This is the second time that courts have acted against DomainTools; the first decision in favour of .nz domain name owners' privacy was in September 2018. This was appealed by DomainTools but it lost the case in the US Court of Appeals on Thursday.
A statement from the New Zealand Domain Name Commission said the court decision would prevent DomainTools from breaching the privacy of owners of .nz domain name owner or from publishing their details.
Last the Domain Name Commission had offered a privacy option to all .nz owners, which meant they could withhold their addresses and phone numbers from appearing in an online search. More than 63,000 domain name owners had opted to take up this feature.
”We are doing our bit to balance privacy and security online by taking legal action, but the domain name industry needs to pay attention to privacy and change with the times.”
This is not the first case of an American company trying to take advantage of a New Zealand outfit. Back in 2013, after a protracted fight, the Horowhenua Library Trust, the birthplace of the open source Koha integrated library system, succeeded in preventing an American defence contractor from poaching its trademark.