New Zealand delivers first online defamation verdict

Alan Brown has been found guilty of defamation in New Zealand's first online defamation case.

"I'm to pay $30,000 with another $12,000 punitive damages," says Brown. The total NZ$42,000 award equals US$18,500.

Brown was accused of defaming Patrick O'Brien, then head of domain name registry company Domainz, on the Internet Society of New Zealand (ISOCNZ) mailing list in December 1999. ISOCNZ, now InternetNZ, is the owner of Domainz and Brown is a member of the society.

This was the first court case in New Zealand to deal with online defamation.

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Paul Brislen

Computerworld
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