GoDaddy in Court After Selling Domain to Third Party

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  • Ethereum Name Service sues GoDaddy over domain name.
  • Allegedly, GoDaddy transferred ownership of the domain to a third party.
  • GoDaddy is being accused of selling an item without the legal authority to do so.

On Monday, legal action was taken against two domain name hosting providers, GoDaddy and Dynadot, and Manifold Finance, by Ethereum Name Service (ENS), the firm behind the .eth domain name.

True Names Ltd. filed a lawsuit on behalf of itself and the currently incarcerated Virgil Griffith due to allegations that GoDaddy had failed to “respect, acknowledge, and protect” the domain name.

The Federal District Court of the State of Arizona received the lawsuit. The non-profit organization behind funding and coordinating ENS development, True Names, is suing for at least $75,000 in damages.

The domain was set to expire on September 5, GoDaddy announced on August 25. Previously, the registrar had permitted the third party to renew the domain on Griffith’s behalf, but it refused this year. Dynadot LLC, another registry, apparently acquired on September 3 for GoDaddy and put it up for auction that same day.

The claim goes on to say that GoDaddy sold the domain name to a third party without informing the plaintiffs or responding to their repeated attempts at contact. Dynadot reportedly auctioned off the domain to the current owner, Manifold Finance, for $852,000.

“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.” the filing argued.

The DeFi firm Manifold Finance did acknowledge in a tweet that it had acquired the domain name on September 3. Domain Name Wire reports the sale price to be $851,919.

According to the ENS founder’s statement to The Block, the company is “disappointed to see the acts of GoDaddy” and “feel misled” because they were told the domain would be returned to the registry but instead found out it had been “purportedly sold to another domain provider” before they could claim it.

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