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AMAZON Sues 1114 FIVERR Sellers


anigrams

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I have extensively worked in this field and can tell you that there are global server companies which will deliver Statements of Claim (Legal Notice) first and then make multiple approaches for the record and documentation. As a German, he doesnt have much to worry about till the court establishes that notices were served and ignored and the defendant did not attempt to resolve the case with the plaintiff. Now, the trial will occur in absentia and court can come up with a fine. The final judgement will also be delivered and then Amazon may pursue the local courts (German) for remedy.

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Guest reinier01

Amazon will have a very hard time proving damages. It is one of the most difficut things to prove in any juristiction, and the fact that they actually benefitted from fake reviews will not make it easier.

The only winners in this case will be the lawyers- unless the case is dismissed by a prudent judge, the lawyers can quite happily drag this out for years, if not decades, and collect millions in fees doing so.

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Amazon references a similar case in April and uses this phrase “Amazon is continuing those efforts with this lawsuit against the individuals who provide those fake reviews.” Which means there could be others maybe not just on fiverr but other websites as well, this is ongoing. This will not be dismissed as those named have broken the TOS of Fiverr and Amazon. It is serious enough to define what makes a real or fake review.

This will be a very interesting case and will no doubt have the eyes and ears of other large websites watching. I also believe that fake video testimonials are going to be another case in future. If you do these type of videos, not knowing how it will be used, no disclaimer on screen, then you better stop. It’s no longer a joke.

I’m happy at least that this will wake some people up to becoming more honest as well as clean up the fiverr website.

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All Nationalities involved should worry as this will be on their record. The world is smaller, social interaction is higher, you can be found quickly. It doesn’t matter what country you live in. It’s not a joke and has long term implications.

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I saw this post too and was shock that as seller’s we use the ignorance as a bliss to not be informed, if the TOS says not to do and you do you should suffer the consequences. I do agree that if person’s who buy from sellers, to do these reviews, they should suffer some of the penalty as well.

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People have been getting paid to write reviews forever. I don’t see anything wrong with it if the person writes an honest review. A friend of mine hired CreateSpace to design his book for him, and was then sold a review service for $500. The review was not positive. Did that make it a “real” review? I know of plenty of books on Amazon with fake reviews written by the friends of the authors. I think that is more dangerous. I know of a book that just got published on Tuesday and that day it got a bunch of 5 STAR reviews from people who never wrote a single book review before! Or any other book review before. In fact, if you click on their name you would see that they live in the same city as the author. In fact, if you Googled some of them, as I did for a book last week, I saw that some of the positive reviewers were the same age as the author and went to the same college as the author! Now there is no way that Amazon can not see right through that! Oh, then those same people attacked someone who left a bad review. Isn’t that suspicious???

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Well, you are giving out a lot of information. I’m sure Amazon is reading this forum thread carefully. The point remains that there are more than a thousand individuals who broke the TOS of Amazon and Fiverr and that may be one of the reasons why Fiverr was a target. There’s a lot of dishonest sellers on this platform, hopefully this is the start of the cleanup.

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From all those usernames on the list, I wonder how many live outside the U.S. If they do, I doubt they have much to worry about.

So is Amazon going to go after some poor person who lives in the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, etc?

They have usernames so how will they get the real names unless fiverr gives it to them?

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What we say on the forum doesn’t prove anything. One guy was talking about always writing honest reviews, then I click on his name and he had no review gigs.

Suppose you go to a financial forum and someone writes GSX is a hot stock. How do you know? That person might be telling the truth, or he might be getting paid to promote a stock so others can buy it, the price goes up, and then he dumps that share. Penny stock companies do that all the time, they send you e-mails telling you about some new oil company, oil field, diamond discovery, then you buy that garbage and lose money.

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Guest reinier01

In that case, I can see even bigger trouble for Amazon. First, they would have to quantify their claim against each seller of fake reviews, which means they would have to prove exactly how much each seller had earned by selling fake reviews. This cannot be a thumb-suck figure- if they want tripple the amount from each seller, they would have to state the exact amount each claim is based upon.

Then they run the risk of having to answer the possible counter claims of sellers on Amazon who did not use fake reviews. These sellers could quite rightly claim that Amazon had unjustly enriched itself at their expense, through boosting the sales of competitors by allowing fake reviews. The whole thing is a mess, and the sooner it is dismissed, the better for everyone involved.

If I were the judge hearing this case, I would order Amazon to show why they did not, or could not verify all reviews, and since they did not, to quantify the profits they had made from fake reviews over the entire period they had been in business. This will shut them up faster than any other way.

Next, I would order them to show reason why they cannot henceforth verify all reviews, or have their claim dismissed. In this country, such a case would never make it to court, since you cannot claim damages or restitution if you did not take reasonable measures to prevent, or at least limit your losses, or damage to your reputation.

Amazon did none of these things- they knowingly allowed fake reviews on the site, and are thus the authors of their own misfortune. They are now trying to do damage control by acting in bad faith- they brought this on themselves, and they should just put up or shut up.

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JUDICIAL PROCESS FOR CIVIL CASES

The judicial process involves first getting a client served with preliminary Statement of Claim (legal notice) in their country of origin.

If the address of the defendant is not known, a legal notice is considered to have been served if the name, date of birth and/or photograph is published in a local newspapers couple of times (called Service by Publication or Post). Imagine photographs published in newspapers with a tip line to provide address and other details to the Tip Line.

Thereafter, wait for the deadline to approach and get the judicial summons delivered to the defendant in their country of origin. Amazon has retained a global law firm (see towards the end), so it is likely that they will file a local case as well in specific countries outside of United States interwoven with the International Lawsuit.

Failure to respond to the judicial summons (court summons versus preliminary statement of claim) allows a series of cascading actions to be be taken which may include detainment or arrest by law enforcement. Please do note that failure to respond to court summons pretty much anywhere in the world (from Syria to Phillipines to India to United States) leads to an issuance of a non bailable arrest warrant and the case moves from civil to potential criminal.

As an example. One of my clients in North America is following through a process with a seller on one of the platforms who is based in Phillipines and who threatened the client with reputational damage and malicious negative SEO attacks. Now the client is waiting for judicial summons to be issued, wait for the defendant to respond and thereafter request paypal and other financial institutions to proceed ahead with civil forfeiture of assets. First the civil forfeiture starts in United States i.e any banks accounts with an US bank, paypal, domain names to be seized etc etc. Second step is to take the civil forfeiture claim in the local host country and ask banks to freeze bank accounts related to the defendant, place a hold on personal property yada yada. In the way of the civil case mentioned above, the clients attorneys also found that the Phillipines seller also provided a fake name to a US press release company while registering for the services on a credit card. So, more and more muck surfaces when such cases are vigorously pursued.

Also note that no local bank wants to be on the wrong side of the US Financial Regulatory policies. When you open a bank account anywhere in the world, even in developing countries, they have a backend process where the name etc is checked with a sanction list for fraud, civil forfeiture etc. While overall compliance is very weak in developing countries on this but eventually, one email and the bank will freeze the bank account (Google this and you will find many cases). Basically, even if the defendant is free to live their life in their own country, the restrictions in place will make life miserable till the law firm finally files local lawsuits and use media attention i.e publish open summons in big newspapers with photograph of the defendant. When all this unfolds, this places significant restrictions on the individual.

In the current world, armed with a court judgement from an International Court, banks and other institutions may proactively cancel the bank accounts and take other actions on their own.

Finally, Amazon may retain the services of local investigative service providers many of whom have retired from law enforcement and court systems. These people will locally keep searching for these defendants, make inquiries in neighbourhood, schools, colleges, banks etc making life miserable and generally increase the in-kind cost of trying to evade the case. Eventually, a settlement comes through.

The lawfirm pursuing the case in this case http://klgates.com/ is very experienced and global http://klgates.com/places/ and has presence in multiple countries, the process they will follow is painstaking. They are just starting the first step in the process and other companies like Google, Youtube, Press Release Companies will follow suit. DCMA (Copyright Management) will also be actively looking into DRM removal services and other services that fall under their umbrella.

That said, most of the sellers providing such services are ignorant people trying to make a decent living. My suggestion to them would be to reach out to the plaintiff lawfirm, apologise, sign up agreements to never sell such services offline or online, close their accounts, give up the names of the buyers, and get their name taken off the list. Sometimes, the law firm will let people go off the hook without any payments subject to accepting a detailed restrictive agreement. The restrictive agreements will probably be signed in the office of a local law firm in the host country where a witness will be present and restrictive agreement and settlement will be signed off as per local contract laws. Any violation of those restrictive agreements can now be pursued in the host country. Restrictions may include never selling these services indefinitely, never opening an account with the vendor i.e Amazon.

Most of the law firms would consider this a WIN in exchange for giving up buyer names and avoiding all the dog work that will go into chasing defendants who can spend the free time to pursue the buyers. The lawfirm submits a modification to the Exhibit and advises the court that out of court settlement reached with the plaintiff and hence name deleted from the exhibit.

*** For all those who are feeling worried, do note that buyers are as culpable as sellers and Amazon would be super interested in pursuing action against buyers to kill the demand for these services.

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Yes, as I mentioned below, one of my client is going after a seller in Phillipines with hammer and tongs. The motivation is that they will likely expose a larger network and send off a ripple effect across the network and can ask Paypal to hand over any earnings over in a successful lawsuit. Plus move into civil forfeiture.

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