Over the last several months, we have spent a lot of digital ink covering Paul Ceglia’s goofy lawsuit claiming 50 percent ownership of Facebook. In that case, we tend to believe Facebook is in the right.

But now it appears that the social media behemoth has caught its own case of silly litigation fever.

Facebook has taken legal action against the makers of a web-browsing widget that allegedly violates its terms of service. And its Biglaw attorneys may have caught an innocent internet commenter in the crossfire….

A nonplussed tipster gives us his explanation of the situation going down at TechCrunch:

Company makes a system to bypass “Facebook comments” on a blog, allowing people to comment anonymously. Tech website puts up story reporting on this bypass system. Blog reader comments on the story. Facebook sues to stop company. Law firm goes after the freaking *blog reader* who wrote a comment, and says he needs to hire a lawyer to prove he’s not involved with the bypass system.

So stupid. Please embarrass these fools.

Consider it done, venerable tipster!

In a nutshell, a man named Rick Stratton appeared in the screenshot in a TechCrunch blog post about the add-on, known as Defaceable. In the screenshot, Stratton, who works for a totally separate software company, wrote how excited he was for the add-on to be released. When the post went live, he also contributed to the actual comments section of the website (with his name attached), saying how excited he was to simply make it into a TechCrunch article.

Unfortunately, Facebook’s attorneys at Perkins Coie thought his comment meant he works for Defaceable. The attorneys sent Stratton a cease-and-desist letter, and they have not accepted his explanation that he doesn’t even work for that company.

Needless to say, he is not happy:

“My face appears in the image uploaded to the article,” Stratton tells us. “And I made a comment on the story. And so now these dumb lawyers are coming after me,” he says.

Sounds like he’s not a huge fan of the ATL readership. Sorry guys. His rant continues:

After contacting the firm, he was told he will need to hire a lawyer to prove he’s not involved with Defaceable. “She [the lawyer from Perkins Coie] basically grilled me and became irate and told me to get a lawyer to prove that I’m not involved with this ‘Defaceable’ company…I don’t know what to do other than to hire a lawyer on this. She seems pretty adamant about coming after me.”

TechCrunch has posted the four-page letter, which is signed by Carla L. Reyes, a Perkins Coie associate. The letter does appear to assume Stratton works for Defaceable. So, what’s the angle here? It sounds like the attorney simply made a mistake. But who knows, maybe it is part of some grand plan? Or maybe Stratton is hiding something?

Or maybe, someone just needs new reading glasses.

Facebook Threatens To Sue TechCrunch Commenter [TechCrunch]


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