Contributory Cybersquatting and the Impending Demise of Domain Name Proxy Services?–Solid Host v. NameCheap

18 06 2009

By Eric Goldman

Solid Host, NL v. NameCheap, Inc., 2:08-cv-05414-MMM-E (C.D. Cal. May 19, 2009)


This case involves an alleged domain name theft. Solid Host is a web host and initial owner of the domain name, which it registered through eNom in 2004. Solid Host claims that in 2008, a security breach at eNom allowed an unknown interloper (Doe) to steal the domain name and move the registration to NameCheap. Doe also acquired NameCheap’s “WhoisGuard” service, a domain name proxy service that masked Doe’s contact information in the Whois database. Solid Host contacted Doe and sought the domain name; Doe asked for ,000, and Solid Host took a pass. Instead, Solid Host demanded that NameCheap hand back the domain name and identify Doe, but Doe claimed that he had bought the domain name legitimately. NameCheap, apparently feeling like the cheese in a sandwich, demurred to Solid Host’s requests. Solid Host then got a TRO ordering NameCheap to transfer the name and reveal Doe’s identity, both of which occurred. For unclear reasons, Solid Host hasn’t amended the complaint to name the Doe, but it is proceeding against NameCheap on various claims, including an Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) claim.


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