Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The law as a weapon: suing for unpleasant reviews - Maui X-Stream and CherryOS

DrunkenBlog: Deconstructing Maui X-Stream

A Mac OS Blog has a very long post about Maui X-Stream, CherryOS, and the abuse of the law to suppress communication. Bottom line, the somewhat anonymous author of this OS X hobbyist site had to retain legal counsel. Once he'd retained counsel, he went to town on Maui X-Stream.

Allegedly Maui X-Stream is a fraudulent enterprise that illegally used open source code to create a semi-fake product that supposedly allowed PC users to run OS X software on their machines. Many bloggers exposed their maneuvers and the company then withdrew the product. Subsequently it's hired lawyers, perhaps working on contingency, to threaten reviewers with a "slander" suit. One possibility is the lawyers are looking primarily for 'out-of-court' "settlements" (aka shakedowns) and they'll split the earnings with Maui X-Stream. Of course that's only one possibility, perhaps Maui X-Stream feels they were badly done by and they're paying the lawyers good money up front.

In a totalitarian state the government suppresses speech. It is the genius of capitalism that in our nation lawyers-gone-bad can now serve a similar function. The market will find a way!

The primary defense is daylight, lots of daylight. United, we can still win this one. If we don't speak now, it will only get worse.

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