Following up from our previous two articles; (The first rule at auDA is… You DO NOT talk about Caroline Fritsch) and (auDA Manager breaches code of conduct), I recently received a letter from a legal firm representing Caroline Fritsch.
Caroline Fritsch’s lawyers are requesting I remove the above two articles from Domainer by 4 pm on 16 March 2021.
I will not do so.
In the letter, Caroline Fritsch’s lawyer claims his purpose is to “correct numerous inaccuracies” in the articles, then attempts to explain across two pages (as if he is a domain name policy expert), why no one can register the AIF.com.au domain name (including Ned from this article).
I continue to stand by the content and series of events I wrote about in the two articles above. And let’s not forget, there’s more information about this whole AIF.com.au saga in Ned’s articles; “auDA CEO Tries to Stifle The Truth” and “auDA, This Doesn’t Pass The Pub Test“.
One good thing to come out of the lawyer’s recent letter is, it appears Caroline Fritsch has now admitted she was in the wrong, in regards to when she incorrectly stated to her contact at Defence that Ned had previously been refused consent to use the domain name. Which wasn’t true.
Caroline Fritsch’s lawyer wrote;
“Ms Fritsch accepts she should have further verified the relevant information at the time.”
This echoes what the auDA CEO said last year – see point 1 below.
Here are the reasons why I won’t be removing the requested articles by Caroline Fritsch’s lawyers;
- The auDA CEO accepts that Caroline Fritsch should have done “some fact checking” before replying to external communications.
- I stand by the content of the articles as I believe them to be a true and correct version of events that saw Ned’s AIF.com.au generic three-letter acronym domain name effectively stripped from him after he had been given permission by Defence to use it. In my honest opinion, I believe interference and the false or incorrect statement was a major catalyst that caused him to lose the domain name.
- There are several other “AIF” keyword businesses and trademarks registered in Australia with matching “AIF” domain names. Did auDA or Caroline Fritsch bother to ask the Defence Minister about any of these registrations in the past?
- Caroline Fritsch is auDA’s Policy and Strategy Manager. Chasing up domain complaints seems like a very unusual thing for her to do, considering her job title.
- Ned was originally approved the use of the domain name, and then Mark Bouck (Senior Compliance Officer at auDA) simply asked him to request a slight amendment from Defence (entity name). But, the lawyer goes on to state in this new letter, “The auDA Chief Operating Officer, asked Ms Fritsch to contact Defence”. This merely raises more questions… What does Bruce Tonkin (auDA COO) have to do with this and why has he been brought up all of a sudden in this legal letter? Why wasn’t the auDA Complaints Manager asked to follow this up, instead of Caroline Fritsch, the Policy and Strategy Manager?
- Why has the lawyer requested me to remove my two articles, but not the two articles written by Ned? (auDA CEO Tries to Stifle The Truth and auDA, This Doesn’t Pass The Pub Test)
- Who’s paying Caroline Fritch’s legal bills? Did Rosemary Sinclair (current auDA CEO) approve this? If so, is this the best use of Registrant’s money by the not-for-profit organisation?
What’s ironic about all this is that this matter was slowly fading away, and Ned was almost willing to move on because he had exposed the truth. But now, here we go again!