NAME.SPACE FILES APPEAL IN NSI ANTITRUST CASE
press release from 03-31-99
New York: March 31, 1999--The pioneer Internet Domain Name Registry Name.Space filed an appeal today at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in an ongoing antitrust battle against Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI), the publicly traded Virginia company who was recently granted antitrust immunity by alower court, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Name.Space filed the antitrust suit on March 20, 1997 after NSI refused the company's request to add new toplevel domains to the root directory of the Internet, which NSI controls under a contract with the US Government. On March 19, 1999, two years after the suit was filed, district court Judge Robert P. Patterson ruled in favor of NSI and the NSF, granting NSI immunity from antitrust laws, recognizing NSI's contract with the NSF, and later the NTIA, as protection from prosecution. The Court's opinion also dismissed Name.Space's First Amendment claims stating that domain names are like telephone numbers and are not free speech.Name.Space Founder and CEO, Paul Garrin, comments that "the Court's decision was a political decision and not a legal one. I believe that the Judge did not fully understand this case or the Internet, as he admitted, and would not make a decision on the present legal issues, so he simply rubberstampped the Defandants' briefs. I am glad to take the case on to a higher court where I hope it will be more seriously reviewed."
Name.Space offers new and innovative domain services and new top level domain names (TLDs) such as "art." "cam." "law." "media." and "sex." and hundreds of others which they believe are a needed change to the legacy "com." "org." and "net." domains that have become over-crowded and limit market choice and free expression. Since the beginning of its operations in 1996, Name.Space has processed thousands of requests for new top level domains and believes that the demand will grow as more users connect to the Internet.
Name.Space believes that NSI is unfairly using its monopoly position to control the market while hiding behind its government contract. The artificial scarcity imposed by limiting consumer choice to "com." "org." and "net." has allowed NSI to realize substantial monopoly profits and a huge market capitalization while eliminating competition from firms as such as Name.Space.
Since 1996 Name.Space was the first to have a fully functional real time domain registry specializing in new toplevel domains and later adapted to resell the legacy domains. Name.Space is a leader in developing new services to enhance the domain name system, and bring a wider range of services at a lower cost to the consumer.
Glenn Manishin, lead counsel for Name.Space said that "the district court's decision extends antitrust immunity never contemplated by Congress and would provide blanket protections against any claim for all government contractors. The court's cavallier treatment of the serious First Amendment issues arising from TLDs and internet domain names will merit more rigorous analysis on appeal." Name.Space is confident that it will prevail in the appeal on legal grounds, and intends to pursue its claim for treble damages under the antitrust laws.
For more information, please contact Glenn Manishin at 202.955.6300
or Stephanie Joyce, at 202.955.6300
Name.Space website can be reached at http://TIME-TO.MOVE-OVER.COM