Friday, April 17, 2009

Lawyers Realizing That Suing Gripe Sites Might Not Make Much Sense

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by Mike Masnick

It looks like some lawyers may be realizing that suing so-called "gripe sites" (more commonly called "sucks sites") might not make very much sense (thanks to Bill Squier for sending this in). The lawyer basically points out what plenty of folks have been saying for years: these sites are usually perfectly legal. They don't violate trademark law, and almost every time such a case goes to court the company loses -- only adding more attention and legitimacy to the gripe site. Instead, the lawyer suggests ignoring the site is often the best course of action:

The best course to deal with a gripe site often is to do nothing at all. The site itself actually might have a little impact on a company's business and the ferocity of its venom might obscure the reality that it is only one of millions of sites that has little traffic and that is visited only by the disaffected, whose business is ultimately lost anyway. Also, if the target pays no overt attention to the site, its operator may lose interest in this particular cause and direct his or her ire to more recent, emotionally appealing, or reactive targets. Non-action can be the most difficult course to take where there is a demand that something must be done.