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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals often finds itself on the cutting edge of the law. Now it will have to decide who gets to have sex. When Gary Kremen sued Stephen Cohen and others, claiming that Cohen hijacked his Internet domain name, “sex.com,” a trial court ruled that Kremen was entitled to $65 million in damages. But it found that domain name registrar VeriSign wasn’t liable for negligently allowing Cohen to steal the name. In an appeal, Kremen claims that it was. VeriSign (formerly Network Solutions Inc.) is the largest domain name registrar. The American Internet Registrants Association has joined the fray. In an amicus brief, it supports Kremen’s claims against VeriSign. In a prepared statement, William Bode of Washington, D.C.’s Bode & Grenier said that “sex.com” was lost “because appropriate procedures to prevent domain name hijackings were absent.” Bode went on to say that Kremen’s case is being watched closely within the industry because it is the first Internet governance case to reach a federal appeals court. According to the 9th Circuit clerk’s office, the Internet registrants’ association filed its brief Jan. 28. Kremen v. Cohen, No. 01-15899 (9th Cir. filed May 9, 2001).

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