Kentucky domain case - update

Three Kentucky Court of Appeals judges added to the US presidential inauguration celebrations Tuesday by returning a positive verdict for the freedom of the Internet in an appeal against the seizure of international domain names by a local county court judge (see previous InfoPowa report).

In a late afternoon announcement, the judges ruled that the commonwealth of Kentucky overreached itself in having 141 international online gambling domain names seized by a Frankfort Circuit Court judge pending a threatened confiscation. The state's action was strenuously opposed by domain owners and Internet freedom organisations such as the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association. The Interactive Gaming Council also attacked the state's move.

Late last year the matter was sent to the superior Kentucky Court of Appeals following the granting of a Motion to Stay on the county court's rulings.

The state government action was spearheaded by outsourced lawyers believed to be working on a contingency basis, with Governor Steve Beshear by-passing the state attorney general in pursuing an issue that had strong commercial protectionist overtones. The horseracing industry is particularly influential and active in Kentucky, and Beshear has previously campaigned on a platform of expanded land gambling in the state.

When InfoPowa went to press late Tuesday, full details of the iMEGA triumph were not yet to hand, but the positive decision halting the Kentucky governor's questionable initiative in its tracks was being widely applauded throughout the industry as the news permeated companies around the world.

It is understood that the state of Kentucky is considering an appeal.

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