Another Registrar To Avoid: Internet BS Pulls Down Website Based On Confused Understanding Of The Law

from the bs-indeed dept

It seems that many in the anti-piracy world are moving up the chain a bit in their quixotic fight against anything they feel must be illegal (even if it’s not). From targeting the sites directly, to then focusing on hosting firms, they’re now going directly to registrars and ordering them to pull domain names or face liability. And while many of the better web hosts have learned to be familiar with the law here, many registrars are confused (thankfully, there are a few exceptions).

The latest example of a registrar folding the second someone freaked out is the aptly named Internet BS (or Internet.bs), which apparently suspended Bittorrent.pm’s domain, after a company called Rico Management claimed it was hosting infringing files. Of course, it’s not hosting any infringing files, because it’s an index site, rather than a hosting site. Rico complained, and Internet BS told the site’s administrators that it had to take action or face liability, and then it also complained that Bittorrent.pm didn’t have a contact page on its website. Of course, as Torrentfreak notes, there’s some irony in the fact that the complaining company, Rico Management, doesn’t even seem to have a website at all, let alone official contact information.

Either way, the idea that a registrar might be liable for infringement stretches the bounds of secondary liability to ridiculous lengths. Remember, the direct infringement is done by end users. At best, Bittorrent.pm might be found for secondary liability. You could argue that its hosting provider might have (already ridiculous) tertiary liability, meaning the registrar would be at the level of quaternary liability, which is taking the concept of third party liability to extreme and ridiculous levels. And, of course, that doesn’t even get into the fact that neither Bittorrent.pm nor Internet BS are in the US, and yet Internet BS seemed to be relying on an extremely strained reading of the US’s DMCA to make this argument.

If there’s actual infringement going on, the focus should be on holding those actually responsible liable, not twisting liability rules to make everyone else potentially liable. When you go down that path, you guarantee easy and widespread stifling of perfectly legitimate speech and innovation.

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Companies: bittorrent.pm, internet bs, rico management

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Comments on “Another Registrar To Avoid: Internet BS Pulls Down Website Based On Confused Understanding Of The Law”

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30 Comments
Quiet Lurcker says:

Re: Re: The names couldn't be any more apt...

Twelve-year-olds???

I believe the term you are looking for is ‘five-year-olds’. See here for clarification, specifically item 12 of the list shown.

Besides, based on my (admittedly limited) experience in business, using a 12-year-old in this application seems to attribute ENTIRELY too much intelligence to the client(s) in question.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

you might want to re-adjust your preferences… it used to be that Internet.bs was a nice place a few years ago but this piece of news together with the HUGE LETTERS at the top of the page of internetbs.net that spell out:

“CENTRALNIC ACQUIRES INTERNET.BS”

should be a dead-giveaway that the new owners are getting in the business with steel-toed boots on and stomping on all the (sort-of) good name that the place used to have.

quote from their linked page:
June 17, 2014
The ICANN accredited Bahamian registrar business of Internet.bs Corp. (IBS) has been acquired by CentralNic Group PLC(?CentralNic?) in a move that is intended to provide IBS customers with continued and expanded leading-edge, personalized registrar services.
/quote

CentralNIC as a company is based in both USA and UK… so better say hello to NSA and GCSB/MI5. They are already browsing through your accounts :p

The Bahamas dream is dead.

Anonymous Coward says:

Looks like a list is developing of Registrars you don’t want to use.

In the days running up to trying to get the DMCA passed, the RIAA made the comment they would not abuse this law. We see today how that has went. Search bots that can’t tell the difference between parody and an offical song want everything off the net for their payday from the RIAA.

Today it might be copyright issues, tomorrow it may be political issues. Since these people can not follow the rules laid down by ICAAN on what does or does not qualify for block or removal of a domain are ignored, perhaps it is time to consider an Iceland domain or one from EasyDNS. I sure wouldn’t want Godaddy nor the other four as my registrar.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“I sure wouldn’t want Godaddy nor the other four as my registrar.”

Of course not, given that the GoDaddy strongly supports spam, forgery, phishing, carding, child pornography, and other things, while happily bending over and ‘servicing’ any requests from the MPAA and RIAA without question.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Trolls Anonymous

What’s even more suspicious is that RICO Management doesn’t even have a web site not to mention any way to contact or check up on them. But to prove they aren’t all that bright they have a Facebook account complete with name, address, contact number, and a little slice of Google Maps that shows exactly where they hide. Not a single “like” of course, and a lot of really nasty messages 🙂 Yeah, they are trolls .

DannyB (profile) says:

Stretching Exercises

It is a stretch that secondary, tertiary, etc liability might extend to domain registrars. But stretching is good for you. So let’s get to it. First we’ll do some simple stretching of copyright length. Then we’ll do the DMCA stretch with a few super quick take downs. After we catch our breath, then we’ll stretch the subpoena power of the courts to send extortion settlement letters. Then we’ll stretch the concept of liability to include secondary liability. Stretch sanity to believe that Google hosts infringing files because it controls the entire internet. We’ll stretch politicians’ pockets by stuffing them with too much money to try to pass insanity like SOPA, which is quite a stretch. Then we’ll stretch and get law enforcement to believe that it is copyright owners’ private police force. Then after a breather, we’ll think about stretching this to include the military. After all, is it too much of a stretch to think that innovation and creative commons licensing causes terror? It’s really a stretch to get another government to have an almost military style raid and to seize servers and destroy a business based on just a feeling, and at the behest of a foreign private interest.

Whew! That’s enough of a workout for now. But come back tomorrow. With practice we’ll see how easily we can stretch more and more each day.

Dan G Difino says:

Groping

If there’s actual infringement going on, the focus should be on holding those actually responsible liable, not twisting liability rules to make everyone else potentially liable. When you go down that path, you guarantee easy and widespread stifling of perfectly legitimate speech and innovation.

Not only does that become widespread, but you become something your mother warned you about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just took down 8chan.co for unfounded cp claims

Anti- #GamerGate ers mad because one board of hundreds on 8Chan.co is /gamergate/ and have been DDoS-ing the site for days and have submitted false “child porn” claims to CloudFlare and Internet.bs has suspended 8chans domain, and put up adds for “jailbait chans” and “barely legal” links… see @infinitchan on Twitter for details

Internet.bs should be exposed as a crappy domain provider.

Jim says:

Internet.bs suspended my domain

Internet.bs suspended my domain and claimed it was a phishing website. There were no complaints about the content of the website, they just somehow determined it was a phishing website.

The website was one page of text and did not collect any information or anything like that. My website did not contravene their terms and conditions.

It took a few weeks to get this sorted. In the meantime, my website was inaccessible. Internet.bs eventually agreed to let me transfer my domain to another registrar.

Their abuse department takes a week to respond to emails on average. They do not have a phone number.

Avoid Internet.bs is my advice.

Another pissed customer says:

They hold your domain hostage

“Dear [redacted],

Recent activity in your account has triggered an alert within our systems. For your protection we kindly ask you to send us a copy of a government issued ID matching the name used for your account, along with proof of address.

Please send the required documents within 3 days to risk@internet.bs. Your account will
remain locked until the documents are supplied.

–Best regards,Internet.bswww.internetbs.net”

Fuck those bastards.

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