Copyright-“Claims”-More-Headaches

First time here? Get up to speed.

As you know, I strongly dislike the guy that we bought MailTag from — he’s given me grey hairs and I can’t forgive that. But when credit is due, I’ll give it. I owe him some praise/compliments:

He was very good at creating organic traffic via blogs and YouTube for MailTag. We still see significant daily traffic and signups from his efforts. Below is a look at our site traffic (via google analytics) from the date of our acquisition until today:

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FYI: A lot, but not all of this traffic is a result of the seller’s efforts

The cost, if we wanted to do this via paid acquisition, would be easily $7 CPC (cost per click), and a grand total media spend of: $126,000. Not bad, and we were aware of this value prior to acquisition. We are betting on ourselves in the long term that we can convert a much higher percentage than we currently do to paid users, and that we can increase the traffic by many multiples.

He did this via two main channels:

  1. MailTag blog on Medium written by the seller (we will not contribute to this blog, only letting it live where it is, while we work on our new blog)
  2. MailTag YouTube page

If you know how Medium works, the MailTag blog is considered a “publication” and it would need contributors to write content and get credited with the work. In the case of our MailTag blog, the seller filled that role and did so as the CEO of MailTag, the medium account was on a @mailtag.io email domain. Once again, as you know — this is our property.

Due to the nature of the mess we acquired, with many customers knowing the information of the old owner, we felt it was critical that we distanced ourselves from the seller in every way possible, his name is toxic to the future of our business. We needed to erase his association with MailTag.

So what did we do? The personality that is the “Sender” of the MailTag welcome email, “Adam”, was going to be the contributor of the blog. Adam @ MailTag is already a known figure to our new users and we thought it made sense to rename the contributor account on Medium to Adam Weinstock. This is a common practice by SaaS businesses. There are moments when the founders and employees interface with the world, and there are other moments where a mascot (think: Taco on Trello) or some other personality is the one.

Introducing Adam Weinstock:

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This is a random name I thought up, I didn’t do any research about if there were other Adam Weinstocks out there, though I assume there are. This is a headshot that was purchased on Shutterstock.

Anyway, that’s enough background. So while the seller continues to harass us over email accounts —

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You know all of this from Chapter 6.

He discovers Adam Weinstock on the original company blog:

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Copyright-“Claims”-More-Headaches

More barking on iMessage, and more of me and Joe ignoring the bullshit. As always in our saga, I wake up to more nonsense:

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  • Plagiarizing? You can plagiarize yourself if you own the content.
  • Falsely claiming the credit? I don’t really get this one. I didn’t take credit, we just distanced our brand from him, on a property that we bought.
  • The blog is company property and we can do anything we want with it — we could delete it from the internet if we wanted to.
  • Copyright content? I don’t know what that means, and there are no copyrights on this content. If there were — we’d own it.
  • Copyright infringement from his text: who’s copyright are we infringing upon?
  • Monetary damages will ensue: yes, sure — and I’m 6’6″

What more can I say? I hope he used MailTag to track if we’re opening his emails.

Stay tuned for the next Chapter.

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