Reviews

Directory Assistants, Inc. v. SuperMedia, LLC

Date: 

08/26/2011

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

SuperMedia, LLC, Alejandro Caro, Steven Sapaugh, Scott Duffy

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Case Number: 

2:11-cv-480

Legal Counsel: 

Robert W. McFarland, Erin Q. Ashcroft (McGuireWoods LLP)

Publication Medium: 

Email
Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Description: 

On August 26, 2011, Directory Assistants, Inc., a Connecticut-based advertising consulting agency, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against advertising company SuperMedia, LLC, and three of its employees. The claims, which sound in defamation and tortious interference with business expectations, arose out of SuperMedia's alleged compilation and distribution of hyperlinks to material online that was defamatory of Directory Assistants.

The complaint alleges that defendant Caro compiled a list of links to material on various websites about Directory Assistants, including damaging statements on the websites Ripoff Report and Scam Informer, and then forwarded these links by e-mail to defendant Sapaugh. Sapaugh, in turn, was alleged to have forwarded the list internally at SuperMedia by-email along with the following comments:

Teams- we heard about these guys, they've been here before and all they do is hurt the client.
we do anything the client wants and we don't charge for it- we sell on value, not fear!
once the client signs with DA, DA collects for 2 or 3 years on the
savings.
don't let this happen, so review and be aware
Steve

Defendant Duffy was alleged to have received this list from Sapaugh and to have forwarded it to a potential customer of Directory Assistants; Directory Assistants also generally claimed that SuperMedia continued to forward these links to other potential customers.

The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim. With respect to jurisdiction, SuperMedia argued in its memorandum in support of the motion that Directory Assistants was invoking the diversity jurisdiction of the federal courts, but had failed to plead sufficient facts to establish diversity because SuperMedia was a limited liability company. As such, SuperMedia claimed that Directory Assistants would need to allege the residency of each of its members rather than the location of SuperMedia.

Substantively, the defendants argued that Directory Assistants' claims were barred by 47 U.S.C. § 230, because as "users of an interactive computer service" (i.e., RipOff Report and Scam Informer) they could not be held liable for publishing links to information posted by other users of those websites.

Alternatively, the defendants argued with respect to the plaintiff's defamation claim that: (1) Caro's alleged e-mail to Sapaugh and Sapaugh's alleged distribution of Caro's list within SuperMedia would not constitute "publication" of defamatory material under Virginia law, because it was a privileged distribution within a corporate entity to those having a duty and interest in the subject matter; (2) the distribution of hyperlinks is neither a defamatory "statement" for defamation purposes nor the "publication" of such a statement; (3) the underlying statements on the linked websites were statements of opinion; and (4) the complaint failed to allege knowledge of falsity or negligence on the part of the defendants.

With respect to the tortious interference claim, the defendants argued that Directory Assistants had failed to plead: (1) that defendants interfered with a business expectancy through improper means, because of the insufficiency of the plaintiff's defamation claim; (2) that plaintiff had a valid business expectancy in its relationship with any particular potential customer; or (3) that defendants knew of such an expectancy, if one did exist.

Directory Assistants opposed the motion to dismiss, arguing first that it would be inappropriate to resolve the defendants' Section 230 defense on a motion to dismiss, because discovery might establish that the websites at issue were not "interactive computer services" or that Caro obtained the information he shared from some other third party. In either case, the plaintiff argued, Caro would not be a "user of an interactive computer service" entitled to the protection of Section 230. Directory Assistants also argued that its claims were not limited to material on the linked websites, and that there was evidence of other communications between SuperMedia and Directory Assistants' potential customers whose content Directory Assistants should be allowed to investigate through discovery.

With respect to the sufficiency of its defamation claim under Virginia law, Directory Assistants argued that another court (the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas) had found publication of a defamatory statement through distribution of an e-mail with links to false material, and that (as discussed above) the defamation claim was not limited to the linked material. The plaintiff further argued that ruling on SuperMedia's assertion of a qualified privilege for intra-corporate distribution of material was premature, because the privilege is an affirmative defense under Virginia law and could be overcome by a showing of malice on the part of the distributor. Directory Assistants responded to the defendants' argument that the statements at issue were opinions by claiming that they gave rise to inferences of defamatory fact, and by asserting that it was likely that there had been other communications by SuperMedia to customers of which the plaintiff was not currently aware. Finally, Directory Assistants argued that the facts which it pleaded were sufficient to support an inference of actual malice or negligence.

On its interference claim, Directory Assistants argued that (1) its allegations of defamation sufficed as an allegation of interference by improper means, (2) it was sufficient to allege a "business expectation" that the individual contacted by defendant Duffy was identified as a "prospective customer," and (3) the knowledge requirement of the claim was satisfied by alleging that SuperMedia was aware that Directory Assistants did business in Virginia.

The defendants filed a reply brief, in which (among other issues) they argued that allowing Directory Assistants the opportunity to take discovery on the Section 230 issue would be inappropriate where the plaintiff's allegations were insufficient, and cited other courts that had granted motions to dismiss where a Section 230 defense was established on the face of the complaint. The defendants also distinguished the case authority cited by Directory Assistants for the principle that forwarding links could be actionable, on the basis that the earlier decision had not considered the effect of Section 230. Other cases citing Section 230, the defendants claimed, reached the opposite result.

The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss on May 30, 2012. Finding that Section 230 "protects users equally as it does providers," the court held that "a user of an interactive computer service who finds and forwards via e-mail that content posted online in an interactive computer service by others is immune from liability." The court further held that the websites to which the SuperMedia e-mails provided links were "interactive computer services," and that the defendants "were users in that they put RipOffReport and other websites into action or service, and availed themselves of and utilized these websites by compiling their posts by copying links to commentary posted on them."

As such, the court held that it "unfortunately" was required to dismiss Directory Assistants' claims, while noting that Section 230's protections are "clearly subject to tremendous abuse," and stating its "serious misgivings about [the Fourth] Circuit's broad interpretation of § 230 immunity." The court did not reach the parties' other arguments, finding that the plaintiff's failure to overcome Section 230 rendered the other issues moot.

Subject Area: 

Jurisdiction: 

Seaton v. TripAdvisor, LLC

Date: 

10/11/2011

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

TripAdvisor LLC

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Media Company

Court Type: 

Federal
State

Court Name: 

Circuit Court for Sevier County, Tennessee (state); U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee (federal)

Case Number: 

2011-0676-I (state); 3:11-cv-00549 (federal district court); 12-6122 (federal appellate court)

Legal Counsel: 

S. Russell Headrick, Meghan H. Morgan (Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz); James Rosenfeld, Samuel Bayard (Davis, Wright, Tremaine LLP)

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

In January 2011, TripAdvisor, operator of the travel review website http://www.tripadvisor.com, published a list entitled "Dirtiest Hotels, as reported by travelers on TripAdvisor," which purported to be a list of the dirtiest hotels in the United States. Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, topped the list. The feature included a user-provided picture of a ripped bedspread and a quote from a user report - "There was dirt at least ½" thick in the bathtub which was filled with lots of dark hair." It also noted that "87% of reviewers do not recommend this hotel."

In an accompanying press release, titled "TripAdvisor Lifts the Lid on America's Dirtiest Hotels: Top 10 U.S. Grime-Scenes Revealed, According to Traveler Cleanliness Ratings," TripAdvisor wrote, "true to its promise to share the whole truth about hotels to help travelers plan their trips, TripAdvisor names and shames the nation's most hair-raising hotels." The press release also contained the slogan "world's most trusted travel advice." The press release also stated, "If you are looking for a hotel with chewing tobacco spit oozing down the halls and corridors; spiders actively making webs in every corner of your room; carpeting so greasy and dirty you wouldn't want to sit your luggage down - let alone walk around barefoot ..... by all means stay at the Grand Resort."

The list and the accompanying press release stated that the list was based on traveler ratings for cleanliness posted on the site. According company policy, available on its website, while TripAdvisor "dedicate[s] significant time and resources" to detecting fraud, and screens reviews to ensure they meet posting guidelines, it does not verify or fact check reviews.

On Oct. 11, 2011, after TripAdvisor produced a list naming his hotel the dirtiest hotel in America, Kenneth M. Seaton sued the travel site for defamation and false light in Tennessee state court, asking for five million dollars in compensatory damages and five million dollars in punitive damages and demanding a jury trial.

In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that TripAdvisor had defamed his business with "unsubstantiated rumors and grossly distorted ratings and misleading statements," and that TripAdvisor used a rating system that is "flawed and inconsistent" and "overstates the level of trust that can be placed in" TripAdvisor's review of the hotel.

TripAdvisor removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on Jan. 6, 2012. Seaton filed a response to the motion on March 31, 2012. TripAdvisor filed a reply brief on May 14, 2012.

On August 22, 2012, the court granted the motion to dismiss. The court treated the plaintiff's complaint as raising claims for defamation and false light, but disposed of the claims together, focusing its discussion on the defamation claim. It did not address the parties' arguments under the Communications Decency Act.

According to the court, the central question the case presented was whether a reasonable person could understand the language in question as an assertion of fact or as a mere hyperbolic opinion or rhetorical exaggeration. It cited to Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co. for the proposition that "expressions of ‘opinion' may often imply an assertion of objective fact," and therefore "can give rise to a defamation claim when they imply an assertion of fact or when the opinion is based upon erroneous information." 497 U.S. 1, 18 (1990).

However, the court ultimately concluded that TripAdvisor's "Dirtiest Hotels" list is "clearly unverifiable rhetorical hyperbole," and that a reasonable person "would not confuse a ranking system, which uses consumer reviews as its litmus, for an objective assertion of fact."

According to the court, a reasonable person could not believe that TripAdvisor's list and press release reflected anything more than "the opinions of TripAdvisor's millions of online users, and the article was therefore not ... a statement of opinion that it intended readers to believe was based on facts."

Finally, the court noted that TripAdvisor's method of compiling the list based on unverified online user reviews "is a poor evaluative metric," but held that, "it is not a system sufficiently erroneous so as to be labeled ‘defamatory' under the legal meaning of the term."

On September 21, 2012, Seaton filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Update:

On January 4, 2013, Seaton filed his brief before the Sixth Circuit. Seaton argued that the stated reliability and accuracy of TripAdvisor's list made the statements objectively verifiable, and thus capable of being found to be actionable defamation. Seaton further argued that TripAdvisor used a flawed methodology to reach its conclusion, and that Section 230 did not shield TripAdvisor against liability because the alleged defamation comes from statements made by TripAdvisor directly.

On February 20, 2013, TripAdvisor filed its appellee brief urging affirmance of the district court's opinion. TripAdvisor argued that a top-10 list is inherently subjective, as it necessarily includes editorial judgments, and therefore cannot be objectively verified. TripAdvisor further noted that its own list was based on sliding-scale rankings by its users, which also include inherently subjective considerations.

On February 27, 2013, the Digital Media Law Project (DMLP, the operator of this website) filed a brief as an amicus curiae. The DMLP argued that TripAdvisor's statements were protected under Tennessee law and the First Amendment as an opinion based on disclosed facts. The DMLP also argued that finding liability for TripAdvisor could jeopardize the many crowdsourced research efforts conducted in both journalism and academia.

Oral argument before the Sixth Circuit was held on July 30, 2013, and on August 28, 2013, the Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the district court's dismissal of the case and its denial of leave to amend the complaint. The Sixth Circuit ruled that TripAdvisor's description of the Grand Resort as the "dirtiest" hotel was rhetorical hyperbole, and could not be read as "an actual assertion of fact."

Content Type: 

Jurisdiction: 

Subject Area: 

Reit v. Yelp

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

03/04/2010

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Yelp! Inc. and John Doe, aka "Michael S."

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York

Case Number: 

6005551/2010

Legal Counsel: 

Marc J. Randazza and Jessica S. Christensen - Randazza Legal Group (for Michael S.)

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Dismissed (partial)

Description: 

Glenn Reit, a Manhattan dentist, sued Yelp! and John Doe (Michael S.) for defamation and Yelp! for deceptive acts and practices under New York’s General Business Law § 349 and § 350.  

According to his complaint, as of May 2009, Dr. Reit's Yelp page had 11 reviews: 10 favorable and 1 negative review from a user named "Michael S."  Dr. Reit alleges the Michael S. posting was defamatory because it included "statements that his office is 'small,' 'old' and 'smelly,' and 'the equipment is old and dirty.'  Dr. Reit alleges that Michael S.'s post caused him to lose 5-11 calls per day.  

When Dr. Reit complained to Yelp about the review, he claims that Yelp removed all of the positive reviews and kept only Michael S.'s post. Eventually, that post was removed too. Dr. Reit argues that Yelp removed the positive posts as part of Yelp's alleged scheme to get business owners to pay for advertising.

In addition to monetary damages, Dr. Reit sought an order requiring Yelp to delete all references to him and his dental practice from Yelp.com. The court initial granted a temporary restraining order, but ultimately dismissed the claims against Yelp based on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The defamation claim against Michael S. remains pending.  

Update:

10/25/2010 - Defendant Michael S. filed a Petition to Quash Out-of-State Sub Duces Tecum and Request for Sanctions in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco

11/22/2010 - Plaintiff filed Opposition to the Petition and Request for Sanctions

Content Type: 

Jurisdiction: 

Threat Source: 

User Feedback

Subject Area: 

CMLP Publishes New Guide to FTC Disclosure Requirements for Product Endorsements

As part of our legal guide series on Risks Associated with Publication, today CMLP published a guide to Publishing Product or Service Endorsements

Subject Area: 

Jurisdiction: 

Intellect Art Media Inc. v. Milewski

Date: 

12/15/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Mathew Milewski and Xcentric Ventures, LLC

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County

Case Number: 

117024/08

Legal Counsel: 

Maria Crimi Speth, Jaburg & Wilk P.C. (for Xcentric)

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Dismissed (partial)

Description: 

On December 15, 2008, Intellect Art Media, Inc., a Massachusetts-based company that operates a college-level summer program called Swiss Finance Academy, sued Mathew Milewski, a student at Fordham University; Xcentric Ventures, LLC, operators of the website RipoffReport.com; and five anonymous posters for defamation.  Intellect Art Media's claims were based on comments Milewski and others had posted on Ripoff Report, a consumer complaint site, regarding the Swiss Finance Academy program. The complaint also alleged a claim for breach of contract against Milewski and a products liability claim against Xcentric. Intellect Art Media later sought leave to amend the complaint to include six more causes of action against Xcentric, including tortious interference with prospective business relations, tortious interference with contractual relations, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, common law negligence, and injurious falsehoods. 

In April 2009, the defendants separately moved to dismiss. The Supreme Court of New York dismissed all claims except the breach of contract claim against Milewksi. The court dismissed the defamation claim against Milewski, characterizing his criticism of Swiss Finance Academy as personal opinion that is protected by the First Amendment. The court reasoned that the context of the website revealed that Milewski was "a disgruntled consumer and that his statements reflect his personal opinion based upon his personal dealing with plaintiff." The court also noted that Milewski's description of the program as a "bait and switch scam" and as a "joke" were "loose, figurative or hyperbolic" statements and were therefore unactionable.

The court likewise dismissed the defamation claim against Xcentric because Intellect Art Media failed to cite affirmative statements made by Xcentric, despite a general allegation that Xcentric added "defamatory headings" in Milewski's post. The court also found that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields Xcentric from liability as “[nlo provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” 47 USCA § 230 (c) (1).

The court disposed of the products liability claim against Xcentric, reasoning that the website is probably a "service" rather than a "product," and that even if the Ripoff Report were a "product," Intellect Art had not proven it to be "defective."

The court summarily denied Intellect Art Media leave to amend the complaint to add the six other causes of action and denied Intellect Art Media's request for discovery to identify Does 1-5 because the Intellect Art Media failed to allege defamatory statements made by the anonymous posters.

The court did not dismiss the breach of contract claim against Milewksi, and transferred the claim to the Civil Court of the City of New York on jurisdictional grounds.

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

-MW reviewing 10/1

Jurisdiction: 

Video Professor v. Informercial Consumer Awareness

Date: 

05/03/2009

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Dean Graziosi; Ryan Patten; Michael Savage; Edward Johnson; The Tax Club, Inc.; Infomercial Consumer Awareness, Inc.; Justin Leonard; Leonard Fitness, Inc.

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Case Number: 

1:09-cv-01025-RPM

Legal Counsel: 

Stanford B. Owen and Gregory E. Goldberg (for Graziosi); Scott T. Ashby (for Patton); Jersey M. Green (for Savage); Randall H. Miller (for Informercial Consumer Awareness); Barry Douglas Roseman and Paul A. Levy (for Leonard)

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Settled (partial)

Description: 

Video Professor, a computer instruction software company, filed a lawsuit against the owners of Infomercialscams.com, a website which hosts anonymous reviews of infomercial products, and several related individuals asserting claims that the owners of Infomercialscams.com used the threat of negative consumer ratings to extort the company. 

Video Professor's ten-count complaint alleged that Informercial Consumer Awareness, the corporation which runs Infomercialscams.com, used Video Professor's trademarks in its metadata, such that any web search for the company would return a listing for Informercialscams.com and potentially negative consumer reviews. Compl. ¶ 47. According to the complaint, Infomercial Consumer Awareness allegedly offered Video Professor the opportunity to "delist" negative reviews of its product and to boost its rating on the site in exchange for a yearly payment of approximately $300,000.  Compl. ¶ 67.

Video Professor argued that, through these actions, Informercial Commercial Awareness and the associated individuals violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) and misused the protections of the Communications Decency Act Section 230. Video Professor also filed for a preliminary injunction against Informercial Commercial Awareness. 

On July 8, 2009, Video Professor voluntarily dismissed the case against all defendants pursuant to an undisclosed settlement agreement. The Stipulated Notice of Dismissal as to Defendants Justin Leonard and Leonard Fitness, Inc. (the "Leonard Defendants") reserved to those Defendants the right to file a motion for attorneys' fees and sanctions pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. 

On July 22, 2009, the Leonard Defendants filed the motion for attorneys' fees and sanctions, asserting that Video Professor lacked any evidentiary support for its claims against those defendants.  Specifically, the Leonard Defendants claimed that Section 230 immunized them from liability for the allegedly defamatory postings, and that Video Professor's attempts to plead around Section 230 by asserting claims for extortion were insufficient as to the Leonard Defendants because Leonard had sold the web site in May 2008, before the alleged extortion attempts occurred.

The Leonard Defendants' motion for attorneys' fees and sactions is still pending.

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

Same plaintiff as Video Professor v. Justin Leonard and Video Professor v. Doe. Same defendant Leonard as in those threats as well.

8/3/009 - avm editing

Jurisdiction: 

Spelios and Associates v. Dewalle

Date: 

04/15/2009

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Lorna Dewalle

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

North Carolina Superior Court, Wake County

Case Number: 

09CV007368

Legal Counsel: 

Bill Mills

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

Spelios and Associates, a North Carolina dental practice, filed a lawsuit in North Carolina against a former patient, asserting that she made defamatory comments about the practice on the Charlotte News & Observer's website. In its complaint, Spelios and Associates, P.A., asserts that Lorna Dewalle posted comments in March 2009 that falsely stated that plaintiff's staff "blatantly lied and misdiagnosed" her during an appointment. Compl. ¶ 16.

According to the complaint and news articles, the dispute arose when the staff's recommended treatment of Dewalle conflicted with that of another dentist. Compl. ¶ 11.  Spelios and Associates asserts that patients have canceled appointments because of Dewalle's statements.

The Charlotte News & Observer reports that attorney Bill Mills is representing Dewalle pro bono. According to the newspaper, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in May that states, "Everything said or written by the defendant was a fair comment by a consumer about a professional licensed by the state of North Carolina and therefore cannot be the basis of a claim of libel or slander." 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

Source: News Observer; Michael A. Lindenberger (via email)

CMF 6/2/09

Jurisdiction: 

Shurwest Product Connection, LLC v. Premium Producers Group LLC

Date: 

02/21/2007

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Premium Producers Group LLC; Mitchell M Maynard; Dorice Maynard; John Does I-X; Jane Does I-X; Black and White Partnerships I- X; and ABC Corporations I-X

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County

Case Number: 

CV2007-003021

Legal Counsel: 

Cody Hall (for Premium Producers Group LLC); Maynards, Pro se

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

ShurWest Product Connection dba The Annexus Group, a distributor of insurance products, filed a defamation lawsuit against Premium Producers Group, Mitchell Maynard, and Dorice Maynard over, among other things, a review they published on their blog, Index Annuity & EIA Software Forum, criticizing the plaintiff's Balance Plus Annuity. The complaint asserts claims for product disparagement, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, negligence, and defamation.

On  March 17, 2007, defendants' filed a motion to dismiss arguing, inter alia, that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over them.  On September 25, 2007, the court denied the motion to dismiss.

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

MLRC

Subject Area: 

Jurisdiction: 

Metallica v. The Quietus

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Date: 

06/01/2008

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Quietus.com; MetalHammer.co.uk; Rock-Sound.net; Bob Mulhouse

Type of Party: 

Organization
Large Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Publication Medium: 

Blog
Website

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Withdrawn

Description: 

Representatives of rock band Metallica demanded that websites and blogs take down reviews of unreleased songs from the band's forthcoming album. The band's management had played six songs from the album for a group of U.K. music journalists and bloggers, including writers for Metal Hammer, Rock Sound, The Quietus, Classic Rock, and others, at a listening party in London on June 04, 2008. According to one attendee, those invited were not asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Following contact from a third party representing QPrime, Metallica's management, at least three sites – Metal Hammer, Rock Sound, and The Quietus – removed their reviews. Classic Rock edited their review to remove any specific information about the songs or the album's sound. The Listening Post cites sources as saying the band's management wanted the reviews pulled because they were based upon an early mix of the album.

On June 11, 2008, Metallica posted a message to their website stating that the takedowns had been instigated by QPrime without the band's permission. The message included links to reviews from Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, and The Quietus. Following the June 11 posting, all of the reviews were placed back online.

 

Jurisdiction: 

Subject Area: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Content Type: