New gTLD applicants may have signed away all their rights to sue ICANN, but that doesn’t seem to be a concern for loose-cannon
.dotafrica .africa applicant DotConnectAfrica.
The company has filed suit in California, trying to kill off rival ZACR’s application as “fraudulent” and demanding a load of cash from ICANN.
The suit was filed January 20, and DCA’s request for an emergency restraining order has already been thrown out by the judge.
DCA is basically attempting to re-litigate the Independent Review Process case it won against ICANN last year.
The company claims that ICANN, ZACR, independent evaluator InterConnect Communications, and the Governmental Advisory Committee improperly ganged up on it, in breach of contract.
It also claims fraud, negligence, and a few other alleged violations of the law on the same grounds.
It’s looking for three flavors of monetary damages and “rescission of ICANN’s registry agreement with ZACR as a null and void contract predicated on fraud.”
The IRP panel ruled last year that ICANN breached its bylaws by kicking out DCA’s application based on GAC advice that had not been properly and transparently explained.
The case revealed that ICANN had drafted a letter of support for the African Union Commission to submit in order to show its support for ZACR.
ICANN claims there was nothing improper about that — and the IRP panel did not express an opinion — but it looked pretty dodgy.
The organization says it has not yet been formally served with DCA’s complaint, but told the court that there’s no need for an emergency TRO against .africa being delegated because it’s not an imminent possibility.
Indeed, there’s no danger of ZACR getting .africa live while DCA’s application is undergoing a second round of InterConnect scrutiny for evidence of governmental support (which it does not have).
ICANN added in its filing, almost as an aside, that DCA has signed away its right to sue.
DCA’s new choice of law firm, post-IRP, may be an indication of either the fragile nature of its standing or dwindling cash reserves.
Pricey ICANN-killer Arif Ali is out. Replacing him, a dude who runs a website-free, six-month-old, one-man show from his home in a California cul-de-sac.
Disclosure: DCA thinks I’m a racist, and I think it’s mad. The long, sordid history of the company’s shenanigans can be perused at your leisure with this search.