Intellectual Property

Government Returns Seized Domains

Sports domains were nabbed for alleged copyright infringement, then turned back without comment

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The government has decided to return two domain names it improperly seized and held in its possession for well over a year, without so much as an explanation. This time, it was Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org, Puerto 80's popular sports streaming sites, which the government seized back in February 2011.

Following the seizure, Puerto 80 fought back, petitioning the government for return of the domains, noting that its linking activities were not infringing. Indeed, Puerto 80 is a Spanish company, and a Spanish court had already found the sites legal. In a disappointing opinion, the district court disagreed, holding that the government did not have to return the domains. Puerto 80 appealed, and the case was still pending, until today, when the government mysteriously dropped the matter.