Kentucky's Attempt To Seize Gambling Domain Names Goes To State Supreme Court

from the waste-of-kentucky-taxpayer-dollars dept

A year ago, we were surprised to hear that Kentucky’s governor was trying to seize the domain names of a long list of over 100 sites that had something to do with gambling. The governor was basing this on a Kentucky law that let the government seize “devices” used for gambling, even though none of the sites in question were based in Kentucky. The governor — who many say did this to protect local Kentucky gambling operations — compared these website to “a virtual home invasion.” While a judge originally was going to allow the seizure, the state appeals court overturned the ruling, saying that it was clear that a domain name is not a gambling device.

Rather than back down, the governor pushed ahead and is using taxpayer money to appeal the ruling. Ragaboo alerts us to the news that the Kentucky Supreme Court is getting set to hear the case. It’s difficult to see how the governor has much of a leg to stand on here. He’s trying to seize the domain names of businesses operated entirely outside the state. Allowing such a seizure of domain names would set a horrendous precedent and create all sorts of problems. Hopefully the Kentucky Supreme Court sees this, and Governor Steven Beshear realizes it’s best to give up this dangerous crusade.

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Comments on “Kentucky's Attempt To Seize Gambling Domain Names Goes To State Supreme Court”

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Anonymous Coward says:

@Bob and Horse Tracks

@Bob – It wouldn’t be like taking horse tracks in Kentucky. It would be more like taking the phone number for that horse track.

Not that it would be right to take their domain, but the internet has a nasty reputation of routing around problems. I assume if Kentucky did take their name, they would probably just go get a new name. Annoying – yes… shutdown business – no.

Richard (profile) says:

he can huff and puff

But can he actually DO anything even if he wins.

Domain names are managed by ICANN here is an extract from Wikipedia on the subject:

Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). This policy essentially attempts to provide a mechanism for rapid, cheap and reasonable resolution of domain name conflicts, avoiding the traditional court system for disputes by allowing cases to be brought to one of a set of bodies that arbitrate domain name disputes. According to ICANN policy, a domain registrant must agree to be bound by the UDRP — they cannot get a domain name without agreeing to this.

Now if the state of Kentucky holds any domain names they must have agreed to UDRP so this matter cannot be settled in the Kentucky Courts – or any other court unless Kentucky first relinquishes all the domain names it holds.

So long as Kentucky holds any domain names they can only use the UDRP.

Garrett says:

So many questions...

How does any appeal even last more than 3 seconds when none of the websites are based out of KY, or even the US for that matter? Shouldn’t the appeal court have made that clear?

Like mentioned above, even if the Kentucky Supreme Court allows it, then what? It would be like Sri Lanka claiming ownership of the moon. Good for you, but it means nothing.

Has no one explained this to anyone down there? Is there not one person who explained to the administration or state house how the world operates? I know the internet is confusing, being a series of tubes and all, but…..seriously?

Luci says:

Re: Grab it while you can!

Go for it. Use it to enumerate the many ways this man is being a total moron. Kentucky already gets a bad rap for backwards, inbred, redneck idiots. He’s just showing the world how close to the mark that is.

Seriously, Mr Beshear. Do you really think you have the authority to demand anything from an international organization that doesn’t answer to you? How about you demand the UN only lets its members speak a single language?

Al (profile) says:

quick, let's pass a law...

As a Canadian, I’m offended that I can surf the internet and be exposed to all these gambling sites. I think we should pass a similar law and grab any sites he’s overlooked, like, oh I don’t know, how about

Presumably we could also grab some of the state’s computers and trucks – assuming they have electricity and horseless carriages in Kentucky.

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