Law



The pillar around which the battle for Sex.com was twisted was a court case: case no 98-cv-20178, heard by Judge James Ware in the Northern District Court of California.

The case started in 1998 - three years after Sex.com had been stolen - and continues to this day.

However, the case Kremen vs Cohen has gone down in legal textbooks and is taught in law school because of the decision by the Ninth Court of Appeals that a domain was, in law, "intangible property".

Previously, it has been argued - and accepted - that a domain name was nothing but a label that was hired out by registries, like dot-com, to registrants, the domain owners.

But in this case, Carreon and Wagstaffe argued passionately - and convincingly - that a domain name held many of the attributes of property, and so it could also be stolen and returned, and people could be held accountable for stealing it.

This was a very significant legal precedent - and one that continues to be used and reaffirmed in legal cases in California and elsewhere ten years later.

Other cases that have referenced the Kremen vs Cohen case include:

  • Office Depot vs John Zuccarini (Appeals case 07-16788 on civil case 06-80356-SI) - over offic-depot.com.
  • CRS Recovery vs John Laxton (06-7093 CW) - over rl.com and mat.net
  • Express Media Group vs Express Corporation (06-03504 WHA) - over express.com

This site has a timeline of the Kremen vs Cohen case over Sex.com, and also a guide to the legalese in the case, which includes such gems as "trespass to chattels" and "estoppel".