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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 ScrewMaster (602015) * on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:25AM (#31255454)
    convincing me to not buy their product. Too bad, I was considering getting hold of one to play around with it. But I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor.
    • 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 Yaa 101 (664725)

        You mean too aggressive for their own good, if he could use a hardware weapon instead of a litigation weapon he probably would have used it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ScrewMaster (602015) *

          if he could use a hardware weapon

          Well, if you count the apparently rather thick skull of his lawyer as hardware, I'd say that's exactly what he did.

      • 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.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by EvilBudMan (588716)

              Damn you are so right, but for Magic Jack it's just a cost of quelling free speech. They will probably keep doing this to blogging sites, especially those that aren't as big as Boing Boing. In most other states you can't sue them back either. I think that might be a good idea anytime someone looses a civil suit. Make them pay cost if their was no reasonable way they could win period in all the states in all cases.

              I mean is $50,000 really enough to slow them up? They could stand that all day long and some sm

          • by nudicle (652327) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:57AM (#31256314)
            The problem with this whole line of thinking is that we don't know what Dan Borislow's lawyers said to him. We only know what Dan Borislow says about his lawyers.

            Trust me, every day good lawyers say to their clients the equivalent of "if things blow up, just blame it your lawyer". They often do this when their clients say "I don't care about the probability of getting what I want, I want to got for it. How can I do damage control?"

            • by iamhassi (659463)
              Ok, but if this was a car analogy, it would be like taking your car to the mechanic and being told "sorry, can't be fixed, parts don't exist anymore" and telling the mechanic to fix it anyway. There's nothing hidden, the entire article was in boingboing for all to see, any good lawyer would have said can't be won.
            • Yeah, the lawyers were working for them not the other way around. Maybe just maybe the lawyers will now get pissed at them over that comment and that would be real cool to see.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ScrewMaster (602015) *

              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 yo

          • by douglips (513461) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @04:17AM (#31256726) Homepage Journal

            Waste of time, really. All you have to do to get a BoingBoing post taken down is to somehow link the story to the words "Violet Blue."

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MoralHazard (447833)

            You're dead right about that. Big Law doesn't like quitters. Firms like A&P, Skadden, etc. are staffed & partnered by the top 10-20% of law school grads, who are the worst kind of Type-A, hypomanic, aggressive, need-to-win kids. (They're also pretty damn smart, but that's orthogonal.) The attitude is like a boot-camp drill instructor: If you didn't kick the other guy's ass, you weren't trying hard enough, even if "hard enough" means working 100-hour weeks for months on end. It's unreal.

            I have a bunc

        • by evilviper (135110)

          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.

          As opposed to "The Phone Company" who never makes any mention of spying on their customers in EULAs or otherwise, but happily does so just as much as they damn-well please...

        • by plover (150551) * on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:33AM (#31255870) Homepage Journal

          MagicJack are indeed stubborn pricks.

          But take it no further: "Litigious bastards [sco.com]" is still a phrase best reserved for SCO [sco.com].

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            you are correct.

            worthless junk [magicjack.com] is a far better phrase that is suited for Magic Jack [magicjack.com]

      • 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 initialE (758110)

          Dicks are sometimes hired on purpose, sometimes by accident. You hire a lawyer because you are clueless on law, and this should be a lesson in not being such a sucker in life. It's the subsequent action that the CEO took on realizing his mistakes that damn him, not his earlier actions. The desire to hide the suit from public scrutiny, the lack of any apology, that stuff.

        • by iamhassi (659463)
          And I've hired crappy lawyers. It's really bad when you're told for years you'll win only to be hit with the other guys fees at the end and the lawyer just shrugs and cashes your check. And what can you do, sue the lawyer? That would be the one case they would probably win.
        • So if your doctor gives you bad advice, and you follow it because hey he's the doctor, YOU're the asshole?

          It's unclever to make assumptions either way, we really don't know whether or not their legal team was being above-board with them or not.

          • No what the guy is saying is this : "We wanted to shut you up and our lawyers told us we could so we sued but it didn't work out. Sorry we thought we could win our suit to censor you, we were misinformed."

            I don't care if his lawyers told him they shit rainbows and glitter, he hired thugs to shut up someone for writing about his product. Even if the asshole thought he could win it he shouldn't have done it.

          • So if your doctor gives you bad advice, and you follow it because hey he's the doctor, YOU're the asshole?

            A doctor that gives you bad advice ends up on the wrong end of a malpractice suit.
            A lawyer that gives you bad advice ends up collecting $250/hour.

        • by Weezul (52464)

          Just make sure your family members never use MagicJack by them about telling them about Skype and other VoIP companies.

          • Just make sure your family members never use MagicJack by them about telling them about Skype

            Yes, because Skype is so much better on the privacy front.

        • 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.

          Thank you!

          IAAL and I can tell you that no sane lawyer would assure their client that they will definitely win anything. There are always risks, and if you fail to appraise your client of those risks then once they lose they will turn their attention to suing you.

          Plus, as I often find myself explaining to people, if people could just grow up and work out their problems amicably then lawyers would be out of a job tomorrow.

      • 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 @03:18AM (#31256408)

        To some extent it looks like they weren't litigious pricks as much as having gotten very bad legal advice

        How did they find themselves in a situation where they were receiving legal advice, unless they were already committed to assholery? When you're just sitting there minding your own business, lawyers don't just call you up out of the blue and spout advice at you before you can hang up.

        Someone made a statement about MagicJack that MagicJack knew was true. MagicJack decided, "fuck the truth, I wonder if there's a way we can use force to shut them up." Ok, at that point a foolish lawyer might say, "Yes, I think I know a way that you can be a total motherfucking litigious asshole and successfully use force against this totally innocent party in order to suppress the truth," and a gullible MagicJack might believe that the lawyer was telling the truth.

        But anyone who isn't evil, upon hearing that advice from their lawyer (let's ignore the fact that they had already proved themselves evil by even bothering to seek that advice), would say to their lawyer, "Well, that's interesting, Mr. Lawyer. I hope you enjoyed this intellectual exercise, but of course since I'm not a 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, I couldn't possibly actually proceed with such a case against a totally innocent party, even though I could successfully work my evil to advance the general cause of harming society and making the world a worse place. As much as I'd really like to, because I really do like injustice."

        We know they're motherfuckers, and bad legal advice is totally beside the point. Accepting bad legal advice only means they're gullible motherfuckers.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          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...

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ScrewMaster (602015) *

          a 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

          I think you're being a little unfair to the Romulans.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by maxume (22995)

        So they aren't litigious pricks, they are just court-happy jackasses?

      • by Weezul (52464)

        If you hire a litigious pricks lawyers, then *you* are a litigious prick too, period. We should avoid buying the products of litigious pricks like MagicJack. So make sure your family knows about other VoIP companies and/or Skype.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:02AM (#31255672)

      convincing me to not buy their product. Too bad, I was considering getting hold of one to play around with it. But I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor.

      I ordered two of them but when I tried to activate the service it dropped the web link midway through. I wound up stuck in a limbo of not being able to activate them. I tried to contact tech support but all they offered is that bloody chat support. Every time I do that I end up typing for a half hour to an hour to solve a five minute problem. They said that was the only option so I canceled the service and warned others. Crappy service cost them a customer. Add $20 to the price and high actual support people! Nice idea bad execution.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No Ubuntu client. Jerking us around ad infinitum. Convinced me not to touch them a loonnnnng time ago.

    • The real problem is what if I want to be a blogger in Virginia where the protections are not the same as California. I guess it was and still is a real threat to free speech. There should be a federal law against SLAPP lawsuits.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      But I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor.

      And if we weren't nerds we probably wouldn't have even known about this. My thanks to slashdot! But why aren't these sorts of things reported in the mainstream press?

      • But I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor. And if we weren't nerds we probably wouldn't have even known about this. My thanks to slashdot! But why aren't these sorts of things reported in the mainstream press?

        Not sensationalist enough, I'd say. They probably believe that it's only of interest to nerds, and who cares what they find interesting.

    • by J Story (30227)

      I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor.

      I think this covers a fair chunk of successful companies, public and private. When you're on the hook for millions of dollars in revenue, and competitors are looking for any weakness to bring you down, a sense of humour can be a liability. As for pricks, Microsoft didn't muscle its way into preeminence by Gates being a nice guy. Even allowing that Google isn't evil, it hasn't gotten to its position today by allowing itself to be pushed around.

      • I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor.

        I think this covers a fair chunk of successful companies, public and private. When you're on the hook for millions of dollars in revenue, and competitors are looking for any weakness to bring you down, a sense of humour can be a liability. As for pricks, Microsoft didn't muscle its way into preeminence by Gates being a nice guy. Even allowing that Google isn't evil, it hasn't gotten to its position today by allowing itself to be pushed around.

        I disagree. If you are successful because you play fast and loose with the law, that does not mean that your behavior is acceptable or even tolerable. You become a liability to everyone else, if not an outright aggressive menace.

        Furthermore, in no way was Magic Jack being "pushed around". They released a publicly available document, and then got upset that a news organization had the temerity to comment upon it. The only pushing around being done was by Magic Jack, who were behaving very badly even by co

        • by J Story (30227)

          The comment is not specifically related to Magic Jack, and "prick" is more a characteristic of Type "A" personalities than of criminals -- although the two are not mutually exclusive.

          As for Magic Jack, there is not enough for me to conclude that its executive team is "evil". In line with the principle of not ascribing to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence, it's quite possible that the team is young and having to learn as the company grows. Given "New Coke" and "Microsoft Bob", a b

          • As for Magic Jack, there is not enough for me to conclude that its executive team is "evil". In line with the principle of not ascribing to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence, it's quite possible that the team is young and having to learn as the company grows. Given "New Coke" and "Microsoft Bob", a blooper like this should be surprising to no one.

            Sure, next time they'll sue someone who can't afford a lawyer/doesn't have a working relationship with the EFF et al.

  • Soooo.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:43AM (#31255544) Journal
    MagicJack SLAPPed a Boing Boing? Sounds dirty to me.
  • by dido (9125) <dido.imperium@ph> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:44AM (#31255554)

    The summary could have put in a word about how MagicJack sued for defamation after Boing Boing made a post [boingboing.net] highly critical of their EULA, before explaining how the judge shot their suit down as a SLAPP...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hldn (1085833)

      this is their ploy to get us to read the articles.

      • This is a legitimate question. Yeah, probably, most other sites would have just jerked the article when warned. But, so what. Really I just mostly look at their pictures so /. must be in cahoots.

    • by value_added (719364) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:05AM (#31256054)

      Sued for defamation? That's not the half of it!

      In the lawsuit ... MagicJack alleged that these statements were false, misleading, and had irreparably harmed MagicJack's reputation by exposing it to "hate, ridicule and obloquy".

      Someone's got to say it ...

      Our three weapons are ... hate, ridicule and obloquoy!

      • by oodaloop (1229816)
        ...and obloquy... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as hate, ridicule, obloquoy, and obloquy,.... I'll come in again.
      • by TJamieson (218336)

        What, no puffery?

        • by Anomalyst (742352)

          ...and obloquy... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as hate, ridicule, obloquoy, and obloquy,.... I'll come in again.

          What, no puffery?

          G'Day Bruce. Right, I just want to remind you of the faculty rules: Rule One!
          No POOFTAS!

  • by bguiz (1627491) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:54AM (#31255614)
    Even BoingBoing agrees that MagicJack's hardware is great stuff... Too bad their marketing/management/legal department seems to think it can get away with shady practices like their crappy EULA.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      The hardware is NOT great stuff. It's a cheap china usb soundcard -> Phone interface. Granted you cant screw that up too badly, but it's not cisco enterprise quality Voip hardware.. it's very low cost consumer hardware.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

        The hardware is NOT great stuff. It's a cheap china usb soundcard -> Phone interface. Granted you cant screw that up too badly, but it's not cisco enterprise quality Voip hardware.. it's very low cost consumer hardware.

        Which means what in terms of use? Bad gain? Untenable echo? Impedence problems? Crackly sound?

        Walt Mossberg's review said people he was talking to couldn't tell he wasn't on a landline, though I doubt Walt ever gets a random box off the warehouse shelf.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:05AM (#31255686)

    From the article;

    In the lawsuit... It also alleged that I am a professional blogger.

    I knew that bloggers were disreputable sources for Wikipedia, but I had no idea that being a blogger could be used against you in a court of law.

    • by bguiz (1627491)

      It also alleged that I am a professional blogger.

      When I read that, I too was wondering what on earth that was meant to imply - as "allege" implies some form of accusation. BoingBoing's writers are most certainly professional bloggers. That is a statement of fact, not an allegation, so what really was the accusation?

  • The last best hope for Amiga peace!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:59AM (#31256016)
    I continue to be amused by the power switch on the MagicJack: MagicJack On. MagicJack Off.
    • I continue to be amused by the power switch on the MagicJack: MagicJack On. MagicJack Off.

      I got in trouble with my mom once because the SNES instruction manual said "Flip off the power switch".

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Bender! Are you jacking on in there?
  • by bguiz (1627491) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:58AM (#31256324)

    It just struck me that the main bone BoingBoing had to pick with MagicJack's EULA is that its users' calls are monitored, and are played targeted ads (obtained from said monitoring). How is this really much different from Google's adsense inside of gmail, where ads containing keywords found in your email's body are displayed next to your emails?

    Not that I am supporting MagicJack or Google in anyway, but what really was the difference? Did it boil down to Google's better wording or selling of its adsense, or are we just more sensitive when it is done to audio/ voice as opposed to when it is done in text/ email?

    • You can use gmail from a client program if you don't want to look at google ads.

      You can't avoid MagicJack the same way.

    • Google doesn't make it a secret. MagicJack does.

      Thus, they're creeps.

    • by Alrescha (50745)

      "It just struck me that the main bone BoingBoing had to pick with MagicJack's EULA is that its users' calls are monitored, and are played targeted ads (obtained from said monitoring)."

      The EULA does not say that 'calls are monitored', it says that 'Our computers may analyze the phone numbers you call'. I think that's a big difference. BoingBoing did a Slashdot-like editorial move and phrased their headline for maximum outrage and minimum accuracy.

      A.

      • by bguiz (1627491)

        Except that the judge's ruling dismissed the case on the grounds that BoingBoing did indeed make accurate claims - evidence from TFA:

        After it failed to do so, a California judge dismissed MagicJack's suit late last year. She noted that in its complaint, MagicJack essentially admitted the very act it claims to be defamed by.

        As to the statements based on the EULA, such statements, read in context, do not imply that the plaintiff is eavesdropping on its customers calls. Instead, the statements clearly constitute the opinion of the author that analyzing phone numbers for purposes of targeted advertising amounts to "spy[ing]," "snoop[ing]," and "systematic privacy invasion."

    • If you don't know the difference, really I can't tell you at this point. MagicJack is Eviiiiil and Google is gooood. Now do you see, no? I didn't think so.

    • It just struck me that the main bone BoingBoing had to pick with MagicJack's EULA is that its users' calls are monitored, and are played targeted ads (obtained from said monitoring). How is this really much different from Google's adsense inside of gmail, where ads containing keywords found in your email's body are displayed next to your emails?

      Not that I am supporting MagicJack or Google in anyway, but what really was the difference? Did it boil down to Google's better wording or selling of its adsense, or are we just more sensitive when it is done to audio/ voice as opposed to when it is done in text/ email?

      The difference is that, as with Apple, people are wilfully blind to the serious privacy problems with using Google products. Arguably Gmail is worse because Google actually trawls and stores the content of your emails, not just the address of the recipient and sender. I had a look at the EULA [intelligentdesign.com.au] a while ago - it's pretty bad.

      Disclaimer - it may have changed since then.

  • by gargeug (1712454) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @03:00AM (#31256334)
    So my boss bought these for our office, and as the tech guy I had to actually deal with them. The device itself is actually quite good, but their company is an abomination of a decent business. One of the jacks stopped working, and so I figured that it should be replaced with the option of transferring our old number to the new jack. Their customer service jerked me around for hours until one of them finally sent me a link to their terms and hung up on me. Basically, once they have your money they will jump through hoops to not help you at all. It is such a sleazy company and I hope nobody here gets fooled by them and actually buys it. Pay more for your service just to deal with a reputable company.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Wow, your boss is pretty dumb. Why the hell would he buy those for the office? is he that clueless or cheap?

      Let me guess, none of you have laptops, everyone is using the cheapest netbooks he can find, you all have card tables for desks, and the pens and paper you have all have different hotel names on them.

      only a complete idiot would use magicjacks for business.

  • by WidgetGuy (1233314) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:29AM (#31257088)
    ...and it concluded: "The license agreement above has a high calculated interest ID. It's extremely long, and there were a high number of detected 'interesting' words or phrases." That means Eulalyzer thinks its a bad EULA. The interesting words or phrases are listed and can be viewed in context: (1) Advertising, (2) Emergency Calls or Services, (3) Third Party, (4) Web Site Address, and (5) Without Notice. I've never seen a EULA with that many "'interesting' words or phrases" called out by the program.

    EULAlyzer is a free (download: http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/downloads.html [javacoolsoftware.com]). If, like me, you don't have the time to read through the EULA's for software you're thinking of purchasing, this is just the program for you. At the very least, it will give you a "heads up" and point you to the 'interesting' parts of the EULA where you can, then, read as much "legalese" as you can stomach..
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:20AM (#31257964) Homepage Journal

    That's all I care about, not their shitty SIP service, or their shitty customer service, but using them with Asterisk as an interface.

  • What really turned me away from the MagicJack was that the company that produced it was called "Ymax." The use of "Ymax", which looks to me like a deliberate attempt to hijack the term "WiMax." Those familiar with WiMax, the 802.16-based wireless access technology, would not likely confuse the WiMax and MagicJack's proprietor. But those on the periphery conversations around WiMax might. The attempt to siphon off good will toward WiMax shared by the ill-informed seems like a deceitful salesman's scam. N

  • Typical Corporation. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:51AM (#31259230)

    This had nothing to do with MagicJack as a product, nor was anyone saying that it was inherently bad, a ripoff, or a scam.

    This was simply BOING BOING pointing out, that like MANY corporations, their EULA is ridiculous. Like so many others, it is A) almost impossible to find, and B) absolutely ridiculous in its content. You have to promise your first born son for sacrifice to the telecommunication gods by buying their product, and you don't really find this out, until you have already bought their product. Move along, nothing to see here. The demands corporations TYPICALLY put in EULA's are above and beyond reasonable and are pretty much crazy. IANAL however I would bet MOST of these EULA's would not stand up in court as binding (though they may give weight for intent or something of that nature).

    Having said all that, MagicJack could have easily amended their stupid EULA to something a bit nicer, or tried to appease their POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS another way. However in true corporate form they would rather hire a bunch of lawyers and duke it out in court to avoid giving consumers what they want. Re-read that statement. Crazy. Not only that, I bet if you pulled the stats as to how many times a EULA like this would even be USED, particularly for a 50$ product with a 3$ subscription fee, it would be minute to the point of non-existence. As we all know while some people may put up a big stink about this sort of thing (and they should) most if faced with the actual situation either are too lazy or don't care enough about it to make any kind of stand anyway.

    In all a stupid move by MagicJack, but one that seems about par for the course for any corporate identity.

    I applaud BOING BOING for its work however, as the basic principle is if you don't like it, or agree with it, simply don't buy it. However in this case and many like it, you would never have found out about it until after you bought the product (if then) so it is already too late, they already got your money.

    This is why it is important what BOING BOING did (particulary when they didn't really have to, other than feeling slighted for being pushed around by lawyers), and why the SLAPP is a good idea, as it keeps the public informed. It isn't saying that MagicJack must change what it does, or fining them for bad behavior. It is just a decision that says, BOING BOING has a legitimate right to inform people about this information, and that MagicJack doesn't have the right to try and use the courts as its thugs to try and prevent it, thus they can pay for most of BOING BOING's legal fees. Thats all.

    Anyway good for BOING BOING, and shame on MagicJack.

I have ways of making money that you know nothing of. -- John D. Rockefeller

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