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Censorship Your Rights Online

MetaFilter Founder Says Vacation Firm Forged Court Docs To Scotch Review 116

IonOtter (629215) writes Matt Haughey, founder of MetaFilter, has challenged a Cease & Desist letter from Sundance Vacations, a seller of time-shares with a reputation for aggressive sales tactics and suppression of criticism. Only this time, it seems that the plaintiff may have forged court documents ordering Mr. Haughey, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines to remove any and all mentions of the links and posts in question. Legal blog Popehat has picked this up as well, prompting Ken White to wryly note, "...Sundance Vacations is about to learn about the Streisand Effect." The story is gaining traction, and being picked up by Boing-Boing, as well as hitting the first page of search results on Google.
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MetaFilter Founder Says Vacation Firm Forged Court Docs To Scotch Review

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  • Do not ever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @02:10PM (#47818601)
    talk or deal with a time share seller. I'm surprised they don't hold guns to people's heads.

    A few years back, my better half and I got snookered into one of these meetings with a time share outfit - Do not remember who. They managed to disguise themselves as a "Vacation club" with "special deals".

    When we got there ,it was apparent in a New York city minute that it was a time share. But we decided it might be fun to sit in on. Big Mistake.

    So we listened to the spiel from the salesman about the place, looked at the sample apartment setup, and then asked about the price.

    He must have figured he had us on the hook at that point. But my wife and I then whipped out the calculators. Given that the time-share was essentially a mortgage grade loan, It was pretty easy to see that it would cost us about 7Kilobucks a year for one week we couldn't control, just for the roof over our heads. Not travel, not food, notthing but a condo type apartment. And that their mortgage setup would take us into our 80's. And that we'd end up billed for repairs as in a condo association.

    After we pointed that out, things got weird pretty quickly. Dude would not stop, despite us telling him we just weren't interested. We even told him that we didn't care about the "free weekends" at their other resorts, and didn't even want them, because we would probably have to listen to another sales pitch.

    Dude even blocked the doorway after we got up and tried to leave. I eventually threatened to call the police, and he finally gave up.

  • Re:Forgery (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @03:59PM (#47819727)

    Is it me, or does "Sundance Vacations" and "Eric Morgan" on the second document (a consent order it seems) look like its signed by the same person?

    Same person? Worse, those were both signed by the same font [], nobody's signature is involved. The Eric Morgan "signature" uses a slightly larger point size. The lowercase a and n characters are a clear giveaway, I did a comparison of parts of the "Sundance Vacations" text which was all in one point size. The characters are a dead even match.

    I wonder if the attempt to "sign" the document using a font was just dumb forgery, or a clever attempt to avoid culpability. After all, there's no actual handwriting on either of these supposed signatures, so QD can't compare the text to anyone's handwriting to prove who did this.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @10:52PM (#47822563)

    Imagine a world where it was legal to run up to people on the street, punch them in the face and take their money, and it was illegal to fight back.

    No need to imagine, most of us have gone to elementary school.

The person who can smile when something goes wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.