Kentucky Judge: Domain Seizure Case Can Proceed

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogAccording to Fox 17 in Nashville, Tennessee, the presiding judge ruling on the state of Kentucky’s seizure of 141 gambling-related domain names has refused to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge said that he will hear arguments a month from tomorrow – November 17th – before deciding whether or not to give control of the 141 domain names to the government of the state of Kentucky.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I was really surprised. Even if the gambling sites block Kentucky residents, can’t Kentucky residents just use an Anonymous Web Surfing software apps or sites (say located in California)?

  2. Elliot
    There is some really scary language in this decision that goes way beyond the 141 domains and gambling domains.
    The court dismissed the argument that a domain name’s presence is where it is owned or housed, essentially ruling that Internet domain issues are matters which individual states, even “municipalities” have a right to adjudicate.
    That means any town, city county, can pass a law and seize domains that violate the law.
    I still think Geo and Adult names have the greatest jeopardy, but many types of domains might have a problem down the line.
    We moved all our domains to an offshore registrar last month.
    The registrar is a ICANN accredited registrar located in the Bahamas.
    Domains are incredible valuable assets and you should take whatever steps you can to protect them.

  3. I absolutely agree with Michael Berkins.
    If this no name judge from down under Kentucky can follow through and take away virtual real estate, then there is no way any registrar in the United States will stay in business!
    Any domainer in his right mind will move his names out of country, because if the ruling favours Kentucky the domain WAR is on. There will be many more lawsuit’s coming from different states.
    I personally see GEO names also being in danger.

  4. I dont see what Geo domains have to do with this at all…online gambling is “illegal” in the United States…Geographic sites are not…what part of Illegal dont people understand…I dont agree with how these names are being taken but it’s apples and oranges.

  5. Well Tim,
    check up on rules when you register Geo Names in other CC endings. Example .de which has the 2 nd highest registration after .com .
    One day the German Government just put a stop on registering GEO names. Most GEO owners at that time lost there names to the German Government and the names where transferred to the city as rightful owners.
    There are very many city’s in the U.S. really pisst off, not having control over there generic .com city name. They are loosing millions on income.
    It’s only a matter of time until judge Smart Ass shows up. In there non domainer eyes we are all so called “cybersquatters – People which profit off famous names”.

  6. Tim,
    I too absolutely agree with Michael Berkins. Your arguement of one is “illegal” and one is not, and they are apples and oranges, is what will be argued after they have been taken away. Hopefully, this decision will be overturned. If not it will be used and abused to take away just about anything.

  7. A higher court will end up tossing this ridiculously overreaching and baseless case out the window.
    Were it to stand, and set a precedent, every site on the Web would be at risk.

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