Originally published: December 13, 2011
Last updated: December 22, 2011 - 1:17pm
The federal government experienced two embarrassing setbacks last week related to Operation In Our Sites, the campaign to seize domain names suspected of being used to infringe copyright.
A federal judge dismissed a forfeiture complaint against the Spanish sports site RojaDirecta.com (though the government is keeping the domain for now). Also last week, the government returned the domain Dajaz1.com, tacitly admitting that it had made a mistake in seizing the domain in the first place. These seizures have raised a lot of questions. Does the government really have the power to seize a domain name, hold it for a year, and then return it without compensating the owner? Is it common for the records of routine property seizures to be sealed? Shouldn't the courts be doing a better job of supervising these seizures?
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