The Premier Bacon Company is threatening legal action against Mark Eden of the Wellington Animal Rights Network, who has registered premierbacon.co.nz and put up a website criticising Premier Bacon’s factory farming practices.
I am not a lawyer, but I am reasonably well read in this area. I don’t see that Premier Bacon has much of a case. It is one thing to use a domain name to pass yourself off as a company, or if you are a competitor to commercially trade from it, but generally criticism sites have been seen as legal. Again this is not based on any NZ case law, just on overseas cases I have observed.
At present the only was to resolve such a dispute is through High Court action. At some stage next year though there will be an alternative dispute resolution process for .nz domain names. Feedback is being sought on the draft proposed policy for the resolution service.