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148 comments

Well, MagicJack succeeded in (5, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255454)

convincing me to not buy their product. Too bad, I was considering getting hold of one to play around with it. But I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255494)

According to the linked article:

After the dismissal of the lawsuit, MagicJack CEO Dan Borislow apologized and told us that his lawyers, Arnold & Porter, did not fully disclose to him the weaknesses in his case or properly analyze California law. During negotiations, we were surprised when MagicJack agreed to a settlement of our legal costs, then backed out. We would not agree to keep the actual legal dispute confidential under any circumstances. However, we offered not to publish details of our legal costs or their settlement if Borislow would donate $25,000 to charity. MagicJack, however, offered to pay our legal bill only if we'd agree to keep the whole dispute confidential; when we refused, Borislow wrote that he would 'see us in court.' Nonetheless, we're happy with the outcome. The irony for MagicJack is that the proceedings are public record, so the silence it sought was effectively worthless.

To some extent it looks like they weren't litigious pricks as much as having gotten very bad legal advice and then not backed out when they should have. So this may be more in the category of "too stubborn" more than anything else.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255534)

You mean too aggressive for their own good, if he could use a hardware weapon instead of a litigation weapon he probably would have used it.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (5, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255580)


To some extent it looks like they weren't litigious pricks as much as having gotten very bad legal advice and then not backed out when they should have.

So the lawyer thought they could win and was wrong. That somehow excuses them from being pricks by suing in the first place? You make it sound like the lawyer somehow forced Magic Jack to sue.

  So this may be more in the category of "too stubborn" more than anything else.

I'd say stubborn pricks describes it quite well. Who sues someone for a factually accurate article that describes something the company publicly posted on their site, but hoped nobody would notice? I hadn't heard about the lawsuit or the spying behaviour of magic jack before. (Though I had heard of magic jack). You better believe I'll tell people that they reserve the right to spy on people based on who they call, then decide to sue people who tell anybody.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (5, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255718)

So the lawyer thought they could win and was wrong. That somehow excuses them from being pricks by suing in the first place? You make it sound like the lawyer somehow forced Magic Jack to sue.

Yes. A good lawyer should have told them they had no chance of winning the lawsuit. Prosecuting a libel case in the US is extremely difficult even when the plaintiff has a legitimate case to make.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255818)

So the lawyer thought they could win and was wrong. That somehow excuses them from being pricks by suing in the first place? You make it sound like the lawyer somehow forced Magic Jack to sue.

Yes. A good lawyer should have told them they had no chance of winning the lawsuit. Prosecuting a libel case in the US is extremely difficult even when the plaintiff has a legitimate case to make.

But that lawyer would have walked away with less money.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (2, Interesting)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258842)

Damn you are so right, but for Magic Jack it's just a cost of quelling free speech. They will probably keep doing this to blogging sites, especially those that aren't as big as Boing Boing. In most other states you can't sue them back either. I think that might be a good idea anytime someone looses a civil suit. Make them pay cost if their was no reasonable way they could win period in all the states in all cases.

I mean is $50,000 really enough to slow them up? They could stand that all day long and some smaller sites may not last it out that long. What a shame.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (3, Informative)

nudicle (652327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256314)

The problem with this whole line of thinking is that we don't know what Dan Borislow's lawyers said to him. We only know what Dan Borislow says about his lawyers.

Trust me, every day good lawyers say to their clients the equivalent of "if things blow up, just blame it your lawyer". They often do this when their clients say "I don't care about the probability of getting what I want, I want to got for it. How can I do damage control?"

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256798)

Ok, but if this was a car analogy, it would be like taking your car to the mechanic and being told "sorry, can't be fixed, parts don't exist anymore" and telling the mechanic to fix it anyway. There's nothing hidden, the entire article was in boingboing for all to see, any good lawyer would have said can't be won.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258872)

Yeah, the lawyers were working for them not the other way around. Maybe just maybe the lawyers will now get pissed at them over that comment and that would be real cool to see.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (3, Funny)

douglips (513461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256726)

Waste of time, really. All you have to do to get a BoingBoing post taken down is to somehow link the story to the words "Violet Blue."

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31256774)

Yes, we get it, the legal advice was bad. How does that excuse being a prick? The guy sued for something that was obviously legal and then tried to silence people from telling what happened. In other words, a prick.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255750)

You better believe I'll tell people that they reserve the right to spy on people based on who they call, then decide to sue people who tell anybody.

As opposed to "The Phone Company" who never makes any mention of spying on their customers in EULAs or otherwise, but happily does so just as much as they damn-well please...

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255872)

DO NOT EVER TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AWAY FROM THE MOVANT and PUT IT ON THEIR LAWYERS.

If you hire dicks to sue people, it means you hired dicks to sue people.

It makes me angry because I've been on the receiving end of such dickishness.

 

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256542)

Dicks are sometimes hired on purpose, sometimes by accident. You hire a lawyer because you are clueless on law, and this should be a lesson in not being such a sucker in life. It's the subsequent action that the CEO took on realizing his mistakes that damn him, not his earlier actions. The desire to hide the suit from public scrutiny, the lack of any apology, that stuff.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256824)

And I've hired crappy lawyers. It's really bad when you're told for years you'll win only to be hit with the other guys fees at the end and the lawyer just shrugs and cashes your check. And what can you do, sue the lawyer? That would be the one case they would probably win.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31259204)

So if your doctor gives you bad advice, and you follow it because hey he's the doctor, YOU're the asshole?

It's unclever to make assumptions either way, we really don't know whether or not their legal team was being above-board with them or not.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255972)

It's SOP for agreements to be confidential, so the lawyers would have violated their firm's S&P's to accept something else. This would open the firm up to future malpractice liability, so they would be forced to decline. You just don't practice ad hoc law.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (5, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256250)

To some extent it looks like they weren't litigious pricks as much as having gotten very bad legal advice and then not backed out when they should have.

Or, their litigious pricks who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, and our now blaming their lawyers.

OF COURSE they're litigious pricks (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31256408)

To some extent it looks like they weren't litigious pricks as much as having gotten very bad legal advice

How did they find themselves in a situation where they were receiving legal advice, unless they were already committed to assholery? When you're just sitting there minding your own business, lawyers don't just call you up out of the blue and spout advice at you before you can hang up.

Someone made a statement about MagicJack that MagicJack knew was true. MagicJack decided, "fuck the truth, I wonder if there's a way we can use force to shut them up." Ok, at that point a foolish lawyer might say, "Yes, I think I know a way that you can be a total motherfucking litigious asshole and successfully use force against this totally innocent party in order to suppress the truth," and a gullible MagicJack might believe that the lawyer was telling the truth.

But anyone who isn't evil, upon hearing that advice from their lawyer (let's ignore the fact that they had already proved themselves evil by even bothering to seek that advice), would say to their lawyer, "Well, that's interesting, Mr. Lawyer. I hope you enjoyed this intellectual exercise, but of course since I'm not a total mother-stabbing new-age-witchcraft-practicing father-raping puppy-shredding nun-strangling terrorist hippie racist moronic flat-earther sexist heretic robber-baron asshole Republican innocent-attacking bastard litigious prostitute kitten-poisoning jerk gay Scientologist thieving SCO homophobic Democrat shit-eating Nazi stupid criminal cocksucking evil Communist odious pig-fucking Christian pedophile nu-metal-wigger Romulan poo-head, I couldn't possibly actually proceed with such a case against a totally innocent party, even though I could successfully work my evil to advance the general cause of harming society and making the world a worse place. As much as I'd really like to, because I really do like injustice."

We know they're motherfuckers, and bad legal advice is totally beside the point. Accepting bad legal advice only means they're gullible motherfuckers.

Re:OF COURSE they're litigious pricks (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258228)

total mother-stabbing new-age-witchcraft-practicing father-raping puppy-shredding nun-strangling terrorist hippie racist moronic flat-earther sexist heretic robber-baron asshole Republican innocent-attacking bastard litigious prostitute kitten-poisoning jerk gay Scientologist thieving SCO homophobic Democrat shit-eating Nazi stupid criminal cocksucking evil Communist odious pig-fucking Christian pedophile nu-metal-wigger Romulan poo-head

remind me to use that more often in coversation...

Re:OF COURSE they're litigious pricks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31259412)

I was actually considering memorizing that one.... I was particularly impressed that both Republican and Democrat made it into the rant.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31257840)

So they aren't litigious pricks, they are just court-happy jackasses?

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31258162)

I though CEO's were supposed to be business experts that knew a lot more than the average guy. They certainly get paid enough to make the rest of us assume they are super geniuses with IQ's above 150 and a ton of experience and savvy.

Maybe corporations should stop hiring as CEO some random dude that is good at schmoozing and start hiring competent Executives that earn their pay instead of playing golf all day or talking in circles. Link CEO pay directly to performance. IF the company loses money, they get ZERO pay. If a company is going gangbusters then they get massive pay. Put those worthless assholes on straight commission.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255672)

convincing me to not buy their product. Too bad, I was considering getting hold of one to play around with it. But I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor.

I ordered two of them but when I tried to activate the service it dropped the web link midway through. I wound up stuck in a limbo of not being able to activate them. I tried to contact tech support but all they offered is that bloody chat support. Every time I do that I end up typing for a half hour to an hour to solve a five minute problem. They said that was the only option so I canceled the service and warned others. Crappy service cost them a customer. Add $20 to the price and high actual support people! Nice idea bad execution.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31257086)

I ordered two of them but when I tried to activate the service it dropped the web link midway through. I wound up stuck in a limbo of not being able to activate them. I tried to contact tech support but all they offered is that bloody chat support. Every time I do that I end up typing for a half hour to an hour to solve a five minute problem. They said that was the only option so I canceled the service and warned others. Crappy service cost them a customer. Add $20 to the price and high actual support people! Nice idea bad execution.

Wait, you actually think that some people get service from them, that you're one of the few who didn't?

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255708)

No Ubuntu client. Jerking us around ad infinitum. Convinced me not to touch them a loonnnnng time ago.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258764)

The real problem is what if I want to be a blogger in Virginia where the protections are not the same as California. I guess it was and still is a real threat to free speech. There should be a federal law against SLAPP lawsuits.

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258890)

But I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor.

And if we weren't nerds we probably wouldn't have even known about this. My thanks to slashdot! But why aren't these sorts of things reported in the mainstream press?

Re:Well, MagicJack succeeded in (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31259202)

But I try not to support companies run by litigious pricks with no sense of humor. And if we weren't nerds we probably wouldn't have even known about this. My thanks to slashdot! But why aren't these sorts of things reported in the mainstream press?

Not sensationalist enough, I'd say. They probably believe that it's only of interest to nerds, and who cares what they find interesting.

Soooo.... (5, Funny)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255544)

MagicJack SLAPPed a Boing Boing? Sounds dirty to me.

Re:Soooo.... (1)

Leraika (1749124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255578)

It is; just not in the way you're implying. This sort of use and abuse of the legal system is foul indeed.

So MagicJack probed their ports? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255646)

Option number two looked warm, they took it, and it wasn't as clean an approach as they thought?

I give...

A little background please? (5, Informative)

dido (9125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255554)

The summary could have put in a word about how MagicJack sued for defamation after Boing Boing made a post [boingboing.net] highly critical of their EULA, before explaining how the judge shot their suit down as a SLAPP...

Re:A little background please? (3, Funny)

hldn (1085833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256028)

this is their ploy to get us to read the articles.

Re:A little background please? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258958)

This is a legitimate question. Yeah, probably, most other sites would have just jerked the article when warned. But, so what. Really I just mostly look at their pictures so /. must be in cahoots.

Re:A little background please? (4, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256054)

Sued for defamation? That's not the half of it!

In the lawsuit ... MagicJack alleged that these statements were false, misleading, and had irreparably harmed MagicJack's reputation by exposing it to "hate, ridicule and obloquy".

Someone's got to say it ...

Our three weapons are ... hate, ridicule and obloquoy!

Re:A little background please? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31257800)

...and obloquy... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as hate, ridicule, obloquoy, and obloquy,.... I'll come in again.

Why the black ops stuff? (1)

cogitolv (821846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255566)

I read somewhere that they are selling the crap out of these. Sounds like a bunch of greedy bags to me.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (2, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256072)

I have also read that, despite being advertised on those 'as seen on TV' ads that everyone hates, the product actually does what it says. Even stodgy old Consumer Reports says it's a winner.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31256238)

But their business model is unsustainable. There are real, FCC-mandated costs to terminating calls on the PSTN. Those costs are more than $20/year if you terminate even a few hours of calls in rural areas, and can easily exceed $20/year even if you only ever call metro numbers.

The only way MagicJack can make a go of it is by becoming a CLEC, preferably in areas with high termination fees, then collecting those termination fees on inbound calls and hoping that they get enough inbound traffic to pay termination fees on all their outbound calls. Presumably most of their outbound calls are to low-rate metro areas, which makes things easier, but it's still playing an arbitrage game. They also stack they deck by explicitly block some high-termination-rate areas -- mostly those used by other companies with the same business model -- meaning you simply can't connect with some people or services in high-tarrif regions.

The long and the short of it is real phone companies won't put up with this for long if they see it as a real threat. They'll either start doing it themselves and the mandatory termination fees will be restructured, or they'll find some way to make it illegal/convince their lawmakers and regulators that it already is illegal.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (2, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256378)

Yeah, but they're not doing that at all. All it is doing to opening (in the background) something similar to MSN Live Messenger (or Yahoo, or any other major chat client) voice chat. There's no compression to speak of and certainly no QoS stuff. LIke recording yourself in a WAV file and emailing it to someone...only really fast. And then there's a small rj-11 jack to plug in a handset. As far as I know web based voice chats are not regulated at all.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (2, Informative)

toadlife (301863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256240)

My Dad bought one over a year ago. He still uses it and has been happy with it.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258220)

your dad could have downloaded skype for free and gotten better service for free instead.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (1)

TJamieson (218336) | more than 4 years ago | (#31259324)

Is it free to make calls from Skype, to a landline? Last time I looked it cost money. But you are correct -- the MagicJack box is just a generic rebranded USB-to-VoIP box and works perfectly with Skype.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31259574)

Last I checked Magicjack cost money as well. $20.00 a year to "renew" As well as being bombarded with Advertisements on your PC and your phone calls AND they reserve the right to sell your information to marketing companies.... It's all in the EULA, you agree to it by using the device and service.

$40.00 = 2000 minutes of skypeout calls to regular and cellular numbers in the USA. Not something to sneeze at. so the yearly cost is another 1000 minutes. That's more than a year of calls on my home number. if you exclude all the telemarketers.

Last I checked Skype does not do that to any of their users.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258208)

Problem is that it's really low grade service with a low grade hardware. you NEED a computer, you NEED broadband. Skype does this with an even better hardware base and allows you to skype in and out with local numbers. I have yet to see magicjack offer local numbers in many towns. Plus there are tons of reports all over the internet of it hanging up on calls constantly and a lot of other problems.

I guess if you want ATT wireless quality of service for your home phone, it's a great device. but I know what VoIP is like and Magicjack is not it.

Consumer Reports is not what it used to be, I'd not use them as a yardstick that is still accurate.

Re:Why the black ops stuff? (1)

Mr_Perl (142164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258708)

I wasted three days trying to get one working after reading a multitude of either

a) paid astroturf
b) rabid fans who overlook its faults

that led me to think it would work. Particularly the first result that comes up in Google claiming someone got their credit card terminal to work through it. Ha, hilarious. This service is so oversold.

I wasn't able to get even one decent call on a 15Mb/s connection that got top scores on VoIP test.

In the end I switched to the more expensive, but standalone Ooma, which is pretty cool. Story here if you're interested:

http://matts.org/voip_with_credit_card_terminal_magic_jack_vs_ooma [matts.org]

TorJack - instant Tor everywhere (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255596)

someone should advertise a TorJack solution, for perpetual Tor use. Once we get all devices using Tor, we win.

"Magicjack Loses Legal Attack Against Boing Boing" (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255602)

Wow. See how seriously I'm gonna take this story.

And you guys wonder why jocks like to beat us up...

Re:"Magicjack Loses Legal Attack Against Boing Boi (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255692)

"MagicJack"

"Boing Boing"

"Twitter"

"Blog"

"Facebook"

The song was right: We've turned Japanese, people.

Re:"Magicjack Loses Legal Attack Against Boing Boi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255890)

YOU TAKE THAT BACK. This is a social evolution. There is NOTHING wrong with saying blog. Nor facebook. Nor twitter. In fact everything is done I do by Twitter/facebook. It is more efficient and I can keep up with my friends that way.
 
You're right--we're all dead, man. Technology in the hands of morons directly results in morons asserting idiocy into society.

Re:"Magicjack Loses Legal Attack Against Boing Boi (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31256050)

Facebook is not social interaction, no matter how many times you say it is.

Re:"Magicjack Loses Legal Attack Against Boing Boi (0, Troll)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256820)

No one gives a shit about your opinions, no matter how often you present them on Slashdot as facts.

Well, except for the 3 people that modded you insightful, that is.

Re:"Magicjack Loses Legal Attack Against Boing Boi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31258018)

You interact with other people (presumably), thus it it social interaction.

Granted, a broader sense of "social" is needed.

Great tech, shitty business (5, Interesting)

bguiz (1627491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255614)

Even BoingBoing agrees that MagicJack's hardware is great stuff... Too bad their marketing/management/legal department seems to think it can get away with shady practices like their crappy EULA.

Re:Great tech, shitty business (1)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256176)

the hardware isn't all that impressive. start with one of those USB sound card thingies, add 48V DC (power) and 90V AC and a control signal (ringing).

Re:Great tech, shitty business (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258052)

Indeed, from what I gather it's mostly the magic ability to freeride on somebody else's network that makes it magic. It's easy to be that cheap when you can get somebody else to pay most of the costs involved. I've been wondering for a while how long they'll be allowed to keep selling their devices.

Re:Great tech, shitty business (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#31259006)

Yeah, it looks like you would have to be a real VOIP company. People around here have bought them to run off of dial up. I'm not kidding either. It's a piece of crap hardware wise too.

Re:Great tech, shitty business (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258232)

The hardware is NOT great stuff. It's a cheap china usb soundcard -> Phone interface. Granted you cant screw that up too badly, but it's not cisco enterprise quality Voip hardware.. it's very low cost consumer hardware.

FUD about Blogging (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255686)

From the article;

In the lawsuit... It also alleged that I am a professional blogger.

I knew that bloggers were disreputable sources for Wikipedia, but I had no idea that being a blogger could be used against you in a court of law.

Re:FUD about Blogging (1)

bguiz (1627491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255900)

It also alleged that I am a professional blogger.

When I read that, I too was wondering what on earth that was meant to imply - as "allege" implies some form of accusation. BoingBoing's writers are most certainly professional bloggers. That is a statement of fact, not an allegation, so what really was the accusation?

Re:FUD about Blogging (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31255994)

He is not a professional blogger, rather he is an elite blogger, or so he captioned this photo: http://elitechoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/rob.jpg [elitechoice.org]

Don't you know the difference?

Re:FUD about Blogging (2, Funny)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256060)

Elite blogging is an oxymoron, like military intelligence or Microsoft Works (tm).

Re:FUD about Blogging (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258062)

That's not true, Microsoft works very hard. Just not at making quality products or fixing bugs. In fact, the last time I saw them do any work, they were trying to lift their huge paychecks.

So! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255812)

So the effigies are of:

Outfit by the name MagicJack
CEO Dan Borislow
Their law firm Arnold and Porter

Open-and-shut case, according to BoingBoing's side of story, but they are an annoying outfit, too, so slide the barbecue dial accordingly.

Light'em up. BURN, BABY, BURN!!!

STREISSAND EFFECT tag is obligatory.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31255968)

yes yes.. streissand effect -- i had no idea until now. now i will tell everyone about magicjack's evils when people mention it.

I lo;ve MagicJack (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31256016)

I continue to be amused by the power switch on the MagicJack: MagicJack On. MagicJack Off.

Re:I lo;ve MagicJack (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31257010)

I continue to be amused by the power switch on the MagicJack: MagicJack On. MagicJack Off.

I got in trouble with my mom once because the SNES instruction manual said "Flip off the power switch".

Re:I lo;ve MagicJack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31258240)

Just the name in general makes me laugh. It sounds like some sort of personal lubrication or pocket pussy product.

They will eventually go under though. Unsustainable business model. Right now they are relying on the hardware sales. Eventually those will dry up and they will have a huge user base with not enough income to support the infrastructure of all those people. Even now, good luck trying to get decent support from them.

Parallel with Google AdSense (3, Interesting)

bguiz (1627491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256324)

It just struck me that the main bone BoingBoing had to pick with MagicJack's EULA is that its users' calls are monitored, and are played targeted ads (obtained from said monitoring). How is this really much different from Google's adsense inside of gmail, where ads containing keywords found in your email's body are displayed next to your emails?

Not that I am supporting MagicJack or Google in anyway, but what really was the difference? Did it boil down to Google's better wording or selling of its adsense, or are we just more sensitive when it is done to audio/ voice as opposed to when it is done in text/ email?

You don't have to do it that way (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256708)

You can use gmail from a client program if you don't want to look at google ads.

You can't avoid MagicJack the same way.

Re:Parallel with Google AdSense (1)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258962)

"It just struck me that the main bone BoingBoing had to pick with MagicJack's EULA is that its users' calls are monitored, and are played targeted ads (obtained from said monitoring)."

The EULA does not say that 'calls are monitored', it says that 'Our computers may analyze the phone numbers you call'. I think that's a big difference. BoingBoing did a Slashdot-like editorial move and phrased their headline for maximum outrage and minimum accuracy.

A.

Re:Parallel with Google AdSense (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#31259066)

If you don't know the difference, really I can't tell you at this point. MagicJack is Eviiiiil and Google is gooood. Now do you see, no? I didn't think so.

This company is horrible (5, Informative)

gargeug (1712454) | more than 4 years ago | (#31256334)

So my boss bought these for our office, and as the tech guy I had to actually deal with them. The device itself is actually quite good, but their company is an abomination of a decent business. One of the jacks stopped working, and so I figured that it should be replaced with the option of transferring our old number to the new jack. Their customer service jerked me around for hours until one of them finally sent me a link to their terms and hung up on me. Basically, once they have your money they will jump through hoops to not help you at all. It is such a sleazy company and I hope nobody here gets fooled by them and actually buys it. Pay more for your service just to deal with a reputable company.

Re:This company is horrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31258034)

So you wasted hours of your company's time for a $40 device?

Re:This company is horrible (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258254)

Wow, your boss is pretty dumb. Why the hell would he buy those for the office? is he that clueless or cheap?

Let me guess, none of you have laptops, everyone is using the cheapest netbooks he can find, you all have card tables for desks, and the pens and paper you have all have different hotel names on them.

only a complete idiot would use magicjacks for business.

Ran their EULA through EULAlyzer... (5, Informative)

WidgetGuy (1233314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31257088)

...and it concluded: "The license agreement above has a high calculated interest ID. It's extremely long, and there were a high number of detected 'interesting' words or phrases." That means Eulalyzer thinks its a bad EULA. The interesting words or phrases are listed and can be viewed in context: (1) Advertising, (2) Emergency Calls or Services, (3) Third Party, (4) Web Site Address, and (5) Without Notice. I've never seen a EULA with that many "'interesting' words or phrases" called out by the program.

EULAlyzer is a free (download: http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/downloads.html [javacoolsoftware.com] ). If, like me, you don't have the time to read through the EULA's for software you're thinking of purchasing, this is just the program for you. At the very least, it will give you a "heads up" and point you to the 'interesting' parts of the EULA where you can, then, read as much "legalese" as you can stomach..

Can you use them with Asterisk? (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31257964)

That's all I care about, not their shitty SIP service, or their shitty customer service, but using them with Asterisk as an interface.

Re:Can you use them with Asterisk? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258270)

Why.. get some real SIP hardware for the same price.

all it is is a usb soundcard that interfaces to a telephone.

Re:Can you use them with Asterisk? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31259398)

Why.. get some real SIP hardware for the same price.

Because it's the cheapest TNI out there, due to subsidization.

I wouldn't touch the product until (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31258528)

they include an actual uninstaller. As it stands, you need to manually remove files/registry keys to get rid of it.

MagicJack a Product of ... "Ymax" .. ? (1)

rhadc (14182) | more than 4 years ago | (#31258646)

What really turned me away from the MagicJack was that the company that produced it was called "Ymax." The use of "Ymax", which looks to me like a deliberate attempt to hijack the term "WiMax." Those familiar with WiMax, the 802.16-based wireless access technology, would not likely confuse the WiMax and MagicJack's proprietor. But those on the periphery conversations around WiMax might. The attempt to siphon off good will toward WiMax shared by the ill-informed seems like a deceitful salesman's scam. Not that I know the owner. I'm not getting one.

Typical Corporation. (2, Interesting)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31259230)

This had nothing to do with MagicJack as a product, nor was anyone saying that it was inherently bad, a ripoff, or a scam.

This was simply BOING BOING pointing out, that like MANY corporations, their EULA is ridiculous. Like so many others, it is A) almost impossible to find, and B) absolutely ridiculous in its content. You have to promise your first born son for sacrifice to the telecommunication gods by buying their product, and you don't really find this out, until you have already bought their product. Move along, nothing to see here. The demands corporations TYPICALLY put in EULA's are above and beyond reasonable and are pretty much crazy. IANAL however I would bet MOST of these EULA's would not stand up in court as binding (though they may give weight for intent or something of that nature).

Having said all that, MagicJack could have easily amended their stupid EULA to something a bit nicer, or tried to appease their POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS another way. However in true corporate form they would rather hire a bunch of lawyers and duke it out in court to avoid giving consumers what they want. Re-read that statement. Crazy. Not only that, I bet if you pulled the stats as to how many times a EULA like this would even be USED, particularly for a 50$ product with a 3$ subscription fee, it would be minute to the point of non-existence. As we all know while some people may put up a big stink about this sort of thing (and they should) most if faced with the actual situation either are too lazy or don't care enough about it to make any kind of stand anyway.

In all a stupid move by MagicJack, but one that seems about par for the course for any corporate identity.

I applaud BOING BOING for its work however, as the basic principle is if you don't like it, or agree with it, simply don't buy it. However in this case and many like it, you would never have found out about it until after you bought the product (if then) so it is already too late, they already got your money.

This is why it is important what BOING BOING did (particulary when they didn't really have to, other than feeling slighted for being pushed around by lawyers), and why the SLAPP is a good idea, as it keeps the public informed. It isn't saying that MagicJack must change what it does, or fining them for bad behavior. It is just a decision that says, BOING BOING has a legitimate right to inform people about this information, and that MagicJack doesn't have the right to try and use the courts as its thugs to try and prevent it, thus they can pay for most of BOING BOING's legal fees. Thats all.

Anyway good for BOING BOING, and shame on MagicJack.

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