Pretty much all of the news on the impending demise of 2-Channel has been coming from everyone’s favorite online tabloid, ZAKZAK, the Internet edition of the Yukan Fuji newspaper. However (as I’ve been commenting for the last few days) it looks like the threats to seize 2ch and take it offline are not quite as bad as ZAKZAK would have you believe. Trusty Livedoor (COUGH COUGH) reports on an online interview with Hiroyuki Nishimura, the operator of 2ch:
“I believe that levying on a domain name is very difficult as it stands, but even assuming the domain was seized, I could switch to a new domain and there would be no problem. If you ran a search you would find the site right away, so I think nobody would be seriously inconvenienced.” Nishimura said that in any case, the site could be switched to a new domain in a matter of hours.
In response to the question “So why do you think they’re making such a big deal out of 2ch closing?” Nishimura said: “Even if the site doesn’t go down, you can sell a paper which says it’s going down, so I think they’re just saying 2CH TO CLOSE in order to sell papers. It’s like the story of the boy who cried wolf. Let’s not follow that…”
Nishimura denies that all of his assets are being seized, pointing out that seizure is only allowed to the extent of the monetary claim, “something which any company with a legal department should know.” Another article up on Livedoor (they almost seem to be making fun of Yukan Fuji at this point) says:
We asked a number of attorneys, but each one shook their head. Kenichiro Kubo, who participated in several 2ch cases, says “I have never heard of a case where a domain name was seized. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘procedurally’ impossible since it’s substantially similar to a copyright or patent, but to ask whether it can be assessed as an asset…”
Attorney and IT specialist Hiroyuki Dan (not the Hiroyuki of 2ch) says “I understand that desire to try seizing the domain as a debt. I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent impossible, but in this case, there are many hurdles.”