ made up for… Islamic Radical Jihaid websites, that call for the destruction of the USA and Israel…and that encourage violence towards the people of these two countries and other countries?

    Is that not their REAL jobs? Is that NOT more Important?

    Peace To ALL!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    I don't understand it. Just sue them already.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Does anyone have a reliable count of the number of DNS seizures to date where the website owners are physically located in the United States (not the registrars, but the actual site owners)?

    If some are actually located in the US, does anyone have the names of those sites?

     

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    •  
      icon
      FUDbuster (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:11pm

      Re:

      Does anyone have a reliable count of the number of DNS seizures to date where the website owners are physically located in the United States (not the registrars, but the actual site owners)?

      If some are actually located in the US, does anyone have the names of those sites?


      According to ICE, as of last month there were 120 seized domain names (100 of them for trademark violations) with 100 of them out of China: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55446034/ICE-Answers

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 5:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, the vast majority are sites whose principals reside outside the US.

        My question, though, is how many of the seizures pertain to sites whose principals reside within the US?

         

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        •  
          identicon
          darryl, May 25th, 2011 @ 1:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          My question, though, is how many of the seizures pertain to sites whose principals reside within the US?

          And my questions was how much US created content (therefore product) was residing on those sites ?

          So what you are saying is if you can steal something from the US and get it out of the country, then you are safe and you cannot be charged for the crime ?

           

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    identicon
    Rekrul, May 24th, 2011 @ 7:02pm

    This is exactly the same tactic that the Internet Movie Database uses. Nobody gets any warning, they just visit the site one day to discover that they've been banned from the message boards. When they try to ask why, the IMDb staff just stonewalls and says that they won't discuss their actions.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 7:06pm

    In reality the only thing you're handing is more pageviews for mikes site. Your ridiculous comments incite reaction and interest from others who want to tell you how dumb you sound.

    More people are refreshing the page, more people are coming back to interact in the discussion. Additionally, users are more inclined to click on a post with 150+ comments.

    More pageviews = more revenue

    You continue to do an excellent job of proving how shortsighted you are.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Wayne Borean (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:15pm

    It's time to get out of the United States, NOW.

    I'm serious. It's not safe to do business there any more. And it won't be safe to do business there until Joe 'MPAA' Biden and his ilk are pushing up daisies.

    That may sound harsh, but consider this situation. If Mike is telling the truth (and I have good reason to believe that he is) the people who would like to fight the Justice Department in court are being blocked by the Justice Department, by the simple method of avoiding giving the complainant any information.

    Joseph Heller would recognize the situation. So would Kafka. I wasted a fair bit of time trying to warn the International Music Score Library Project of the dangers of working with a .ORG domain. It went in one ear and out the other. The next time someone decides to take them down, if they may end up staying down permanently, if they don't setup an alternate safe domain.

    Wayne

     

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    •  
      identicon
      darryl, May 25th, 2011 @ 1:54am

      Re: It's time to get out of the United States, NOW.

      looks like its also not safe to do crime there either, take your pick.

       

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      •  
        icon
        Niall (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 6:13am

        Re: Re: It's time to get out of the United States, NOW.

        Let's go easy on the 'crime' accusations until we've seen some lawsuits. Especially with the US government obviously desperately keen to avoid any actual accusations of wrongdoing. If the US won't call them 'criminals' in a court of law, you can hardly presumpt them, can you?

        Besides, music scores as crime? Wasn't this a whole big issue 110 years ago which was 'destroying' the music industry and going to 'stop people creating'? Dream on!

        Then there is the issue of copyright as a civil issue, not a criminal one. Let's not mix in copyright with fraud/counterfeiting.

         

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    icon
    Shane C (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:24pm

    VeriSign

    I have to wonder if it will come down to suing VeriSign for illegally reassigning the domains from their appropriate owners to the US Government. That would put pressure on VeriSign to put pressure on ICE to produce the authoritative party for the seizures, would it not?

    Suing VeriSign would be a civil lawsuit, thus possibly open to a class action status by all of the effected domain holders.

    No I don't think VeriSign is guilty here. They just did what the court ordered them to do. However, they could be used as leverage to get to the real heart of the matter.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    darryl, May 25th, 2011 @ 1:49am

    Then DO something....Talk is cheap...

    yes, it does seem quite stupid, that the ONLY reason why no one has lodged a counter suit is because 'they wont return our phone calls'.

    News flash, they dont have too.

    Mike I thought your were a 'law speaking guy', then why is it beyond you to work out how to lodge a law suit ?

    What are you saying, all these seized sites have morons as laywers.

    If that is the case, Mike if you are a 'law speaking guy' YOU FREAKING DO SOMETHING.

    Represent them !!! advise them,

    Or whine for them... that will work..

    Are you guys REALLY THAT stupid ??

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    What will happen when the domains will expire?
    Will they be auto-renewed? If so, in whose name?

     

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  •  
    icon
    Curtis (profile), May 29th, 2011 @ 9:50pm

    Ha - you "domain real estate" guys thought I was kidding?

    Domain names are NOT real estate and the domain name market it nothing but a ponzi-scheme joke.

    Seizure of a domain operating illegal sites is easier than placing the site owners and operators in jail.(Domain registration privacy or hiding of owner identities)

    The seizure of previously registered and used domains is going before a jury and the joke called the "domain name market" will soon disappear. Google Inc and NameMedia Inc seized notable short domains and ran AdSense for domains ads on them till one sold.

    (5:09-cv-05151)
    Not a secret or quiet lawsuit but it is being ignored valiantly by the "domain name" press.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    charlotte styles, Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 12:37am

    I AGREE!!!

    Even though my issue is not with a domain site, I agree. My issue has to do with the terroristic acts of Child Protective Services under the guidelines of the department of Social
    Services the new and improved SS and the government thinks that we, the American Family can just sit back and watch the remake of the gestapo? I am researching, that's how I found your site but I am running out of time. I have to file within days while I am learning Virginia law, although I have a CAP ( who , of course will not lift a finger in my indeavors.)Wish me success I intent to file a suit against the Virginia State Government. CS v Virginia Beach Dept of Social Services.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    charlotte styles, Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 12:44am

    I AGREE!!!

    Even though my issue is not with a domain site, I agree. My issue has to do with the terroristic acts of Child Protective Services under the guidelines of the department of Social
    Services the new and improved SS and the government thinks that we, the American Family can just sit back and watch the remake of the gestapo? I am researching, that's how I found your site but I am running out of time. I have to file within days while I am learning Virginia law, although I have a CAC ( who , of course will not lift a finger in my indeavors.)Wish me success I intent to file a suit against the Virginia State Government. CS v Virginia Beach Dept of Social Services.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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