|by Flemming Funch|
It took me a moment to remember the story... See, I did this posting in 2005: Jetsetters wants to sue everybody, which was about this fellow, Kriss Hammond, who said he wanted to launch a 10 million dollar lawsuit against me, because I had reposted some articles related to his outfit, Jetsetters Magazine. Articles written by some of his affiliates, specifically with a license to repost freely, with attribution. I don't know why they do that, if they don't want the articles to actually be used. Anyway, I had reposted them automatically, and they weren't particularly good articles or anything. Since the outrageous lawsuit threat was kind of amusing, I looked around a little bit, and found that Kriss Hammond seems do that kind of thing often, and that he runs a somewhat questionable business which involves paying him money to learn how to present oneself as a "travel writer", so that one can get free hotel rooms and that kind of thing. At least that's how I understood it.
I had mostly forgotten about it, until the guy sent me an e-mail yesterday:
Hello Ming the Mechanic, also known as F Funch. We know who you are and where you live and operate. For some time you have had a posting about Jetsetters Magazine on the net that shoiuld be taken down, if you are truly a practioner of change. If you are not truly a practioner of change, we are about to change your financial status, as we did with Carl Parks.
Carl Parkes was a vocal critic of the Jetsetters scheme, and is a (real) travel writer.
Kriss Hammond - j...@hotmail.com
Editor - Jetsetters Magazine
Changing my financial status, hey, I'd welcome that, but I think he means it as a threat.
I can guess why he doesn't like my previous posting. See, if you look up "Jetsetters Magazine" in Google, there are 48,000 matches, and mine is number 3. That's of course a bit annoying when one is trying to game the search engines with thousands of poorly written travel articles that all link to the Jetsetters homepage.
26 minutes later, Kriss sent me this message:
When we originally posted Jetsetters Magazine articles on GoArticles.com there was no intention for you to use the articles within your site without our permission, which at your own admission, you did. Thank you for taking them down. Also, please remove your Ming the Mechanic reference to us, and in the future stop referencing us in any way or slandering or libeling our name online. We have helped many budding writer enhance their lifestyles, which you and Carl Parks have liebeled and slandered. We have taken care of Mr. Parks, and now are concentrating on you. We can have one of our colleagues call upon you if you wish, at 6 rue Pedro Gailhard, 31100, Toulouse France. Thank you for your understanding and consideration.It doesn't sound too good that they have taken care of Mr.Parks (it is Parkes, really). Or that he'd like to send some thugs to my door. Then, again, Kriss Hammond doesn't strike me as a very well armed opponent in the legal arena or in any other arena. Anyway, he wasn't done, so 18 minutes later:
We will give you exactly until June 1, 2008 to remove all references online from you as Ming the Mechanic to Jetsetters Magazine and then we begin law suit procedures. We realize you are a professional programmer, and if there is any threats, real or inferred to our websites from you we will incorporate those threats, real or inferred into any existing or pending lawsuit. We will also attach this lawsuit to your chateaux in France through French courts. I don't think you really realize who you are dealing with. Our IT staff is monitoring all our websites for any illegal or illicit activity to them by you or others. We have deep pockets and relish any legal confrontations with you.Oh no, please don't touch my chateaux. I'd have to live on my yacht if you took them away from me.
Now, today there was a Skype request to add "Kriss Hammond (jetsetters2)" to my contact list, with this reason "Jetsetters Magazine lawsuit". I don't think I want to chat with him on Skype about that at odd hours of the day, so I declined.
I'm very approachable, and normally willing to discuss it if somebody is not happy with something I've posted somewhere. If Kriss Hammond had simply asked me to remove his travel articles back then, I'd just have done so. Oh, I did, but since he also threatened me, I wrote about it. Which I do now as well. You would get much further by being nice, Mr. Hammond.
... A day later: Kriss Hammond sent me a couple more messages where he actually sounded more human and friendly. I'm not sure if it is because of my e-mail answer or because he read this message. I sort of suspect the former. Anyway, that's a positive sign. Most people want things to come out well, but sometimes they pick the wrong strategy at first.