Trial updates

Good news everyone! Flawless Victory!

Automattic (the creators of WordPress) have hired a local lawyer and will be defending the case against needing to give up the information about me. The fact they decided to do this is fantastic and I will never leave WordPress for that (looking at paying for some premium services too, so they get something back). Really, I’m flabbergasted they decided to do this and extremely grateful. Thank you, Automattic, you are amazing!

I’ve received the go ahead to keep you guys updated on how the trial is going so I’ll use this place and keep it updated as things happen.

Update 6: Zenyth has voluntarily dismissed the trial, retracting the appeal. This means they now have to pay 4000 USD as trial expenses (this is a significant amount in Romania) and my articles stay up as they are.

Update 5:  Trial was struck down entirely as unfounded. Zenyth need to pay damages to WordPress but they can still submit for appeal. We’ll see what happens.

Update 4: 14.01.2013 – Takedown order struck down as unfounded. Good news, i’ll be able to write articles while the rest of the matter is judged (already wrote some, because that’s my thing).

Update 3: Nothing major happened in court, Automattic’s defense was established and the accusation said they need to read it. Term was set in 16.01.2013. Don’t forget there’s another hearing on 10.01.2013 for the takedown order.

Update 2: After a major online publication interviewed me, the local blogosphere exploded. Every major blogger wrote about me and the case saying that Zenyth did a big mistake.

The company published a PR defense to the article accusing me of lies and a coordinated campaign of defamation against them.

They also said I insulted their buyers and that I promote hate speech by saying “don’t throw your money in the toilet”, it’s really a text to read and laugh.

I published my own reply also showing the emails I  have sent requesting evidence and saying I am offering them a “right to reply” directly on my blog and the lack of answers from them (basically what’s described below).

Update 1: Next trial date is 19.12.2012 for the base and 10.01.2013 for the presidential ordinance (the takedown order)

First, let me tell you what happened since my previous post got very popular. By the way, thank you to every person that has read my article and passed it on or supported me. Thank you to podcasters and skeptical bloggers who reacted to this. Thank you to local bloggers who got involved also. You’ve made those days spectacular, thank you for being awesome!

Shortly after it was published I received an email from the companies marketing manager saying we should talk.

I said: “talk”. He said: “let’s meet”. I said: “I can’t do that, I’m paranoid because of you. ” He said: “you can trust me”. I said “No, I really can’t, but what do you want?”. He said “come on, let’s meet”. I said “sorry, still paranoid. We can discuss via email, what do you want?”. He said “our lawyers will get to you”. I said “oh well, we’ll see what happens”.

I should also mention I asked them if they want a “right to reply” as in I would publish their opinion of my articles directly on my blog, no comments added. That was ignored too.

Then the lawyer emailed me. Now, i was really impressed because it was the managing partner of a pretty big lawyer company. I watch the lawyer show “Suits” and when I received the email I was imagining Harvey Specter demeaning himself to talk to this unimportant, anonymous character. I sympathize Mr lawyer, I really do.

Lawyer said: “You can talk to me”. I said: “I’ve been doing this with the other guy, he just wants to meet. Look, I’m not actually in a trial. Talk to Automattics attorney”. Lawyer said: “You don’t understand, we’ll find you and you’ll pay for damages and your identity will be the least of your problems”. I never answered, they should have learned i don’t react well to threats.

So, after Automattic decided to hire a local lawyer, we got in touch and met. I’m pretty relaxed now and while I might still be identified, I’m confident the existing trial will go bad for the colon cleansers and if they do find me they will still lose.

I won’t reveal myself directly, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have a solid legal case. Even so, I’m in no rush to be in a legal trial, I’m uncomfortable with the idea, I really don’t want to have to discuss this at work (not the kind of place where having a trial in your name is a good idea) and I certainly don’t want to have people giving me a bad name for doing a good thing. I still honestly believe I did not say anything libelous, and have constantly asked the company what they want changed. Since there wasn’t any answer, the articles are pretty much the same.

If they do find me, though, I will fight them with everything I’ve got.

Just to clarify, local definition of libel is pretty much as anywhere in the world, basically “saying something untrue about X”. It’s not like the UK defamation law so they will have to convince a judge that my articles fall under libel. I’ve re-read them several times and I still can’t see one lie in what I wrote.

So that’s where we are. Come back and check out the quote box above for any changes as soon as I get them.

Thank you again for your support and for reading this. If things get worse I’ve learned I can count on you.

21 responses to “Trial updates

  1. Pingback: Colon quacks sue WordPress | Josephine Jones

  2. A fellow skeptic

    I’m pretty sure intimidation like that is against the law, too. Be sure to mention it to your own lawyer and bring a hard copy of the e-mail conversation. This will weigh heavily in court. Trust me.
    Keep us updated and power to you.

  3. Anonymous

    You should take care to not publish any details or strategies which would help the colon people; they’re probably reading this page, hoping for some slip up.

    • Yeah, I was told the same thing. I can’t see anything I wrote as strategic information or something they are not aware of already.

      • Anonymous

        Considering your blog title pertains to “doubt”, it’s pretty good to have doubts about your own perceptions :) I’m pretty sure you could try sending your lawyer a copy and keeping the new post in “pending”.

        And please continue to document everything; we might make a documenary about it =) I have video skills.

        • Haha, good one. Of course I was advised on how to write this. Expressing trust in the lawyer’s ability and my own perception of the law is not exactly a spoiler for any lawyer. I have little information about the actual legal procedures that will happen so can’t spoil nothing. But I have high hopes they will lose.

          In regards to documentary proposal, I’m not against it. ;)

  4. whatever

    First of all, you have no comercial interest in this product.
    It is exactly the same as any product review out there.
    Look on how many reviews are there for iPhones!
    You should collect money from the trial, not just the expenses but also for all the threats and resources they put into motion just for a non-propriety page on internet.
    Also, I think your article should be republished over and over again on the internet. The cannot sue all.

    • @whatever, I do agree and hope Automattic will win so they have to pay expenses. Myself personally am not affected except by being paranoid. At least so far. I do agree with what you say, it’s a review, but a review that looks at science rather than how I feel using it.

  5. madalin

    You’ll win. Going after a fellow who implied a product is bad is so useless. Stating my opinion about a product and having the other part support its opinions seems fair. So, my humble opinion is they have no case.

  6. Al

    One of the most important things here is that Automattic defends their users. I’ll switch from Blogger to WordPress for this!

  7. Monnik

    I’m sure you’ll win as I’m sure that Colon is selling stories…

  8. Pingback: My Romanian Diary Day 79: Romanian company sued WordPress and Ortodox Church got mad over a cremation « Lavinia's Writing Corner

  9. CD

    So, what’s the news? What happened yday, since I see the court hasn’t updated its online archive as of yet?

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