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A Californian e-entrepreneur has won $65 million in damages over a stolen domain name.

US District Judge James Ware awarded Gary Kremen $40 million in lost revenue and $25 million in damages for the URL sex.com, one of the most popular destinations on the Net.

The decision ended a five-year saga over the domain, which was stolen from Kremen by Stephen Cohen.

Kremen originally registered sex.com in 1994, but did not develop a site to accompany it - a year later Cohen was able to acquire it after forging domain name registrar documents.

He then used it to run a porn site, which generated up to 25 million hits per day.

In November Judge Ware ruled Cohen had nicked the domain and ordered him to return it to Kremen.

But Kremen may have a hard time getting his hands on the $65 million payout as Cohen has gone AWOL. He did not turn up for court dates and is believed to be hiding in Mexico, with cash from the business resting in offshore bank accounts. There is a warrant out for his arrest should he return to the US.

Cohen reportedly netted up to $60,000 a month from banner ads when he was running the sex.com porn site. ®

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