(The legal decision is well worth reading. and it's pretty close to being
in English as opposed to legalese ...)
Summary: Way back, Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) was the only game in
town for registering domain names. Kremen registered sex.com, but a
couple of years later NSI slipped up and gave it to Cohen in response
to a forged letter even more transparent than the Niger uranium
documents. It took Kremen five years of court action to get it
back. Oh, and Cohen took off for parts unknown (possibly hiding in
Kremen tried suing NSI for damages. He was turned down in lower court,
but was just reinstated on appeal by the Ninth Circuit.
Key excerpts (cut and pasted from pdf):
"Exposing Network Solutions to liability when it gives away a
registrant's domain name on the basis of a forged letter is no
different from holding a corporation liable when it gives away
someone's shares under the same circumstances.
"Network Solutions made no effort to contact Kremen before giving
away his domain name, despite receiving a *ly suspect letter from a
third party. A jury would be justified in finding it was unreasonably
"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.
Unless Kremen's luck with his bounty hunters improves, Cohen is out of
the picture. The question becomes whether Network Solutions should be
open to liability for its decision to hand over Kremen?s domain
name. Negligent or not, it was Network Solutions that gave away
Kremen's property. Kremen never did anything. It would not be unfair
to hold Network Solutions responsible and force it to try to recoup
its losses by chasing down Cohen.
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]