As much as I love the web and am incredibly thankful for the opportunities it has provided for me, days like today make me loathe its anonymity. The day started off with a nasty bout of comment spam, followed at midday by dealing with someone posting FeedDemon serial numbers (since disabled) to a warez site, then ended with a bizarre series of threats from a disgruntled Dreamweaver user. Before I continue, take a look at this Google Groups search for some background information.
As you can see, someone has made several posts to various Macromedia newsgroups claiming that TopStyle has hijacked Dreamweaver. His complaint is that every time he tries to open a CSS file in Dreamweaver, it opens in TopStyle instead. And since he installed the trial version of TopStyle, it’s asking him to register it. Now, the reason TopStyle keeps being opened is actually due to a bug in Dreamweaver. Every time you start Dreamweaver, it automatically detects TopStyle and sets it as the default CSS editor – even if you’ve removed it from the “File Types / Editors” list in Dreamweaver’s preferences. So no matter what you do, if you have TopStyle installed, Dreamweaver uses it as the external CSS editor.
Here’s the kicker: this same person has emailed me several times and threatened to start a class action lawsuit against my company unless I pay him $1,000.00 by September 9. Here’s a quote:
“I have an attorney on the staff of my company and we are going to be moving aggressively against companies using unscrupulous marketing practices such as yours. The time we lost today cost us about $1,000. That is the amount that will make us go away. Otherwise we are going to seek a class action lawsuit against you. We will start by finding others who have been damaged by your practices. This will be done with a Google Adwords ad that comes up each time someone enters topstyle or bradsoft into Google. Send the check for $1,000 to: [address removed]”
Now, obviously this guy has a loose wire, and his threat is laughable – if he ever tried to file suit, he would be in hot water for extortion. But being a one-man-show, it’s incredibly hard for me to spend time dealing with people like this – yet I have to, because their posts to public newsgroups show up in Google searches for my software.
Does anyone else have to deal with this kind of garbage, and if so, how do you handle it?