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Archived updates for Thursday, December 02, 2004

Why Sue a Gripe Site?

According to a November 2, 2004 article from, reports that there are currently more than 70 gripe sites on the Internet criticizing everything from car makers to hair-transplant providers to insurance firms. Of those, says that 25 have been involved in litigation in recent years, while just two have been shut down. Currently, about a dozen gripe-site lawsuits are pending across the country.

"The impact of gripe sites overall is minimal, whereas the publicity that may arise from a lawsuit could do more damage than the site itself," said one trademark attorney. "And if you look at the precedent it's not encouraging."

On the other hand, "When you sue them, now you're in a realm where a corporation is very comfortable," said another attorney. "In many cases, filing a lawsuit is a way to ratchet up the professionalism of the dispute rather than dealing with the Wild West of the Internet."
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Blogger Traverse City Attorney said...

It seems almost impossible that they can get around the first amendment protections here. I would believe that most of these lawsuits would be dismissed on freedom of speech grounds. However, people need to be able to afford a lawyer in order to fight the large corporations and their silk stalking mega law firms bent on shutting down the no doubt disparaging web sites. The corporate strategy will no doubt be to use the financial leverage of endless litigation to bring the sights down as a settlement of the matter. This would be a true injustice. Freedom of speech is certainly at risk when frivolous corporate litigation is used as a financial sword.

Enrico Schaefer
First Amendment Lawyer

December 02, 2004 2:55 PM  

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