Libel poses problems for UK ISP

But mirror sites still carry allegations

A Brighton-based Internet Service Provider (ISP) is defending its decision to close down a Web site after it was threatened with legal action by a Winchester-based property company. The ISP, K-Web, received a letter from solicitors acting on behalf of Oakleigh Property Management (OPM) Ltd which said that a site it was hosting on behalf of one its customers contained a link to a tenant's protest site carrying "misleading and inaccurate" accusations about the OPM's business practices. "We had no choice but to take it down," said K-Web's MD Kevin Connor. However, while the site containing the link -- and a mirror site -- have been removed, OPM has taken no action against the three other mirror sites that contain the same information. But in a bizarre twist, Klaus Fricke, the man whose site was removed by K-Web, is now using newsgroups to lambaste the ISP over the handling of the situation. Not only is Fricke claiming that the ISP purged his domain with just two hours' notice, he's also alleging that K-Web refuses to refund the money he paid them for setting up and hosting his domain. "It's been four weeks since K-Web purged my domain and they've not even bothered putting their reasons in writing," he said. "I have spent hundreds of hours and lots of money setting up my company's Web page and registering it with various search engines. Now all that effort has gone down the drain in just two hours." K-Web told The Register that it will happily transfer Fricke's domain to a new ISP as soon as it receives instructions to do so. ®

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