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8 Aug 2000
Web porn case gets stranger
John Swartz, USA Today

The sensational federal court battle over who owns the popular Web name -- the centerpiece of a $250 million Internet porn network -- took yet another unusual turn this week.

With a decision expected any day, Stephen Michael Cohen, who controls the Web name, filed a motion to dismiss. He claims new information indicates the case against him was built on doctored evidence.

''This whole case reeks of fraud,'' Cohen says. ''It is truly a Perry Mason twister.''

The plaintiff, Gary Kremen, says he originally owned and lost it in 1995 when a letter to domain-name registrar Network Solutions indicated he wanted it transferred to Cohen. Kremen sued in 1998, claiming that the letter was a fake.

Cohen says Kremen never had the name, and in fact Kremen is responsible for the bogus letter in a scheme to claim

Kremen, Cohen claims, ''withheld, and presumably destroyed, evidence'' as part of a ''campaign of deception'' to smear Cohen for ''his alleged past misdeeds'' -- an apparent reference to the two years he served in federal prison for fraud in the early 1990s.

''We got a good laugh out of this,'' says Kremen's lawyer, Charles Carreon, who will oppose the motion.



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