January 30th, 2003, 08:58 AM
Should i sue Microsoft ?
i'm in a dilemma. I had started this website/group at MSN Groups, called "Just Computers" , and they have temporarily taken it off, but emailed me and told me that it's been permanently taken off. They accuse me of teaching people how to hack, or to just have information of hacking.
Alright, hacking/security was just a 10% part of the website, on which, i had mentioned 2-3 posts like "How to Secure your computer", the same one i had posted here. Also, the one on TCP/IP, and some other general security info. But the other content, and the pain with which i had made it and spent time on it was immense. There were a 100 members in one month or so, and i was looking forward to expand it. I'm very angry and am considering taking legal action against them.
I am too lazy to read their TOS, i guess i'll hire a lawyer, and consider what are the options i can sue them under, if any. What do you guys advise ? Here's the corresspondence, it started with me emailing them asking them to change the category of my group because it was wrongly listed:
Message 1, from me:
First Name: Mac
E-mail address: email@example.com
Web Page Cited: http://groups.msn.com/justcomputers
UserAgent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows NT 5.0)
Remarks: Hello, The problem is that my group is listed in the HTML category, which i believe is blatantly inappropriate. I tried the help section which stated that MSN changed the settings if it believes a certain category is appropriate, i fail to understand the concept. I'm the group manager and have created the group with some understanding and purpose. The group caters to a big range of computer-related topics and confining it to a HTML-content based group will limit it's infinite ability to reach and help. Therefore, i wish it to be listed in the "User Groups" category. Thanks, Mac
P.S. - This has really put a big low on the traffic that the group was possible to have attracted. Please act immediately. (Manager)
Reply from them :
We have found your group “Just Computers” to be in violation of the MSN Code
of Conduct for containing informations on hacking. Because this violation is
serious, we must preserve the contents for possible future investigation,
therefore you will not be given the opportunity to reopen the group.
Kindly do not start a new group with the same purpose. And we hope you find or
create a new group, within legal parameters of course, and which meets your
MSN Groups Customer Support
Hello there Herufelbel,
Im really disappointed with the way the query is being handled.
I'm pretty sure that there was no violation of any sort, i/we were not providing any material relevant to hacking purposes which is/was explicit in any form. It was related to security, and aimed at people wanting to learn it. It was simple methods on how to search google, secure your computer, general information on TCP/IP.
In any case, this group has taken a lot of time and effort for me to create. It has been sincere hardwork from my side. I will feel very sad if you still do not understand what i'm trying to convey. If you want any/all of the material removed related to security, i am ready to do so. And you can keep a regular check on it for as long as you want.
But please, please do not make it unavailable, it's a result of a lot of hard work, please. Let it be just one more chance. If i had known in the first place that my group was violating your terms, i wouldnt have sent any problems to you, or trying to bring it in to your notice. Also, i have emailed MSN to feature this one in Cool Groups a few days ago. I think that proves i wasnt trying to do anything negative. If i want to do this, i can re-open a group and start again, telling people about hacking, but my aim is not that, that is why, i ask you to yourself delete what you consider inappropriate or let me do it.
Just for your information, do a search on "Groups Home", and you'll find more than a 100 results on hacking.
I hope you understand.
It's my sincere effort. Atleast give me my material. It was a lot of effort and hardwork on my part.
Thank you again
Havent' got a reply to this yet, i had emailed them yesterday.
I'll probably wait for another couple of days, but what can be done after that ?
What options do i have ?
\"I have a 386 Pentium.\"
January 30th, 2003, 09:54 AM
Sue'ing Microsoft won't help you. just register a domain name and post you information there. (or here on AO)
For Sue'ing Microsoft you need atleast:
- A good claim (i'm sure it's in microsofts conditions that they may remove any group they like)
- LOTS of money
- LOTS of time
And as you fail the first bullet it would be trowing away money and time even to try tu Sue Microsoft
January 30th, 2003, 10:02 AM
lol i got that info on IRC. i guess it's true.
what purpose would that solve ?
just register a domain name and post you information there.
\"I have a 386 Pentium.\"
January 30th, 2003, 10:17 AM
You must be completely rich or something man. Read the TOS, and you'll find something similar to the following:
I am too lazy to read their TOS, i guess i'll hire a lawyer
The short of it is that you can pretty much forget about litigation.
January 30th, 2003, 12:39 PM
getting your own domain will not only take you away from lame msn groups, but will allow you to have the full functionality of service to whom, for whom, and whatever information you want to give them.
Originally posted here by invader
what purpose would that solve ? [/B]
You arent going to sue m$ unless you have around a billion dollars. even then you wont win. If the dept. of justice can barely get them to do small things (the antitrust case a while back) i have alot of trouble believing you with a handful of *cheap* attorneys (cheap in their eyes) will actually do some good. For another, its their service they provided you with, they can do whatever they want to you.
January 30th, 2003, 01:32 PM
i think anyone trying to sue microsoft wither good reason or bad, would be a bad idea. sorry but they have a lot of money and if they can continue their monoply and still get through our government. unless you got a lot of money or some major lawyer, i would advise against it. and is it worth the hassle?
January 30th, 2003, 01:37 PM
For this, you cannot sue them. There were no loses of income, and Microsoft is very careful to, in their TOS and User Agreements, state they are not responsible for such things.
Also, it seems to me, that though Microsoft really over-reacted, you DID violate the TOS and User Agreement, thus voiding any contract you had with them. (In reality, they may have some grounds to sue YOU, but I seriously doubt they will unless you sue first.)
IMHO, Suing Microsoft is also a waste of money. Their pockets are nearly bottomless, and they have a team of lawyers that, unless you are a multi-millionaire, you have no real chance of winning any suit with them. They'd atleast manage to tie it up long enough to stop you from doing anything, and cost you more money than you'd get.
Just my $.02
Also, there was a Quick Tip, I believe, about always reading the User Agreement and TOS.
January 30th, 2003, 01:47 PM
Even if you were determined to sue Microsoft, most lawyers would laugh you out of their office. Not because Microsoft is a powerhouse, but because you don't have a legal leg to stand on. If their Terms of Service lists anything about "objectionable material" or another vague term like that, then they get to determine what meets that criteria.
/* You are not expected to understand this. */
January 30th, 2003, 01:56 PM
Alright, i was just being stupid. It was just very disappointed over the way the issue resolved.
I had worked my butt off, on the group. Never mind, i guess.
Yeah, my domain is already under construction er0k, just that i had planned to shift my member base from here to there. Now, i'll have ta being from scratch. The sad thing is that i didnt let any member just come and begin until i was sure they were worth admitting. So it was a quality group guys..err..anyway, i am too upset, will just forget this.
And no, i'm not a billionaire.
Edit : Now i know why people hate Microsoft. damn them !
\"I have a 386 Pentium.\"
January 30th, 2003, 04:14 PM
lol face it, MS got away from serious lawsuits that most people think MS cant get away wid it. but they did. so yeah.. ur out matched and out classed..