If Newly Seized Domains Were Purely Dedicated To Infringement, Why Was Kanye West Using One?

from the questions,-questions dept

The details of Homeland Security's domain name seizures keeps looking more and more questionable. Early on, people were scratching their heads over the seizure of torrent-finder.com, which was a pure search engine, but the deeper that people are looking into the domains involving copyright claims (many of the seized domains were apparently about trademark/counterfeiting rather than copyright), the more questionable the whole situation looks. Torrent-finder was just the start. Two more of the seized sites, RapGodfathers and OnSmash are popular hip hop blogs. In fact, both sites note that labels and artists regularly send them their own music, and both sites note that they comply with the DMCA in taking down files based on takedown notices. Even more damning, top artists like Kanye West clearly appreciate sites like this. Just a few weeks ago, Kanye West linked to OnSmash via his Twitter feed.

It really looks like Homeland Security/ICE may have seriously screwed up here. Whether or not seizing domains in general like this is even legal is an open legal question -- and blatantly seizing domains with tons of legit content that the industry and artists regularly used themselves seems like a test case the government doesn't want just waiting to happen. Hopefully the folks behind both blogs have already gotten in touch with various civil liberties/free speech lawyers who can help make them into perfect test cases to show that the government can't just seize web sites without due process.

Filed Under: blogs, copyright, domain names, free speech, seizures


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  1. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 30 Nov 2010 @ 11:56am

    Re: problematic

    "Domain seizures will prove problematic to the democratic process. I'm sorry to see we have come to this point. "

    Max its not at all problematic. It is just a short term inconvenience.

    For the past year one of my themes here on techdirt has been, the more repressive the government and the ISP's get online the faster people will adapt and create work arounds. DSL reports points us to Pirate Bay Founder Eyes Decentralized P2P DNS - In response to government's recent domain seizures. Where he plans to create a p2p dns sytem based on the .p2p upper level domain. That or something like it will fix domain seizures issue.

    Let me rephrase this for you ... "There are more productive solutions available but if the "community" doesn't support them and just continues to whine and complain"

    There are more profitable solutions available to those of us who feel entitled but the "pirates" just want free stuff and continue to steal our IP.

    "we can expect more of this........"

    Yes we can. The internet will adapt faster than government or the content industry. Expect to see more work arounds, and greater encryption usage.

    I have been expecting something like this for a couple years. It is a pivotal point that will end government monitoring of its citizens, increase free speech, and actually promote the arts and the sciences.

    straw meet camel ... I'm on a horse ... :)

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