U.S. Federal Court: Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) Can Not Be Seized

icannA U.S. federal court has agreed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that the country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) are not property subject to attachment.

Claimants filed writs of attachment to seize from ICANN, the ccTLDs for Iran (.IR), Syria (.SY) and North Korea (.KP), (as well as internationalized top-level domains in non-ASCII characters for Iran and Syria) in order to satisfy judgments the claimants obtained in US courts against these countries.

ICANN sought to quash the writs of attachment citing ICANN’s technical coordination role in the domain name system (DNS) and arguing that ccTLDs are not subject to attachment.

“We are pleased that the court ruled in our favor on the grounds that the ccTLDs are not property, subject to attachment”, said John Jeffrey, ICANN’s General Counsel and Secretary. “The court’s ruling demonstrates a technical understanding of the DNS, and the role of ccTLDs in the single, global, interoperable Internet.

To read the U.S. District Court ruling, go here:
https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/order-memo-granting-motion-to-quash-writs-10nov14-en.pdf [PDF, 346 KB]

To read ICANN’s legal filings, go here:
https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/icann-various-2014-07-30-en

To read the original “Writs of Attachment,” go here:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_dOI5puxRA9M3hweE9Eel9mVTQ/edit?pli=1

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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