Tuesday, October 1, 2002
=======October 18, 2002===========
From: Robert Massa Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 1:41 PM
Subject: PPP 10-18-02
HISTORY IS MADE TODAY
The Portal Partner Press is sent for the education and entertainment of the people who own and operate a SearchKing hosted portal or have an interest in niche portals or SearchKing and it's many services. It is intended to help you learn to better maintain and market your own portal or how to use niche portals to enhance the marketing of your web business. Anytime you have a question about any item in an issue of the PPP, please visit our forums at http://www.searchking.com/forum.htm and feel free to ask any questions or post any comments about your portal, about SearchKing or about internet marketing in general.
• INSIDE THIS ISSUE
• SearchKing Sues Google
• Press Release
• In The Press
• Keeping My Mouth Shut
• How You Can Help
SEARCHKING SUES GOOGLE.
At approximately 10am Pacific Standard time, Friday, October 18th, 2002, Bob Massa of SearchKing, Inc. as well as his legal team of Brett Sanger and Holly Hefton of the Oklahoma City law firm, Brett Sanger, P.C. and the public relations consultants, Debbie Anglin and Steve Lalli with the Public Relations Lab of Oklahoma City, all witnessed the online tracking of Fed-Ex and verified that the office of google, Inc. had been legally served legal notice of an injunction filed in federal court on October 17th, 2002.
We have filed a lawsuit against google. I can now at least speak a little bit to you about why I have been so quiet.
This is a big deal. This is not just about google arbitrarily trying to devalue and/or defame me or SearchKing with malicious intent. It is not even about them doing the same thing to hundreds of innocent portal partners who had nothing whatsoever to do with selling anything. It is about something much bigger. It is quite possibly about changing the very nature of the internet and how it relates to commerce.
It is about the rights of webmasters and who has the right to profit from the work of webmasters. The webmaster who built the site and provided the content, or the people who build a program to gather and display that content for their own gain?
Did you ever think about what rights you are giving up by publishing a website to the web? Does that give the right to a third party to make money from your content without your permission? Doesn't sound right when I say it like that huh?
So what do you think it is when a spider hits your server, costing you bandwidth, and gathers everything it can and then uses that data gathered to make public statements, (such as bragging about having the largest database in the world), that are designed for the sole purpose of attracting advertising money? Did anyone ever ask permission to cost you that bandwidth? Did anyone ever offer to share the revenue that was generated with your content with you?
Has anyone ever asked your permission to display cached versions of your work? Has anyone ever asked you if you minded that they display their own opinion of your site to anyone who would submit to having their internet experience tracked for over 30 years? If someone gives you praise, do you have the right to profit from that praise. Is it an asset and if so, whose is it? The person getting the praise or the person giving it? Do you think you should have a right to defend yourself if that company would decide to tell the world that you were a bad neighborhood?
Finally, who owns page rank? The webmaster who had the links to count in the first place, or the programmer who writes a program to count those links really fast? I say page rank could not exist without the efforts of webmasters and therefore, the value of page rank belongs to the creator of the content and NOT the program that evaluates that content.
To build a business on the backs of others without the decency to even ask permission is in poor taste and shows a lack of consideration for those who contributed to your success. To fully expect to profit a great deal from those efforts yet no offer to fairly compensate the providers of that content is rude, inconsiderate and I believe illegal.
That alone is insidious enough, but to then use your power and influence that you have built from the very content you have taken without permission and use it to hurt, damage, defame or devalue, with the intent to restrain trade, the intent to shut someone up, the intent to try to make an example of anyone else who would have the courage to question you and to do it by hurting innocent people, that is dangerous beyond belief and the question of whether they can get away with it or not MUST be answered and answered now!
All these questions have never been asked in front of a judge to my knowledge, yet these are the questions that will shape business in the 21st century. I say we have rights. We certainly have as much right to profit from our efforts as the programmer who wrote a program to gather our data without our permission in the first place. We have to have rights and I intend to be one of the first to have the courage to stand up and demand accountability.
There may be the misconception still floating around that the internet is like the old west and there is no sheriff in town, but that is absolutely ludicrous. There is nothing anymore mysterious about the net than there is about a telephone. The internet is woven into the very fabric of the human experience on a global scale. It is here and it is not going away. Today, you have to be a techno wizard to understand the net about as much as you have to be an electrical engineer to turn on the lights in the kitchen.
The time for astonishment at man potential is past. The time for wide-eyed wonderment is past. The time for the world and all it's judges to realize that writing a good computer program does not put anyone above the law. The time for responsibility and accountability, even on the internet, is here.
It is nothing more than a coincidence that it is my time. I'm not a man who should be suing tech companies to protect the rights of webmasters. I am possibly the very least likely man on earth to be doing this. Maybe it is destiny that SearchKing just happens to be small enough that someone would think they could silence us by throwing in a few lines of codes into a program, yet we are big enough to be able to defend ourselves. Maybe it's destiny. More likely, I'm just a businessman who is being served an injustice and that is wrong and I am just like anyone else, push me hard enough and I'm going to fight.
I'm in the rare position of having to fear no man. What are they going to do to me? Wipe out my PR? Make me drive an old beat up 8 year old van? make me live in a modest home? Oops, too late. Already there. The money I have made has not gone into my pockets in spite of what some are saying in forums. I have said from the beginning of SearchKing that it would cost millions and since I don't have millions, I will have to generate it through the business. That is what I've done and will continue to do regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit.
So, can I win?
As far as the lawsuit, I have some doubts. I believe they are going to send some of the most tech savvy, go for the throat, silicon valley lawyers on the planet to Oklahoma City with the promise of a big bonus if they don't just win the case but maybe rough me up a bit while they're here. I believe they will be coming to kick my as*!
I chose the law firm specifically because they know business law, but were not internet experts. I don't believe anything like internet business law exists yet. I hope to be one the pioneers in that arena. Talk about immortality. I can fantasize about some lawyer in 2250 citing massa vs google as a precedence. I wanted to make sure that everyone involved in this from my team, accepts that this is a classic battle of good over evil. It just depends on which side of the fence you're leaning on as to who you think is the good one and who is the evil one.
We believe that google takes the approach that they have a lot of very smart, highly qualified people to support the servers that support the world's best program. We take the approach that we have a lot of really good programs to support some of the very best people on the net.
I didn't want this to become an issue about algorithms and IP's. I want this to be seen as technology empowering people and people using technology to limit the potential of people who may disagree with the program or pose a possible threat to the objectives of a small group. I want this to be about people and the hope that all people should have the right to hold. The hope that they can better their lives and the lives of their children as long as they work hard and build something of value legally. To have that hope and work toward it without fear of unjust retribution from anyone. To have that hope knowing they have the protection of an honest and fair legal system even when that system is challenged with highly technical issues which may be used by some as a weapon to cloud the real issues.
I believe in the basic goodness of man. I believe in America. I believe in democracy and I believe myself and the SearchKing Portal Network. I believe that we are in the right and that the world will see that webmasters who do the work, have the right to expect fair compensation. I believe that I may be forced to accept that there reasons why lawyers make the kind of money they do and that there may be some legal foul I am guilty of. I believe that I may be forced to walk out of court with my tail tucked between my legs and have to endure the inevitable "I told you so" posts in forums for the rest of my days.
I also believe that we will win in the court of public opinion. I believe we have more than enough evidence that the portal partners getting their pr wiped out was intentional. It was not a glitch. It was meant to damage SearchKing and me NOT for doing anything that isn't being done even as we speak, but for SAYING I was doing it. For being up-front and honest about it. That is what they saw as a threat, and that is what they reacted to. What does that say? Does anyone honestly believe they don't know that virtually EVERY SEO website on the planet offers to increase your link popularity for a fee? So who is selling page rank?
Yes, we will win! Our network will be stronger. Our network will grow and we will be more than we are today and that makes us all, even google, a winner. We do good work and there is a place in the world for that and I intend to prove it.
I've put all legal notices and the first press release online at
By the way, this page is going to attract a LOT of very targeted traffic over the next few weeks and maybe even months. I'm selling ads on these pages for $1500 a month for the top of the page and $1000 a month for the footer of the page and $250 a month for 10 word text ads along the left side of the page. I've got lawyers to pay!
There will be links to order from the page. ********************************************************
No need to waste space here. I'll give you the link and you can read it if you like.
IN THE PRESS
I've been interviewed by C-Net and Wired magazine. Not the website, the magazine. I didn't mention anything about the lawsuit because we hadn't filed yet. I have a conference call scheduled with them and my PR consultant today. Something may "leak" out about the suit.
Wired called the office yesterday and said the wanted photos to go with the article, (they didn't have any idea about the suit at this time), so they are sending a photographer from San Francisco to do a "shoot" of me. Wow, what if I make the cover??? Am I the face of American small business in the 21st century? Probably not.
Also, the PR firm we've retained has an extensive list of tech editors on a regional level and the press release will be going out today. I'm guessing that a lot of tech editors for local newspapers will see this as one of the few real articles come along that they have a shot at getting a by-line in a national publication. I'm expecting a good response form the local media.
It seems like I give good interview. Huh, who would have guessed? So, I think between the fact that it is news, it is topical, I do give good interview and we are for real, I think we can expect the press. Of course, I have to remember that whatever press we get, google gets too. ********************************
KEEPING MY MOUTH SHUT
> For those of you who just seem to love to try to pressure me into saying more than I should, I'm getting better at ignoring you with experience. I'm greatly relieved to be able , at last, to say what I have today. At least now everyone knows that I haven't just been hiding in my office because I was afraid of google, or that I was avoiding portal partners because I was ashamed of getting them in trouble.
I hope you can see now that what I do, I honestly do for us all. I am NOT afraid of anyone and with the exception of them hurting the portals, ( I really didn't think they would go that far), things couldn't be going much closer to my plan if all the SEO forums and google themselves were on my payroll. Now my challenge is getting those people who are saying the worst about me and google especially, to see that I am not AGAINST them. They can refuse to see it if they so choose, but what we do, we do for them as well. What we are doing is EXACTLY what we said we were doing along from the very beginning. We are building a better web.
I'm just learning now that building a better anything requires a person to be ready to speak up even if it looks hard. I have got to find a way to get everyone involved in this to see that someone winning does not mean someone else has to lose. I have got to find the courage to speak from the heart in the face of ridicule and show everyone how we all can win from this.
The only thing I can see that may be more important in that quest than speaking from the heart would be knowing when to keep my mouth shut.
My favorite quote:
• Small words, spoken in truth, can sway the minds of nations.
But I don't care who you are, keep talking long enough and you're going to say something really stupid.
So, as always, I WANT to tell you everything all the time, but this is just too important to us all to risk and there are going to be a lot of things I just will not discuss publicly until I feel it's the right time. Please try to understand and know that just because I'm not talking doesn't mean I have nothing to say. Try to have faith in me, in the Network and in yourself and know that if I don't answer your questions or concerns right then, please give me the benefit of the doubt and realize it is probably because I am not at liberty to discuss it at that time without risking more than I feel I can afford to risk. **********************************
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Screen shots of your site showing PR before September the 27th and after when the PR was reduced. If you don't have screen shots, just a statement from you saying what it was than and what it is now. Tell the truth and don't try to embellish because you may be called upon to testify.
Statements from any of you who feel like that have lost due to the reduction in PR for either yourself or someone else in the Network.
Statements from you about how you feel about your site and it's place within the Network.
I need someone who knows something about webcams and streaming video.
If you know someone who would help us in the cause, send them my way.
I need someone who could be considered an expert in mathematical engineering. Hopefully someone who may not be all that thrilled that google wrote the program they were working on. Maybe someone from Berkley, UCLA, San Francisco State. Get my drift? If you know someone, let them know about our cause and send them my way.
Anything else you think may important in this case.
Email them to email@example.com
Be sure to include a short statement giving me permission to use the material you send.
Finally, what would I like to see you do to help?
EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLY CAN! Tell everyone, show everyone, stand up and be proud of what we do and who we are. Do it now! Get involved NOW! Care enough to realize we are making history here and realize how much you would like to reap if we win and let that motivate you more than your fear of what you may lose. Realize that we have already suffered the worst and now it is our time in the sun. Take your place there with pride! Help me fight for the rights of all webmasters and all those who would dream of owning their own business on the net. DO IT NOW !!
Ask yourself this question now and answer yourself honestly.
Is Bob right? Do I have the right to capitalize on the page rank of my site or does my page rank belong to google. Now act accordingly.
Thank you for your hard work, your help and your support. You make this possible and together we are more than we are alone.
May God bless us all. ******************************************
Publisher -- Bob Massa firstname.lastname@example.org