Spanish website gets back seized domain names. After 18 months.

By EDRi · September 12, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Spanische Webseite bekommt beschlagnahmte Domain zurück. Nach 18 Monaten. |]

After one year and a half battle with the US authorities, the sports
streaming and download Spanish site Rojadirecta has succeeded in winning
back its domain names, after the authorities dropped the lawsuit against
it on 29 August 2012.

The .org and .com domains of Rojadirecta were seized in January 2011 as
part of operation “Operation In Our Sites”, on a very questionable basis
of intellectual property rights violation, and without any court order.
The site had already been considered as legally operating in Spain by
two Spanish courts.

After the seizure, Rojadirecta continued its operation as usual under
.es and .me domains and decided to fight back and sued the US
government. “We immediately initiated talks with the government,
through our legal representatives in San Francisco and New York, in
order to obtain the return of (our domains). Since it was impossible at
that stage to recover domains amicably, we filed a complaint against the
Government, the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement agency of the United States of America,” said
Rojadirecta’s owner, the Spanish company Puerto 80.

This is not the first case of this type. In 2010 music blog Dajaz1 had
its domain name seized which was returned after more than 12 months. It
turned out that the seizure, initiated by the RIAA, was a mistake.

The concern is that the US government may repeat such abuses without any
consequence for them. “I expect that we may see a few more such cases as
well. Unfortunately, though, we may not get a clear legal ruling telling
the government it can’t do this – meaning that they’ll be free to
continue to abuse their powers in such a manner going forward,” stated
Mark Lemley from Puerto 80 legal team.

U.S. Returns Seized Domains to Streaming Links Site (After 18 Months)

Oops: After Seizing & Censoring Rojadirecta For 18 Months, Feds Give Up
& Drop Case (29.08.2012)

The U.S. Government withdraws complaint against the Rojadirecta domains
and the Court orders their return (up-dated 5.09.2012)

Rojadirecta wins the fight with the USA Government and recovers its
domains (only in Spanish, 30.08.2012)

EDRi-gram 9.3: Spanish sports streaming domain seized by US authorities
without warning (9.02.2011)