The man at the centre of the country’s first internet defamation case, Manawatu Internet Services director Alan Brown, says he is in financial strife.
That’s despite the Internet Society, of which he is a member, deciding last month to fund his defence (after the event) through its Domainz commercial arm.
The ISP he runs is “definitely in financial trouble”, Brown told Computerworld last week. As a result of both of the defamation action and disputes over the actions of anti-spam organisation ORBS, which Brown also runs, the ISP’s user numbers have been shrinking, he says.
Brown declined last week to comment on the likely future of the company, particularly any suggestion of a formal declaration of insolvency.
The defamation action against Brown was brought by the former head of Domainz, Patrick O’Brien. O’Brien’s legal costs were also met by Domainz.
The case was heard in Palmerston North last month and a judgement is pending.
The society held a special general meeting last week at the instigation of members concerned that O’Brien’s case was funded by Domainz. They succeeded in having the society instruct Domainz to pay Brown’s costs as well.
Brown says he remains far from satisfied with the outcome, which amounts to a sum of about $7000. “That will just about pay my legal fees and my phone bill”, without other expenses and the impact of negative publicity on him and Manawatu Internet Services.