Just Think Media Settles With Google Over Trademark Infringement
Last year Jesse Willms threw the lawyer dogs at me which forced me to pull some posts. I’d been calling him a scammer which was obviously in clear contradiction of his (now public) self-vision as a charitable philanthropist.
However yesterday, Google, who had originally sued 50 unknown John Does reached a settlement with some of the defendants in a case originally brought on 17 May, 2010. prominent among these is Just Think Media, latterly a vehicle for Jesse Willms’ internet enterprises. See final judgement here.
Apparently, all defendants are saying that the Google claims are false, yet are paying up. Whether they have or not, I don’t know. Google still won.
You’ll notice in the above screenshot that it includes as many of Willms’ businesses and associates that they can discover – Farend Services on Cyprus, 1016363 Alberta, 1524948 Alberta and his current vehicle, Terra Marketing Group (This is him on the “about” page).
Farend Services popped up a lot in our investigations. This is Willms take on networks and affiliates and how his business worked in a now hard-to-find interview from around New year, 2011:
It‟s a commission type arrangement in which we hire networks to manage our advertising and we pay them a certain amount of money per product sold. Those networks hire affiliates to place the ads and most of them are very good – but we occasionally run into problems with affiliates making false claims.
Blaming all the failures on the folks who fed him customers which he did in his interview did not save him from folding under the weight of evidence that Google presented to the Utah court.
Noticeable by its absence in the interview is any mention of the Google case although mention is made of his cases against CTV and others! In actual fact, from our and others investigations, the statement “…affiliates to place the ads and most of them are very good” is so far from the truth as to be laughable.
This is because time and again we saw the same adverts all served from the same few servers (like Bloosky say) and all the affiliates all quoting the same copyright infringing stuff in their webpages that have been used and proved in this case by Google, almost continuously.
This is not a few affiliates- it’s almost all affiliates! Almost all the time! The web was full of it!
So to be absolutely clear, Willms blamed almost everything on his affiliates in the Oprah Winfrey case, which he also lost. Quote:
Affiliates broke our rules and used their unauthorized images, and made claims that she had endorsed our products. Even though we didn‟t use the unauthorized images ourselves, this case has been settled and there are measures in place so this doesn’t happen again.
The thing is, he had an excuse for his million dollar fine for flogging counterfeit Microsoft and Symantech software as well, which given that they’d want at least their lost sales back does not equate with his statement of:
Only a small percentage, less than one per cent, was counterfeit.
So far, without any other corroborative information, it is only Jesse saying this. He blamed everything on his supply chain. To be fair, Microsoft’s authentication system was poorer some years ago than it is now.
Willms also says that he has learned from his mistakes in his interview. Let’s hope he has.
This case goes back to his business efforts for 2009 and earlier.
Since then he has apparently folded on the-next-big-thing which was penny auctions and has gone to great pains to shift website ownership of his earlier websites (as detailed in posts and comments passim). His Terra Marketing outfit are noticeable for their absence of any business activity (at least compared to the past) and appear to exist purely for charitable works and a promotional vehicle for Willms himself. Their website mentions “partners” and is big on saying, well, er, not a lot actually. It’s not clear what they do but apparently 250 people are doing it!
And there’s the nagging questions again;
- If this interview is so wonderful, how come it has now been pulled and is only available via the Google cache? Originally he was very proud of it and went to great pains to promote it…! I have enough news log references to it to fill a (….insert your own big thing here….)
- And why are the Willms businesses and domain names being shuffled off this mortal coil so quickly?
- And Farend Services in Cyprus, the companies in Pasig City, Nevis, County Durham and Gibralter plus Pacific WebWorks and Willms’ former enterprises… – Is the fact that the same names and addresses, phone numbers and call centres all kept popping up a valid causal link or is it really just several businesses all using the same business services with or without considering the ethics of their business decisions?
I guess there’s still time to find out.
Where is The Jesse Willms Interview?
Interestingly, despite all the web puffs for it when it first came out, it has disappeared! He http://jessewillms.com/giving-my-first-interview/ – mentioned it here on his main personal blog and http://www.gettingtheinterview.ca/ – it used to be here. Sadly, and ironically, the Google cache (how coolly ironic is that?) provides us the answers:
…is for his self-promotion of the interview and below is the actual interview, which had also gone! (I’m not making this stuff up you know, but it shows the lengths to which some folks will go to rig Google search ranking…)
If the cache changes, these are copies I made of their state today, in doc and pdf format.
So. Scammer or philanthropist? You decide. The settlement in court says one thing.
Google won $1.6m between the defendants, which in my opinion is a fraction of the money that the scammers duped from their “customers” over the years.
Reading the Google case shows that Google only started to react when they themselves were asked to answer court summonses by folks that had been scammed – by Willms, Pacific WebWorks and the rest under the mistaken impression that it was Google taking the cash from them!
During the time of the scams in question, Google made heaps of money from the advert placers (the affiliates). Perhaps they’d like to dip into their pockets and help the thousands who’ve been scammed by financing a proper damages case?
Probably not. Gotta think of the shareholders.
As always, it’s the little folks that suffer.
And Google, with its “do no harm” mantra, has actually not done much good at all! The case has provided a case law example for any folks willing to take up the reins against the defendants for monies lost, though.
Or the FTC could take up the baton and recover the millions for people should they wish to do it. Let’s see.
- http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/utah/utdce/2:2009cv01068/73157/44/0.pdf – original case document with heaps of evidence.