8114 – ICANN, You Can’t


You get notice your domain name is about to expire, so you simply renew it.  Right?  It sounds simple, but the world of domain names on the internet just got a lot more complicated as the result of the case of the Coalition of ICANN Transparency v. Verisign.  ICANN stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and is a non-profit oversight body that coordinates the internet domain name system.  ICANN contracted with Verisign which is the sole operator of the dot com and dot net domain name registries and getting a fee for each name.  The problem is there was no real competition for the Verisign contract and the Coalition, which includes website owners sued, arguing that Verisign and ICANN conspired to restrain trade.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held the case can go forward and that nonprofit, standard setting organizations, such as ICANN, are covered by the antitrust laws and have to play fair.  So, we’ll still be able to register our domain names, but those who hold domain over the domain will have to cross the T’s and dot the net.


Coalition for ICANN Transparency, Inc. v. Verisign, Inc., Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 07-16151, June 5, 2009, Schroeder, J., U.S. Law Week, Vol. 77, No. 48, Pg. 1763, 6-16-09