Injunction Remains in Whois Marketing Case

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-01-29 Print this article Print

The registrar wins a round in a 3-year-old case to bar Web hosting company Verio from using its customers' domain name registration information for marketing purposes.

A federal appeals court has upheld a preliminary injunction in a 3-year-old case involving the use of the Internets database of domain name registrants for marketing purposes. Domain name registrar Inc. on Wednesday announced the decision, handed down last week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. The ruling means that Web hosting company Verio Inc. remains barred from using the Whois database of domain name holders to market services to Register.coms customers., of New York, had sued Verio in August 2000, accusing Verio of violating the terms of its Whois database by using its information to mislead customers with marketing pitches. The U.S. District Court in New York in December 2000 granted the preliminary injunction, and Verio had appealed that decision.
The case now returns to the U.S. District Court in New York, where is seeking a permanent injunction and an award of damages.
"The courts decision vindicates our position and shows that we will not tolerate attempts to co-opt our valuable brand and goodwill," said Peter Forman, president and chief executive officer of, in a statement. Verio, of Englewood, Colo., said in a statement that it was disappointed with the ruling and is assessing its next options. "The ruling has absolutely no impact our current business practices," the company said. "We essentially ceased all the activities in question more than three years ago and months before the preliminary injunction was entered." The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers requires domain name registrars such as to provide public access to their Whois records of customer contact information.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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