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Arizona Court Rules Against Mark Austin

English Internet Travel Broker Suffers Setback in Arizona Courts On the Heels of Defeat Before World International Property Organization.

(11/1/2004) The Superior Court of Arizona has ruled in favor of Bali Discovery Tours and its Internet Service Provider Crystaltech Web Hosting in an action brought by Mark Andrew Austin, the U.K. operator of an on-line travel booking facility for Bali and Thailand.

The Arizona court ruled that Austin's case charging defamation against balidiscovery.com and Crystaltech could not proceed, granting a summary judgment in favor of Crystaltech under the U.S. Federal Communications Decency Act and a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction by Bali Discovery Tour's President Director, John M. Daniels.

Mark Austin, the owner of an on-line travel booking service and the operators of websites engaged in making highly-critical attacks against numerous Bali and Thailand tourism operators, initiated a defamation action with the Arizona courts in connection with a report on balidiscovery.com reporting that criminal charges had been filed against Austin with the Indonesian police.

[ See: Bali Discovery Makes a Police Complaint ]

WIPO Decision

In a separate proceeding in July 2004, Austin and his On-Line Travel Booking Service Worldwide Internet Hotel Reservations, Ltd. were found at fault in an action brought before the World International Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. A three-member WIPO panel ruled that Austin had violated the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) policies in registering the domain names www.balidiscovery.org and www.balidiscoverytours.com. The panel ruled that Austin had acted in bad faith in registering the subject domain names protected under an official trademark owned by P.T. Bali Discovery Tours. WIPO also ruled that Austin acted in bad faith by using the disputed domains to "tarnish the trademark and services" of Bali Discovery Tours - actions outside the legitimate use of a domain name under ICANN's administrative rules.

In finding Austin at fault, WIPO ordered ordered the transfer of the disputed domain names to P.T. Bali Discovery Tours.

Austin Still Sought by Indonesian Police

Mark Andrew Austin, who has recently resided in Portugal, Thailand and his native England - is the registered owner of a number websites promoting the sale of perscription drugs or travel products over the Internet. He continues to be sought by the Indonesian police in connection to outstanding criminal complaints filed against him by Bali Discovery Tours.

Indonesian law classes defamation, trademark and copyright violations, and acts of commercial interference as both criminal and civil offenses.

Efforts by Bali Discovery Tours to mediate the conflict with Mark Austin, attempting to bring an end to his attacks on the island's tourism and open the way for police charges against him to be dropped, have been repeatedly rejected by Austin, who has publicly vowed "to hurt the island" he loves.

[ Download Arizona Ruling in CV 2004-000253 Mark Andrew Austin v Crystaltech Web Hosting, et al ]

[ WIPO Decision Case No. D2004-0299 P.T. Bali Discovery Tours v Mark Austin/Worldwide Internet Hotel Reservations, Ltd. et al ]