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GoDaddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the lawyers-guns-and-money dept.

176

crush writes, "An Irish website RateYourSolicitor.com, which aims to let clients find and rate solicitors (a British Isles flavor of lawyer), has received an Irish High Court injunction to remove defamatory material about one such rated solicitor. The site is hosted by a US provider, gmax.net, which has reportedly been served notice by lawyers acting for the defamed solicitor. According to the article, GoDaddy, as the domain name registrar, has locked access to the site (registration or bugmenot required). (Amusingly, the records are all for a 'John Smith' in the Russian Federation at 'lawyercatcher@lawyer.com'!) An interesting twist to all of this is that according to the Communications Decency Act, an ISP, as a publisher, cannot be held responsible or legally liable for what their clients do. So how can GoDaddy justify this censorship? Or are registrars the weak link in a system that seems like it ought to be robust against censorship?"

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176 comments

Maybe not censorship? (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120830)

Perhaps GoDaddy is blocking them not out of pure censorship, but because this scandal has revealed that one of the domains they manage doesn't have correct WHOIS information, which many registrars require in the TOS?

Re:Maybe not censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120855)

Oh yeah. That's it... Just palyin' by the rules, GoDaddy is...

Re:Maybe not censorship? (1)

Shkuey (609361) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120864)

That would be giving a company the benefit of the doubt we they havent yet responded to accusations. We don't do that around here.

Re:Maybe not censorship? Maybe cowardice? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120883)

Simply...

Who isn't going to avoid a lawsuit if they can help it?

This seems to be the ONLY example I have found in dealing with
Godaddy of them ACTUALLY TAKING ACTION and responding to something.

Probably because this time, it was THEIR ass on the line, not clients'.

So... they get a gold star for choking and successfully spitting up.

Grats.

GoDaddy, cowardice, and non-free speech. (5, Informative)

mbauser2 (75424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121049)

I worked in GoDaddy's tech support department for a little while many years ago. They struck me as a little spineless when it comes to real controversy (as opposed to the manufactured controversy of some of their ads). GoDaddy's AUP is a lot tougher than their competitors, giving them permission to yank a domain for saying the wrong thing.

Check out this excerpt from their Registration Agreement [godaddy.com]:

Go Daddy may also cancel the registration of a domain name, after thirty (30) days, if that name is being used, as determined by Go Daddy in its sole discretion, in association with spam or morally objectionable activities. Morally objectionable activities will include, but not be limited to: activities designed to defame, embarrass, harm, abuse, threaten, slander or harass third parties; activities prohibited by the laws of the United States and/or foreign territories in which You conduct business; activities designed to encourage unlawful behavior by others, such as hate crimes, terrorism and child pornography; activities that are tortious, vulgar, obscene, invasive of the privacy of a third party, racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable; activities designed to impersonate the identity of a third party; and activities designed to harm or use unethically minors in any way.


It's not exactly a free-speech-friendly contract, is it? You can lose your registration for embarrassing someone. This is why I never moved any of my domains to GoDaddy when I was working for them. You can't count on them to stay out of legal battles that other registrars would ignore. Instead, they'll kill your registration, and expect to be patted on the back for being good citizens.

Sometimes, I think their real problem is that they want everyone to like them.

Re:GoDaddy, cowardice, and non-free speech. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121794)

And yet the owner of godaddy posted a blog post in which he extolled the virtues of torture. Ethics, huh?

Censorship by any other name... (4, Interesting)

schwaang (667808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120888)

A broadly-worded TOS is the way that ISPs in countries like America perform censorship.

We ostensibly have freedom of speech, and don't legally ban things like hate speech as they do in France, for example. Instead we use our corporations to enforce the same kinds of restrictions against "offensive content" and such.

In this case, GoDaddy's TOS includes this gem:
Go Daddy reserves the right to terminate Services if Your usage of the Services results in, or is the subject of, legal action or threatened legal action, against Go Daddy or any of its affiliates or partners, without consideration for whether such legal action or threatened legal action is eventually determined to be with or without merit.


So any jackass could shut you down by threatening to sue GoDaddy. Niiiice.

"Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one."

[TOS = "Terms of Service", you know -- the huge page of small print that you scroll past in order to click the "I agree" button.]

Re:Censorship by any other name... (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120954)

So any jackass could shut you down by threatening to sue GoDaddy. Niiiice.

So find yourself another host. One with pockets so deep they don't have to worry about limiting their exposure. Good luck on that one.

Re:Censorship by any other name... (5, Informative)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121002)

Side note: "your" freedom of speech is one predicated on government involvement. Specifically, the lack therein. It does not, however, compel a newspaper to print your article or letter to the editor. It merely prevents the government (in theory) deciding for the newspaper that it won't. The newspaper is still free to deny your article for any reason, whether trivial (it spelled "its" wrong) or conspiratorial ("for the common good").

Similarly, ISPs are free to restrict who gets to use their service. (Of course, there are other repercussions here - if they take an overtly active role in this, for example, they lose common-carrier status, and thus become liable for everything, where "overtly" and "active" are loosely defined based on case law.) If GoDaddy doesn't want to provide service to pornographers or spammers, that's their business. If GoDaddy has a weak stomach for lawsuits, that, too, is their business. However, even if they do have a strong stomach for lawsuits, their TOS says that they reserve the right to make decisions to terminate service unilaterally based on their perception of the lawsuit. The "with or without merit" part is simply a cover-your-ass statement that says that you and they could even disagree about the winnability of a lawsuit, but they still get to make the call. That's there just because someone got sued at some point in the past for doing something like capitulating over what turned out to be nothing, I'm sure.

So, please. Do not bring up freedom of speech. Your constitutional amendment to that effect is irrelevant. At least to this situation.

(Disclaimer: nothing in here says you are wrong for disliking GoDaddy. Just as you're free to express your view, I am mine. I'm not preventing you from blaming free speech - just trying to explain it a bit more.)

Re:Censorship by any other name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121067)

they lose common-carrier status

ISPs are not common carriers and never have been. The FCC confirmed this back in 1997 when AOL tried to have it both ways in separate lawsuits (claiming they were in one suit and then not long after claiming they weren't). The DMCA grants ISPs a "safe harbor" provision if they follow procedure, but that's the closest they get.

"A 'common carrier' has a legislatively-granted monopoly over a particular route, region, or type of communications. In return, the carrier must carry everything and has no right to reject particular passengers or communications."

This clearly does not apply to ISPs, there is no legislated monopoly on internet service. Sure only Cox can provide internet over cable lines in their legislatively mandated are (in most places anyway, some places force cable providers to share), but SBC can offer DSL, some other company can offer WiMax and yet another company can offer satellite.

Re:Censorship by any other name... (2, Insightful)

Rotund Prickpull (818980) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121143)

The FCC confirmed this back in 1997

Since when did the the F (as in Federal) CC have jurisdiction in Ireland, you daft cunt?

Re:Censorship by any other name... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121376)

Never, you fucking illiterate troll. The post I replied to was going on about "common carrier" status and "Constituional rights", which are American concepts. It's actually possible to have discussions that are related to, but not actually about, the topic at hand. I know it's difficult for someone named Fat Wanker to comprehend, but it's true.

Re:Censorship by any other name... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121446)

Ireland's just a US puppet, sorry. If the USA wants it, Ireland's its little prison bitch. The americans have a permanent military base on ireland's west coast now - shannon "airport" was pretty much handed over to them (the Irish state deployed tanks against irish citizens during protests about this, by the way. It's every Irish person's duty to overthrow the current Irish state, at this stage.)

Don't you get it? (4, Interesting)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121097)

Freedom from Government censorship isn't worth anything when corporations can make an end run around them and shut you up.

You can't go anywhere now and put out fliers because there's ordninances against it. You can't broadcast online because ISP's shut you down when you say something "objectionable enough".

We need free speech zones on the internet that do not depend on corporations or Government.

Re:Don't you get it? (3, Insightful)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121126)

We need free speech zones on the internet that do not depend on corporations or Government.

It's called your computer. Specifically, for you, the one you own.

You have the Freedom of Speech. Nowhere is it written that you have Freedom of Easy-to-Access Speech or the Freedom of Everyone-has-to-help-you-so-ISP's-gimme-a-cable-li ne Speech.

Re:Don't you get it? (2, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121284)

You have the Freedom of Speech. Nowhere is it written that you have Freedom of Easy-to-Access Speech

Tell me, Mr. Infernal, what good is a phone call... if you are unable to speak?

Re:Don't you get it? (4, Insightful)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121489)

Tell me, Mr. Infernal,

Technically speaking, using the rules of English, that's Mr. Device. Be that as it may ...

what good is a phone call... if you are unable to speak?

Let's see here. There's pen and paper (could get your hands lopped off or perhaps your eyes gouged out) or ultimately, you can still walk out the door and communicate directly with your supplicants.

I get the general gist of your argument - really, I do. But you need to understand that no one person, corporation, business, or other entity is required to help you with whatever your mission is. Count yourself lucky that for the most part, these businesses aren't too worried about it - it's a side effect of the communications business that you have the ability to spread your screed over a wide area.

But it doesn't have to be that way and you should not count on it if what you have to say is particularly disturbing to the rest of society (or even some small part of it - as long as it's influential). Ultimately, you are only guaranteed the Freedom, not the means to utilize it in a convenient manner.

Mod parent up. (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121531)

Ultimately, you are only guaranteed the Freedom, not the means to utilize it in a convenient manner.

Mod parent up. So few people seem to get this.

Re:Don't you get it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121719)

But you need to understand that no one person, corporation, business, or other entity is required to help you with whatever your mission is.

The problem is that increasingly, people and corporations seem to be actively impeding, not just "not helping".

No, I get it. (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121632)

Yeah, I used to think like that as well. Free speech doesn't apply to corporations or private web sites and all that.

However, do you really want to live in a place where Freedom of Speech is merely a hypothetical idea rather than a practical truth? Is the US really a better place than China, Russia or any other country when freedom of speech only exists when it doesn't offend anyone? Do you have freedom of speech if anyone can shut down your speech?

Re:Don't you get it? (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121137)

"Freedom from Government censorship isn't worth anything when corporations can make an end run around them and shut you up."

So, you would force them to behave as you would wish? Against their free will? Nice.

There is no issue of freedom of speech as the parent said. You are free to set up the same service and not cave to whomever. No freedom of speech issue, regardless of your desire to cloak your agenda.

"You can't go anywhere now and put out fliers because there's ordninances against it."

That is a blatant lie as far as the US is concerned.

'You can't broadcast online because ISP's shut you down when you say something "objectionable enough".'

That is the perogative of the ISP, since it's their machinery, not yours. Again, you believe you have the right to force them to do something they don't wish to why?

Re:Don't you get it? (0)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121602)

The article is idiotic. The CDA is a US law, it has absolutely no force in Ireland which has the right to treat the CDA as so much bogroll if it choses.

The CDA does not provide an exemption for an ISP after they have been put on notice that there is copyright infringing material. The UK equivalent does not provide an exemption for libel after notice. I would expect the Irish authorities to have taken a similar approach.

Re:Don't you get it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121696)

The CDA is a US law,
And the website is on a US server and uses a US DNS registrar

it has absolutely no force in Ireland
Which has absolutely nothing do with the article. RTFA idiot.

DNS Registrar free speech zone (2, Informative)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121650)

OpenNIC [wikipedia.org] is an alternative DNS root that does not depend on such corporations. Registering a non-ICANN toplevel domain under an opennic registrar would be good insurance against this kind of thing. Even going strictly with ICANN, registering more than one top level domain under different registrars is good insurance.

Re:Don't you get it? (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121670)

You can't go anywhere now and put out fliers because there's ordninances against it.

You never could go "anywhere" to hand out fliers. You can hand out fliers on your property, and on public property. You cannot hand out your fliers on someone else's property.

It sounds to me like you've never tried. Every lunchtime where I live there are dozens of people standing on the streetcorners handing out leaflets for various sandwich joints. It's all perfectly legal. You should go outside and try stuff, instead of sitting in your basement complaining.

Re:Censorship by any other name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121255)

So, please. Do not bring up freedom of speech. Your constitutional amendment to that effect is irrelevant.

Spoken like a true fascist.

Re:Censorship by any other name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121346)

And responded like a true jackass. "Damn these provable statements of fact!" Moron.

no.. (4, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121402)

There is a difference betweeen denying service at request, and denying service after a client has been accepted and paid for his services.

No landlord, once the person has signed a lease, is allowed to evict their tenant for things like voting habits, their tendency to protest their favorite political party, their tendency to denounce the company they work for, etc.

If they tried it they could be sued into destitution.

The same thing with wrongful termination. While empolyers have the right to not hire you, once you are hired theyre not allowed to fire you for things like the hobbies you keep in your spare time or your political affiliation.

Finally, and most importantly, with increased power or wealth comes increased responsibility. Webhosting companies, like corporations who dominate a geographic area in terms of employment opportunity, estensibly have power rivaling a government and carrying the same weight.. as such they should be held to the same constitutional standards as the government, otherwise those constitutional guarantees don't mean jack.

Re:no.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121449)

No landlord, once the person has signed a lease, is allowed to evict their tenant for things like voting habits, their tendency to protest their favorite political party, their tendency to denounce the company they work for, etc.

Only because it's not in the lease. If I rent an apartment to you, and in the fine print of the lease I say that you have to do x, y, and z (or refrain from doing them), or I'll evict you, then that's part of the contract. Of course, no-one would ever sign a lease like that, so landlords would never write one.

IANAL, etc.

Re:no.. (1)

portmapper (991533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121951)

> Finally, and most importantly, with increased power or wealth comes increased responsibility.

With enough power or wealth you don't have to take any responsibility, and you can
get away with just about any crime.

Re:Censorship by any other name... (1)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121674)

Lets look at the wider picture of things. Some might argue this bit more extremist and suffice to say that government should manage vital resources like the such. The other side will call this communism.

Essentially, with democracy + free market + bill of rights, these rights are only guaranteed if you have lots of money.

Re:Censorship by any other name... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121030)

...in countries like America...


America isn't a country, jackass

Are you surprised? (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121699)

So any jackass could shut you down by threatening to sue GoDaddy. Niiiice.

You have GoDaddy charging next to nothing for domain names and you expect to get the same service you'd get from a real registrar? C'mon.

Not exactly! (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120965)

I dealt with godaddy. After Ben and Justin stopped heading up the anti-spam department, their response to phony whois information has become disappointing.

This is not just somebody threatening to sue. This is a solicitor/lawyer threatening to sue. Of course a threat is not a lawsuit, but a lawyer threatening to sue on their own behalf and then filing a lawsuit is more likely than someone who has to pay an attorney $300/hour.

I had an attorney not take my threat of filing a suit seriously, until I provided him with a 7 page complaint the next morning. I had a porn spammer dare me to sue them. Boy he was suprised when I actually sued.

Re:Maybe not censorship? (1)

dracocat (554744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121091)

Agreed!

If you are going to have a any sort of domain that may cause any kind of controversy the first thing you need is an acurate address. I have had a couple domains shut down because of this.

All it takes is one person who doesn't agree with you to report your domain name WHOIS information as inacurate!

Re:Maybe not censorship? (1)

Mariabizdev (1003252) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121355)

OK, TOS is a good point. But does GoDaddy's TOS include specific languages about their aboslute choice of what they post -- beyond pornography, and the other 'standard boilerplate?' What are the broader implications for Web 2.0? Do ISPs, and other services essential to displaying the user-created content decide what will or will not be posted? This can be serious; another gold mine for lawyers. Gotta a bunch of good lawyer to comment on this? ;)

NOT THE BRITISH ISLES (0, Troll)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121382)

That would be the Republic of Ireland, thanks.

Re:NOT THE BRITISH ISLES (1)

Edzor (744072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121759)

The editor was trying convey meaning of the word solicitor to reader who wouldn't be familiar it. Using the geographical term British Isles is perfectly correct, since the word is widely used there, not just in RoI.

(-1, Wrong) (3, Informative)

El Long (863542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121939)

The Republic Of Ireland (Eire) is in fact part of the British Isles. The British Isles consists of Great Britain and Ireland. It is not part of the United Kingdom. This confusion seems to come up a lot.

Re:NOT THE BRITISH ISLES (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121953)

Why on Earth mod this insightful? This intolerant pedantic racist piece of Irish nationalism is simply factually just plain wrong.

The Republic of Ireland is contained within the geographic area of the British Isles. That's not politics, it's geography. Which obviously neither those of you who modded this insightful, nor the original poster have ever studied.

Re:Maybe not censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121507)

Seems like a bit of a Pat and Mike show according to the only other site with information on this case. Dressing this whole thing up as censorship is an exaggeration.
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/78436 [indymedia.ie]

Re:Maybe not censorship? (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121904)

Perhaps GoDaddy is blocking them not out of pure censorship, but because this scandal has revealed that one of the domains they manage doesn't have correct WHOIS information, which many registrars require in the TOS?

GoDaddy has a record of "shoot first ask questions later" when it comes to whois details. A previous employer used to have his domains shut down several times a year because the whois info pointed to the Dominican Republic and Godaddy just couldn't get their heads around the fact that the address was legit even if it looked strange. He eventually moved everything to a new registar to fix it.

So your probably exactly right.

There is no provisions in law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120838)

For this kind of behaviour. This is clearly an excercise in risk management by a company which wishes to conduct busines in europe and uk.

registration or bugmenot required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120858)

For some reason I found that funny. "You need to register. Or not."

DNS is the Achilles heel of the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120885)

Re:DNS is the Achilles heel of the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120904)

No home page, no docs, no downloads.

I'll bite: what the hell is p2pdns?

Re:DNS is the Achilles heel of the Internet (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120928)

Assuming from the name it is a service for DNS using peer to peer protocol rather then using a central server.

What Do You Expect For 8.95? (2, Insightful)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120896)

If this really is censorship (and if it isn't why didn't they just go get a defamation judgement entered in the US and get the site host to take it down?) it would certainly be nice if GoDaddy stood up to it. However, standing up to legal challenges takes a lot of money and when they are only getting 8.95 for your domain they can hardly afford to defend these legal cases.

Frankly you get what you pay for. I'm a happy GoDaddy customer but I if I wanted a registrar who will stand up under legal challenges I don't think it would be unreasonable to switch to a registrar who charges more per domain.

Re:What Do You Expect For 8.95? More than this (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121005)

if I wanted a registrar who will stand up under legal challenges I don't think it would be unreasonable to switch to a registrar who charges more per domain.

Your argument might be valid if they had to defend every domain from legal challenges. But they don't. Nobody does. And by standing up against the few challenges for the many domains they manage along the way, they probably both reduce the likelihood of future challenges (especially if they seek repayment of legal fees afterwards each time they win) and increase their desirability as a registrar which would result in more business.

Think of this like insurance. A lot of people pay small amounts in order that a few large claims can be paid every year. You'd sure be a lot happier when it came time to pay your own claim now, wouldn't you?

Your logic is bad. (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121930)

What if GoDaddy only charged $5 per year for domains? Or $2? At what point is the domain so cheap that the cost of ANY litigation is not factored in?

It's quite reasonable that for $8.95/month, GoDaddy can't afford your 'insurance', and if you want to participate in 'domain name lawsuit insurance', you'll have to go with a provider who provides it, and charges $14.95/yr, or more.

Re:What Do You Expect For 8.95? (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121013)

If this really is censorship (and if it isn't why didn't they just go get a defamation judgement entered in the US and get the site host to take it down?)

Um, because they aren't IN the US? 1. The US would not have jurisdiction against the Defendant, since he's apparently an Irishman, in Ireland. 2. US courts would have no reason to judge the case, since basically everything about it (except for a few servers) is in Ireland. All the evidence and witnesses are in Ireland. 3. It's going to be governed by Irish law. A US court isn't going to want to deal with trying to interpret Irish law unless they absolutely have to... and they don't.

Besides, why would the plaintiff want to travel all the way to the US to sue her own countryman? It makes no sense.

If chewbacca is a wookie from the planet Endor, you must acquit.

Re:What Do You Expect For 8.95? (1)

hereticmessiah (416132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121551)

Um, because they aren't IN the US?


Precisely correct! And I wish more people on /. would realise that US law does not apply in other jurisdictions.

The real problem with the site is, as anybody who knows Irish law knows, Irish defamation, slander and libel law is very strong, arguably too strong, and is often used by individuals to prevent news coverage of something that involves. That's the law that applies here, and why the site is under fire.

Re:What Do You Expect For 8.95? (1)

El Long (863542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121983)

I wish more people on /. would realise that US law does not apply in other jurisdictions.

Gee, I wish more people IN THE US realised that US law does not apply in other jurisdictions.

/flamebait

:)

Re:What Do You Expect For 8.95? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121062)

it would certainly be nice if GoDaddy stood up to it. However, standing up to legal challenges takes a lot of money and when they are only getting 8.95 for your domain they can hardly afford to defend these legal cases.

Couldn't they have sent the GoDaddy girl to testify before Irish lawmakers? She seemed to hit it off pretty well with the US Congress.

Who's Your Daddy (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120906)

GoDaddy's IPO attempt failed [bobparsons.com] last month, as their Net company continues to lose money. They're spinning as "we didn't want to go public, anyway". But maybe they've got bigger problems.

After all, GoDaddy is owned by a Conservative [bobparsons.com] making his fortune from domain squatting [google.com]. I expect there's quite a lot going on under the hood. I'm looking forward to his explanation, as are many, many people who registered with GoDaddy who expect due process before sudden shutdown.

Re:Who's Your Daddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121104)

Thanks - that explains some of the obvious astroturfing in this discussion.

Re:Who's Your Daddy (2, Insightful)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121718)

How is it relavant that he's conservative? Is this person somehow more evil than a liberal making his fortune from domain squatting? If you're going to put it in there, you should explain it, unless you're just trolling.

Not a surprise (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120912)

People shouldn't be surprised that lawyers are litigious.

Seriously, I'm not surprised. It's been a controversial idea in Ireland and there's really not much of an ability to defend your reputation without resorting to tougher measures. There was a lot of similar controversy with ratemyteacher.com when some of the allegations made on the site were troubling. In some cases the site was used to make (false) allegations of sexual and/or physical abuse. Teachers were rightly outraged.

To be fair I think that there are many incompetent and/or unscrupulous lawyers who don't do a good job of representing their clients. Many people I know have had problems in this regard. It's a service but it's also something that allows solicitors to bad mouth their rivals.

Re:Not a surprise (2, Informative)

Mike Myatt (1003237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120959)

I like a good lawyer joke just like anyone else, but lawyers in and of themselves are not the problem. There are good and bad service providers within any sector, so why should the legal sector be held to a higher standard? The reality is that there are glitches in the legal system and many people don't understand how to manage the legal process. For more insight into this issue you can read "The Truth About Lawyers" http://www.n2growth.com/blog/?p=12? [n2growth.com]

Re:Not a surprise (5, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121077)

>why should the legal sector be held to a higher standard?

A car mechanic who does a bad job can waste money and cause inconvenience. Lawers abusing the system can shut down entire industries, for example light aircraft manufacturing.

An electrician who does a bad job can make someone's house burn down. A lawyer who does a bad job can let a client go to Death Row (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid= 17&did=442).

A floor tile installer who does a bad job can shake someone's faith in floor tile installers. A lawyer who does a bad job can shake the trust in the court system that holds society together.

Re:Not a surprise (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121470)

While I agree with you, this example isn't a good one:

A car mechanic who does a bad job can waste money and cause inconvenience.

Said car mechanic could potentially cause death and destruction, if their work screws up the car's brakes or accelerator, etc. In fact, even the bad floor tile installer could lead to someone being injured (or even killed, if particularly unlucky), if they slip or trip on the tiles.

All the examples you quote could lead to people dying. I agree, though, that in terms of maximum likely damage, lawyers have greater potential to do harm.

Re:Not a surprise (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121102)

Yeah, in related news the owners of RateYourPsyco.com were found hacked to death with their entrails arranged in the words "rate this!".

RateYourPsyco.com's registrar was not available for comment.

Re:Not a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121159)

Yeah that sounds a bit like the case of People vs. RateYourMindControlBeam.com.
But I can't quite remember the details.

Re:Not a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121201)

Here in the US, once they take on a business status, any form of "defamation" goes out the window. Just because they are an individual does not degate the fact that it is STILL a business. And a person has every right to tell the world how much someones service they paid for stinks.

As far as the teacher thing though, that is entirely different.

How is it censorship... (1)

merc (115854) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120914)

If you violate the terms of your registrar's AUP (acceptable-use policy) then you only have your self to blame, you've broken a contract.

Also, it *sounds* as though the domain was registered with fraudulent information (okay, I guess there *could* be a John Smith in Russia). If this is true it would be a violation of ICANN's policy on domain registration, not GoDaddy's.

Re:How is it censorship... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121334)

When the AUP says "if anybody threatens to sue we will drop you regardless of whether the complaint has merit", you blame yourself? Tina, don't go back with Ike. Get yourself to a shelter.

WHOIS (3, Informative)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120930)

Registrant:
John Smith
krasnaya ploschad
Moskva 00000
Russian Federation

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: RATEYOURSOLICITOR.COM
Created on: 02-Jul-05
Expires on: 02-Jul-10
Last Updated on: 15-Jul-05

Administrative Contact:
Smith, John lawyercatcher@lawyer.com
krasnaya ploschad
Moskva 00000
Russian Federation
714987650

Technical Contact:
Smith, John lawyercatcher@lawyer.com
krasnaya ploschad
Moskva 00000
Russian Federation
714987650

Domain servers in listed order:
PARK13.SECURESERVER.NET
PARK14.SECURESERVER.NET

Registry Status: REGISTRAR-LOCK
Registry Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Registry Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Registry Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registry Status: clientRenewProhibited

Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120941)

An interesting twist to all of this is that according to the Communications Decency Act [CC], an ISP, as a publisher, cannot be held responsible or legally liable for what their clients do. So how can GoDaddy justify this censorship?

The Communications Deceny Act is American law. That doesn't insulate you from the law of the U.K.

The CD Act protects ISPs from liability for third-party content. Not from content that the ISP creates or publishes itself. You might want to host MySpace. You might not want to own MySpace.

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120970)

What does UK law have to do with Irish law?

Irish law has pretty strong anti-defamatory penalties, mostly due to thrashy tabloid rags making up stories about corrupt, er, nice politicians. And they can applied to pretty much everyone down the chain: author, editor, publisher.

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16120982)

s/the U.K./Ireland/;

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (2, Informative)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121066)

Ireland is not in the U.K. so the laws there have absolutely no bearing on this situation. It is my understanding that the Irish fought against British occupation for several centuries and then topped it off with a war from 1916 to 1922. There's a good new movie out called The Wind that Shakes the Barley [imdb.com] about it.

So, a better question might be, are US hosted websites and registrars under the control of Irish courts? I don't understand how an Irish court ruling makes any difference to a US company. What other countries' courts exercise legal control over US ISPs and registrars?

gmax.net didn't (as I understand it) create the content. They just host the website whose content is presumably created in Ireland, so the Comm.Dec.Act should apply. It's not gmax.net's legal obligation, nor presumably is it GoDaddy's. It's just that GoDaddy apparently will pull the plug on us as soon as someone even threatens to sue!

From digging around a bit more I see that there's a companion website called CrookedLawyers.com [crookedlawyers.com] put out by people called "Victims of the Legal Profession".

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (0, Troll)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121155)

Ireland is not in the U.K.

It's a typo. So sue me.

I don't understand how an Irish court ruling makes any difference to a US company. What other countries' courts exercise legal control over US ISPs and registrars?

It is very, very, tempting to say that, according to Slashdot, "any court that lets you download what you want but can't get at home."

The truth is that the big ISPs probably have sufficient corporate presence and investment abroad that they cannot afford to ignore local law and customs.

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (1)

cianduffy (742890) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121330)

It's a typo. So sue me.

I would, except I now can't check the ratings of my local solicitors, dammit.

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (0, Troll)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121731)

It's a typo. So sue me.

No need to apologize. I bet a lot of people would make the same mistake. It's understandable when you consider that on a global scale, the population of Ireland is little more than a rounding error.

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121179)

There's a good new movie out called The Wind that Shakes the Barley about it.
Just to clarify. It's actually a shit movie. Fuck the pope, no surrender and up the UDA.

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (1)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121217)

Well, I can't pretend to know much about your politics or history, but I enjoyed watching it and my Irish friends tell me that it's very accurate.

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121372)

But sure don't all English people take it up the arse? Its a well known fact! Lord knows every english bird I've ever known does. :D Whats your name, maybe you're related?

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121819)

Well, they wouldn't want to get pregnant by a bog trotter would they?

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121366)

Oh and one other point, its not the British Isles, submitter. Except in Britain. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, its the Republic of Ireland, something that irritates the brits no end. :D

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121737)

Actually in the rest of the world it's England. Something that irritates the Irish, Welsh and Scots all in one go!

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (2, Informative)

tbjw (760188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121971)

With all due respect, and I happen to know something about this, the name of the state is Ireland. It is commonly called the Republic of Ireland in order to prevent the state (ROI) being confused with the island (Ireland). The name is 'Ireland' in English & 'Éire' in Irish. It's in the constitution.

Re:Go Daddy Caves To Irish Legal Threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121095)

The Communications Deceny Act is American law. That doesn't insulate you from the law of the U.K.


Saying that Ireland is part of the UK is like saying that the US is part of the British Empire. Though they have very similar legal systems, Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom, and hasn't been since 1922, when Ireland gained independence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom/ [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland#Irish_Indepen dence:_The_Irish_Free_State.2C_.C3.89ire.2C_Irelan d [wikipedia.org]

One More Strike Against GoDaddy (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16120979)

This is just one more strike against GoDaddy in my book. Just who owns and controls the domain that you've paid for anyway? I wonder if JS can transfer it away to another registrar?

But GD was already on my don't do business with list when they tried to trick me into transferring my own domain to them. Mine is paid through 2008, and they sent several e-mails to the contact address basically implying that to save it I needed to transfer it to them quickly and pay more money. I despise that tactic from any domain registrar of trying to poach customers in this manner.

Having very sexy women in their TV ads isn't enough to make up for the above.

Re:One More Strike Against GoDaddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121268)

" I wonder if JS can transfer it away to another registrar?"

NOPE. Go Daddy has a history of locking domains and preventing the transfer of **your** domain during AUP disputes. This should, of course, be illegal... sigh... At the very least, it is a sound reason not to register with them.

"British"? (0, Troll)

johnfatz (868269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121001)

"British Isles flavor of lawyer" When refering to Ireland please refrain from including it in the British Isles!

Re:"British"? (4, Informative)

eiscir (968749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121042)

Where're you from mate? 'British Isles' is purely a geographical description - it includes all the islands off the northwest coast of Europe, the largest of which is called Britain. Makes sense to me, as an Irishman, to call them the British Isles then! However, if the /. had said 'A British flavour of lawyer', that would necessarily involve a political or ethnic implication, which would of course be incorrect. The wikipedia has an interesting article about the correct terminology here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_(termin ology) [wikipedia.org]. However, unfortunately it seems that Irish-America has got to it in places, making it seem that Irish people are far more puffed up about the term 'British Isles' than they really are. Needs a bit of editing, methinks.

Re:"British"? (0, Troll)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121409)

And heres [boards.ie] a very very recent online poll done of Irish people (not Irish Americans) stating that the term British Isles is offensive to aforementioned Irish people. Take your west brits, rum, sodomy and the lash, and stay on your smog shrouded little rock. Cheees, mate.

Re:"British"? (1)

leathered (780018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121055)

Why not? [wikipedia.org]

Re:"British"? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121166)

Britannia and Hibernia (The proper name for the island of Ireland) are separate islands. Calling them the "British Isles" is brit propaganda. (The wikipedia article mentions "IONA" - Islands of the North Atlantic - as an alternative name, but doesn't mention that that's similar Irish propaganda, Iona was an important monastery in Irish history). Not everythin in wikipedia is right. Any jackass, including genocidal british bastards, can edit it.

I still say we shoot all the lawyers, NOW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121012)

Seem like everytime we hear something like this, some lawyer has degraded the quality of our lives just a little more the previous one.

In need of a Solicitor (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121074)

It looks like GoDaddy is going to have to find an Irish solicitor.

If only there was some sort of web-based service to find and compare solicitors...

Do meddle in the affairs of solicitors.. (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121093)

... for they are subtle and quick to anger.

And, being solicitors, are never far from, er, a solicitor.

Fair play to them for trying though.

Sites that require registration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121118)

Could you please avoid linking to sites that require registration?

Re:Sites that require registration (3, Informative)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121174)

It was the only source for the story which a friend in Ireland sent to me. I looked around for other sources but couldn't find one. I take your point though. Here's a copy of the story which is (c) Irish Independent
AN American domain name provider has suspended access to the controversial rateyoursolicitor.com website after an Irish High Court issued a court order to remove offensive material about a barrister from the site. Godaddy.com, an award winning internet site, suspended access to the rateyoursolicitor.com portal within 24 hours of an injunction issued by Judge Michael Hanna. Last Wednesday, Judge Hanna issued an order that defamatory material posted about Jayne Maguire, a barrister, on rateyoursolicitor.com must be removed with immediate effect. Ms Maguire has claimed that John Gill, of Drumline, Newmarket on Fergus, defamed her by posting offensive remarks on rateyoursolicitor.com. Mr Gill, chairman of the Victims of the Legal Profession Society, denied that anything concerning Ms Maguire was published or posted on the site. Ms Maguire is seeking damages for defamation and privacy and an interlocutory injunction of the statements about her on the site which she says is administered by Mr Gill. Godaddy.com have locked access to the site domain name until High Court proceedings are concluded. Lawyers acting for Ms Gill served notice on www.gmax.net, an American Internet Service Provider that is host to the site. It had been thought that Godaddy.com was hosting the site which invites Irish people to rate their lawyers, however gmax.net has now been identified as the ISP and has received notice of the High Court proceedings. Dearbhail McDonald

Goodbye GoDaddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121272)

I've got a number of domains registered with GoDaddy. Thanks to this, I plan on migrating elsewhere when the terms expire. I hope others do the same.

(Posted anonymously since I don't want them to fuck with me in the meantime, since apparently they feel that they can pull their paying customers' domain registrations at a whim.)

The price of phony domain registration (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121458)

The owner of that domain is listed as

John Smith
krasnaya ploschad
Moskva 00000
Russian Federation
714987650
lawyercatcher@lawyer.com

("krasnaya ploschad" is Red Square, the big plaza in front of the Kremlin.)

Ordinarily, faced with obnoxious registrar behavior, you can transfer the domain to another registrar. Given this phony domain registration info, thus domain owner can't do that.

That's the price of phony domain registration info - any trouble, and you lose the domain.

Recommendations on better registrars? (2, Interesting)

moz25 (262020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16121503)

Perhaps slightly off-topic, but which registrars would you guys recommend who have a proven track record of siding with the registrant?

Be careful about any involvement with GoDaddy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16121706)

Be careful about any involvement with GoDaddy.

Also, the owner of GoDaddy is heavily pro-Bush.
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