In our continuing series of bringing truth to Internet Brands, I want to start this off by showing you a clip Star Wars.
Admiral Ackbar’s famous words “It’s a Trap” has spawned a series of parodies over the years. But it also serves as a great launching point for this discussion: Have you fallen into Internet Brands’ Trap?
I refer you to Mr. Joseph Rosenblum’s Declaration, item 9 and 15:
At one of these meetings at Interet Brands’ corporate office in El Segundo, CA on September 4, 2008, Darby and employees of Jelsoft and Internet Brands discussed the development of new features and functions for vBulletin Software. During this meeting, Internet Brands’ Chief Executive Officer Robert “Bob” Brisco, Darby and several Jelsoft employees and I developed off page, on page, and other ideas for a search engine optimization feature for vBulletin. A “road map” for these ideas was discussed at length by the participatns at the meeting. Darby was an active participant in that meeting. During same:
- The purpose of the meeting was to purpose all functions and features that should be in future versions of vBulletin software
- The “road map” for search engine optimization be written on a white board;
- Darby took and retained a picture of the white board with vBulletin “road map” written upon it; and
- Using his laptop computer, Darby took notes regarding the matters discussed.
After the meeting, Darby sent an email to Internet Brands team members who attended the meeting, which contained the photo that he took of the “road map” on the white board. A true and accurate copy of the same is attached as Exhibit “A” hereto. Exhibit A recites two dozen forward-looking ideas for vBulletin search engine optimization
Thereafter, I reviewed the xenforo.com website, information, software code, videos and forum posts thereon, as well as third-party websites mentioned xenforo. Portions of the software code on the Xenforo.com website were readily accessible through the website. Moreover relevant videos, forum posts, and third-party websites were readily accessible by clicking public links on the xenforo.com website. At least six of the ideas, concepts and architecture for search engine optimization that were set forth on the “road map” on Exhibit A are currently being utilized in the xenForo bulletin board software
How many of you have actually questioned what these ideas, concepts and architecture that Mr. Rosenblum claims? Or even taken time to even research what those so-called trade secrets are?
My fear is that too many have fallen for the con artist trick, where they quickly flash a badge at you saying they are law enforcement, and not giving a chance to inspect the badge. Upon closer inspection, you realize the badge is nothing more than a shiny shield painted in gold paint.
Are we challenging Internet Brands’ claims? We certainly are. Let’s find the truth.
Let’s go look at them. Let’s scrutinize them. Let’s put Internet Brands in the hot seat, and their trade secrets under a microscope.
Opening Mr. Rosenblum’s declaration, looking at Exhibit “A”, and blowing up that horribly cropped image to 350% magnification, I can read roughly 80-85% of the text. Let’s look at these “so called trade secrets” and “intellectual property” that was written on the white board.
- Social Bookmark Widgets
- Duplicate Content Management
- Intelligent Defaults/Installation
- Google Analytics
- Gmail? Report
- Semantic Markup
- Meta/HTTP headers
- title tags
- keyword density
- title attributes (img, a)
- What is Configurable
- link baiting?
- list maker
The last column is guidelines, where there are six items listed but they are not legible. (Anyone want to give a shot reading it? All I am able to make out are URL, Callback, Minimize configuration, and Keywords.)
In other words, Internet Brands’ attempted to pull a fast one on the public. The noticeable absence of specifying the contents out on the board in the declaration itself should have raised eyebrows. The fact no care was put into detailing the contents of the whiteboard draws scrutiny from me as the picture should only validate the claim, not be the claim itself.
Don’t take my word for it. Download the PDF yourself and open it up in Adobe PDF. Zoom in with 350x magnification and read it with your own eyes.
I believe it to be a tactical move on the part of Internet Brands as I wonder if anyone intends on reading the contents of the board. I see this to be a move on the part of Internet Brands’ as “see we have these ideas and they are on a whiteboard. I have a picture too! It’s proof Mr. Darby stole from us!!!!” when in reality and upon closer inspection, those ideas are common knowledge and readily available to anyone who has access to a Google search.
But case in point, how many of the above is actually “trade secrets”? Correct me if I’m wrong, but 90-95% of the above items can be found in vBSEO! GASP! Another dozen or so of these items can be found on hundreds of websites dedicated to SEO! HECK! EVEN A BUNCH OF THESE ITEMS CAN BE FOUND ON GOOGLE’S OWN BLOG REGARDING SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION.
So my question at the end of the day: WHAT IS MR. ROSENBLUM BLOWING HOT AIR ABOUT? I SEE NO TRADE SECRETS, OR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.