When Lawyers Send Letters

When Lawyers Send Letters

Wage Fixing Scandal: Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe Pay $324 Million In Damages

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After the tech crash of the early 2000’s, major tech CEO’s started sending each other emails saying, ‘Hey, why don’t we try not to poach each other’s employees? It could keep salaries from going through the roof.’ Some, including Steve Jobs himself, would call that a gentleman’s agreement. The Department of Justice, however, calls it collusion, and now some of the biggest names in tech history are paying up.

Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for $324 million, Reuters is reporting. About 64,000 tech workers sought a combined $3 billion in damages, and while the settlement is technically a victory, it comes out to roughly $5,000 per employee — a far cry from the roughly $47,000 each that they wanted. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

The Attorney General of New York Has Subpoenaed Airbnb for Local Hosts’ User Data

Hi bub. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images for Airbnb)

Guess AirBnB’s legal headaches aren’t over just quite yet. The New York Daily News says that the state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman (last seen busting up the fake Yelp review cartel), has subpoenaed user data for the 225,000 New Yorkers on Airbnb for all local hosts (the precise number isn’t clear).

He’s reportedly investigating violates of a 2010 state law against short-term apartment rentals. The idea is to go after those renting out to drunk French kids every weekend, but it’s not really clear where the line between “bad actor” and “power user” sits. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Airbnb Goes to the Mattresses on Behalf of Busted Host

airbnb sexy ad

When last we checked in with poor Nigel Warren, the Airbnb host accused of violating the state’s illegal hotel laws, a judge had just ruled he had to pony up $2,400. That’s less than the $7,000 he was originally cited, but still–yikes.

But while Mr. Warren surely doesn’t want to cough up a couple grand, it’s even more important for Airbnb that he win the case, because otherwise legal precedent suggests their service is verboten. And who wants to risk legal troubles for a little extra cash?

So today, the company announced it would support Mr. Warren and his landlord throughout the process of appealing the ruling. “We may lose again before we prevail, but we intend to fight this ruling until justice is done,” wrote David Hantman, the company’s global head of public policy, in a blog post announcing the move. He added: Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Cat Meme Creators Are Suing Scribblenauts Because This Is How Life Works Now

(Scribblenauts. (Photo:

Bad news for cat meme enthusiasts: turns out the people who invented both Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are pretty hardcore about protecting their “intellectual” property. reports that both creators are suing the puzzle action game Scribblenauts for not getting permission to appropriate their respective cats’ likenesses before putting them in the game. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Square COO Keith Rabois Quits After Sexual Harassment Allegations

Mr. Rabois (Photo: Twitter)

Earlier today, news broke that Square’s COO, Keith Rabois, had left the company. It was a strangely-timed departure, considering Square recently raised $200 million in a Series D. Now, the Wall Street Journal has broken the news that Mr. Rabois is embroiled in a sexual harassment claim from a fellow Square employee, and resigned so that the allegations would “not cause a distraction for the company.” Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

The Oatmeal Is Being Sued Again

(Photo: Matthew Inman/The Oatmeal)

Deja vu? Matthew Inman, creator of the popular comic series The Oatmeal, is being sued again, this time for trademark infringement.

A greeting card company called Oatmeal Studios didn’t take kindly to Mr. Inman’s decision to collaborate with Recycled Greetings to turn his web comics into greeting cards, available for purchase in his online store. Ars Technica reports that the Massachusetts-based company has sued Mr. Inman for trademark infringement, arguing that his crossover into the ever-competitive greeting card market will confuse potential customers, who might not know The Oatmeal and Oatmeal Studios are different properties. Read More