Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today welcomed the decision by software vendor 2Clix Australia Pty Ltd (2Clix) to abandon their lawsuit against Internet forum site Whirlpool.net.au.
2Clix filed suit against the owner of Whirlpool for "injurious falsehood", alleging that he had maliciously published forum postings which criticised 2Clix's products and services, with the intention of damaging 2Clix's business. 2Clix claimed that the publication of that criticism caused a "severe downturn in monthly sales" of approximately $150,000 per month.
EFA understands that an employee of 2Clix has contacted Whirlpool and various media organisations and advised them that 2Clix intends to discontinue the lawsuit. However, as of the time of writing, 2Clix have not filed the necessary paperwork with the court to actually discontinue the action. EFA further understands that Whirlpool have tried to obtain official confirmation of this news from 2Clix and 2Clix's lawyers, without success.
"Lawsuits are a short-sighted and self-destructive way of dealing with criticism," said EFA Chairperson Dale Clapperton. "As McDonalds and many other companies have learned, suing your critics will cause much more damage and bad publicity than the criticism itself ever would."
"The outpouring of support from Whirlpool users and others demonstrates that members of the Australian Internet community will zealously defend their right to freedom of speech online, and their ability to express their honest opinions about goods and services. The fact that 2Clix has apparently decided to abandon the lawsuit demonstrates that people power has worked, in this case."
EFA strongly believes that consumer criticism of unsatisfactory goods or services should not be suppressed by the threat of a lawsuit.
-- Ends --
- Background information
- Contact details for media
The Whirlpool website:
The Statement of Claim filed against the operator of Whirlpool:
EFA Press Release condemning the lawsuit:
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. ("EFA") is a non-profit national organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.
Mr Dale Clapperton
Phone: 0416 007 100
Email: dclapperton at efa.org.au
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc -- https://www.efa.org.au/