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    Summary of the case of Diane Wraith -v- Nominet UK

Diane Wraith -v- Nominet UK

The Pitman Case

One in a Million Judgment

One in a Million Order

One in a Million Appeal Judgment

Godfrey v Demon Internet

  (7 February 2002) re Domain Name psinet.co.uk

The pre-Nominet domain name psinet.co.uk was registered for Diane Wraith's company Psinet Ltd in 1995 by the UK Naming Committee. During 1997 the company PSINet (UK) Ltd issued proceedings against Diane Wraith and her company for the domain name. Nominet consequently suspended the domain name and the action was settled. Following settlement in 2000, Nominet requested that Ms Wraith provide an indemnity to Nominet for requested changes to her registered details, and that Ms Wraith sign Nominet's then current terms and conditions. Ms Wraith refused and the domain name was again suspended and Ms Wraith issued proceedings in August 2001 against Nominet for a number of causes of action including breach of contract.

The case was heard in the Dewsbury County Court before District Judge Hickinbottom. The Judge decided that Ms Wraith did not have a cause of action in law and her claim was dismissed. Although she did have a contract with her ISP Demon for hosting services because she had paid a £200 fee at the time of registration, the Judge found that because the Naming Committee had effected the registration for free, there was no contract between Ms Wraith and the Naming Committee and, consequently, no contract between Ms Wraith and Nominet UK. The Judge held that Nominet had no legal obligation to keep the domain name registered. The fact that at all times Nominet had acted as though there was a contract between Ms Wraith and Nominet was, in the Judge's words, a "bona fide attempt to resolve the problem in the best way, in the most civilised way and certainly better than the other possible reaction of "No contract, get lost"". The Judge also found that Ms Wraith had no claim in negligence because Nominet did not owe any duty of care to her.

In January 2002, before the case was heard, Ms Wraith accepted Nominet's current terms and conditions and provided an indemnity to Nominet and, as a result, she is the current registrant of the domain name.

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