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3rd Lawsuit Against VeriSign; Seeks Class Action Status

A third lawsuit has been filed late Friday in a federal district court in California against VeriSign, Inc. over its controversial DNS wildcard redirection service known as SiteFinder. It was filed by the longtime Internet litigator Ira Rothken. In addition, while two other lawsuits have been filed by Go Daddy Software, Inc. and Popular Enterprises, LLC. in Arizona and Florida, this is the first lawsuit to seek class-action status.

Below is an excerpt from the "Introduction" section of this class-action lawsuit:

This is an action seeking to prevent VeriSign, the entity which serves as the directory for and has control over the ubiquitous ".com" and ".net" Internet domains, from unfairly and illegally exploiting that control through its recently instituted "Site Finder" service and from destroying the technical standard that unregistered and inactive domain names or sites return a "404" error used by systems administrators for error trapping and spam reduction. VeriSign has taken ownership and control of all the unregistered domain name properties and without paying a registration fee is using such properties in commerce to exploit its search services. This unilateral conduct by VeriSign far exceeds the scope of mandate it received from the federal government to regulate the ".com" and ".net" domain names. Distilled to its essence, this lawsuit has been brought to enjoin VeriSign from taking, using, and exploiting domain name properties that do not belong to them and to stop VeriSign from essentially breaking the Internet's infrastructure.

VeriSign has now created a system whereby any time a domain name property is not registered or active and in some instances misspelled, and the associated "URL," is typed into a Web browser (or related hyperlink is clicked upon by a user) then the user no longer receives a "404" standardized error but rather is automatically directed to the VeriSign Site Finder service web site which has been established as a commercial search engine and marketing mechanism by VeriSign. For example, historically if a user wanted to visit the syncalot.com web site but misspelled the domain name as "ssyncalot.com" they would receive a "404" error page — namely a white screen manifesting the "error". Currently, after VeriSign took all unregistered and misspelled domain name properties for their own use under the Site Finder program, the user would no longer see a "404" error but rather be directed to VeriSign's Site Finder search engine site (See Exhibit "A" attached herein for a screenshot of the Site Finder web page after redirecting a Web user who misspelled the Syncalot.com domain name as described above). In order for Syncalot to avoid the misspelling misuse by VeriSign — unless enjoined by this Court Syncalot would have to buy or register each and every misspelling of its domain name through VeriSign. Through this unlawful business practice, breach of trust, and misuse of the domain name properties, VeriSign is not only enabling itself to profit from its controlling position over the .com and .net domains, but it has begun causing harm to, and unless enjoined will continue causing harm to, numerous Internet companies (such as plaintiff Syncalot herein) as well as to the basic structure of the Internet itself, be unjustly enriched from its acts of unfair competition, and illegally and improperly intercept the electronic communications of users of the Internet.

Plaintiffs bring this action both on an individual and class basis, and also on a representative basis as a private attorney general under the provisions of Section 17200 et seq. of California's Business & Professions Code, for monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 2; for unfair competition and trademark dilution under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a); for cyberpiracy in violation of the Anti- Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA"), 15 U.S.C.A. 1125(d); for illegal interception of electronic communications in violation of Title I of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA"), 18 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.; for unfair, unlawful, misleading, fraudulent and deceptive business practices in violation of California Business & Professions Code Section 17200 et seq.; and for unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief to halt VeriSign's illegal acts and practices before those acts and practices further harm Plaintiffs, the class defined herein, and the general public.

The full version of the filed lawsuit is located here.

By Doug Mehus, Personal Banker
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Share your comments

GODADDY LAWSUIT CHAIM LOWENSTEIN  –  Dec 14, 2008 2:44 AM PDT

Hello,

I am the pro se litigant in a Federal Law Suit against Defendants that include The Go Daddy Group, Inc. d/b/a GoDaddy.com, Inc. and Blue Razor Domains, Inc..

To see complaint either do a Google search or at this URL:

http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-nyedce/case_no-1:2008cv04730/case_id-286605/

I am writing you all to see if you have others who want to file suit against GODADDY and become a class action. If so please feel free to contact me anytime.

CHAIM LOWENSTEIN
Email: info@tsd-shipping.com

Thank you!

Sincerely,
CHAIM LOWENSTEIN

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