back to article Kentucky judge OKs 141-site net casino land grab

A Kentucky judge has upheld that state's seizure of some of the world's most popular online casino domain names, ruling they constitute a "gambling device" that is subject to Kentucky's anti-gambling laws. Last week's ruling by Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate applies to absolutepoker.com, ultimatebet.com, and 139 …

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  1. James Butler
    Stop

    Ridiculous

    Why is this even being litigated? Is it possible that the Kentucky judge knows so little about the nature of the Internet that he thinks he can simply take property owned by a foreign national?

    Registrant:

    Domain Discreet

    ATTN: absolutepoker.com

    Avenida do Infante 50

    Funchal, Madeira 9004-521

    What an idiot! What a waste of time!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Endless possibilities

    Using the judge's logic, perhaps Kentucky should appropriate their phone numbers, too.

  3. Brian Miller

    Judge in Kentucky rules the world?

    Looks like absolutepoker.com is being held by a Canadian company. I don't think that the company will comply with a judge in Kentucky.

  4. Darren7160
    Pirate

    What an idiot!

    Okay. He believes that he can do this? Great! Now, we get some judge in Iran to demand the removal of all the Christian websites. Cool. Hey, they are both judges of a sovereign nation. Right? God, you let someone wear a robe and it really does tend to go to their head. I think that we should create a law somewhere that outlaws stupid states and we start with Kentucky.

  5. Rab S
    Flame

    hopefully

    He and the dipshits will get sued out of existance with the byline "nethier are you, ya inbred hick"

  6. Hud Dunlap
    Thumb Down

    Typical modern judge overstepping his bounds

    This crosses state and international lines and as such is a Federal issue. He does not have the legal right to say what people in other states can do and that is what he is doing.

    His comment about not seizing sites that use software to block Kentucky access is nonsense. I am not even sure it can be done.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No faster way to remove ICANN

    The fastest way to have the rest of the world take internet control out of the hands of the USofA is to have this judgment upheld all the way to the US supreme court..

    Maybe this is the time for the UN to setup top level IPv6 domain name servers. It would give the perfect BOFH excuse for buying the IPv6 hardware "That old stuff makes you liable for following all laws in the USA."

    Y'all know what a rendition flight is, don't ya?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this is so cool

    I think he should seize their ip addresses as well, and everyone who's using those numbers, like DMV, telcos, retailers with their cash registers, first graders learning to count, etc. Besides, those numbers can be used on dice!

  9. Matt Semper
    Paris Hilton

    This is insane

    A domain name is nothing more than a short cut to instruct your browser to connect with a certain IP address. So by the same logic, if a casino in vegas will accept a bet made over the phone, they should have their phone number taken away? And what about if the casino didn't even use a domain name, what if they decide to spend several million in advertising just in kentucky, for the new great casino http:// 145.227.96.15 ? is that legal?

    And the domain isn't even the property of the casino anyway, all they have is a limited period lease to use said domain.

    I don't think this is a case of the judge being an idiot, but rather, just being a tw*t, he knows this, but believes gambling is bad and is attempting to use this opportunity to inflict his own moral beliefs on those that don't want it. After all, killing the domain name stops the company trading everywhere, not just kentucky.

    I think there needs to be a federal law put in place, stating that if any state or local government wishes to impose specific sanctions or restrictions on the internet, they should have to be done so, at the state level, (or only within the scope of the local government's jurisdiction) by means of some kind of filtering agreement with the major backbone ISPs

  10. kain preacher Silver badge

    Few states

    They are a few states that think they are not part of the US.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Instead

    the Judge should have all the IP numbers for Kentuky based IPs published and the gambling sites can just block them.

  12. RKP
    Gates Horns

    Shirley its the users..

    Surely the only jurisdiction this judge has is over the users in Kentucky who are breaking Kentucky law?

    The domains, their owners & operators are NOT doing anyhting in Kentucky. At best he could target the ISPs who offer internet access to Kentucky residents.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've said it before ...

    Lets just do the simple thing. Stop having anything to do with the USA; they can live in the dark ages with their puritanical legal systems and corrupt business practices and everyone else in the world can live in peace.

    I'm sure the majority of USAians (not Americans as that tars Canadians with the same brush) wouldn't even notice as they think that the world ends about 50 miles off the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.

    For everyone else in the world life would be easier as we'll be able to get on with our lives without the USA trying to tell us how we should live it.

    Additional benefits would be that we wouldn't have to put up with the USAiSation of rather nice parts of the world and USAian tourists would be a thing of the past. Hell, even Israel may have to work out some way of living peacefully with its neighbours if it no longer has the USA supplying it with weapons to slaughter innocent Palestinians with.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    WTO ruling

    You are right, mister judge. YOU are not above the law either. How about upholding the WTO ruling that says your anti-gambling laws are illegal internationally?

    The US really needs to crash, burn, go bankcrupt and then be ignored for a few years by the rest of the world. about time control over the internet was removed from US hands

  15. MD Rackham

    An overinflated sense of power

    As President Andrew Jackson famously said about Justice John Marshall, "[He] has made his decision, now let him enforce it."

    There's nothing the judge can do to someone in another state, let alone another country. He needs a better understanding of the limits of his power.

  16. Rick
    Black Helicopters

    EPIC FAIL!!!!

    Why is this F*cktard AG going after the websites? Second why is this Judge even hearing this case? OK im from Texas and even we aren't that stupid!!! This is just another example of some bible thumping rednecks trying to impose their values on the rest of us. I am a God fearing person myself but even I know that when to keep my beliefs to myself. If they really want to do it right they need to get in contact with the Record ASS. of Amer. and get in on cracking down on the users in KY that use these sites. Will generate BILLIONS in revenue will create jobs building prisons and guards for all the people that get caught using the sites.

  17. James Henstridge

    registrars

    I wonder if the domain owners have any recourse with the registrars? Could they argue in a non-Kentucky court that the registrar illegally interfered with their business by transferring the domain?

    If the courts in Kentucky really want to stop its citizens from visiting objectionable websites, there are much more effective ways to do so that don't require every company on earth to know Kentucky law. They could ask the Chinese government for advice.

  18. RRRoamer

    What a STUPID ass ruling

    I don't know why I should expect different from judges these days... It has been a LONG time since judges simply upheld the law as written. Now this idiot thinks he has jurisdiction over the whole freaking world, let alone the US.

    Maybe we need to get a "jurisdiction is where the server is located" kind of law passed at the international level.

  19. Mark Eccleston

    Turkey, Iran, China and ....

    Just follow the examples from the countries listed above and order the ISP's in Kentucky to filter out the gambling, and the evolution sites while they are at it, from the end users in his home state.

    After all gambling is an insult to Kentuckishness.

  20. Paul
    Unhappy

    Verisign

    Do Verisign have offices in Kentucky? If they do then the judge's order will be against them (VS) to do the shutdown.

    If not then it becomes, I believe and feel free for a lawyer to correct me, a matter of interstate trade and the Judge's ruling isn't binding per the US constitution since those orders can only be made by a Federal Judge. THere are some exceptions to this IIRC but not too many.

  21. Legless

    Well

    Technically, the .com domain is reserved for AMERICAN businesses so there is an argument that non-American companies shouldn't be using it. And, given that NSI controls the .com domain the Judge could force NSI to confiscate the domain names. But I think it would have to be a Federal judge to carry any weight.

    Cheers

  22. Flocke Kroes Silver badge
    Linux

    Close banks in Kentucky!

    Some Kentuckians are betting on the stock market. Some of them are betting on changes in the interest rates. Almost all of them are betting on the value of the dollar. Judge Thomas Wingate should lead by example: sell any shares, give all his money to charity and live as Jesus intended: http://bible.cc/matthew/6-26.htm.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Internet's not above the law,

    ...and neither is he. Maybe he wants tips from Ernie Chambers on suing God next? Rather obvious example of unwarranted restriction of interstate commerce and the power of wishful thinking. Even feds won't uphold this one for fear of the precedent it sets, even if they want to restrict inet gambling as well. It won't last, makes KY look stupid, costs the actual domain owners, and ultimately will result in getting turned down if it has to go to the supreme court, which it must. I just wish they could tuck into him for damages.

    ...and my liberal friends wonder why I said that activist judges are dangerous.

    When all is said and done, the damage he has done to the court system will essentially clear the floor for internet gambling.

  24. William Bronze badge
    Flame

    Typical responses

    From the geek brigade, about how their "precious" internet is being "stolen" from them.

    Firstly, gambling IS banned in that state. Any company that ALLOWS people to gamble in that state should be punished.

    Just because something is online does not make it above the law. Maybe ALL companies will think twice before the ride roughshed over local laws again.

    But then most of you never read the full article. Before you reached the bottom you were typing with all your fury. You were defending "gambling" organisations of all things... Fucked up priorities from some of you. Besides, the judge states that if these companies do geographic location filtering they can have their domain back. What isn't fair about that? They could have done it in the 1st place.

    I don't but the argument where a company can go online and sell what the fuck it wants regardless if its legal in that state or country. That is the path to anarchy and the role of multinationals over the constitution of invidual states and countries. Is that what you guys are trying to defend? The rights of multinationals? Dickheads.

  25. stranger on the road
    Black Helicopters

    I guess the government didn't like the word...

    .... "censored" connected to it. So they reached out and made a big mess that will turn around and bite them in the near future.

    The way I understand it, KN had to option to censor it's citizens and/or track their credit cards for illegal activities. But filtering/censoring is a taboo word in the USA government dictionary. So they passed an illegal judgment and walked around the "taboo."

    Any way, from the judge's point of view, media and software/game companies are preforming an illegal/racist activity by not selling their digital goods to people outside the USA and Canada. Or that is how I understand his point of view. So does that mean that I can sue the media studios and game companies for refusing to sale me their digital goods? How about the fact that they enforce regional locks on their products?

  26. dervheid
    Stop

    What a pompous arsehole..

    the judge is.

    And the 'merkins wonder why... yadda, yadda, yadda...

  27. Greg

    To James Butler and Hud Dunlap

    The fact that the decision is good or bad should not push you into claiming absolutely false things to push your opinion through.

    James Butler (and others saying the same, like MD Rackham): of course the judge can seize the domain name, he just has to ask ICANN to do it. If the domain names management was not in the US, he might have a hard time, but as it is, yes, he can very easily do it. You should avoid sentences like "does he know so little about the internet" when in fact you did not stop to think about whether he might actually know what he's doing (which does not make it wrong or right, but wrong or right has nothing to do with "being able to").

    Hud Dunlap: "His comment about not seizing sites that use software to block Kentucky access is nonsense. I am not even sure it can be done."

    Of course it's not nonsense, and of course it can be done.

    Just open about ANY website these days. All serious websites use your IP and the corresponding database to locate you, whether to serve you targeted ads, to be in your language, to give you relevant news or weather, and so on. Oh, little flame on the way: or to make you pay more, like when you're trying to buy some game download in the UK on the US site, and the site tells you it won't accept your order because you're located in the UK and so you need to connect to another website and pay double.

    It's very, very easy. Just take the IP, check it against a list of ISPs of the world and the locations they serve (you can also get the identification of the router if you want even closer localization), and then display different websites based on the location of customer.

    Here, just have a few lines of code in the script that says "if IP matches Kentucky, display 'sorry mate' text, else give access to site"

    Flame all you want, but do not confuse your wishes with reality. The decision may be wrong, but it's technically easily applicable, both for taking the domain names over and for having the site implement a blocking

  28. Chris G Silver badge

    Nullabour syndrome

    This prize twat is typical of the current crop of political thinking ( and this is religio/political not judicial), They think they have the right and the power , so they give it to themselves. I have called it Nullabour but it could equally be called Bush syndrome or Mugabe syndrome, the world is full of these arseholes.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finger lickin' good.

    I demand that in exchange for these domain names, the Kentuckians reveal the recipe for the Colonels Secret Sauce!

    On a more serious note though, this follows on from my comment yesterday on a report about Ofcom wanting more internet regulation. These people just do not understand the internet and should be kept away from it. Yes, they need to keep an eye on the absolutely abhorrent content, but I am big and ugly enough to decide if I want to be involved in an illegal activity, and if I don't find it on the internet (where I already know BB is watching), I'll find it on the streets (where there's a chance I won't be caught).

    NB. Not that I knowingly partake in any illegal activities of course. Just a spot of high speed drag racing on the M4 bus lane, selling drugs to kittens, and short selling stock in banks.

  30. Mike Street

    Horsies

    It seems odd that a 'judge' in the state that stages one of the top three horse races in the world, a race paid for by gambling, thinks gambling should be illegal.

    Is he now going to ban the Kentucky Derby too, or is it just furreners he wants to stop?

  31. Mr Larrington
    Paris Hilton

    This confirms everything we ever suspected about judges

    If they're not peering over half-moon spectacles to ask an officer of the court "What precisely *is* a 'video recorder'"?, then they're being pickled in vats of vintage port and/or eating five rich dinners a day in order to maintain their otherwise-impossible levels of Cluelessness.

    Not even Paris is *that* dopey.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The biggest

    Isn't Kentucky home to one of the world's biggest betting events?

  33. Andy Worth

    Federal issue?

    "This crosses state and international lines and as such is a Federal issue"

    Even the feds have no jurisdiction if the domain owner is not a U.S. citizen. I am guessing that in order to actually seize the domains they would have to go to a Canadian court.

    Certainly it is WAY above the remit of some hick-town judge who doesn't like the naughty internets.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I scent blood in the water," quoth the lawyer.

    "...killing the domain name stops the company trading everywhere, not just kentucky..."

    Grounds for a fucking enormous lawsuit that will bankrupt Kentucky.

  35. Mark
    Gates Halo

    Twatrobe!

    I call Twatrobe. Give a twat a cape and they think they can rule the world, *insert evil laughter*.

    Gates because not even he could pull off a stunt like this one.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a nutbag

    Get your banjos out. Here comes the Kentucky legal system in action... dagga-dang-ding-dang-ding-dang-ding-dang !

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Moron

    If there company is registered in Kentucky and operates in Kentucky ; then yes, the judge is correct.

    If the company is overseas; then the judge is wrong. it's that simple.

    If a Kentuchian buys an item illegal in Kentucky is (say) France and brings it home, will this judge sue France or the French company?

    The internet is not above the law, this is true, but backwater-hick states should not try to force their views on the world. The judge should simply have told ISPs to block access in Kentucky, or given the sites time to block Kentucky.

  38. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Paris Hilton

    A US state of mine

    "Surely the only jurisdiction this judge has is over the users in Kentucky who are breaking Kentucky law?"

    They are the only people who can break that law. Running a casino, no matter how crooked, outside of Kentucky isn't illegal there is it?

    But what about larger issues. How are they going to choose governors and for that matter which liar is going to replace the chimp? Or isn't democracy gambling online? OK not with Diebold machines but...

    How much profit did the state make out of prohibition? Maybe they need another blanket ban to get them out of this economic crisis too.

  39. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Do Verisign have offices in Kentucky?

    See for yourself: http://www.verisign.com/contact-information/index.html.

    Looks like the answer is "no". I expect Verisign to politely decline, since if they are unwise enough to agree to his request, I would expect the other states to sue Verisign's ass off.

    Aren't (some) judges elected over there? For how much longer is this guy going to be entertaining us?

  40. Mike Crawshaw

    @ AC 00:59

    As a Canadian, I thank you for your distinction.

    In areas near the USA border (Ontario in particular, Niagara Falls was famous for it a few years ago), a lot of stores don't display price tags. If you ask for the price, they refer to a list behind the counter. It has 2 columns - 1 for USAians, one for everyone else. Guess which is higher?*

    (*note: this is based on the last time I visited Niagara, a good few years ago. Things may have changed since)

  41. JohnG Silver badge

    Good for goose, good for gander?

    A cursory search shows more than one online job advert from companies in Kentucky that are available for UK citizens to view but are clearly in breach of "The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006". Clearly the domains of these companies should all be seized by UK courts.

    I guess the same adverts would be visible in Canada but are only in the English language when they should clearly also be available in French. So, maybe the Canadians should also be claiming these domains.

    Given that the ITU organises things like radio frequency allocations and internaional telephony, it seems logical that they should have the responsibility for Internet related allocations such as domain names (and IP addressing). This would avoid the problems of a US-controlled body like ICANN. It's quite reasonable that the Yanks do what they like within their own country but it is not acceptable that they foist heir rules/views/morals on the rest of us.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    easy answer

    Just have Judge Wingnut ban the internet in Kentucky....

  43. This post has been deleted by its author

  44. dervheid
    Joke

    @ easy answer

    FFS, don't go giving the arsehole ideas! Do you think this power-crazed moron will stop at the State Line there either? You're putting the whole interweb at risk, you dolt.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Finger lickin' good

    >Just a spot of high speed drag racing on the M4 bus lane

    Don't the ruts left by the busses play havoc with your high heels?

    @William

    >I don't but the argument where a company can go online and sell what the fuck it wants regardless.

    Temper, temper. Didn't your religious leader ever tell you that when you start being abusive you've lost the argument.

  46. Steven Jones

    @William

    So internationally recognised domain names can be seized on the orders of local courts if their services are available in that area then? Of course there are plenty of US sites which are offering types of pornography that are illegal in many countries in the world. Presumably, on that basis, their domain names can be siezed too. In fact you don't need to go to such seedy areas - there are other services and views available from the Internet that are illegal in all sorts of countries.

    For instance, we currently have an Australian citizen who has been arrested in London on the basis of Holocaust Denial charges in Germany based on a website published in Australia. There are plenty of US sites which operate quite happily under the guarantees of the 1st Amendment which will fall fould of such laws in Germany and Austria (although I don't think the German or Austrian courts would be so brave as to pick on a US citizen). This point about applying extra-territoriality laws to organisations in other countries solely on the basis of services and information offered over the Internet is very dangerous ground indeed. You never know where it might lead.

    In this case, then the top level domains used for International purposes should be beyond the power of any single National court. There is possibly some way of dealing with International issues through some form of International court, although that is fraught with problems.

    As it is, there is always the possibility of national legislation over the way that top level domains are interpreted in individual territories. Should that ever happen, so a dot-come in one territory is fundamentally mastered differently to that in another; well chaos truly will ensue.

  47. Nigel
    Thumb Down

    Elected judges

    I believe that in the USA judges are (often? usually? always? ) elected. That this is a bad idea is perfectly demonstrated by this case. It's bad enough allowing populist demagogues to be elected into a position where they can make laws (fortunately only if they can find enough likeminded idiots to command a majority). It's even worse to allow one of them, acting alone, to pronounce on those laws!

  48. Brian Griffin
    Paris Hilton

    They're idiots

    Surely the sites are still available. They may make it harder for people to visit, but unless they take their IP addresses off them, there will always be a way to gamble in Kentucky.

    Seriously, overturn this quickly before people start abusing this 'system'. Just take a leaf out of the Chinese's book... blocking their users from content they don't want them to see (rightly or wrongly) rather than taking over domains in their entirity.

    Paris, because she has more sense than this judge!

  49. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    IT Angle

    nominative determinism - Judge Wingate

    Wingate was a proxy firewall I used in my early days on the Internet. Is he trying to be some sort of firewall?

  50. Gareth Jones

    @Instead

    So you've never heard of anonymous proxies?

  51. Mark

    @Elected judges

    It's only bad when the judge can effect people not in their jurisdiction.

    After all, if a Kentucky Judge will ALWAYS convict a tourist, tourists won't go to Kentucky.

    But if they'll take your stuff and have you flagged as a criminal even when you've never been there, THEN there's a problem.

  52. stranger on the road
    Stop

    @Typical responses

    William, I think you misunderstand the argument. We are not defending the gambling sites. We are not happy about the very concept of a state judge, in the USA, having the ability to remove websites from the internet just because those website are illegal in his/her state (note, "his/her state" and not the full USA).

    That the the core of the problem, how far can judges reach and for that matter what about other governments? Just because a website is deemed illegal locally, should that website be taking offline even though it is legal in the country it operates from? (note: this case does demonstrate that the US government have a huge authority over domain names, this is really a wake-up call the website operators and other governments)

    For that matter, should websites be forced to censor it's customer? Shouldn't the government be the one handling the censorship of it citizens? After all, that is exactly what the government wants, but instead of saying "we will censor our citizens" they are saying "websites should not service out citizens." Both approaches result in the same thing, which is "censorship."

    US citizens should realize that they are being censored.

  53. Tim Schomer
    Flame

    1 Word

    Antigua

  54. Roger Varley
    Thumb Down

    Practicality?

    Assuming, for the moment, His Honour can impose Kentuckian law on web site owners. There are 192 (currently) countries that are members of the UN. Does this ruling mean that I would potentially have to consider 192 sets of national laws to determine if my Web site was legal? How many countries have state legislatures as well as national ones that would also need to be taken into consideration? The only person that I can see being happy with this is my Head of Landshark department ......

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Hey

    I think it's been mentioned before but isn't the issue here the fault of the original domain owners registering the .com domain.

    If they had registered anything else, .CA or .CO.UK etc there wouldn't be an issue. I think that's they way it is anyway.

  56. Ru
    Flame

    @William, re Typical responses

    So every single web page must comply with the law in every single country on the planet?

    Are you totally out of your mind?

    Who is going to be able to afford to run their content past a lawyer in every jurisdiction on earth? Who is going to be able to manage huge IP blacklists that must be ever changing depending on the whims of every lawmaker in every goverment?

    Or should this only apply to US laws?

    I guess since ICANN can be wielded like an international banhammer, you can do whatever the hell you like and it is perfectly okay? It is just fine to impose your culture and your legalties across the globe without impunity? Don't even try to justify this tyranny to anyone outside of your borders.

  57. Gavin Berry
    Coat

    Hud Dunlap

    Its called IP range blocking, its easy to block locations from accessing your site.

    Look it up, google has lots of info on it.

  58. Gavin Berry
    Happy

    Good reason to get the the domain admin away from the American's

    This is why they should not be running the domain names.

    But also the key point of this is buried at the bottom of the page.

    "Wingate also amended his earlier seizure order to exempt any online casino that uses geographic filtering"

    In other words he is saying I only want to stop then operating in my state.

    Which is actually fine, you cannot gamble in his state, so if you do try and effectively set up in illegal gambling outfit in his state via the Internet he will shut you down.

    Very clever man, who clearly DOES understand how the Internet works, and has found a way to block a loophole the greedy gambling outfits have been using.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy answer.

    Get your domain from somewhere with more permissive laws. e.g. .ro as in www.topgambling_subspaidtorussianmafia.ro

    Let a US judge try and grab that domain!

  60. ender

    Re: To James Butler and Hud Dunlap

    > Here, just have a few lines of code in the script that says "if IP matches Kentucky, display 'sorry mate' text, else give access to site"

    Few lines for Kentucky, few lines for Texas, few lines for Germany, few lines for Iran, few lines for China, few lines for ... where does it stop?

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical Kentuckistan response

    "If we can't own it we'll break it"

  62. Jon H

    How does this differ from Chinese internet censorship?

    Everyone thinks the Chinese censorship of the internet is a bit harsh (putting it mildly), surely it's effectively the same thing with the Kentucky rulling? Someone saying what you can or can not view.

    The only difference is that China blocks the websites' data entering their land which stops anyone in China from seeing it but doesn't affect the rest of the world, rather than Kentucky that is trying to force it's beliefs on the whole world and stop the whole world from seeing certain websites (no matter where they're located or their local laws and beliefs).

    Maybe Kentucky should follow China's method and just stop the data from certain websites entering their land. Block the "naughty" websites data at a local point. Perhaps it should be Kentucky's job to block these sites from their residents rather than the rest of the world having to figure out how to block a tiny percentage of the world's population from seeing their sites?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    SPAM

    Don't the residents of Kentucky get spam from casinos?

    I'd find it hard to believe that they are free from such a tool of beezlebub. The righteous inhabitants of this God fearing state deserve to be spared from the temptation of this unholy vice so blatantly laid across their path of all that is good. They need a saviour to protect them, lest they stumble and fall so deeply into the well of debauchery and hedonism that there is no chance of redeeming themselves. In consequence, for all that is bad and unholy hath consequence, their soul will be cast for all eternity into a pit of fire and brimstone and be unable to take its place in the after life that no doubt resembles the heaven on Earth that is Kentucky.

    Let judge Wingate be that saviour and do us all a favour and not just KY.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hidemyass

    IP address -> GeoLocation doesn't work.

    Google "anonymous proxy" or "privax" for instance.

    Expect these to become really popular from the UK when our gov decides to block access to all "hardcore" porn.

  65. michael

    @William

    "I disagree with what you say but I defend to the death your right to say it"

    sound fimilar?

    and may I say what a well worded and polite flame it was

  66. Jolyon Ralph
    Thumb Up

    Cayman Islands!

    Well, seeing as their domain name is ky, how about

    www.bestkentuckygambling.ky

    Perfect!

    Jolyon

  67. Winkypop Silver badge

    All rise!

    Judge, Epic Fail, presiding.

    What a ding-bat.

    Ooops, maybe he'll ban El Reg now?

  68. I.M.Fantom
    Gates Horns

    Why not register kentuckygambling.ky

    and see if the Judge's ruling has any effect on that site?

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No "Great Firewalls" required.

    Now the Chinese government has a precedent that will allow it to take down Yahoo!, the BBC, Blogspot et al rather than simply banning them locally.

    I for one welcome our red neo-capito-communist overlords and their human rights violations.

  70. Jordan
    Flame

    1 and 2

    first off.. yes the judge is an idiot. no, he doesnt have the authority to make that decision, and still no, it probably wont be enforced as no one here has the ability to do it.

    second off, yes america is full of idiots... but... those same idiots invented the internet...so with out us stupid americans you idiots would have no where to flame...

  71. Andy Mc

    miraculous geo-location

    Geolocation's very far from perfect. My (uk) office often pops up with Dutch or German IP geoloc. Besides, all you'd need is an out-of-state proxy to get around it.

  72. Michael Z. Williamson

    The Angry Voice of Reason

    As far as the anonymous cowards talking quaintly about "USAians" in the dark ages, I could point out all the stupid, evil and corrupt legal decisions in Canuckistan, the United Condom* and other third world hellholes, but I don't see the point. The majority of the posters here are Americans, equally outraged.

    Fortunately, our adversarial justice system ensures that a judge above this twit will shoot it down. Also fortunately, since we live in a nation of laws, the judge will not be slowly tortured to death for his stupidity, though there's no crime in imagining it. Consider the Code Napoleon, Sharia or even the Ever Changing Meaning Of The British Constitution in comparison.

    *I was born a Brit, raised in Canada and now live in the states. I've served in various countries including parts of the Middle East. Frankly, you couldn't pay me enough to visit, much less live in either nation, certainly not in anywhere even less civilized, which would be everywhere.

  73. Sridhar Ayengar
    Thumb Down

    @Scott

    ICANN will simply be bypassed.

    The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more of the Internet will slip through your fingers.

  74. robbie
    Paris Hilton

    www.kentucky-losers.com

    Perhaps the way forward here is to modify the gambling algorithms. If the online betting sites never paid out under any circumstances the judge would be surely be contentified. Like buying bank shares for instance.

    Paris 'cos she's could lick any fried chicken.

  75. James O'Brien
    Flame

    Replies

    @Flocke Kroes

    Nice one I had a clean, tea free monitor before reading that.

    @Typical Responses - William

    You fuckwit. Bullshit if its banned in "THAT" state. Who the hell are you to sit there and say they were "riding roughshod" over the laws, by that reasoning your saying that if its illegal in ANYPLACE and I do it I'M breaking the law? Wow I love that logic. So Im making it a law that its illegal for people to be moronic, which means your breaking the law. That jdge is an idiot, plain and simple. Bible thumping, inbred, backwater moron who shouldnt even be a judge if he wants to pass something like that. Now by that same logic you just used I guess it's against the law for me to have sworn like I did and to have called you a fuckwit. Oh well Send me to jail now I guess since I just broke a law. Ill make it easy for you too I live in NY. Cheerio.

    On another note, why is it that, me living in the states, have the urge more and more to up and fucking move out of this damn country? I know the UK isnt much better but damn, I guess its time to bring back my plea for someone to sponsor me and get me out of this hell hole.

    WANTED - One caring home with smart individuals, good net connection and great beer for a pissed off American. Very little maintance needes, knows how to use a toilet (and flush it too), good grooming habits and very little food needed. Please contact if your interested in helping this poor soul.

    /end rant

    /Chances are this wont be posted but I was in a cheerful place until I read that moronic comment. Flames for ovbious reasons.

  76. michael

    it semes strange

    the judge is techey enought to know what domain names are and demand there transfer but not enought to know that they are not based in his province

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    the new idiot farm

    all this time i thought that texas had the monopoly on farming and exporting idiots...

  78. Private Citizen
    Stop

    Lifetime Golden Etchasketch Award goes to...

    So an Iranian judge issues a order claiming USA websites be handed over - what then? This precedent is so stupid, the internet will become a legal nightmare. I think the judge should be given a lifetime golden Etchasketch award and the state of Kentucky removed from all the global D.N.S. as they will become a danger to international commerce. Come to think of it if this judgement is allowed to stand then I think their legal system needs transferred to papyrus and cuneiform.

    There is no icon suitable for this level of stupidity. No not even Paris.

    (FYI. The golden etchasketch award normally goes to people least capable of operating a computer and is normally issued in the interests of public safety. Sort of the Darwin award of computing).

  79. michael

    @michael z

    "Fortunately, our adversarial justice system ensures that a judge above this twit will shoot it down. "

    but the judge above the judge that made the first disision has just oked it you hopeing the next one will be smarter I would not hold your breath

  80. Mark

    @Jordan

    And a Brit in Switzerland invented the web. He may have been a Scot.

    So please, go ahead and enjoy your internet. Just don't use the WWW.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    So if I follow the judge's logic...

    Driving over the speed limit is illegal, so according to that idiot's logic he should be appropriating all the auto manufacturers of the World for the State anytime now.

    Shooting people is illegal too, how come he didn't hand over all the gun manufacturers?

  82. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    Must be a 'merkin !

    Legless Posted : "Technically, the .com domain is reserved for AMERICAN businesses so there is an argument that non-American companies shouldn't be using it."

    No, .com is for COMmercial entities - anywhere. .co.us (or is it .com.us ?) is for USoA COMmericial entities. Typical arrogance that just because the rest of the world hasn't slapped you in the face and taken our toys away, then you must own all rights to it.

  83. Kevin Fields

    Doesn't fly with this Kentuckian

    I'm pretty confident that this will either be overturned at a higher court level, or just simply ignored by any registrar not located in the United States. I agree with the majority that domain names, by and large, cannot be subject to such seizure efforts unless the company leasing the domain is also located in the same state. One well-put argument with WIPO should get this reversed if it goes all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court and the defendants fail. Okay, 139 well-put arguments.

    If Kentucky wants to stop its residents from accessing internet gambling operations, then it should be on the state of Kentucky to enforce that on its own citizens, rather than attempting to demand that out-of-state (and out-of-country) entities be knowledgeable of the laws of an area where it isn't located. Have the state demand that all ISPs that operate in Kentucky filter out such sites, have the state maintain a regular list of domain names and IP addresses that connect to such sites, and any attempts to access such sites by Kentucky residents should be reported to Kentucky authorities.

    Which, of course, will eventually fail because maintaining a staff to watch all of these sites, keep up the access lists, distribute them to the ISPs etc. are going to be extremely expensive and in a state that is still dealing with issues such as delivering clean water to all its citizens and the degradation of quality of life due to strip mining for coal is not going to be able to justify such activities.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Money buys votes and influence.

    Vote rigging and legal corruption is a fact of life and if you do not have at least the equivalent millions of dollars to spend, then you effectively have no say.

    The fact is votes and corruption can always be brought for a price because greed and ego are something that all people have, and those in power who are unable to control their greed will listen to their ego and so take money for themselves regardless of the cost to others and will happily do so even if people die.

  85. DaAngel
    Black Helicopters

    Bought Judge

    Whenever you here judgements like this

    the court finds reasonable bases to conclude that the internet gambling operators and their property, the internet domain names, are present in Kentucky.

    You wonder wft is this idiot being bought?

    The domains are not present in Kentucky, they can be accessed from Kentucky. Then again, Bob's candy store that is just across the state line, can also be accessed from Kentucky. The sun may be present in Kentucky, but it is also present everywhere else.

    You wonder is he being bought, because he seems to want to make the facts of the case somehow fit the desired conclusion. Meaning he already has been told or paid to have a conclusion and is thus fitting the facts to bolster it. Even if the facts are he proffers are plainly stupid.

    Reporting on this case has been at best, under performed. Very little facts are given up by any reporters on this case. Given that the Judge has said that the sites are present in Kentucky, as are all gambling sites on the internet, what seperates the sites gone after, from the ones which were not gone after. Also, since the as this Judge puts its, if it's present in Kentucky, and it's online, it come under my law. Although this is used via a gambling law on the books in Kentucky, his rational could be applied to any WWW site, or domain name, for both content and proliferation. This raises upstream law issuses at the very least. Federal, Country and ICANN issuses. Speaking of which I wonder if ICANN was asked or indeed, as they should interject, on such issuses that try to skirt their authority. Online reporters need to listen to the questions being asked vai feedback, and respond with details.

    At best, I think this now says a lot about USA domain name registries and how they cannot be trusted. It's becoming all to possible for a quack Judge to make an illformed half baked judgement, to lose a domain name if registered under a USA registar.

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