The topic of today’s blog has been hard to swallow for the whole FishAddix Team. However, CHIPTY has deemed it necessary to discuss the issues at hand with the site members in the name of full disclosure. After all, FishAddix.com was a site designed for and used by you, the members (although the FishAddix team does partake as well)…
Earlier this week, on 4/1/10, a scandal broke out surrounding FishAddix.com. Across the nation, do-gooder members of various addiction anonymous (AA) groups have taken aim at FishAddix, its founders, and team members. The addiction groups caught wind of the website sometime in the past few weeks during its recent rise in popularity. The groups have joined together and have filed two lawsuits against the founders of FishAddix.com and those who work for the site (including myself). All in all, about 7 people were named. The groups have filed a Class Action Lawsuit (when a bunch of people get together and sue for the common “good”) and a civil lawsuit seeking even more monetary reparations. In their lawsuits they cite the used of the word “addix” having caused emotion distress for the majority of their members and that, addictions are not to be taken lightly or used in capitalistic type ventures (i.e. starting a website that will eventually turn a profit).
In my opinion, this is just a way for these groups (most of which are not non-profit organizations) to get money from FishAddix, despite the fact that the site has just recently reached the 1,000 member mark. Lawsuits of this magnitude could ultimately spell destruction for the website as a clause in the lawsuit says that if the AA groups are successful, the site has to either: 1) rid the site and all content of the word “addix” or 2) disband the domain name completely. In reality, there’s no way to rid the site of all “addix” related words and therefore we’d be forced to shut down operations here and/or open a new domain and basically start all over.
Having been so aggravated at these egregious claims, yours truly, has done a little internet research to see if there is some type of legal precedent for this type of case. And wouldn’t you know it, several years back a similar situation occurred in Topeka, Kansas of all places, where national AA groups squashed an up and coming online poker website for using language similar to ours in their site name. The courts ruled in favor of the AA groups and the founders of the website were ordered to disband the website completely (they didn’t have the option of changing the name) and they were also ordered to pay a fine of $1.3 million to the AA groups. And since search engine type websites like yahoo and google had to remove all cached pages of the website and all its content – the founders were inundated with bills from mega-companies telling them they had to pay for the time spent removing cached pages. Not having the funds for $1.3M, let alone all the other bills, the founders and the whole team were forced to declare bankruptcy after all their assets were liquidated (including their houses, cars, etc) and the money was split between all the beneficiaries. This effectively left the young entrepreneurs homeless and without employment. In a VH1 special documentary released in 2003 – 8 of the 12 team members were still homeless, surviving only because of the local soup kitchen. Two of the members went to work for the AA groups in order to save their homes and families. And the final two members had moved to San Francisco to work for Rice-A-Roni as food tasters.
If there is good news in a situation like this it’s that the judge ruled in favor of the AA groups largely because of the well documented correlation between gambling and addition. And no such correlation has been drawn between fishing and addiction (although some of us do have one or two too many while they are on the boat – but those people will remain nameless).
I also found out that before the AA groups filed the lawsuit, they retained several high profile research institutions to investigate whether or not people can be addicted to fishing. Beakman from the early morning show Beakman’s World is apparently heading the project.
The good news is that site will remain up and running and fully intact during the trial for now, business should be conducted as usual. I will keep the users up to date with the trial proceedings. And hey, maybe if we’re lucky we can get some FishAddix members on our jury.
Thanks for reading my special April Fool’s Week blog. I hope you enjoyed it.
Until next week,
Disclamier: If you haven’t figured it out yet – this blog is a complete fabrication and no events, details, people, etc. discussed during this blog were based on actual historical events, people, or happenings.