Kentucky's Court of Appeals correctly ruled this week that a domain name isn't subject to seizure and forfeiture because it is not a "gambling device" under a 1974 law providing for the confiscation of roulette wheels and craps tables. Although certainly not the most sweeping or surprising decision, the ruling is nonetheless a victory for CDT and other free expression advocates who recognize the threat that state seizure of domain names would pose to the smooth functioning of the Domain Name System (DNS) and Internet communication in general. At issue was an October 2007 state court order allowing Kentucky to take control of 141 domain names associated with Internet gambling sites, all of which were located outside of Kentucky, most outside of the United States. The judge asserted staggeringly broad jurisdiction, and determined that Kentucky could seize the domain names because they allowed access to activity (gambling) that violated Kentucky law.
Read more »