SA blogger served with legal papers in internet radio stats row [updated]

Shaun Dewberry, the blogger at the centre of an escalating internet radio listener stats storm has been served with legal papers by the company who provides these stats to a number of high-profile internet radio stations.

Dewberry, who describes himself as “probably the first South African on Twitter” and has the Twitter handle @shaun is a techie at Interwebsradio, a Rock and Indie streaming radio station.

On Monday, Dewberry wrote a blog post calling the listener figures of South African online radio stations, including 2OceansVibe Radio and Ballz Radio, “complete fabrications. Utter nonsense. Lies, even”.

NetDynamix, the hosting company for the internet radio stations’ audio streams, has denied the claims made by Dewberry, calling them defamatory. On Tuesday the company issued a letter of demand to the blogger, and told Memeburn it would respond to Dewberry’s arguments in a press release later in the day.

Late on Tuesday afternoon, Dewberry took to Twitter to criticise the company for not responding to his allegations:

Dewberry also appeared to later defend internet radio stations Ballz and 2OceansVibe:

Letter of demand published on blog

Dewberry earlier on Tuesday afternoon published the letter of demand on his blog:

In all of the abovementioned publications, being your blog, your Twitter page, your Facebook page and in your verbal interview with Darren Scott on Ballz Radio yesterday, you have defamed our client’s good name and reputation, by inter alia stating that:

1. Our client’s listenership statistics are complete fabrications.

2. Our client’s listenership statistics are utter nonsense.

3. Our client’s listenership statistics are lies.

4. Our client has fooled their clients in regard to such statistics.

5. Our client has pulled the wool over the eyes of our client’s clients with such listenership statistics.

The papers order Dewberry to take down “all content” relating to the accusations he made against Net Dynamix on his blog and social media accounts, to publish a retraction and to admit that he should have contacted Net Dynamix for comment before publishing the blog post. It also demands that Dewberry specify that he regrets “any offence or reputational damage which [he] may have caused to our client in the circumstances”.

If Dewberry fails to take down the content and apologise, NetDynamix has threatened to apply for a High Court interdict forcing him to do so. The company has also threatened to sue him for what it calls “defamatory and malicious publications”.



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