Accounting software n00bs, 2clix lodged a Statement of Claim in the Brisbane Supreme Court claiming that the owner of the magnificent Whirlpool, Simon Wright, has caused them injurous falsehood by not following demands to remove content on the website that was critical of their product offering.
The news story was placed on Whirlpool’s front page, in line with Whirlpool’s policy on companies lodging lawsuits against Whirlpool, and has attracted an overwhelming amount of follow on media attention.
Whirlpool’s owner Simon Wright hasn’t exactly done anything wrong by not honouring a request from a company embarrassed by comments about their product offering to remove those comments from his website.
Who’s fault is it?
The users aren’t at fault, all they did was post their experiences to stop other users from making a painful mistake.
The host isn’t at fault, they simply host the server and the site doesn’t contain anything illegal.
Simon isn’t at fault, he just built the site and allowed users to make comments on topics that interested them.
It’s easy to identify who is at fault.
They bought negative feedback upon themselves by releasing a product that didn’t live up to the standards desired by many users.
The users found many issues in 2Clix’s program.
There are many users reporting the program as a dud program.
The threads contain nothing inappropriate or illegal.
So what exactly are 2Clix suing Simon for? For telling them to get stuffed in an email they sent asking him to remove content from his website? For allowing users to have a discussion on a particular company, service or product?
The case is likely to end up withdrawn by 2Clix. By lodging the statement of claim, they are attracting A LOT More attention. Many more people now know the name. 2Clix.
Many more people now know the company has dodge software, because there are many users reporting that the software is not up to standards they expected (eg. Division by Zero errors).
Many more people know the software was charged at something like $50,000 for an application that uses MySQL and other Open Source software items, and isn’t completely the work of the company itself.
Many more people will see the company in a negative light for not accepting positive criticism, improving the product and moving on.
2Clix will obviously not get many sales as a result of this action, because many more people are going to remember the name of the company that tried to censor fair and reasonable discussion.
2Clix are very likely to withdraw this case, mainly because they will need to find the funding to pay Simon’s legal costs after they have lost, and without any sales as a result of the negative publicity they bought upon themselves by lodging a lawsuit against a not-for-profit public discussion forum, they will withdraw the case, and probably at that point change the company name in an effort to cover its old markings, that is, if they haven’t gone bust by that point.
On the other hand, they could be aggressive, and follow it all through even if they could lose, and end up losing and end up well closed down as a result of lack of income to fund the court case.
Or, it’s very unlikely, but if it did rule in their favour, it could set a new precedent for all online websites. Including some of mine.
If that did happen, it’d be a very sad day for the open internet, public discussion on movies, music, people, politics, products, services, etc, are all going to be stopped, purely because 2Clix didn’t like a few users telling others that 2Clix is a poor quality item of software.
That’s very unlikely, as setting a precedent like that would be looked on very unfavourably by the wider community, so the first outcomes are very likely.
1. 2Clix withdraws realising that in continuing they are going to basically push all the funds put into this case down the gutter as they shot themselves in the foot with even more negative publicity.
2. 2Clix pushes on, they could have nothing left to lose and end up broke as a result of legal costs from Simon winning.
One of those two will happen, and unfortunately for 2Clix, they won’t be getting a click at all.