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Flo's Side of Lawsuit Against W. Saylor and Rofkin

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won't speak to texas law but some thoughts as I read through, and keeping in mind these are just Flo's allegations without Willie's denials or explanations:

- Flo alleges that Willie removed content - literally scraped the 2020 Big Board, pre-Ironman HS and preseason NCAA rankings and removed them from Flo's site before posting them to Rokfin. No bueno. Flo doesn't exactly appear to be claiming a copyright in "Crystal Ball" so much as alleging that the reuse of the title is evidence that it was just a copy/paste. This is covered under work for hire (if Willie wrote it) and proprietary information provisions (whether or not he did) and may also be covered by the return of documents provisions. Either way, pulling the posts from the Flo website or server is definitely not good.

- Willie appears to believe that Who's #1 is his because he came up with it and worked on it, but if you check out exhibit A, he doesn't say it was his pre-Flo invention. Someone used Conan O'Brien and that's a good parallel - NBC owned Masturbating Bear and the other recurring sketches because they were the IP of the network, not the writer. All work was done "for hire." (See also, Alfonso Ribiero's failed lawsuit against Epic for "stealing" the Carlton dance as a Fortnite emote). It's even IN BOLDFACE RIGHT BEFORE HIS SIGNATURE.

- Geographic territory (the entire damn planet) seems broad but the business they're in - internet content - isn't really geographically bounded. The contract seems to be written in a way ("Texas, or any other state, or any other country...") to allow it to be trimmed back by a judge as unenforceably broad but not void. i don't think that explicitly agreeing to the reasonableness of the breadth of the geographic restriction adds anything, especially if the Texas experts here are saying that the state disfavors non-competes.

- the actual notice of Rokfin's CEO being Flo's ex-CEO is a classic Bad Fact for Rokfin

- Texas has an attorney's fees provision for breach of contract in state law? yikes. even if it weren't texas law, it's explicit in the contract. double yikes.

It's just Flo's version but this sounds like an incredibly clumsy exit.

Edited by ugarte

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8 minutes ago, ugarte said:

It's just Flo's version but this sounds like an incredibly clumsy exit.

This is why I wrote a few posts ago that the best post of the thread is the one that buckshot wrote about leaving like a responsible adult. If there's a lesson for the average reader of this thread in this fiasco, it's that. If you choose to leave like a moron,  you are going to face the consequences, even if non-competes aren't enforceable. Inviting business to sue your ass, even out of spite, is not a good approach to a stress-free life.

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Ya think the 'Willie cribbed content' allegation has something to do with Flo's move to put college rankings behind paywall? Is there some sort of 'courtroom' incentive for Flo to do so?

Edited by jon

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I don't know what "cribbed" means, but at least some of his rankings are still up on Flo - https://www.flowrestling.org/rankings/6568197-2020-crystal-ball-rankings-ncaa-di-by-willie-saylor/32703-penn-stateagain

I think the silly thing is I doubt there are any wrestling fans that are subscribers to Rokfin but not Flo, so it's not like those rankings really even reached any new eyeballs.   

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3 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

I don't know what "cribbed" means, but at least some of his rankings are still up on Flo - https://www.flowrestling.org/rankings/6568197-2020-crystal-ball-rankings-ncaa-di-by-willie-saylor/32703-penn-stateagain

I think the silly thing is I doubt there are any wrestling fans that are subscribers to Rokfin but not Flo, so it's not like those rankings really even reached any new eyeballs.   

he may have taken them down but not scrubbed the data from the back end so the "fix" was easy, but it's still not a good fact if he took them down at all.

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I hear a lot of people saying on here & in talking that non-competes do not hold up in court. I am no lawyer but we did take a person to court many years ago. He went to the competition, stole a customer list, & 25% of our revenue. We proved all of this & he was out of work for a while. I don’t think Willie did any of this. Just saying...


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29 minutes ago, krippler said:

I hear a lot of people saying on here & in talking that non-competes do not hold up in court. I am no lawyer but we did take a person to court many years ago. He went to the competition, stole a customer list, & 25% of our revenue. We proved all of this & he was out of work for a while. I don’t think Willie did any of this. Just saying...


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Stealing a customer list is the key point here.

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37 minutes ago, krippler said:

I hear a lot of people saying on here & in talking that non-competes do not hold up in court. I am no lawyer but we did take a person to court many years ago. He went to the competition, stole a customer list, & 25% of our revenue. We proved all of this & he was out of work for a while. I don’t think Willie did any of this. Just saying...


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Was this the guy?

 

112813606.jpg

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1 hour ago, Lefty142 said:

This whole thing has nothing to do with silly willy and everything to do with the Floreani brothers having some weird sibling rivalry stuff going on.  Willie is just caught up in the crossfire hurricane. 

Yep I posted that a few weeks ago.Flo knows Martin is gonna be doing live events sooner than later.Just trying to stop it before it starts.

Edited by calot

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14 hours ago, krippler said:

I hear a lot of people saying on here & in talking that non-competes do not hold up in court. I am no lawyer but we did take a person to court many years ago. He went to the competition, stole a customer list, & 25% of our revenue. We proved all of this & he was out of work for a while. I don’t think Willie did any of this. Just saying...


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I can say from experience that non-competes absolutely hold up in court and that people have been awarded millions of dollars because of them. 

 

Also, Willie absolutely violated his non-compete.

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1 hour ago, Housebuye said:

Are you blaming Flo for NCAA rules? 

Did you see the Bo Nickal highlight reel they hyped?  He was no longer an NCAA athlete, they still didn't pay him.  So no, I am not blaming the NCAA rules.  They do the same with high school and Senior wrestlers.

Edited by jchapman

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1 hour ago, jchapman said:

Did you see the Bo Nickal highlight reel they hyped?  He was no longer an NCAA athlete, they still didn't pay him.  So no, I am not blaming the NCAA rules.  They do the same with high school and Senior wrestlers.

So does ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and even Univision.  

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1 hour ago, jchapman said:

Did you see the Bo Nickal highlight reel they hyped?  He was no longer an NCAA athlete, they still didn't pay him.  So no, I am not blaming the NCAA rules.  They do the same with high school and Senior wrestlers.

So now You are suggesting Flo should pay high schoolers if they feature them?

 

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On 12/11/2019 at 12:20 AM, drag it said:

My guess is that Flo employees aren't worried about the company's viability and their jobs. The site has built up a very strong content infrastructure which it continues to expand.  Even if Rofkin is successful, which I'm not confident about, that doesn't mean Flo would tank.  

Although companies always want to protect their contracts and advantages, I think it's more likely that the suit is as much personal as dollars and cents.  These guys were all close and a breakup like that, particularly one where things weren't ironed out before departure and then was followed by a public insult war, can play a big part in triggering legal festivities. 

Management doesn’t usually make bad decisions in isolation. This lawsuit makes me thing whoever is running FloSports doesn’t know jack about building a business or team.

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On 12/10/2019 at 7:52 PM, VakAttack said:

It depends on what actually happened.  If Flo's allegations are true, I think what Willie did is crappy and I would sue, also.  If they're false, then I agree with you, it's a crappy thing by Flo.  If it's somewhere in the middle (as is often the case) I'll tend to side with the little guy over the corporation.

Agreed! But if you don't want to be involved in a lawsuit over a non-compete, then don't sign one. Why do we consistently expect corporations to honor their contracts but individuals to be released or have the contracts thrown out because they are the little guy?

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