Posts Tagged ‘ACLU’

Kentucky Domain Case Goes to State Supreme Court

by , Sep 13, 2009 | 7:13 am

Mark it on your calendars (or just check back here) around October 22. The case of the Governor Beshear and the Commonwealth of Kentucky trying to claim the ability to seize 141 online gaming domains, or “gambling devices” as they were called, to keep them from accessing Kentucky residents will see the halls of the KY Supreme Court next month on an appeal from the Commonwealth.

Many months ago, a group of organizations representing internet freedoms and the rights of online gambling companies won an important appeal in the Kentucky court system, and that victory prohibited the Commonwealth from proceeding with its attempted seizure of those domains. The state promised to appeal to the Supreme Court, and that latest appeal was granted this month. Those fighting the state on the matter include iMEGA (Internet Media Entertainment & Gaming Association), PPA (Poker Players Alliance), ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), Internet Commerce Association, eBay, and Network Solutions. (Can we win on number of appellees alone?)

According to iMEGA’s announcement:

The Supreme Court has set oral argument in Commonwealth of Kentucky v. IMEGA, et al for 11 a.m. on Thursday October 22, 2009 in the Supreme Court courtroom. The order allots 15 minutes for each side.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and we’re going to win again,” said Joe Brennan Jr., iMEGA’s chairman. “From the beginning, Kentucky law has clearly supported our position, and a win in the State Supreme Court will put the final emphasis on that.”

RE: Kentucky Appeals Kentucky Appeal

More technicality than principle; internet police laws at stake

by , Jan 21, 2009 | 4:22 pm

A look at the non-poker media’s take on the Kentucky case as it moves through The System:

From the subscription newsletter blog Daily Online Examiner

By Wendy Davis, Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Kentucky’s Move To Kill Online Gambling Squashed — For Now

In a closely watched case, an appellate court in Kentucky rebuffed the state governor’s attempts to shut down online gambling. But, while the case attracted attention from a wide range of outside groups who made all sorts of lofty constitutional arguments, the judges ended up deciding the case on a technicality.

The court ruled 2-1 that the government couldn’t confiscate domain names of 141 out-of-state gambling sites because the 1974 forfeiture law only applied to gambling “devices,” like roulette wheels.

“It stretches credulity to conclude that a series of numbers, or Internet address, can be said to constitute a ‘machine or any mechanical or other device,’ ” judge Michelle Keller wrote.

The dispute started late last summer, when the state hired a law firm to bring proceedings against online gambling companies. At the time, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear made no secret of his protectionist motives. He said he wanted to shutter the gambling sites as part of an effort to preserve horse racing, which he termed the state’s signature industry.

As news of the court showdown spread, a wide range of groups questioned whether one state could legally reach beyond its borders to claim jurisdiction over sites with a global reach. Outside parties — ranging from trade organizations like the Interactive Gaming Council and the Internet Commerce Association to civil rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU — weighed in on behalf of the Web sites.

The groups argued the law was unconstitutional for a host of reasons, including that Kentucky had no right to block sites visited by a worldwide audience.

While the appeals court dodged those issues for now, they’re bound to recur. If Kentucky rewrites its laws to specifically include domain names, the court will again be faced with determining how far one state can go to police the Web.

See what others are saying on the Online Examiner blog.

I guess it kinda depends how you look at it. Some might say a 66-33 percent victory is pretty dominating. Others might see winning by just one vote as a tiny margin of error.