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ENS’ True Names Files Suit against GoDaddy over Wrongful Domain Sale

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
ENS’ True Names Files Suit against GoDaddy over Wrongful Domain Sale
Photo: Depositphotos

True Names Ltd and Griffith filed the complaint in the US District Court for the District of Arizona. The filing named GoDaddy and two other companies.

The company behind the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), True Names Ltd, which is responsible for all the web addresses that end in “.eth,” has sued American public traded internet registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY). ENS filed a lawsuit against the domain registered over the sale of a previously owned Web domain. The suit was filed by True Names Ltd., the company behind the Web 3 domain name service, on the 5th of September.

According to the complaint, True Names said GoDaddy sold the eth.link to a third-party domain after it falsely announced that it had expired. The plaintiffs, True Names and Virgil Griffith, said that GoDaddy sold the domain off instead of letting its return to the registry and be available for a re-purchase. Referring to the act as a breach of contract, the plaintiffs noted in the lawsuit.

“This case arises from GoDaddy’s breach of its agreement to respect, acknowledge, and protect the duly registered and extremely valuable eth.link domain name. The eth.link domain, which facilitates hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency transactions by thousands of users, is registered with GoDaddy until July 26, 2023. But GoDaddy unilaterally and willfully announced to eth.link owners that the eth.link domain’s registration with GoDaddy had expired and that absent any further action by the current registrant, the eth.link domain would revert to the registry, that is be available to others, on September 5, 2022.”

True Names Sues GoDaddy over Sale of Domain Name

True Names Ltd and Griffith filed the complaint in the US District Court for the District of Arizona. The filing named GoDaddy and two other companies. They are Dynadot and Manifold Finance. Also, the law firm Crowell & Moring LLP is the law firm representing the plaintiffs.

GoDaddy made the announcement of the expiring eth.link domain on August 25th. The company noted that the domain would be expiring in September. Previously, the registrar allowed a third party to renew the agreement on behalf of Griffith, who is currently serving a prison term after a conviction earlier in the year. However, it declined to follow the same process this year. On 3rd of September, the web hosting company reportedly transferred eth.link to another registry, Dynadot. After the transfer, Dynadot LLC then put the domain up for auction. The filing argued:

The sale will disable a valuable cryptocurrency network and recklessly risk making it available to scores of malicious actors. And the domain name is now purportedly and wrongfully held by Manifold Finance, Inc.”

ENS founder Nick Johnson also stated his disappointment in “the acts of GoDaddy.” Johnson said he felt misled as he assumed that the company would return the domain to the registry.

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Ibukun Ogundare

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.

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