Sam Caplat · Dec 29, 2011 at 10:30 am

Lawsuits Are Out of Hand, Stop Being Gutless

The mobile tech industry saw its share of lawsuits this year. Some hit very close to home. CarrierIQ believed XDA-Developers’ own TrevE stole their product by critically displaying their unprotected, confidential documents. This case was dropped, but it’s not the last time we’ll see unjust lawsuits.

So, I’m frustrated. You don’t threaten critics. You don’t send a bill to competitors just because they’re making money that you think you should have made. It’s wrong. And stupid. XDA never has. We don’t work to compete. We work to contribute. We’re friends with the guys at RootzWiki, for example.

This is why I’m so shocked to hear about PhoneDog’s lawsuit against ex-employee Noah Kravitz. He left the company, removed “PhoneDog” from his Twitter handle, and continued using it as his personal account. PhoneDog claims to own the account’s followers, referring to them as a “customer list”, filing for damages of $2.50 (£1.60) for 17,000 followers over eight months–a total of $340,000.

Noah Kravitz was told by management of PhoneDog he could keep his Twitter account. All he had to do was “tweet on their behalf from time to time”. Doesn’t sound to me like PhoneDog is losing very much, does it? After all, how many people would click links tweeted from Noah’s account if Noah wasn’t running it?

Yesterday, a woman was robbed at gunpoint. I don’t need a specific example, it happened somewhere. Probably more than once. These lawsuits are made on the basis that someone stole something from someone else. Carrier IQ said TrevE stole their documents, yet they still had them. PhoneDog said Noah stole clients, and therefore money, yet it never had them. That woman who was robbed actually had something, and now she doesn’t. All are examples of stealing, but it’s hard to lump them together.

Lawsuits are getting out of hand. At first I thought they were used in this industry between the manufacturers, but my eyes are opened to the violent tendencies of the whole industry. We forget the extent a lawsuit tarnishes relationships, brands, names. I don’t like Apple, but since they started suing every competitor (except Microsoft, who already beat them to near-nonexistence), I not only dislike them, but despise them. The same goes for Carrier IQ and the enormous excrement-storm that followed. The same will go for PhoneDog.

Stop it.


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