Whirlpool in a legal spin as founder gets sued

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Whirlpool in a legal spin as founder gets sued

Simon Wright, the founder of popular broadband discussion forum, Whirlpool, is being sued by accounting software firm 2Clix Australia for alleged "injurious falsehood".

The Statement of Claim submitted by 2Clix’s legal representatives to the Supreme Court of Queensland, alleges "registered users recorded statements on the Defendant’s website relating to the Plaintiff and its software product that are both false and malicious".

The statement identifies two forum threads, ”2Clix or Not 2Clix?” and ”Anyone used 2clix?”, as harbouring defamatory comments to 2Clix.

A search query on Google for “2Clix” shows both offending topics sit in the second and third most viewed spots respectively. While 2Clix website is the number one search query.

2Clix is suing for loss of income to the tune of $150,000 per month from January 2007 to July 2007. The company is also demanding court costs and that two forum threads be removed from the site.

Whirlpool news editor, Phil Sweeney confirmed that the community forum had been approached to remove the threads but could not comment on the outcome due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing legal action.

Representatives from 2Clix declined to discuss the case, stating they were advised by their legal team to make no comments to the media.

A forum thread titled ”2Clix sues Whirlpool founder” relating to the lawsuit has already attracted over 1400 posts, the majority of which are in defence of Whirlpool.

“I cant believe that they are allowed to do this - something is wrong with the legal system for this to happen. This is a public forum where the public discuss topics of interest,” wrote forum poster, Malboro Man.

Sweeney said that Whirlpool would vigorously defend the legal action and called on its forum users to refrain from making statements that prejudge the outcome of the case and from doing anything that might expose Wright to contempt of court.

“During this process we did remove a number of posts from the 2Clix threads that we felt broke our forum rules. But while we do remove posts that break our rules, and have no issues doing that, we always strive to allow fair comment and open discussion. We do not remove content without a valid reason,” he said.

“It's not appropriate for us to comment on the finer details of their action, but we support people's right to share their experiences - good and bad - with products they've purchased. We've had a fantastic response from the community, and we'll be vigorously defending the action.”

A donation fund has also been set up, but Whirlpool administrators are yet to decide how to use the contributions.

“Since announcing the legal action last night, Whirlpool has received a large number of small contributions, and a smaller number of larger contributions. This support from the community is much appreciated,” reads a post from Whirlpool Legal. “At the moment, Whirlpool is still organising how it will defend the action and cannot be sure exactly how much money is required.”
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