Sex.com, VeriSign settle domain name suit

The original owner of the Sex.com domain name has settled his lawsuit against VeriSign, ending a protracted battle over the transfer of the domain.

The settlement comes roughly nine months after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Gary Kremen, who first registered the Sex.com name in 1994, had property rights to the stolen domain and that Network Solutions, then owned by VeriSign, was liable for transferring ownership without proper authorization. The landmark case put domain names in the same playing field as real property, giving them protections similar to a house or a car. "I'm ecstatic that we have reached a settlement, so we can put the case behind us and find peace in knowing that the Ninth Circuit's opinion in the Sex.com case will have an influential role in holding Internet registrars responsible for mishandling their customers' domain name properties," Kremen said in a statement.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. However, sources close to the agreement said it was in excess of $15 million. VeriSign declined to comment on the settlement. Kremen lost his rights to the Sex.com domain name in 1995, when a man named Stephen Cohen contacted Network Solutions and convinced the registrar to authorize transfer of the domain to himself. Cohen claimed in a letter that Kremen's company, "Online Classifieds," did not have an Internet connection and authorized the transfer of the domain name. Network Solutions transferred the domain without contacting Kremen or verifying the authenticity of the letter.

News source: C|net

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