Judge: no new customers for Vonage

Ouch, this one's gotta sting a little: after Verizon won an injunction against Vonage for copyright infringement, today US District Judge Claude Hilton has imposed an immediate stay on the VoIP provider's business, disallowing them from adding new customers. Like, seriously, you they aren't allowed to sign anyone up. Vonage will still continue providing service to those customers it currently has; it's obviously planning to immediately appeal the decision, however Judge Hilton also managed to tack on a $66 million appeal bond, which doesn't exactly sweeten their deal at all. Things are definitely not looking good for those guys; we'll keep ya updated. [Warning: subscription req'd for link.]

Update: We just called Vonage, and their end-user sales reps haven't gotten the memo yet. In other words, if you wanted to jump on Vonage service, today may be your last day to, at least for a while. (If you're really lucky, you might be able to get a rep to rattle off their official memo on the Verizon case, which accuses them of "stifling their competition by using US courts." Very good stuff.)

Update 2: The stranglehold decision made earlier today to stay Vonage and cut off its new customer signups has already been itself stayed, meaning the VoIP phone service provider can continue signing up new customers. (This news came this evening, well after our call into Vonage where a clueless rep hadn't even yet gotten the memo to stop signing up new users.) The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals will consider Vonage's appeal of the injunction and customer-signup stay set forth by Judge Hilton; looks like this one's only going to get more messy, but thew takeaway is pretty straightforward: if you want to sign up for Vonage, you've still got a window of opportunity, so get in now before even more mad legal drama goes down.