There’s always something to howl about

An open letter to the owners of ActiveRain: Show us the contracts

Messrs. Heaton and Washburn, owners of ActiveRain,

My take on your having released your lawsuit against Move, Inc., and their response is that you know with a high degree of confidence that you cannot prevail in court. I read your original lawsuit as an attempt to extract something from Move, Inc., even though there is no chance they will proceed with the planned acquisition of ActiveRain. When that initial foray failed, my thinking is that you released your petition and their response because you hope to pressure Move, Inc., in the court of public opinion.

All that’s as may be. Those two documents don’t interest me nearly as much as whatever acquisition agreements were executed between ActiveRain and Move, Inc. Those documents will detail specifically what information you had agreed to disclose, and what Move, Inc., had pledged to do — and not do — in its turn.

Attorney’s briefs are full of bluster and bravado, but, in fact, it is these acquisition agreements that will be dispositive in any formal hearing of your allegations.

Ergo, I ask that you release those documents for public scrutiny. When we have had an opportunity to determine what was actually agreed to, in writing, we can better judge the validity of your complaints.

I know that your knee jerk response will be to insist that those documents are too vital to your court case to be disclosed. But, if that were true, the corollary proposition would be that the documents you have made public — your initial petition and Move, Inc.’s response — are not vital to your court case — are not actually of any importance at all. This I am completely prepared to believe.

In fact, it’s one or the other. Keeping one’s private business to oneself is everyone’s right, but partial transparency is necessarily deception. If your goal is to proclaim to the world that you have been badly used, you must show us the violated terms of the contracts by which you were so cruelly violated.

If you will not do this, I will regard your having released your petition and Move, Inc.’s response as nothing but a publicity stunt, a pantomime of transparency.

As much as I might be disgusted by defending the likes of Move, Inc., my frank opinion is that you got caught with your hands in the cookie jar and now you are desperately striving to cling to a few crumbs. If I’m wrong, prove it. Put up or shut up.

Greg Swann

Our story so far: Trying to keep up with developments in the ActiveRain/Move saga? These are all the BloodhoundBlog posts to date:

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    13 Comments so far

    1. Russell Shaw September 28th, 2007 3:27 am

      I totally agree with Greg. If you have truly been cheated by them, show that. Let everyone actually see what they did. If you want to try them in the court of public opinion, present the evidence.

      Otherwise you just come off as someone attempting extortion.

    2. Brian Brady September 28th, 2007 7:28 am

      Well, THAT will solve the caper before the World Series.

    3. Dave G September 28th, 2007 8:02 am

      Wow..I would have expected a different tone here. Put yourself in the shoes of the active rain team.

      The documents released by active rain are public domain…requesting active rain to release any sensitive docs that could be helpful to their case (if they have a case) is ridiculous.

      Even suggesting it is ridiculous and far below your usual, well thought out arguments/rants (which I usually enjoy). I think you dropped the conch shell on this one.

    4. Frank Borges LL0SA- Trust Me, I\’m a Realtor September 28th, 2007 8:12 am

      Frankly, you have asked for the impossible and that isn’t fair.

      Why do you hate ActiveRain so much?

      Active Rain can’t in their right mind show acquisition papers. For two reasons:

      1) By publishing ANY sensitive information, including the contract, they are weakening their position that they gave Move sensitive information.

      2) I’m sure there have been OTHERS that were interested in acquiring ActiveRain. Nobody would show a potential acquirer the product of a previous negotiation.

      On another note, even though NAR and Move are affiliated, I think this does make NAR look bad by association. Having ActiveRain integrated into would have been, and can still be amazing.

      (remember when Myspace cut off Photobucket, only to acquire them a couple weeks later)

      Frank- VA Broker

    5. Greg Swann September 28th, 2007 8:14 am

      If Move, Inc., were actually in violation of the acquisition agreements, ActiveRain would have made those documents public yesterday.

      The documents filed so far are available to the public for examination in the courthouse where they were filed. Scanned PDFs are not part of the service. ActiveRain posted them to try to sway public opinion.

      If I have time later today, I will parse ActiveRain’s petition, an amazingly inept pleading.

    6. Greg Swann September 28th, 2007 8:19 am

      > Why do you hate ActiveRain so much?

      I don’t. I don’t decide anything on the basis of emotion, but, of these two companies, I like Move, Inc., a lot less. That has nothing to do with anything.

    7. Greg Swann September 28th, 2007 9:15 am

      From my email:


      I’m sorry, but as you know we can’t provide any comment on this matter. Our law firm’s contact information is provided below if you would like to speak to someone regarding the case.

      Leslie Hagin
      McNaul Ebel Nawrot & Helgren PLLC
      600 University Street Suite 2700
      Seattle, WA 98101
      Office: 206.467.1816
      Fax: 206.624.5128

      Matt Heaton
      ActiveRain Corp.
      Phone: 425-894-6658

      You can stop holding your breath now. ;)

    8. Greg Swann September 28th, 2007 9:19 am

      My response:

      > as you know we can’t provide any comment on this matter

      Sure you can. You already have by releasing the petition and response.

      As I said, I think this is an attempt to sway public opinion in what will otherwise be a lost cause.

      I hope for your sake I’m wrong.

      Greg Swann

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