Humor Sites Sued For Real

Fake News written by James Baughn on Thursday, April 1, 1999

from the revenge-of-the-disgruntled-web-surfers dept.

It may have started out as an April Fool's Day prank, but now the webmasters of Segfault, User Friendly, and BeDope really are in legal trouble. Two separate groups have already filed motions against the humor sites, and the dust hasn't settled yet.

Microsoft was the first to pounce on the trio. According to our Vast Spy Network(tm), which has informants within Microsoft's legal department, a libel complaint has been filed against the three sites. According to our source, "Now that the humor sites have cried 'Wolf!' with their little April Fool's prank, they are ripe targets for a real suit. Now people will be reluctant to believe and support them. Microsoft, acting as a vulture waiting for an easy opportunity to swoop out of the sky, has filed a motion against the three sites. I have a feeling Illiad may forever hate April 1st..."

The "Lawyer Anti-Defamation League", a coalition of disgruntled lawyers, has also filed a complaint. In a prepared statement, the group argued, "Forging legal notices, as Segfault did, is an outrage. We can't tolerate their abuse of the legal system for their own April Fool's amusement. We're going to put a stop to this outrageous behavior that is defamatory to attorneys everywhere."

Besides lawyers, the three sites are beginning to face other ramifications of their prank. One former User Friendly junkie has formed a "Boycott UF!" campaign as a form of protest. He told Humorix, "I believed Illiad. I even set up a bank account for the User Friendly defense fund. This is a moral outrage!" The boycott campaign, which uses a crushed dustpuppy as its logo, will have its first meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia tommorrow. "I hope everybody who fell for this childish prank will attend."

The Register, a UK-based publication, is also outraged. A correpsondent for The Register said, "We stumbled on to the story and thought it was true, so we published an article about it. Now we look like total fools. We aren't very happy about this at all. Now that we've been stung by the immature Linux community, you can be certain that we'll never write a positive Linux article ever again!"

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