Internet Law

Gadfly buys website in DA's name after he lets registration expire


A Louisiana district attorney set up a website in his name when he was campaigning for election, then let the registration expire after he won a second term in office.

Now an unidentified gadfly has purchased the domain name formerly used by District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla and is using it as a platform to criticize him professionally and personally, WAFB reports.

D’Aquilla, who serves as DA for East Feliciana Parish and West Feliciana Parish, said he is trying to get a subpoena to figure out who is operating the site.

Justin Ourso, a lawyer who discussed the website with the station, said it would only be illegal if the operator is violating copyright or trademark law by using D’Aquilla’s name.

To win a civil defamation case and damages, D’Aquilla would have to prove both a false statement and malice or reckless disregard for the truth, since he is a public figure, according to Ourso.

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