Canadian Connection to Spamhaus Dispute

There is a very interesting dispute developing in the case of  e360Insight, LLC et al. v. The Spamhaus Project, Case No. 06 CV 3958, in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois. 

Spamhaus is a UK-based organization that “blacklists” spammers in a database designed to filter out spam.  The lawsuit started as a complaint by e360 that their company shouldn’t be included in the blacklist.  Spamhaus took the position that, as a UK-based organization, they weren’t subject to the jurisdiction of the US court.  e360 obtained default judgement and an injunction against Spamhaus. Spamhaus has upped the ante by proposing a court order that ICANN should efffectively suspend the domain name of Spamhaus.  ICANN (properly) responded that it “cannot comply with any order requiring it to suspend or any specific domain name because ICANN does not have either the ability or the authority to do so.” [link] This brings in the Canadian connection: the registrar of the domain name is Tucows Inc., a Canadian company.  Registrars do have the authority to deregister domain names (for example, a domain name which is the subject of a transfer order under a UDRP decision). As far as I can see, Tucows hasn’t commented yet.  This poses a classic law-school exam question on internet law: can a US company obtain an order in a US court over a Canadian registrar to enforce its judgement against a UK organization?  We will revisit this story in future posts.


No comments

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.