Quick Index
 Adult Industry News
Search AINews Database
Type Keyword or Phrase Here
Advertise with AINews Pornography feminists unshackle their desires and celebrate their sexuality in the patriarchal world

Front Page
Film News
Media News
Business News
Clubs & Appearances
Law & Politics
Internet & Mobile News
Lifestyles Arts Health Charity
Letters to the Editor
Movie Spotlight Reviews
Pornstar Pages
AINews Staff
Ad Rates
PR 101: Press Release Service

Porn for GEEKS! Meet me & my friends!

Kayden Kross at Twistys

July 25, 2003 01:44am
Owner of Stolen "Sex.com" Can Sue VeriSign Court Rules
Source: Reuters
by: Elinor Mills Abreu

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) -- The owner of "sex.com," once considered one of the Internet's hottest addresses, can seek payment from the company that improperly transferred the domain to a "con man" who later fled to Mexico when ordered to pay $65 million, a court ruled on Friday.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that "computer-geek-turned-entrepreneur" Gary Kremen can hold VeriSign Inc.'s Network Solutions unit liable for handing the sex.com Web address over to a "con man."

The decision has widespread implications for companies that register domains, which until now have not been held responsible when Web sites are switched from their rightful owners, a lawyer for the plaintiff said.

"This is a landmark Internet decision," said James Wagstaffe, Kremen's attorney. "It is the first time a court has applied traditional property protections to a domain name."

In April 2001, Stephen Cohen -- who lawyers said turned the sex.com domain into a multimillion-dollar porn empire -- was ordered to pay $65 million in compensation for lost profits and $25 million in punitive damages to Kremen in the largest judgment ever in a domain name theft case.

Kremen had registered the domain in 1994, but lost it the following year and did not recover it until 2000, long after the dot-com boom and bust.

But Kremen has been able to get only a fraction of the money because after the trial Cohen sent his assets out of the country and fled to Tijuana, Mexico, Wagstaffe said.

Kremen sued Network Solutions, the main registry of ".com" addresses which is now a part of VeriSign, charging that the company mishandled his domain name.

He argued he had a property right in the domain and that Network Solutions should be held liable for mistakenly giving it away.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit agreed with him and reversed a federal district court order in favor of Network Solutions, sending the case back to the lower court.


Having recently been released from jail where he was sent after a conviction for impersonating a bankruptcy lawyer, Cohen used a forged letter to trick Network Solutions into transferring the domain to him, according to the appeals court.

The letter claimed that Kremen's business, Online Classifieds, did not have an Internet connection and included a forged signature.

Despite the fact that Network Solutions made no effort to contact Kremen, the lower court exempted the company from liability. The court concluded that although domain names are a form of property, they are intangible and thus not subject to the law governing wrongful taking of another's property.

The appeals court rejected that narrow interpretation, although it affirmed rulings in favor of Network Solutions on two other claims related to breach of contract.

"There is nothing unfair about holding a company responsible for giving away someone else's property even if it was not at fault," the appeals opinion said.

"Cohen is obviously the guilty party here, and the one who should in all fairness pay for his theft. But he's skipped the country, and his money is stashed in some offshore bank account," the written opinion said. "It would not be unfair to hold Network Solutions responsible and force it to try to recoup its losses by chasing down Cohen."

The case took a bizarre turn in 2001 after the district judge declared Cohen a fugitive from justice, signed an arrest warrant and sent the U.S. Marshals after him. Kremen then put a "wanted" poster on his sex.com site with a mug shot of Cohen and offered a $50,000 reward.

Cohen's lawyers asked the district court to vacate the arrest warrant, claiming that Cohen was under house arrest in Mexico and that his life would be threatened by gunfights between lawmen and bounty hunters. The court denied the motion.

The lawyer who represented VeriSign declined to comment and a spokeswoman for VeriSign's Network Solutions unit said the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Kremen, who lives in San Francisco and operates sex.com as a porn portal, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Advertise with AINews

Related Stories

Related Sites - WARNING! Graphic Content



Top Stories

MWA: 02/18/2018

Misty Stone Goes Mainstream

Black Loads Matter

Alexis Amore to Hall of Fame

Baumgartners Wins Best Polyamory

Ryder Wins Best Screenplay

PPK = Porn Party Karaoke

Losers Never Get Laid ~ Reviewer Rated

Pornstar Signature Series

LewdWork Adult Job Board

Scott Taylor Interview

MWA: 01/16/18

Happy New Year 2018

MWA: 12/26/17

MWA: 12/21/17

2018 AVN Awards Nominees

MWA: 12/16/17

MWA: 12/10/17

MWA: 12/09/17

A Season for Hope

MWA: 12/06/17

MWA: 12/05/17

Gonzo with Eddie Powell

Guild Demands New HIV Testing!

ED Award Winners

MWA: 11/07/17

Burlesque Documentary

Farrah Abraham Fired for Porn Return

Heaven and Hell 2017

Stories From

Law & Politics

Prop 60, Part One

Prop 60, Part Two

Official APAG Statement

Darling Running for Assembly

Possible Identity Theft

Bunny Ranch Special

Prop 60 Defeated

Tarts for Trump

Darcy Tyler Jailed

Weiner Offered Media Director

Julia Ann Against Prop 60

Pedophile Olympic Coaches Exposed

Law & Politics Section Index

Alice Polls Her Clients

What Prop 60 Really Is

IEAU Statement on Prop 60

FLOTUS Shatters Porn Search Records

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Offered $50K

Cruz Receives Porn Offer

Performers File Unpaid Wage Claims

Candidate Sex Tape Scandal

Donald Trump Porn Parody

Sex with Donald Trump

Hof Runs for Senate

Hookers for Hillary

Adult's Achilles Heel

AHF's Hidden Agenda

Pistol, Ross Talk Condoms

Modern Comstockery

Hof on Phoenix Hooker Bust

Cal/OSHA vs Evil Angel

Pornstar Graduates Law School

AHF Against AB 999

CraigsErotica Letter to Senators

Amazon Crushes Small Business

Letter of Equality

ASACP Service Recognition Award

Suit Filed Challenging Measure B

ASACP Ready For Internext

Octomom Loses Civil Suit


Crakmedia ASACP Corporate Sponsor

Mo Reese Statement

CAM4 Newest ASACP Sponsor

Takedown Piracy Removes 10,000,000

Three Stooges Porn Controversy

Suing: Wasn't Sexy Enough

Lords of Acid Censored

Nate Glass on CNBC

Copyright © 1998 - 2018 Adult Industry News (AINews.com)
All materials constituting text, articles, press releases, stories, columns, photographs, graphics, and code on the AINews.com domain are protected by copyright, and either owned by Adult Industry News (AINews.com), or reproduced with permission from other copyright owners. It may be downloaded and printed for personal reference, but not otherwise copied, altered in any way, or transmitted to others, without the written permission of Adult Industry News (AINews.com).