Shortly after complying to British police by seizing domains of torrent sites, registrars are now ordered by ICANN to release the domains.
A few days back, VR-Zone reported that the British police had demanded domain name registrars to take down the domains of several file sharing sites. The police explain that the takedown requests were voluntary and based on only on potential breaches of the domains’ terms and conditions. Now it seems that the registrars who complied with the request could face disciplinary action by ICANN, the body in charge of managing IP addresses. They have been ordered to release all the affected domains.
The request for seizing domains is the latest effort by the London police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit to stop file-sharing, and the tactic seemed to lack any hint of due process. There also aren’t any legal rulings which would determine if the effected sites are actually illegal under UK laws. This outraged Canadian registrar EasyDNS, which refused to comply with the Police’s request.
“Any of those registrars that actually complied with the UK requests to bring down the torrent domains must allow those domains to simply transfer out, or they themselves will be in violation of the ICANN transfers policy,” said EasyDNS CEO Mark Jeftovic in an interview with TorrentFreak. Registrars can otherwise only take down a domain name if it was paid for fraudulently, or if the takedown is court ordered (which, again, it wasn’t).
Extratorrent.com was one of the sites taken down after the UK police’s request
Failing to release the seized domains will land registrars in a heap of trouble, as they will have to battle ICANN’s Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy. In all likelyhood, says the EasyDNS CEO, they will lose that battle.