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Tag Archives: Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Lewis & Lin Obtains Injunction Against Domain Name Thieves

Lewis & Lin successfully argued for the return of over 200 valuable domain names that were hijacked out of our client’s account. We represented a Hong Kong-based domain name investor whose 224 valuable domain names were stolen from his registrar GoDaddy’s account after the Defendants hacked into his Hotmail email account to steal and intercept his personal information.

The unknown defendants appeared to be sophisticated Chinese-based hackers. After gaining control of our client’s domain names, they transferred them to various other domain name registrars, including one in Germany.

Upon our engagement, Lewis & Lin immediately filed suit in U.S. District Court in Arizona – where GoDaddy is based – seeking a temporary restraining order requiring the defendants to return the domain names to our client’s account.  The suit asserted causes of action for violation of the Wiretap Act, the Stored Communications Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as common law claims of conversion and trespass to chattels.

We sought a TRO requiring the defendants and their domain name registrars and domain name registry to immediately record the registration of record for the domain names to our client’s name and into an account under our client’s control; change the DNS and MX servers to those of our client’s choosing; and place a lock on the domains to prevent further unauthorized access.  Despite questions the court initially had about jurisdiction over unknown Chinese defendants in an Arizona court, and the court’s power to require GoDaddy, the German registrar, and Verisign (the domain name registry) to act, the court granted our TRO in its entirety.  Three weeks later, upon the defendants’ default, the TRO has matured into a preliminary injunction. 

The case is No. 17-CV-03294 in U.S. District Court in Arizona.

Lewis & Lin Obtains Judgment Against Serial Copyright Infringer

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a judgment in favor of our client Millennium TGA, an award-winning producer of online media.  Millennium operates 13 internet websites through which it releases entertainment content through subscription-based online services or video-on-demand.

The defendant, Joel Leon, spent several years stealing and redistributing Millennium’s copyrighted works.  Mr. Leon used passwords that he hacked or stole from others, and then copied or posted Millennium’s content through blogs and one-click hosting sites.  The material that defendant downloaded included full-length movies and photosets that Millennium made available only to paying subscribers.

Lewis & Lin commenced litigation against Leon, seeking damages for copyright infringement and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  When defendant failed to answer or otherwise appear in the action, we sought entry of a default against him, and promptly appeared at an inquest hearing before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.  Upon our motion, the court awarded both actual copyright damages and damages relating to our client’s investigation of Mr. Leon’s activities.  The recommendation of the Magistrate Judge was adopted by U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie, and a judgment was issued.  The case is Millennium TGA v. Leon, No. 12 CV 1360 (MKB) (EDNY).