The CEO of Isocnz's registry business Domainz has sued an ISP owner for allegedly defamatory remarks made in Isocnz's own mailing list.
Papers have been filed in the Palmerston North District Court alleging that Alan Brown of Manawatu Internet defamed Domainz CEO Patrick O'Brien in a posting to the list in December.
It is unclear who is funding the action - O'Brien is named as the plaintiff but the covering letter on papers served to Brown says the law firm Izard Weston acts for Domainz itself.
Brown says it is the second time O'Brien has taken legal action against him over comments on the list. In the posting cited in the new action, Brown accuses O'Brien of "threatening baseless legal action in order to gag public criticism". He also calls the CEO a "buffoon".
Brown's post was a reply to one by David Zanetti, who complained about the procedures employed by Domainz in the changing of the details registered against a domain name held by Zanetti's employer, Wellington City Council.
Zanetti began that post, which was made from his private email address, with a disclaimer to the effect that he was speaking solely as a private individual. But two days later, on December 24, he posted a subsequent message to the list, in which he said that "on behalf of the Council I wish to apologise to Domainz and Mr O'Brien and to reassure them that there is no reason why the past good relationship enjoyed by the two organisations should not continue."
The second posting appears to have been prompted by the threat of legal action.
The suit served on Brown seeks a similar "unreserved apology" to O'Brien in lieu of other remedies.
Although Brown's posting was made in response to Zanetti's December 22 post, and appeared on the day between that post and Zanetti's appology, O'Brien told IDGNet yesterday that Zanetti was not the issue.
"What we've put before Alan is a posting that he had to the Isocnz list just before Christmas," said O'Brien. "I can't recall whether he commented about David Zanetti or not, but as far as I'm concerned it's nothing to do with David Zanetti or anyone else. Alan made some accusations about me personally."
The suit is likely to further raise the temperature of the firey Isocnz list, where Domainz and O'Brien himself regularly come under criticism - some of it apparently stronger than that cited in the new legal action.
Brown, who was last night calling for O'Brien's removal as CEO, has posted scans of the papers served on him.