Domainz issue comes to a head this week

Disputes around Domainz seem to set to come to a head with an announcement over the organisation's future due this week.

Disputes around Domainz seem to set to come to a head with an announcement over the organisation's future due this week.

At the end of last week, 2Day.com managing director Peter Mott was considering legal action over what he said was Domainz' deliberate policy of urging his customers to change to other providers.

And Alan Brown, the Manawatu Internet Services director who is still being sued by Domainz CEO Patrick O'Brien, has had his four-week suspension from the Internet Society of New Zealand members' mailing list extended to the public ISOCNZ-l list - with the ISOCNZ council ordering the list's newsgroup gateway to be shut down to prevent Brown posting again.

He had previously circumvented the members' list ban for breaching the list's acceptable use policy with comments about Domainz' public relations company by posting as ISOCNZ executive director Sue Leader. The message he posted described Leader as a "brainless bimbo". Over the weekend, the council issued a press statement saying it had "moved to raise standards for communication on the Internet".

The decision to extend the ban was made at an ISOCNZ council meeting on Thursday. ISOCNZ, which is the sole shareholder in Domainz, also discussed the results of a Domainz board meeting on the same day.

Acting Domainz board chairman and ISOCNZ councillor Robert Gray - one of a group of councillors recently elected on a mandate of change - at Domainz, said on Friday that there would be an announcement late this week to do with the organisation's future.

Gray said he could not elaborate, but some councillors are understood to have been angered by what appeared to be evidence of Mott's claims that Domainz, which operates as a monopoly, had been turning customers away from his company. Domainz board members have been attempting to have the Domainz chief executive Patrick O'Brien remedy the matter.

"In my opinion they have actively and conscientiously tried to have our customers changed to another provider," says Mott.

He claims to have "written evidence" from a customer of this activity, which he has posted to the ISOCNZ mailing list.

The email included the following comment, reportedly from a Domainz employee called Andrew: "2Day have specifically requested not to be considered as a .nz name service provider." Mott says this is wrong.

"We asked not to be referred to as a registrar on the Domainz Web site, because we are an ICANN registrar and the Domainz use of the word is completely different to the ICANN meaning."

ICANN is the international body that administers the worldwide domain name space. Domainz has changed its wording to fall in line with ISOCNZ expectations and the word "registrar" has been replaced with "domain name service provider", something Mott says adequately describes 2Day's service.

2Day is still not listed as a provider, however, and Mott says Domainz has gone beyond simply not listing his ISP.

"If you wish to see organisations that have agreed and have their name and name servers included, please click on the link on the front page of www.domainz.net.nz," says the customer's letter.

"We have been trying to get our name in the drop down list box 'name service manager' for ages.

"It's bad enough them having a bad Web site; it's bad enough them making it difficult for our customers; but it's another thing entirely for them to be referring them to our competitors," says Mott.

O'Brien has been unavailable for comment.

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