The first decision in favour of DNCL was made in September 2018. DNCL sued for breach of contract against the company DomainTools and successfully applied for a preliminary injunction in the District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle.
Domain Name Commission Limited (DNCL) is a non-profit New Zealand corporation which administers New Zealand’s top-level internet domain registry. DomainTools is a Washington based digital intelligence-gathering company in the US which has been scraping registration data from New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission for many years.
US Court of Appeal
Breach of contract
Irreparable harm findings
The Court of Appeal agreed with the District Court that the public interest supported an injunction. DomainTools presented evidence that showed cybersecurity professionals used its services to safeguard the public, but there was also evidence that those professionals could access that information through alternative channels. The District Court said that the public interest was benefitted by safeguarding the privacy of DNCL’s users and there for “it was not illogical, implausible, or without support in the record for the district court to conclude that the public interest favoured issuance of a preliminary injunction.”
The Domain Name Commissioner, Brent Carey says that the decision sends a message to all companies dealing with registrants’ personal information online to be compliant with privacy requirements.