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  1. #1
    Full Member ronwls's Avatar
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    Just got a subpoena regarding one of the products on a page of a merchant that deals with health products. I am supposed to appear a 150 miles away next month. Has this ever happened to anyone? I state clearly in my terms of use page that I am not responsible for the merchants I advertise. Does anyone know if this is enough?

    Help with any knowledge or experience here would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Ron

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    No knowledge/experience, but...

    You may try contacting the att'nys in question. I've heard of videoconferencing depositions, taped depositions, etc.--you may not have to physically appear there at all.

    I'm assuming (which is always dangerous [assuming anything, that is]) that they want your testimony for a case they're persuing against someone else. Of course, if they're suing *you* then they probably wouldn't be so accomodating!

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  3. #3
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Get a lawyer and I doubt you will loose the case once the court understands the details.

    Make your time

  4. #4
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I got one a while back regarding a cartier watch that as far as I knew was not on any of my sites. I chose to ignore it but I must admit I was worried for a while

    I got my parasiteware t-shirt
    <font color=red size="1">All parasites are scumbags and should be treated as such....</font><font color=blue size="1">STAMP EM OUT!!!</font>
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  5. #5
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    Maybe not heyder. Get a lawyer and quick. There is a reason why some of the pill pushers on here give you your own website and all the packaging etc comes with your name, not theirs.

    Also, you are still legally liable for the way you advertise the product, you can't lie and then hope the merchant will straighten them out.

    Either of those fit you? Make factually incorrect claims about the health benefits of the products listed?

    I wouldn't touch a pill/health merchant with a 50 foot pole.

    Chet

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador ShoreMark's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chez Noir:
    I wouldn't touch a pill/health merchant with a 50 foot pole.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Me either. The closest I get to that is Drugstore.com and that's just the usual personal care stuff, not the prescriptions etc. and it's not a sale from a "branded" site, but from their site.

    I figure when it comes to usual affilate product links (books, clothes, PCs etc.) they have a closer relationship with advertising than actual selling since the content of the link is the same as an ad would be and the sales are handled by the merchant exclusively.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for that input Chez.... I've been seeing those let me build you your own pharamcy site and was considering pursuing it since there doesn't seem to be any wo*k involved but I've remained on the sidelines being somewhat skeptical.

    As usual....... beware of anything that is free. They always seems to have a price show up at some point in time. I hope this isn't the issue and that others here may be at risk too.

    ===================================
    Child labor laws exist yet, parasite partnering merchants (PP Merchants) and the COC allow an adult affiliates income to be diverted into the pockets of parasites and consider it normal business!

    Why give parasites unlimited cookie durations and credit for sales where they divert our users and overwrite our cookies. PP merchants and the COC directly supports what many consider unfair trade practices, identity theft and thievery!

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    First thing you need to do is find out exactly why you received a subpoena.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  9. #9
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    First of all, don't panic.

    Lawyers are used to this sort of thing, but for the rest of us it's pretty extraodinary.

    Find out why you got it. You can then either hire a lawyer or do some research on the Internet.

    SJohnson@NO_Spam_ClickMagazine.Net
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  10. #10
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    My opinion;

    First step call and find out what the heck is going on!

    Then explain the hardship it would cause you to be there, are they willing to pay to get you there? Explain your car is broke and you have no money for a bus ticket, also your wheelchair is not easy to take in a cab. Basically make them pay your way. If they really need you they will foot the entire bill.

    If they get ugly, then its you that is in trouble and call an attorney quick.

  11. #11
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Yeah you'll have to excuse me because I went ahead and assumed it was regarding trade infringement.

    Make your time

  12. #12
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Yes, find out exactly why the subpoena has been issued and over which product or page.

    If you've got a legal disclaimer on the site then that will work to your advantage.

    ________
    "All your commission are belong to us." - Slimeware Corporation

  13. #13
    Full Member ronwls's Avatar
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    On this particular product I have only the ad link that I got through the Network. It it is their words here and I've made no claims myself as to the product.

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well the online prescription pill pushers and casino hucksters, by design, play the loopholes in existing laws to the max. They are mostly papered as offshore mailbox companies when the Chit hits the fan. The prescription drug industry is about the greedest group you'll ever meet or they wouldn't have a TV Ad budget of a small countries GNP.

    The lawyers protecting the enormous profits of drug companies parallel the RIAA legal gestapo. If you know the ebiz plan of a merchant is skirting "brick-n-mortar" laws then beware the consequences as those folks need some cannon fodder worker bees. My rule ...if it appears in spamm it is a shanky industry.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  15. #15
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Ron,

    Were you subpoenaed because someone is filing suit against you or just to testify in a suit involving others? When I was working in healthcare we got subpoenas all the time, but it was just to testify in suits between other parties. Also is it to actually appear in court or for a deposition? If it is to appear in court, seems kind of short notice if you are being accused of anything.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  16. #16
    Full Member ronwls's Avatar
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    Ms. B,

    I am not in the Them v. Whoever heading so I guess I am just providing records and documents. It must be a deposition to provide these records. They want things like agreements, marketing plans, email lists and sales records (I've never had a sale in the 3 months that I had them on my site).

    Does this mean that I am not in any danger of being sued?

    Ron

  17. #17
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    If you were being sued, you would listed in the Them vs Whoever Heading. Sounds like either Them or Whoever is wanting you as a witness. Now when lawyers ever wanted me as a witness, they had to pay for my time. I would still call the lawyers who issued the subpoena. Find out which party they are representing and what exactly they are wanting from you (not just the actual docments but the reason behind it). If they documents that you feel are confidential, then you can contact your own lawyer to try and block the release.

    Sounds like they may be thinking you are something you really aren't and don't understand what affiliate marketing is. A talk with the lawyers finding out exactly what they are after and what you really do may be enough for them to reconsider whether they need your testimony or not.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  18. #18
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    Ms. B you make a good point about "what you consider confidential"

    We all need to think about our filing methods. If you keep all your documents in the same file and a lawyer want's one of those documents, then the entire file is "discoverable"

    That means they can ask for the entire file. (I'm no legal expert)

    Also, lawyers will often ask for things they are not entitled to. They know we're not the experts and everyone gets scared when there's lawyers present. Just because they ask doesn't mean you have to comply. You also need to know who's side you're on (or should be on)

    What I'm saying is, you don't want to unknowingly give anyone ammunition.

    SJohnson@NO_Spam_ClickMagazine.Net
    www.ClickMagazine.Net

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Since it is not one of your big sellers why don't you tell us who it is. Some others may want to drop them. Also why not contact the merchant and ask if they know what it is about?

  20. #20
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Ron if the link was to a pharmacy, this could have something to do with it. There is a big crackdown and alot of RX affiliates are scared and dropping RX programs.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/18/te...partner=GOOGLE

    If it was more of a health supplement, not a drug, I think are are also more crackdowns also on false claims by herbal manufacturers.

    Keep this in mind: I got a subpeona several years ago by the FBI to provide records against my employer. They were very intimidating and made me feel like I could be charged. In reality they were using the intimitation to try to get me to turn over any incriminating evidence. I didn't have any or know of any wrong doing by the company, but they sure tried to get me to give them any negative info they could use against the company.

    I sounds to me like this may be similar to what you are going through. Don't know all the details but it sounds like they have a case against the merchant, not you and are just gathering everything they can to make their case.

    I recommend like others have said - contact the attorney - get more info. But I would not ignore it. You are probably not in trouble - they are. After doing your due diligence you should probably appear and turn over what you have.

    It would also be good to let others here know so they could avoid the same problem.


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  21. #21
    Full Member brianboru's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ronWLS:
    Just got a subpoena regarding one of the products on a page of a merchant that deals with health products. I am supposed to appear a 150 miles away next month. Has this ever happened to anyone? I state clearly in my terms of use page that I am not responsible for the merchants I advertise. Does anyone know if this is enough?

    Help with any knowledge or experience here would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Ron<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I was summoned 6 years ago to testify on behalf of a client of mine who was sued by a competitor over disputed trademark keywords on his site. The plaintiffs key witness called to refute my testimony for the defense held four different doctorate degrees in Search Engine technology from UC Berkeley. Needless to say it was no fun. My client managed to settle it but it was quite a learning experience to say the least. My client also had a similar disclaimer on their site but that made little difference to the judge.

  22. #22
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    You mentioned that the link was generated by the "network," i.e. the vendor does not have a private plan but is managed through someone like CJ, etc. If so, check to see if the network is in the "vs" line.

    If the network isn't a participant, then they are probably in the same boat as you are and have been subpeoned. Check the terms and conditions of the contract you agreed to when you signed up with the merchant. Probably the Ts and Cs say that the network will not represent you if you are sued, but, they may be willing to do some sort of group representation for all their affiliates if they think it will simplify things (reduce their costs). It's worth a try.

    And if the network involved participates here at ABW, I hope you will stand behind your affiliates. Once again, opportunity is standing in your doorway. Here is a chance to endear yourself to your affiliates by acting as a firewall between problematic merchants and loyal affiliates.

    L4

    Everywhere you go, leave someone or something better than you found it.

  23. #23
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    There's also this thread at Webmasterworld. Maybe the things are related.

    ________
    "All your commission are belong to us." - Slimeware Corporation

  24. #24
    Full Member ronwls's Avatar
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    Dynamoo,

    I am not a member and it won't let me see that thread.

    Ron

  25. #25
    I like traffic lights
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    > I am supposed to appear a 150 miles away next month.

    2 hour drive.

    Tax deductible.

    ROAD TRIP!!!!!

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    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

    "But Jimmy had fancy plans, and pants to match"

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