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Censorship The Courts

Magicjack Loses Legal Attack Against Boing Boing 148

Posted by kdawson
from the ridicule-they-deserve dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that USB VOIP company Magicjack lost a lawsuit against Boing Boing when the judge declared the legal action a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation). Magicjack must pay more than $50,000 in legal costs. Boing Boing has posted a page linking and summarizing all the legal documents relating to the lawsuit.
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Magicjack Loses Legal Attack Against Boing Boing

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  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:34AM (#31255494) Homepage
    According to the linked article:

    After the dismissal of the lawsuit, MagicJack CEO Dan Borislow apologized and told us that his lawyers, Arnold & Porter, did not fully disclose to him the weaknesses in his case or properly analyze California law. During negotiations, we were surprised when MagicJack agreed to a settlement of our legal costs, then backed out. We would not agree to keep the actual legal dispute confidential under any circumstances. However, we offered not to publish details of our legal costs or their settlement if Borislow would donate $25,000 to charity. MagicJack, however, offered to pay our legal bill only if we'd agree to keep the whole dispute confidential; when we refused, Borislow wrote that he would 'see us in court.' Nonetheless, we're happy with the outcome. The irony for MagicJack is that the proceedings are public record, so the silence it sought was effectively worthless.

    To some extent it looks like they weren't litigious pricks as much as having gotten very bad legal advice and then not backed out when they should have. So this may be more in the category of "too stubborn" more than anything else.

  • by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:49AM (#31255580)


    To some extent it looks like they weren't litigious pricks as much as having gotten very bad legal advice and then not backed out when they should have.

    So the lawyer thought they could win and was wrong. That somehow excuses them from being pricks by suing in the first place? You make it sound like the lawyer somehow forced Magic Jack to sue.

      So this may be more in the category of "too stubborn" more than anything else.

    I'd say stubborn pricks describes it quite well. Who sues someone for a factually accurate article that describes something the company publicly posted on their site, but hoped nobody would notice? I hadn't heard about the lawsuit or the spying behaviour of magic jack before. (Though I had heard of magic jack). You better believe I'll tell people that they reserve the right to spy on people based on who they call, then decide to sue people who tell anybody.

  • by moosesocks (264553) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:10AM (#31255718) Homepage

    So the lawyer thought they could win and was wrong. That somehow excuses them from being pricks by suing in the first place? You make it sound like the lawyer somehow forced Magic Jack to sue.

    Yes. A good lawyer should have told them they had no chance of winning the lawsuit. Prosecuting a libel case in the US is extremely difficult even when the plaintiff has a legitimate case to make.

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:25AM (#31255818) Homepage Journal

    So the lawyer thought they could win and was wrong. That somehow excuses them from being pricks by suing in the first place? You make it sound like the lawyer somehow forced Magic Jack to sue.

    Yes. A good lawyer should have told them they had no chance of winning the lawsuit. Prosecuting a libel case in the US is extremely difficult even when the plaintiff has a legitimate case to make.

    But that lawyer would have walked away with less money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:33AM (#31255872)

    DO NOT EVER TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AWAY FROM THE MOVANT and PUT IT ON THEIR LAWYERS.

    If you hire dicks to sue people, it means you hired dicks to sue people.

    It makes me angry because I've been on the receiving end of such dickishness.

     

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:53AM (#31255972)

    It's SOP for agreements to be confidential, so the lawyers would have violated their firm's S&P's to accept something else. This would open the firm up to future malpractice liability, so they would be forced to decline. You just don't practice ad hoc law.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:04AM (#31256050)
    Facebook is not social interaction, no matter how many times you say it is.
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:43AM (#31256250)

    To some extent it looks like they weren't litigious pricks as much as having gotten very bad legal advice and then not backed out when they should have.

    Or, their litigious pricks who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, and our now blaming their lawyers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @04:28AM (#31256774)

    Yes, we get it, the legal advice was bad. How does that excuse being a prick? The guy sued for something that was obviously legal and then tried to silence people from telling what happened. In other words, a prick.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:59AM (#31258162)

    I though CEO's were supposed to be business experts that knew a lot more than the average guy. They certainly get paid enough to make the rest of us assume they are super geniuses with IQ's above 150 and a ton of experience and savvy.

    Maybe corporations should stop hiring as CEO some random dude that is good at schmoozing and start hiring competent Executives that earn their pay instead of playing golf all day or talking in circles. Link CEO pay directly to performance. IF the company loses money, they get ZERO pay. If a company is going gangbusters then they get massive pay. Put those worthless assholes on straight commission.

  • by Anonymous Cowpat (788193) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:10AM (#31258228) Journal

    total mother-stabbing new-age-witchcraft-practicing father-raping puppy-shredding nun-strangling terrorist hippie racist moronic flat-earther sexist heretic robber-baron asshole Republican innocent-attacking bastard litigious prostitute kitten-poisoning jerk gay Scientologist thieving SCO homophobic Democrat shit-eating Nazi stupid criminal cocksucking evil Communist odious pig-fucking Christian pedophile nu-metal-wigger Romulan poo-head

    remind me to use that more often in coversation...

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:07PM (#31262058)

    The problem with this whole line of thinking is that we don't know what Dan Borislow's lawyers said to him.

    Doesn't matter. Lawyers are just tools to get what whoever pays them wants, and he wanted Boing Boing to shut up.

    This Borislow character went after a site that was publishing factual material. As it happened, this was information that he didn't want his customers (or potential customers) knowing about. In other words, he wants to do whatever he wants without any consequences and he's only apologizing because he had is ass handed to him on a Sterno-fueled platter.

    Furthermore, if you want to mistreat your customers, and use attack lawyers to silence any criticism of your actions, then you're exactly what I originally called him: a litigious prick.

    Of course, a large number of people that had never heard of Magic Jack now know that the company is owned and operated by a complete jerk. That can't be good for sales ... I mean, cripes if there was ever a prime example of the Streisand effect, this is it. You'd think that someone who runs an Internet communications company would have a bit more on the ball. I guess that just makes him a stupid jerk.

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