GRAND SEASONS INTERNATIONAL - TIMESHARE SCAM COMPANYThe post that they were referring to is this. The lawyers even got the link wrong. How professional aye?! The post was dated October 23, 2006 and it linked to an entry by Gecko that complained about the tactics used by Grand Seasons International to get his relatives to buy some products. From Gecko:
We act for M/s Grand Seasons International Pte Ltd.
Our clients instruct that a blog has been published in your Bulletin of Singapore Bloggers at the following url address: http://tomorrow.sg/archives/2006/10/23/grand_seasons_international_ti.html with the heading in bold "Grand Season International-TimeShare Scam Company".
We are instructed that the above words are defamatory of our clients and our client's reputation and goodwill has been disparaged and seriously damage. It is common knowledge that the Internet has millions of users who have free and open access to the words complained of.
In the premises our clients instruct that unless the above offending words are removed from the above url address and from the bulletin board within the next 5 days from the date hereof our clients shall have no alternative but to proceed as they deem fit in the matter.
Our clients also seek your co-operation to disclose the name and address of "GECKO" who has posted comment on 23/10/06 regarding our clients in the captioned matter as our clients intend to pursue their legal rights against the writer.
(Update: I've been told by Gecko who was advised by his lawyer, to remove the content in this space here which was taken from his blog post. Even his post has now been taken down.)I'm not a lawyer but there there are two things that I will do if I'm in Tomorrow.sg's shoes. First, is to change the title of the post from "Grand Seasons International - Timeshare Scam Company" to something like "Grand Seasons International - Timeshare Scam Company?" or "Grand Seasons International - scam or legit?". So instead of saying that it is a scam company, the post asks if it is one. The lawyers of the firm cannot say then that this is outright defamatory.
Second, as for their request to reveal the name and address of Gecko, Tomorrow.sg can kindly remind them that Gecko's email contact is easily visible on his blog and that the legal firm can contact Gecko's hosting provider if they want to purse a legal case with him. I'm not sure about how much info does Tomorrow.sg has on Gecko but even if I have his I.P. address I will not hand it over to them.
And as for Gecko, well he can just remove the word "scam" and "conmen" from his post. I've read his post a number of times and besides the use of those two words, I don't see any other reasons why his post could be viewed as defamatory.
Lastly, to the lawyers of Grand Seasons International. They and other law firms can just fuck off if they think legal threats can be used to quash legitimate and valid criticisms on blogs and elsewhere on the Internet.
It's stupid for Grand Seasons International to take Tomorrow.sg and Gecko to court because then everyone will know more about how timeshare companies operate and the practices and tactics used to get customers. It will be all over the papers! The end result even if they do win the case, will only be bad for their business. So instead of issuing a legal letter, they could have easily talk to Tomorrow.sg and tell them about their concerns regarding the post. I'm sure things can be easily settled when it is done in a very friendly manner.