The .africa domain saga took a small but significant step forward this week.
Our readers might remember that we previously wrote about the on-going court battle between ZA Central Registry (ZACR) and DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA).
In the last round of court room fisticuffs in April, the Central District Court of California ruled the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) can’t appoint (for now) ZACR as the custodians thereof.
According to court documents, the court granted a preliminary injunction in favour of DotConnectAfrica Trust which “prohibits defendant Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers from delegating the rights to the generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) “.Africa” until the case resolves.”
But ZACR scored a small victory this week, as a US court granted ZACR’s motion to dismiss all claims against it by DotConnectAfrica Trust.
After the April ruling the ZACR requested the court to reconsider its previous decision, as it claims the judge’s decision was based on a key factual error.
“DCA’s application never passed ICANN’s Initial Evaluation (IE) process and it is unlikely that it ever will because DCA simply does not have the requisite government support and has attracted significant government opposition,” ZACR said in a press statement.
ZACR CEO Lucky Masilela added that it now just waits on the court to overturn the ruling from April, which will give ICANN the legal capacity to appoint ZACR as the custodians of the .africa domain.
“As matters currently stand, the next step in these US-based legal proceedings is to wait for the judge to rule on the ZACR’s motion to reconsider his Preliminary Injunction. We are confident matters will again be concluded in our favour.”
According to ZACR, it claims that the latest court ruling sends a stern message to DCA “that its spurious claims against the ZACR are deficient in law and don’t stand up to proper scrutiny.”
What needs to happen now, as put by ZACR, is that DCA needs to amend its claims against ZACR or the case against ZACR will be withdrawn.
“We will continue to support the court process and look forward to a speedy resolution that will advance Africa’s Internet interests,” concluded Masilela.
The .Africa domain was supposed to go live more than two years ago, and for now, the issuing of .africa websites and the domain as a whole will be halted until the court can decide who the rightful administrator of the domain should be.[Image – YouTube]