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NSI dodges naughty domain name lawsuit

Refuses to register "f***me.com"

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Network Solutions has dodged a lawsuit over its refusal to register domain names containing naughty words.

The saga started when Company Island Online wanted to register several obscene URLs, includiing: "f***me.com;" f***you.com" and "c***s***.com". But clean-living execs at NSI took the moral high-ground and refused.

Meanwhile, Company Online claims it lost the rights to the names - and their high commercial value - as others snapped them up through different registrars while it was scrapping with NSI. It tried to sue NSI and the National Science Foundation, the federal government agency that gave NSI domain name registration powers in 1993, for civil rights violations.

But US District Judge David G. Trager pointed out that the domain name registration field was no longer a monopoly. There are around 35 domain name registrars that Company Online could have approached, so it was not deprived of its right to free speech.

Judge Trager also said other people had approached NSI to register the same dirty domains before Company Island. So if the plaintiff was allowed to sue, a whole flock of lawsuits from the others would no doubt follow," the New York Law Journal reported.

"NSI would potentially have to pay a theoretically endless series of judgments to every plaintiff to emerge out of the woodwork for an injury that only a single party could have actually sustained," he said. ®

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