Embattled 'Spam King' faces arrest

Having seemingly defied interim High Court injunctions banning the sale of a database of business contacts, allegedly purloined from the Yellow Pages Group, Image Marketing Group Ltd (IMG) and its director, "Spam King" Brendan Battles now face further legal action.

Yesterday, Yellow Pages Group and Finda Ltd went to court again, and obtained further orders against Image Marketing Group and Battles. This time around, Battles could be arrested and imprisoned for contempt of court if he fails to comply with the court orders.

See also: Injunction? what injunction?By 5pm today, IMG and Battles has been ordered to deliver up all hard copies of the "NZ Data version 3.0" database, as well as all previous and subsequent iterations of it. Furthermore, IMG and Battles have to hand over all computers on which the databases are stored.

The database in question is said to contain over 300,000 businesses, with full particulars.

Prior to yesterday's court action, IMG and Battles were facing a full trial in six months' time, and an interim injunction was ordered by the High Court stopping the sale and marketing of the database at the centre of the case.

IMG was also ordered to provide the full names and addresses of everyone who had bought licenses for the database. The company was also ordered to pay costs and disbursements for Yellow Pages Group's lawyers that are already over $5,500.

Battles is the director of IMG that has a registered office in Browns Bay on Auckland's North Shore, and was added as the third defendant yesterday.

Neither Battles nor his company were represented at the High Court hearings for the injunctions. It is not known if he is still in the country.

Attempts by Computerworld to contact Battles via phone and email have been unsuccessful.

Battles is no stranger to controversy, having been described by investigative journalist Brian McWilliams as a "Spam King" who sent out up to 50 million messages a day.

After arriving in New Zealand from the United States four years ago, Battles started spamming here too, attempting to sell broadband plans for his then employer, Compass Communications.

Currently, Battles and companies associated with him are being investigated by the Department of Internal Affairs for sending text message spam.

Image Marketing Group referred Computerworld's enquiries to Battles' mobile phone. He did not answer or respond to a message.

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