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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    9

    Default Product Complaints and Negative Comments About a Business in Online Forums

    My question involves defamation in the state of: Libel, Slander, and defimation of character

    I own a small business and I have been in business for about 3 years. We have been in the process of making aftermarket components for automobiles.
    Recently an Internet forum had some members that started questioning the parts we sell. They went, did independent testing, and were unhappy with the results. From these results, the intentions of the testers was to start telling people to not buy our parts, and it turned into a snowball effect as they purposely posted on several different message boards telling people not to buy from us, and calling our business a scam, fraud, and just about every other name in the book they could hatch up.

    Some of the readers on these message boards (who do not have our products) have taken it upon themselves to attempt a lawsuit based on theorys, and what other people have been complaining about. They have searched out public and private records and made them public on the internet message boards. They are actively campaigning to degrade the business with every reader of the forums.

    My question is this: I have contacted the owners of the sites to shut down the threads due to libel and personal information being posted in them. I get a abrubt "send us your legal response and we will look into it"

    The concern that I have is that there are key individuals that I would personally like to go after, but because their identities are protected online, I don't know who they are. Also, I want to get a court order to force the internet message boards to suspend or remove the threads with the false information in them. How can I do this, is there someone here who specializes in internet law when it comes to libel?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Have Some Questions, Need Some Help About Libel and Slander

    They have searched out public and private records and made them public on the internet message boards.
    The truth is an absolute defense to an accusation of libel.

    If what they are posting is true - records and such documenting their claims - it is not libel and you have no case.

    If they are suing you, I suggest you hire an attorney in your area.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Have Some Questions, Need Some Help About Libel and Slander

    Quote Quoting LawResearcherMissy
    View Post
    The truth is an absolute defense to an accusation of libel.

    If what they are posting is true - records and such documenting their claims - it is not libel and you have no case.

    If they are suing you, I suggest you hire an attorney in your area.

    is it legal to say search out my driver's liscense photo and post that online? or is it legal to encourage others to cause harm and post my address? I know I need an attorney, my concerns is finding the right kind considering the nature of some of the accusations coming about and the what people are doing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,437

    Default Re: Have Some Questions, Need Some Help About Libel and Slander

    Q: is it legal to say search out my driver's liscense photo and post that online?

    A: Yes.



    Q: or is it legal to encourage others to cause harm and post my address?

    A: I am not sure what you mean by "cause harm". Your address is public information.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Have Some Questions, Need Some Help About Libel and Slander

    Quote Quoting seniorjudge
    View Post
    Q: is it legal to say search out my driver's liscense photo and post that online?

    A: Yes.



    Q: or is it legal to encourage others to cause harm and post my address?

    A: I am not sure what you mean by "cause harm". Your address is public information.

    hmm, ok well I understand that -


    I guess I am just asking some questions only because in addition to some of these guys making public attacks, they have severly hurt my business online and I can attest to a serious loss in sales because of their online campaigns to prevent people from buying from us. The worst part is that people are just becoming motivated by reading, and then parroting what they saw, or wha they read without it really having any evidence or any substance. Hear say right..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Product Complaints and Negative Comments About a Business in Online Forums

    The worst part is that people are just becoming motivated by reading, and then parroting what they saw, or wha they read without it really having any evidence or any substance. Hear say right.
    Nope.

    There's nothing illegal about stating that you've read a review and have opted not to make a purchase based on the review.

    I can attest to a serious loss in sales because of their online campaigns to prevent people from buying from us.
    Organized boycotts are perfectly legal.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Product Complaints and Negative Comments About a Business in Online Forums

    Assuming they're not being organized by a business competitor, in which case they may raise antitrust concerns.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Product Complaints and Negative Comments About a Business in Online Forums

    hmm,well it does seem like the bar has been raised and these forum people are going to the next step -

    my business, www.wrptechnology.com is my site - and they have copied the site, including images and everything and made www.wrptechnology.net with all sorts of degrading things....I thought this sort of behavior was illegal,what can I do about it?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Product Complaints and Negative Comments About a Business in Online Forums

    Look into their webhost's DMCA take-down policies.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Product Complaints and Negative Comments About a Business in Online Forums

    Quote Quoting expertlaw
    View Post
    Look into their webhost's DMCA take-down policies.
    forgive me for being a newb in this, but what is a dmca? i am confused?

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