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A court-ordered hold on up to 58,000 Internet addresses ending in “.biz” will be lifted after an Arizona radio disc jockey and a Los Angeles company failed to come up with the required bond. Plaintiffs challenging “.biz” registration procedures came up with only half of the $1.6 million ordered set aside, said Derek Newman, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. Earlier this month, a California court ruled that NeuLevel Inc., the operator of “.biz,” might be running an illegal lottery. The court ordered disputed domain names placed on hold, but also required that plaintiffs deposit the bond to cover any losses should NeuLevel prevail. Failure to post the bond essentially dissolves the judge’s preliminary injunction, Newman said Thursday. The case will still continue, and Newman said the plaintiffs will seek remedies retroactively. NeuLevel denies any wrongdoing. Jeff Neuman, director of policy and intellectual property for NeuLevel, said that although the court-ordered hold was lifted, the company may revise its procedures anyhow. “We do believe our system is the most fair and equitable, but given the fact there is pending litigation, we are still assessing all of our options,” he said. The “.biz” suffix is one of seven new domain names that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers approved last year to relieve overcrowding in names ending in “.com.” NeuLevel is currently scheduled to open “.biz” to general registration on Nov. 7, about two weeks later than planned. Company officials said the delay was due to a need for more testing and was unrelated to the lawsuit. The domain names in dispute were claimed during a pre-registration period. A business wanting a “.biz” address could submit an online request with an application fee of a few dollars. For multiple submissions for the same name, one is picked at random. David Smiley, a radio disc jockey, and Skyscraper Productions, which conducts online courses in traffic safety, sued NeuLevel in Los Angeles Superior Court in July. They accuse the company of running an illegal lottery because losers do not get their applications fees returned. About 168,000 other preregistered names — for which only one application was received — have been activated as scheduled since Oct. 1. Another 25,000 in that group will be activated by Nov. 7. Meanwhile, operators of “.info” said 500,000 names have been claimed. General registrations began Oct. 1. The “.museum” suffix is scheduled to be operational next month, and “.name” for individuals should come online in December. The other new suffixes are “.pro,” “.coop,” and “.aero.” Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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