More than 75,000 individuals have already lost their Internet domain names registered through – New class action lawsuit seeks to protect up to a million more from the same fate

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Yesterday, a U.S. District Court judge unsealed a class action lawsuit (case #07cv00188) against Internet domain registrar RegisterFly along with the corporation charged with accreditation and oversight of registrars, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”), among others. The lawsuit (Anne Martinez v RegisterFly, ICANN et. al.) filed by Attorney E. Clarke Dummit alleges that RegisterFly has systematically defrauded its customers who attempted to register or renew Internet domain names, causing them to lose their domain names, finances, and even entire businesses. The lawsuit was initially sealed due to fears of retribution by towards plaintiff Anne Martinez for filing the suit, but since then other concerns have become more pressing, and the case was opened to the public.

Lead Plaintiff Anne Martinez fears that RegisterFly is likely to cause the loss of her website, which is the primary source of support for her and her children. The domain, which had a scheduled expiration date of March 18, 2007, according to Registerfly, could not be renewed (even though Anne was charged for the service of having that done), was refused transfer to a different registrar, and has had Anne’s ownership information completely removed or concealed from public databases as well as made inaccessible to her. Martinez says, “If Medina illegally shuts down my registration, I could end up losing my business that has supported me for years, and even my home, and I am only one of thousands of people in this same situation. I can not just stand by and let this happen.”

Long before the allegations of misuse of RegisterFly funds by company owner Kevin Medina for such things as escort service; a liposuction procedure; a penthouse apartment in Miami, Florida; and a $6,000 Chihuahua dog, RegisterFly had already earned a growing reputation for allegedly failing to renew or transfer domain names, respond to customer support issues, and double or triple charge for services never delivered. It was clear that RegisterFly was in trouble, and the accreditation agency of registrars, ICANN, knew it, but ICANN did not perform its duty to protect the public and continued to accredit RegisterFly and allow it to perform as a registrar.

In fact, ICANN, which collects a fee for every domain sold through its accredited registrars, did not give notice of termination of ICANN’s accreditation of RegisterFly until the day AFTER attorney Dummit served ICANN with this class action lawsuit. This provides further evidence that it is time for the American Legal System to step in and reign in this outrageous, illegal behavior that has already harmed many people around the world, and threatens to damage many more.

“I only hope that this situation can be brought under control before it becomes even worse, and that the agents responsible for all of this harm and heartache will be held accountable for what they have done,” says Martinez.

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[tags]The Dummit Law Firm, RegisterFly lawsuit, Anne Martinez, Internet domain registrar, brand protection issues, internet marketing[/tags]