Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn today reported that Music Group – the Philippines-based holding company that owns Behringer, Midas and other music tech brands – recently sued Dave Smith Instruments, a DSI employee and 20 anonymous Gearslutz users for libel.
Behringer/Music Group sued over forum users calling Behringer’s products ‘copies’ and ‘knockoffs’, among other things.
The company’s complaint, filed in June of 2017, asks for $250,000 in damages, plus punitive damages and court costs. The documents are available at the Court’s site.
One of the Gearslutz comments the company complained about suggests that Behringer’s 6-in-1 cable tester, left in the photo below, ‘looks like a blatant copy, except for the paint’ of the Ebtech 6-in-1 cable tester, right:
Behringer’s lawsuit describes the suggestion that the Behringer 6-in-1 cable tester is a copy as a ‘false, defamatory and libelous statement’ and ‘an effort to besmirch Music Group’s hard-earned reputation.’
The Superior Court Of California apparently did not buy the company’s argument.
Instead, they agreed with Dave Smith Instruments argument that the lawsuit was a ‘strategic lawsuit against public participation’ (SLAPP) – a lawsuit intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense.
The Court ruled that “all of Music Group’s claims against it arise from activity protected by the anti-SLAPP statute, because all of the claims are based on statements that were made in a public forum on an issue of public interest.”
The legal proceedings continue, though, as Dave Smith Instruments tries to recover more than $100,000 it spent on legal fees in the case.