View Poll Results: How much financial support would you contribute to affiliate legal cases?

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  • I would not agree to budget anything in advance.

    6 42.86%
  • I would agree to budget something, but less than 100 per year.

    2 14.29%
  • I would agree to budget between 100 and 199 per year.

    0 0%
  • I would agree to budget between 200 and 299 per year.

    0 0%
  • I would agree to budget between 300 and 499 per year.

    3 21.43%
  • I would agree to budget between 500 and 749 per year.

    1 7.14%
  • I would agree to budget between 750 and 999 per year.

    0 0%
  • I would agree to budget between 1,000 and 1,499 per year.

    2 14.29%
  • I would agree to budget between 1,500 and 1,999 per year.

    0 0%
  • I would agree to budget 2,000 or more per year.

    0 0%
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    MichaelCorfman's Avatar
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    Question How much financial support would you contribute to affiliate legal cases?

    Dave Sawyer of OnlineCasinoRevewer.com stood up against AffiliateEdge when they closed his affiliate account and refused to pay approximately 5,000 in affiliate earnings to him. He took them to court in the United Kingdom in a case that was ultimately thrown out on the grounds that the court did not have jurisdiction due to the presence of an arbitration clause in the affiliate contract. In that context, Dave was held liable for 12,000 of the 20,000 in costs claimed by Affiliate Edge in obtaining the court determination that the court did not have jurisdiction. There is a separate thread about this fact in the following forum thread: OnlineCasinoReviewer's legal challenge against Affiliate Edge.

    In a show of solidarity and support, the affiliate community came together to help Dave with what he lost in standing up to AffiliateEdge. I've been heartened many times in seeing how affiliates will support one another, and this situation did that for me once again.

    But this raises an interesting question. If affiliates are willing to come together and support a fellow affiliate after-the fact, would they also be willing to help support challenges like this in a planned way, where there was agreement in advance to help reimburse the cost of a legal challenge? Would you be willing to budget a specific amount toward legal fights you and fellow affiliates agree deserve your support? If you are, what amount would you be comfortable budgeting, and agreeing to forward after-the-fact as reimbursement?

    Michael
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  3. #2
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    The chance to win the case is very low, the most affiliates know this.The brands are prepared.
    I would not try it without multiple layers and big friends behind me...
    Dave try and lose,this is not a suprise... but he tried it.

    The story with sky,is not long ago...nobody try it...and we all know why..

  4. #3
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    Basically, it's very, very difficult to justify the legal costs of any individual case against an offshore company unless the amount is mid-five figures. If you read the initial thread and many similar threads you will see my response around a common theme.

    In the recent case the affiliate believed that he could take the affiliate group to county court at no cost (if he represented himself) and get a determination. Fair play to Dave for trying - but it was naive to think that the procedure would not have costs.

    Much of this belief was due to a UK TV show "Can't Pay - We'll take it Away" (Google it) that shows quick resolutions for local claims and bailiffs knocking on doors and appropriating goods to cover the debts. As we know - "Reality TV" does NOT reflect reality. This is not to belittle the affiliate's attempts - but it was naive to expect a quick local resolution - or out-of-court settlement.

    Justice, when it comes to contracts and commercial law, does not come cheap, and certainly does not come for free. You DO need to engage a lawyer, they need to prepare thoroughly, and appear at all the procedural hearings. Most affiliate programs enforce tacit agreement of a 3000+ word contract that has many legal clauses, "gotchas", and woolly framed terminology, that gives them plenty of scope to argue legally, and argue, and argue. THAT is commercial reality.

    Most of us have had experience with a lawyer (and usually just his interns and/or junior staff) to do basic commercial conveyancing on a property and will be billed for several thousand dollars for a standard purchase agreement after doing prudent searches. A court case is much more - magnitudes more. Ever had a complex planning application?

    In the case in point, the local court has simply stopped at the first of many legal loop-holes - that of an arbitration clause. Arbitration is time-consuming and costly, and is likely to do nothing in a situation where affiliate says "you owe me" and the program says "no we dont". But legally that's the first of many steps - so the court stops there.

    Even if we get through that cost and time, and go through courts through several iterations for more technicalities, and finally get a favourable determination, there is a reasonable expectation that the program will simply appeal or take the decision to the next level. For more time and costs. And possibly in the end we have an exposure (as we have learned) to THEIR costs as well.

    It is NOT a simple matter to progress a commercial claim against a lawyered up company that is prepared to spend what it takes to prolong the process rather than pay what is owed.

    That is assuming that you can take a local case against an offshore program - which in many situations the affiliate cannot - as it is frequently a long-distance relationship conducted through email / phone.

    Our only cost effective weapon is publicity, social media etc, but I note that since the court outcome the affiliate and other spokespeople have become very, very limited and conservative about what they say regarding situation and the case - as if there has been some sort of court ordered gag put on - with threat of further punitive action ?

    Certainly, the rhetoric being used today is worlds apart from the gung-ho initial posts that suggested everyone was lacking morale character (other words were used) for not doing the same.

    --------------

    TL: DR; ? I would not commit anything to generic cases - ZERO - because the amount in dispute is dwarfed by the cost and time of trying to recover it through commercial law.

    I have had three cases from different programs which terminated without cause - I will name them - SkyBet - AffiliateEdge - Coral - total cost about $5K - and I have simply written them off as bad debts after negotiation with them failed.

    THAT is a prudent small business reaction when faced with slimy business practice from a well-heeled organisation.

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  6. #4
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    I agree with the above said by TheGooner, however I would invest in this on one-time bases when needed, even if it's just also to get some legal advises from cases even if they wont go further to court of law

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  8. #5
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    Being naive, I did not instruct a lawyer, as I wrongly assumed my claim would be tracked through the small claims court. If I had instructed a lawyer before issuing my claim, I would have had the Arbitration Clause pointed out to me. By then it was too late and I had no option but to allow the process to continue. If I had pulled out, I would have been saddled with 100% of their costs that they claimed. Rather than the 10,000 + Vat.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Hence it has taken me nearly two months, to comment on the court order, as in this instance, yes I did get and paid for legal advice.

    Many contracts, especially consumer contracts have arbitration clauses. But it is doubtful that the likes of Amazon for instance would spend five figures on getting a claim against them set aside.

    Apart from having my claim stayed and the costs awarded against my company, being silenced was just as bad.

    Would I go down this route again? All I will say is, I now have a solicitor who I will be pushing any such issues to. But, Gooner you are spot on in your post above.
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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGooner View Post
    ...Much of this belief was due to a UK TV show "Can't Pay - We'll take it Away" (Google it) that shows quick resolutions for local claims and bailiffs knocking on doors and appropriating goods to cover the debts. As we know - "Reality TV" does NOT reflect reality...
    TheGooner,

    I agree with everything you said in your above post. I am just quoting that small part of your poist so more people can read it once or twice again. It really is that important ! People must start open their eyes and realize that "Reality Shows & Reality TV in general" are the products with the most fake content !

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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webzcas View Post
    ... I had no option but to allow the process to continue. If I had pulled out, I would have been saddled with 100% of their costs that they claimed. Rather than the 10,000 + Vat...
    I am baffled why on Earth they chosen this route instead of paying you the disputed 5,000 ! What I can not comprehend is why Affiliate Edge accepted to go trough this whole process knowing that the amount disputed is only 5,000 ? Were they thinking they have a so GREAT chance at forcing you to pay 100% of their costs for the process ? -- If yes, they must have been evaluating their chances at a very least 83.5% (to make it worth risk 25k for 5k), which as it financially turns out didn't exactly worked in their favor either !

    How much did they spent with this process in total ? I've read somewhere that it was around 25,000 (that's why I used the above figures) !
    Is that true ? -- If that is true indeed, then it means they spent 7,500 more than they should. And you also spent 12,500 instead of receiving 5,000.

    The only conclusion I can draw, after a process like this, is that everyone involved loses (except lawyers, of course) !
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  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlayHunter View Post
    I am baffled why on Earth they chosen this route instead of paying you the disputed 5,000 ! What I can not comprehend is why Affiliate Edge accepted to go trough this whole process knowing that the amount disputed is only 5,000 ? ...
    The reason is simple, they dont want any precedent to happened, because if they will pay it then they basically admit they did something "wrong" which they can't allow so they decided to take the risk and go to court because if they will win no other affiliate will dare to try this move again...

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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlayHunter View Post
    I am baffled why on Earth they chosen this route instead of paying you the disputed 5,000 ! What I can not comprehend is why Affiliate Edge accepted to go trough this whole process knowing that the amount disputed is only 5,000 ? Were they thinking they have a so GREAT chance at forcing you to pay 100% of their costs for the process ? -- If yes, they must have been evaluating their chances at a very least 83.5% (to make it worth risk 25k for 5k), which as it financially turns out didn't exactly worked in their favor either !

    How much did they spent with this process in total ? I've read somewhere that it was around 25,000 (that's why I used the above figures) !
    Is that true ? -- If that is true indeed, then it means they spent 7,500 more than they should. And you also spent 12,500 instead of receiving 5,000.

    The only conclusion I can draw, after a process like this, is that everyone involved loses (except lawyers, of course) !
    Their cost schedule was just shy of 21k inclusive of VAT. I was ordered to pay 10k + Vat = 11949

    My claim was STAYED due to the arbitration clause and therefore has not been proven one way or the other.
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  18. #10
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    The reason they went through it is fairly straight forward - setting precedent.

    Dave isn't alone in this experience. They've treated a significant number of affiliates in a similar way. If they paid him and word got out they'd then be inundated with claims. Why did they spend so much defending this case? Well first off, in my opinion they've inflated their legal expenses and I'd guess the judge felt that too as Dave did not get slapped with the whole bill. But secondly, I've little doubt it was VERY important to them to get this case dismissed. If a court had made a ruling on the validity of term 8.5 ('we can do anything we want') and that ruling had gone against them they would have been faced with a flood gate opening. Large numbers off affiliates all rushing to court using Dave's case as precedent. I'd take a guess that the thought of losing this case created a significant degree of anxiety amongst the AffEdge party.

    TP

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