Tuesday, February 23rd 2016

Enigma Software Sues BleepingComputer Over Negative Review

When a BleepingComputer reviewer bought a license of SpyHunter to review it, the site got a little more than the anti-spy software - a lawsuit by its developers Enigma Software, for a negative review. BleepingComputer claims that Enigma has since been "bullying" it to "censor" the review post, or lawyer up for what the site fears will be a costly lawsuit. The site maintains that the lawsuit is frivolous in nature, but it needs the Internet's support to prove its innocence in court. The site is crowdfunding money for their defense.

Enigma Software, on its part, claims that the review, which you can read here, was slanted, and trying to purport SpyHunter as spyware. The review does come with citations to back its reasoning over how SpyHunter exhibits unusual behavior for an anti-spyware app. It also comes with a vast chunk of content on how to get your machine rid of SpyHunter, which is probably what invited the developer's ire. In its plea, BleepingComputer is terming its refusal to pull down the review as its right to free speech, and is seeking the community's help to defend it.
Add your own comment

33 Comments on Enigma Software Sues BleepingComputer Over Negative Review

#1
megamanxtreme
It's not a review, per-se, it's just talking negatively about it, in general.

From what I've read, Enigma Software asked Bleeping Computer to take it down. Bleeping Computer was refusing the request, thus the lawsuit was hit.
I might be the only one in the world to be for Enigma Software for this. Take off the comment and avoid the lawsuit.
This news is rather older than a week, if not a week old.

I'm against Free Speech in some occasions:
When you talk back to a cop, expect to be arrested.
When you talk back to a judge, expect some jail time.
When you say profanities around little kids, the "I do what I want and don't care what people think or say" should come into question.
When a student talks bad about a teacher/principal/coach, expect detention.

On the contrary, this is a negative on a product, and the company should understand and change for the customer, but if Bleeping Computer is pursuing the "right" to Free Speech, Enigma also has their "right," as well.
Posted on Reply
#2
chinmi
so if a product is bad we cannot say to other people that it's bad ??
Posted on Reply
#3
megamanxtreme
chinmi, post: 3421333, member: 100120"
so if a product is bad we cannot say to other people that it's bad ??
If you keep it on the down low. There are companies that do it already, as it is. (That review products negatively with the blessings of the companies)
The Microsoft MVP went too far talking not only bad about the product but bad about the business practices, maybe there are limits to what a company allows?

It hurts the company, so they have the right to fight back, or can't they?
Posted on Reply
#4
silentbogo
Tried to find some "neutral" reviews of SpyHunter. The closest thing I've got is this:
[COLOR=rgb(0, 184, 52)]PROS / West Coast Labs certifies SpyHunter at the Platinum level of its Checkmark system.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=rgb(202, 39, 25)]CONS / The publisher, Enigma Software, has not submitted SpyHunter for testing at AV-Test[/COLOR]
source : http://anti-spyware-review.toptenreviews.com/spyhunter-review.html

.... and a russian software portal with 23 pages of angry comments dating as late as Feb. 11, 2016. Most frequently mentioned problems are very slow boot, lots of false positives and inability to clean malaware in free version.

... following by a bunch of pseudo-reviews and single-post user comments following the same formula:
Title: Is spyhunter safe/good or bad/fake?
Comment: I accidentally got a virus/malaware/spyware and was desperate to fix it. Bough SpyHunter, bla-blah-blah. It found 1000 viruses and now I am safe and clean. Spyhunter is not fake - it is the best AV ever!



So, while Enigma is pursuing the unbiased opinion on their software, why not contact PCMag (who sh%tcanned them in 2004) or any other aging computer magazine to do a comprehensive comparative review?
Posted on Reply
#5
megamanxtreme
silentbogo, post: 3421340, member: 141875"
So, while Enigma is pursuing the unbiased opinion on their software, why not contact PCMag (who sh%tcanned them in 2004) or any other aging computer magazine to do a comprehensive comparative review?
Possibly they did it on the background. (PCMag probably got permission from Enigma Software to tell people how the program really is)
Plus, if Bleeping Computer wants to fight this, there will be more posts that might be brought-up into lawsuits if they don't comply to those, either.
Win with one lawsuit and get attacked by more, more money from us to them to settle their disputes?

Delete that one comment, and many other comments from other requests, and compare them to total amount of posts in the entire Bleeping Computer site.

Someone gave me a witty remark in another place where I was stating my views and told me that he will come to my house and slap me behind my head, plus how I would like that.
The Microsoft MVP slapped SpyHunter and Enigma Software, they didn't like it and felt that they should get even. Bleeping computer is playing "Keep Away," like a bully(or little kid) so Enigma Software called the authorities to help settle the problem. I see a "bullying" from Bleeping Computer as well.
Posted on Reply
#6
DavidFennerR
I actually read both the review and almost all the lawsuit. I really think you guys should read it to make your own opinion, but my impression is that Enigma is really the bad guy here. The lawsuit is clearly made to intimidate, but if you read the exhibits you realize that bleeping computer is just trying to be helpful to it's costumers. For example, Enigma claims that bleepingcomputer is trying to harm Enigma's reputation by all means, because they say they are affiliated with malware bytes, but in truth, if you read the posts, all that is against Enigma comes because users had problems in the first place! With things like not even being able to uninstall the software. So it's not like they came with bad opinions of Enigma out of nowhere, the removal guides and recommendations come out of user experience.
I really wish bleeping computer good luck and I applaud them for their courage, I'm not even from the United States, but I still donated a few dollars. It's not easy to be small and descent.
Posted on Reply
#7
silentbogo
megamanxtreme, post: 3421343, member: 133503"
Possibly they did it on the background. (PCMag probably got permission from Enigma Software to tell people how the program really is)
Plus, if Bleeping Computer wants to fight this, there will be more posts that might be brought-up into lawsuits if they don't comply to those, either.
Win with one lawsuit and get attacked by more, more money from us to them to settle their disputes?

Delete that one comment, and many other comments from other requests, and compare them to total amount of posts in the entire Bleeping Computer site.

Someone gave me a witty remark in another place where I was stating my views and told me that he will come to my house and slap me behind my head, plus how I would like that.
The Microsoft MVP slapped SpyHunter and Enigma Software, they didn't like it and felt that they should get even. Bleeping computer is playing "Keep Away," like a bully(or little kid) so Enigma Software called the authorities to help settle the problem. I see a "bullying" from Bleeping Computer as well.
I haven't really heard of Bleeping computer or SpyHunter before today, so I can't really confirm or deny whether Enigma is right in this situation. What I know for sure, is that:
1) BleepingComputer did not really write a comparative review, just a nasty comment in the forum thread.
2) Enigma software does not possess a leverage to prove that their software is good. There are no real reviews of SH4 at all: either angry rants, or sponsored reviews with no real numbers. They have only submitted for checkmark certification, but did not enroll in continuous testing program (there are only 9 well-known names that did).

Combining both items together gives me the impression that SH4 is a crappy antivirus/antimalaware/whateveryouwannacallit. It may not be as malicious, as BC claims it to be, but it is dragged down by very bad reputation (like early pre-Intell McAfee), and because of that they are simply ignored by any reputable review/news source.

P.S. Just for the heck of it I am going to try SpyHunter 4 on my fresh Win7 system (just installed on a laptop, includes all updates).
Posted on Reply
#8
megamanxtreme
DavidFennerR, post: 3421347, member: 150042"
I actually read both the review and almost all the lawsuit. I really think you guys should read it to make your own opinion, but my impression is that Enigma is really the bad guy here.
I would expect the users just say, "Use this or that, not go further into detail unless asked."
Should I use Malwarebytes or Emsisoft AntiMalware(My choice for antispyware)? Of course, I would say Emsisoft, but not start throwing all of that information about Malwarebyte's software and stuff, just saying "pick one and done."
Then again, as one of my previous replies, I acknowledge that Enigma Software is not saint, either.
Posted on Reply
#9
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
megamanxtreme, post: 3421329, member: 133503"
When you talk back to a cop, expect to be arrested.
Uh, no. They need probable cause to arrest you and talking back to them does not consistute probable cause. Resisting arrest does.

megamanxtreme, post: 3421329, member: 133503"
When you talk back to a judge, expect some jail time.
Uh, no. A judge can hold you in contempt of court for not cooperating but it takes more than one instance of talking back to a judge and they will provide ample warning that you will be held contempt if the behavior continues to disrupt the proceeding.

megamanxtreme, post: 3421329, member: 133503"
On the contrary, this is a negative on a product, and the company should understand and change for the customer, but if Bleeping Computer is pursuing the "right" to Free Speech, Enigma also has their "right," as well.
It basically falls on Bleeping Computer to make the case the statements are not slanderous. If Bleeping Computer can prove their statements are true, Enigma Software will lose.


SCOTUS has consistently ruled that content on the internet is protected under the 1st amendment--even when it involves threats of violence. Judge will likely dismiss it suggesting Enigma Software "fix their product."

What's more, Bleeping Computer could drag the FTC into it to investigate their automatic 6 month renewal policy that is undeniably shady and not adequately explained.
Posted on Reply
#10
Ahhzz
After having read the thread that started the mess, along with my personal experience with Spyhunter, I have no problems sitting on BleepingComputer's side. I actually contacted them several months ago regarding another piece of spyware removal software that I couldn't find on their site, and had a short discussion with someone about it. They seem pretty even keeled about how they recommend, or don't, removal tools. The thread itself doesn't seem very inflammatory, and several of the issues they had with Spyhunter, I completely agree with.

Bleeping Computer is a major hub for professionals and amateurs alike who need to restore their computers to cleanly functioning devices, and I think the company just didn't like that some of their practices were put out in such a non-forgiving light to so many potential sheep. I'm probably a little slow sometimes to follow trends in computer maintenance, but I've noticed that after I've been away from BC for a time, and go back to dig into a particularly troubling issue, a lot of what I'm personally choosing to use, or leave behind, tends to line up pretty well with their expectations. I think they provide a pretty non-biased look at how well a piece of software performs the task it's supposed to.

megamanxtreme, post: 3421352, member: 133503"
I would expect the users just say, "Use this or that, not go further into detail unless asked."
Should I use Malwarebytes or Emsisoft AntiMalware(My choice for antispyware)? Of course, I would say Emsisoft, but not start throwing all of that information about Malwarebyte's software and stuff, just saying "pick one and done."
.....
For myself, I don't just take someone's word that a piece of software will do what it says it does. I keep a library of over 20 different programs to clean user computers. If just one of them did it all, I wouldn't have to. If you look down one of their "Help!" threads, the support group usually has someone downloading at least 3 different programs, and often 5 or 6. Likewise, I rarely, if ever, accept someone at their word who says "Don't do/use that". If they tell me they don't recommend a piece of software, I want to know why. I am rarely just another sheeple.
Posted on Reply
#11
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Also, people seem to always mis-understand what free speech means. The 1st amendment simply says that the government can't charge you with a crime because of something you said. It does not protect you from civil consequences. If you make false statements about a person or a company, they can sue you in civil court and win. That is what is happening here. The 1st amendment doesn't actually apply here. However, I don't think BleepingComputers' review is libelous. They did a pretty good job at backing up what they said with sources.

FordGT90Concept, post: 3421360, member: 60463"
SCOTUS has consistently ruled that content on the internet is protected under the 1st amendment--even when it involves threats of violence. Judge will likely dismiss it suggesting Enigma Software "fix their product."

What's more, Bleeping Computer could drag the FTC into it to investigate their automatic 6 month renewal policy that is undeniably shady and not adequately explained.
The only way Enigma even has a case is if the things BleepingComputer said aren't true. Even then, it isn't on BleepingComputer to prove they aren't false, it is on Enigma to prove that what BleepingComputer said was false/libel.
Posted on Reply
#12
xfia
I did not know anything about this till now but I will say I support reviewers for giving honest opinion on a games or hardware experience. They can play all the court games back and fourth and keep asking for free money.
All we really have as people is the choice to agree or disagree and visit the site or not.. If we dont like how products are reviewed from a place we have the power to end it by not visiting that site anymore.
Posted on Reply
#13
ZoneDymo
@
megamanxtreme


You are one weird dude


@ the actual article

They need crowdfunding to cover legal fees? why?
I dont see any way in which expressing an opinion could fall badly on them, there is no way they will have to cover these legal fees after this case.
This is just pathetic, as is Enigma Software.
Posted on Reply
#14
taz420nj
ZoneDymo, post: 3421389, member: 66089"
They need crowdfunding to cover legal fees? why?
I dont see any way in which expressing an opinion could fall badly on them, there is no way they will have to cover these legal fees after this case.
This is just pathetic, as is Enigma Software.
I take it you've never had to defend yourself against a frivolous lawsuit. Unlike tort lawyers, defense lawyers don't work on contingency. The defendant still has to cover their own legal defense expenses - including lawyers, experts, etc. which could cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Just because you were a victorious defendant doesn't mean you are automatically awarded expenses from the plaintiff. Of course if when BC wins they can sue Enigma for those expenses but that is a completely separate action where BC must prove that Enigma's action was frivolous, and there is no guarantee they will win that.
Posted on Reply
#15
awesomesauce
I invite everyone to donate for the cause.

Bleepingcomputer is such a great team

use many time their tools for debugging (combofix ,ADWcleaner and i pass)


keep fighting bleeping :toast:
Posted on Reply
#16
R-T-B
megamanxtreme, post: 3421329, member: 133503"
On the contrary, this is a negative on a product, and the company should understand and change for the customer, but if Bleeping Computer is pursuing the "right" to Free Speech, Enigma also has their "right," as well.
There is a big difference between "right to free speech" and "right to sue"
Posted on Reply
#17
taz420nj
R-T-B, post: 3421409, member: 41983"
There is a big difference between "right to free speech" and "right to sue"
And "the truth" is an absolute affirmative defense to libel.
Posted on Reply
#18
remixedcat
How about instead of suing fix your damn products?!
Posted on Reply
#19
Fx
FordGT90Concept, post: 3421360, member: 60463"
Uh, no. They need probable cause to arrest you and talking back to them does not consistute probable cause. Resisting arrest does.


Uh, no. A judge can hold you in contempt of court for not cooperating but it takes more than one instance of talking back to a judge and they will provide ample warning that you will be held contempt if the behavior continues to disrupt the proceeding.


It basically falls on Bleeping Computer to make the case the statements are not slanderous. If Bleeping Computer can prove their statements are true, Enigma Software will lose.


SCOTUS has consistently ruled that content on the internet is protected under the 1st amendment--even when it involves threats of violence. Judge will likely dismiss it suggesting Enigma Software "fix their product."
+1

megamanxtreme, post: 3421329, member: 133503"
I'm against Free Speech in some occasions:
A person, regardless of who they are (or what they have done) always deserves freedom of speech. To take away a person's right to voice their thoughts is to take away their right to have their own thoughts, and thus opinions.

This lawsuit is absurd.
Posted on Reply
#20
ZoneDymo
taz420nj, post: 3421394, member: 158774"
I take it you've never had to defend yourself against a frivolous lawsuit. Unlike tort lawyers, defense lawyers don't work on contingency. The defendant still has to cover their own legal defense expenses - including lawyers, experts, etc. which could cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Just because you were a victorious defendant doesn't mean you are automatically awarded expenses from the plaintiff. Of course if when BC wins they can sue Enigma for those expenses but that is a completely separate action where BC must prove that Enigma's action was frivolous, and there is no guarantee they will win that.
American system I guess.
Posted on Reply
#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
taz420nj, post: 3421394, member: 158774"
I take it you've never had to defend yourself against a frivolous lawsuit. Unlike tort lawyers, defense lawyers don't work on contingency. The defendant still has to cover their own legal defense expenses - including lawyers, experts, etc. which could cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Just because you were a victorious defendant doesn't mean you are automatically awarded expenses from the plaintiff. Of course if when BC wins they can sue Enigma for those expenses but that is a completely separate action where BC must prove that Enigma's action was frivolous, and there is no guarantee they will win that.
Generally they can roll the frivolous lawsuit into a counter suit that is ruled on at the same time as the main lawsuit is decided. However, winning a frivolous lawsuit claim might not happen, as you said, so defense lawyers won't usually take a case for free.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
ACLU will no doubt jump on this if they haven't already. BC shouldn't have to worry about paying for its own defense.
Posted on Reply
#23
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
FordGT90Concept, post: 3421475, member: 60463"
ACLU will no doubt jump on this if they haven't already. BC shouldn't have to worry about paying for its own defense.
I doubt that. This case isn't sexy enough for the ACLU. BC's defense will probably involve proving the claims made in the review, and a lot of technobabble.

ACLU will probably go "They're nerds, they'll figure it out."
Posted on Reply
#24
stinger608
Dedicated TPU Cruncher & Folder
silentbogo, post: 3421350, member: 141875"
I haven't really heard of Bleeping computer
Wow, you have never had the need to use Combofix? It has been around for many many years and most computer enthusiasts and/or computer techs have used it several times. :p
Posted on Reply
#25
Parn
Reading the reviews and other user experiences about Spyhunter, I'm leaning towards Bleeping Computers here. I wish they could get out of this clean and possibly counter sue Enigma to teach them a lesson.

If Enigma eventually wins the lawsuit, it may start a really bad trend in the industry and more review sites will be sued just because they've told truth.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment