The US government’s moves to seize domain names belonging to foreign sites accused of piracy has been controversial, but according to a District Court judge, it’s not illegal. One of the sites whose domain has been seized, Spanish sports streaming site Rojadirecta, filed a petition to try and get its domain name returned, supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The argument: such seizures violate the First Amendment right to free speech. Judge Paul Crotty wasn’t convinced. “Puerto 80 alleges that, in seizing the domain names, the Government has suppressed the content in the `forums’ on its websites, which may be accessed by clicking a link in the upper left of the home page,” he ruled, according to TorrentFreak. “The main purpose of the Rojadirecta websites, however, is to catalog links to the copyrighted athletic events — any argument to the contrary is clearly disingenuous.” The EFF has complained that the ruling ignored one of the key issues in the case: “that a mere finding of `probable cause’ does not and cannot justify a prior restraint”.

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