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Re: [Redacted]

> "Matt" <Crimson2 at home_com> wrote:
> <snip, briefing from past cases>

Thank you, Matt, for this very interesting information.

> [Redacted]
I would agree with this if Actwin actually created or 
directed content.  I do not believe it does, and my 
past suggestions to have moderators select authors
to summarize threads were rejected because Actwin
and the APD moderators do not direct content (Actwin
and the APD moderators perform a non-content 
administrative function only.)

Of course, as you stated, there is no issue as long as 
comments were truthful.

> <snip, how to show is a "good" or "bad" reputation?>
> I guess the only way to find out is to take an unbiased 
> > poll on whether or not the company has a good or
> > bad reputation or proof of number of sales in a month 
> > sounds more reasonable, if a company gets 10,000 
> > purchases a month, I think it would be difficult to prove 
> > that they had a bad reputation.
Technically, a good/bad reputation need not correlate
to numbers of orders or even success in the marketplace.
In monopolies and oligopolies, there is but one or only
a few vendors, and buyers would select among the
least of evils.  Moreover, in the new arena of online
shopping, a massive number of uneducated buyers
keep many businesses running (and we are all aware 
of even fraudulent sites that are very successful for 
periods of time.)

I don't suggest that the online pet supply industry is
an oligopoly (far from it), but even an absolute order
number is (somewhat) useless.  In a given market, 
relative success would be rated based on the number
of orders received compared to the number of orders
not received.  It could be argued that a market appraisal
stating a given business had the largest market share
relative to its competitors or a "significant" total market
percentage overall was "successful".  Still, I assert
this is not "reputation".

Not being an expert [Redacted], with the burden
of proof on the business to prove libel, the 
statements-of-events must be significantly 
mis-represented, and the opinions/assertions of the
company's "bad" reputation must be shown untrue.  
organizations and individuals, including (amazing) 
quotes from actual business employees that I would 
consider harassment in their own right, including past 
documented sanctions against the business for spamming 
and other netiquette breaches in this forum and others, 
I believe the business' case to be near impossible.
If the business' assertions of $100+K to argue this
case are correct, then that goes both ways.  Further,
there has already been discussion of who really pays
if this is concluded by a [Redacted]

A company does not prove a "bad" reputation is 
unwarranted based on one or more good reports
from one or more people or organizations.  Rather,
a "bad" reputation is not warranted based on a 
lack of evidence supporting the assertion.  If no
sanctions were imposed in the past, if little or no 
significant public or forum evidence existed for poor
business practices, if the BBB rating were high, and 
if third-party forums or pollsters reported only positive 
results, a person is not justified to make global 
statements of a "bad" reputation.

I think one of my favorite quotes is now in order:

  "Confidence allows one to enjoy the process."
             (--Janice Weinberg, I think)

The ruling has already been made.  We now get
to sit back and relax, and merely wait for the judicial 
system to function as it has already in this area of law.

Lastly, I think it's important that we not blow things
out of proportion.  Good people have bad days, smart 
people are sometimes stupid, and reasonable people
sometimes overreact.  This is amplified for all of us
when the personal or financial price tag gets high
(as is always true with any litigation.)  As long as
we are honest with our words and ideas, it's very 
comforting to be able to make direct comments in
our community (even if we are sometimes harsh)
without fear of unfair repercussion.  I know I'm a jerk
most of the time, and I most respect and admire the
people that let me work past the mess I make after 
I screw up yet again.

charleyb at cytomation_com

BTW, I *do* speak for my company.  ;-)