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Name.Space.Info: Name.Space Files Apellate Brief in NSI AntitrustImmunity Case

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Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 18:02:32 -0400
From: "Name.Space.Info" <>
Subject: Name.Space Files Apellate Brief in NSI Antitrust Immunity Case

For Immediate Release:
New York, June 23, 1999

Name.Space Files Apellate Brief in NSI Antitrust Immunity Case

Attornies for Name.Space, Inc. filed their appeal in the antitrust/free
speech case against Network Solutions, Inc. (NSOL) and the National
Science Foundation (NSF) in the US Distct Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit on Tuesday, June 22, 1999. 

The appeal seeks to overturn the decision of the Southern District Court
Judge Robert P. Patterson, who on March 16, 1999 ruled that NSOL was
immune from antitrust prosecution as a "Federal Instrumentality", and that
domain names were not protected by the First Amendment because they were
simply the equivalent of telephone numbers, and not expressive speech. 

Name.Space (f/k/a pgMedia, inc.) filed its antitrust action against NSI in
march 1997, when NSI refused to include Name.Space's new domain names on
the NSI-controlled root server.  Without being included in the root
server, Name.Space's domain names would not be universally recognized over
the internet. 

NSOL held a contract with the National Science Foundation to act as the
registry for the .com, .org, .net, .edu, and .gov TLDs until September,
1998 when it was taken over by the Department of Commerce (DoC) National
Telecommunications and Infrastructure Agency (NTIA) in a move that is
presently under Congressional Revue. 

Name.Space seeks the inclusion of over 500 new generic toplevel domains
such as ".art" ."books" ."cars", suggested mainly by users, into the
simple text configuration file called the "ROOT.ZONE" controlled by NSOL,
and an "essential facility" under the antitrust laws.  Name.Space believes
that new domains offer consumers and businesses more choice and diversity
in the selection of their internet address, without being limited to "dot
com" and other legacy domains, and allowing for more descriptive and
expressive name spaces.  The act of including the new toplevel domains is
a simple copy, paste and save operation, and will cost very little for
NSOL to perform, but the implications in terms of opening up the domain
name market to competition are monumental, and NSI has done all that it
can to delay any end to their lucrative monopoly, which has netted them
nearly a quarter-billion dollars in domain name sales since the suit

Name.Space, a privately held company, has pioneered new domains and domain
name services since 1996 when it released the first, realtime domain name
registry on the internet, setting up an innovative and competitive model
for the industry.  In addition to the access to the root, Name.Space seeks
treble damages from NSOL for the losses it has suffered from NSOL's
refusal to add the new TLDs offered by Name.Space, to the root. 

Name.Space is confident that the Second Circuit will overturn the district
court's decision and hold that NSI is not immune from antitrust liability.
The D.C. circuit in its recent Thomas decision has cast extreme doubt on
the validity of the so-called "federal instrumentality doctrine" and in
any case doubts that it protects NSI's conduct in this case.  according to
Stephanie Joyce, attorney for Name.Space, "the only way that the Second
Circuit can avoid overturning the district court is to reverse decades-old
antitrust caselaw and fashion a decision that would immunize every
government contractor from any behavior -- however anticompetitive it is
-- from civil and criminal antitrust liability." 

Full text of Apellate Brief is online at:


For more information, contact:

Name.Space, Inc.

Stephanie Joyce,
Blumenfeld & Cohen