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Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968291
05/27/04 11:14 AM
05/27/04 11:14 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,378
North Carolina
bcarey Offline
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bcarey  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,378
North Carolina
When a forum member posts a positive experience with a dealer, mentions that dealer by name on the forum, obviously that is a big plus for good dealers. I'm sure you would get no threatening legal letters from their lawyers!

It's also a big plus for forum members coming to the forum because they see personal recommendations of good dealers they should visit.

Perhaps we could also post negative experiences, but just not mention the dealer by name? Should someone want to alert a poster, about a less than reputable dealer, it could be done via email or a private message.

The absense of good recommendations for some dealers would be one way of stating the obvious.

Not a perfect solution, but perhaps it would prevent Frank's threatening lawyer letters.

Frank, I do think a good disclaimer is a good idea.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968292
05/27/04 11:22 AM
05/27/04 11:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 172
New Jersey
F
Fred Altenburg Offline
Full Member
Fred Altenburg  Offline
Full Member
F

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 172
New Jersey
It was obvious that the poster baited for replys.
Keep the Forum as it is now because I hear and see many people who say that they have benefited from reading through here.
If an opinion of a brand is requested, any person should be able to give their own impressions on the instrument as well as how it was presented, tuned, prepped, priced, delivered, ect. This will involve the dealer regardless if the decision is made to curb any postings about them.
Frank, let me know if you need my help.

Just for some humor, A lawyer for this unmentioned dealer bought a grand from us.


Purveyor of fine Pianos and Organs
www.altenburgpiano.com
908 351 2000
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968293
05/27/04 11:24 AM
05/27/04 11:24 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Cindysphinx Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Cindysphinx  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Hey, Larry!

I just saw your edit. It sounds like we are thinking along the same lines.

And you know what that means, don't you?

The dealer will send us both threatening e-mails claiming were engaging in a *conspiracy!*

I suggest we thwart our adversary by speaking in secret code. Henceforth, let's refer to smoking this dealer out of his hole by posting the e-mail here as the "Roach Approach." wink

Cindy -- keeping her voice down in case they're listening

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968294
05/27/04 11:26 AM
05/27/04 11:26 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 915
Boston
C
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Chris W1  Offline
500 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 915
Boston
Frank, If their legal approach is already in the wrong, what makes you certain changing things will have an effect? That's the nature of being frivolous. If, in any other way, relative distinctions are made about dealers, some will be still left behind who may sue, or do whatever $125 buys them.

I'd just ignore the email and suggest we don't change a thing. It was probably all dressed up and formal, with a letter head....yada, yada. Your first post suggests you already know you are right and nobody here feels any differently about that. So, why accomodate?

You could also economically craft up a response email using the discovery that your previous experience generated, forward it to your lawyer and have them send it on all fancy like. How much could that cost since you've already demonstrated that you obtained representation under a similar circumstance?

I do take it your lawyer will remember you? Whatever you do, it seems pretty clear the opposing side is taking the longshot you'll fold. On the off chance litigation takes place, you can count me in for help.

Chris


Amateur At Large
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968295
05/27/04 11:29 AM
05/27/04 11:29 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
K
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member
kenny  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
I'll send a check too!

PW has enriched my life.
I might as well pay to defend it.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968296
05/27/04 11:43 AM
05/27/04 11:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,520
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Posts: 15,520
Surrey, B.C.
I am going for all out on this.

Call their bluff.

There are perhaps dozens of company lawers here clenching their teeth [secretly] for battle.

But they are too smart for actually going ahead.

To be seen as loosers before a world wide audience.

Go,stick the papers on the doors of Wittenberg!

Call the e-mail tigers on the floor!!

Norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968297
05/27/04 12:11 PM
05/27/04 12:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,755
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
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B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,755
Oakland
The pertinent laws which protect this board and participants are called anti-SLAPP laws. Here's a website that deals with the subject: The California Anti-SLAPP Project. Although it deals specifically with California law, there is information about other states. A search of the web will no doubt turn up other information.


Semipro Tech
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968298
05/27/04 12:54 PM
05/27/04 12:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,838
Canada
katie_dup1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
katie_dup1  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,838
Canada
This legal stuff is so confusing ......

My opinion: All of us know that PianoWorld.com provides an extremely valuable service to people seeking to purchase & maintain a very expensive consumer product. There is no place, other than PianoWorld.com, where Joe Consumer can get honest, frank advice concerning these subjects ("The Piano Book" is a good resource but it doesn't cover everything). These types of discussion should be welcomed & encouraged. Piano owners also appreciate the other discussions provided by fellow students, technicians, teachers, musicians, & lovers of keyboards in general.

I sense that the potentially litigious scenarios usually arise when a legitimate NEW poster (consumer) starts asking for advice re ABC Piano Weasles Co., whether he is considering a purchase, or has made that purchase. I believe these posters (consumers) expect & should receive honest opinions from members of this forum. Therefore, I think it is very important for all NEW & existing posters to be made aware of the following, e.g.: "What you post is your opinion only & may be subject to possible litigation. Be truthful, polite & respectful. Don't slander others. Our success is due to the efforts of our individual members, blah, blah....".

Of course, those who "troll" or "bait" members on this forum for negative dealer comments should be banned ..... And I think the senior PW folk are quite on top of this. (As an aside, I'll state that when I bought one of my new pianos & spoke about it on PW, I was "baited" through a PM, by a dealer for "my experiences" concerning other dealers .... so members should look out for this too).

Like Axtremus, I wanted to do something to celebrate "a #-of-posts milestone" .... Also, I'm like PianoJuggler, .... I don't do Paypal .... So,

Frank, if you can PM me with your name/address/zip code ..... I'll send you a U.S. money order & a smile smile .

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968299
05/27/04 01:10 PM
05/27/04 01:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 337
Atlanta
Steve O. Offline
Full Member
Steve O.  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 337
Atlanta
Changing things in response to frivolous demands amounts to appeasement. This begets more of the same. I urge Frank to not give in to this sort of thing.

Best,

Steve O.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968300
05/27/04 01:22 PM
05/27/04 01:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,515
P
pianojuggler Offline
1000 Post Club Member
pianojuggler  Offline
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P

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,515
Quote
Originally posted by bcarey:
Perhaps we could also post negative experiences, but just not mention the dealer by name?
What would be the consequence of posting "I had a fairly lukewarm experience with a dealer in East Overshoe, Minnesota who caries a Japanese brand that starts with 'K' and an Austrian brand that starts with 'B'..."

...naming no names...

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968301
05/27/04 01:29 PM
05/27/04 01:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,515
P
pianojuggler Offline
1000 Post Club Member
pianojuggler  Offline
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P

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,515
I'm also surprised that PF hasn't gotten a similar letter from a laywer representing the entire piano industry in an Asian country that starts with 'C'. wink

Just curious: did the letter also demand that Frank provide details of the offending poster's IP address, so they can sue said person's ISP as well? That's the direction the anti-spam laws seem to be going.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968302
05/27/04 02:01 PM
05/27/04 02:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,948
New York
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Jeffrey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,948
New York
Chris raises a good point. Even if the forum self-polices itself, since anyone can write a threatening letter, who says self-regulating will satisfy every grubby dealer? What about piano brands? If I say "Faziolis are lousy. My Brand X upright is better. Don't buy Faziolis," can Fazioli send a "stop it" letter to PW? How can the forum function then?

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968303
05/27/04 02:31 PM
05/27/04 02:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 182
O
obrother Offline
Full Member
obrother  Offline
Full Member
O

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 182
I think Jack Frost (esquire) is chiming in with the angles that are most pertinent. Fortunately or unfortunately, a lawyer's input is probably most important here.

Any concessions of format, such as using star rating systems in lieu of actual verbage, will mean that this dealer has unilaterally, and possibly without contention, tailored a very large playing field to suit only themselves. The Piano Forum, for those of you that find it valuable as it is, would be forever changed...and vulnerable to other non-approving retailers. As it stands, no concessions have been made and the Piano Forum, I suppose, stands strongly and states that it has law on its side.

When that is no longer the case, and I do sympathize with your dilemma, Frank, the Piano Forum may become more of a 'target' for the disgruntled.

I do, however, think you are on the right track when you mention properly disclaiming the forum and the posts. I think that is a good way to go, and possibly, if I understand Jack Frost, a way to cement your legal argument...which seems sound anyway.

I can not decide financial issues for you. I can, personally, only say that it would be 'nice' if the Forum changed its format due to more than a "shot across the bow" email. Rather, I submit that they don't want to pay lawyers' fees any more than you do. They have written this email to you out of a 'fear' response. Fear of losing business, etc. If properly combatted, they may realize they should put their energies into improving their reputation rather than spend $ on lawyers. This isn't your concern, though, really. Rather, you need to do the thing that you can afford and that will allow you to sleep well at night.

All that said, can someone tell me if this is the nyc dealer that was mentioned some time ago?? I really don't know who we are even talking about here. *sigh*

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968304
05/27/04 03:01 PM
05/27/04 03:01 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,373
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Piano World Offline OP

6000 Post Club Member
Piano World  Offline OP

6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,373
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Quote
Originally posted by obrother:
All that said, can someone tell me if this is the nyc dealer that was mentioned some time ago?? I really don't know who we are even talking about here. *sigh*
It's not.


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Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968305
05/27/04 03:06 PM
05/27/04 03:06 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,373
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Piano World Offline OP

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Piano World  Offline OP

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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,373
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Quote
Originally posted by obrother:
All that said, can someone tell me if this is the nyc dealer that was mentioned some time ago?? I really don't know who we are even talking about here. *sigh*
It's not.
BTW, I've put this in the hands of our lawyer, so we can once again waste money defending our public forums:-(


- Frank B.
Founder / Owner / Host
PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
ProRecord.info
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
www.linkedin.com/in/pianoworld
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190 w/ ProRecord, Yamaha P-80, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Please invite every piano enthusiast you know to join our piano forums!


Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968306
05/27/04 03:31 PM
05/27/04 03:31 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,966
The Evergreen State (WA)
jodi Offline
6000 Post Club Member
jodi  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,966
The Evergreen State (WA)
Frank, I would like to make a Support the Piano Forums contribution, but not via Pay Pal. Can you email me your snail mail address (or post it here)
so I can send you a check?
Thanks a bunch - for hosting this great place, and for putting up with all of us.

smile Jodi

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968307
05/27/04 03:51 PM
05/27/04 03:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,948
New York
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Jeffrey  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,948
New York
Jodi - Thanks for link. I've bought lots of stuff from SheetMusic, but not as a hyperlink from PW. All future purchase will be from that link.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968308
05/27/04 05:38 PM
05/27/04 05:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 836
P
pianodevo Offline
500 Post Club Member
pianodevo  Offline
500 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 836
Frank,

With our freedoms seemingly being gradually eroded in this country, this PW issue might be one place where we can clearly make a stand.

If PW ignores this and future similar threats from dealers' lawyers, and the unlikely happens and there is litigation: it would be one dealer paying his attorney's fees, versus ***ALL*** of us who choose to contribute $$ to PW's legal fees. Sounds like we would be in a very good position, doesn't it?. The dealer loses a lot of $ whereas many of us lose insignificant amounts. If the dealer were informed of this, it might curtail his litigious inclinations. wink

For instance, if 50 of us tossed in $20 that's a grand right there, and I know from last year's discussions about the NY dealer that many posters said they'd contribute much more (and count me in as a contributor).

Perhaps a hard list can be made of definite contributors and amounts, should a lawsuit occur or substantial attorneys fees be involved -- would such a list make Frank breathe easier about (a) ignoring such dealers' attorneys' letters; and/or (b) taking more overt actions such as posting such letters?


Frank, three or four others have said they would like to send $ but NOT via PayPal, but via regular mail. I also am in this category, so pls send me your smail mail address and the payee's exact name if possible.

I vote to keep the forum as it is, and without any sort of "star" rating system. Let viewers interpret positive and negative verbal feedback as they wish. IMHO that's preferable to superimposing an artificial (and probably statistically imprecise or even incorrect) rating system.

Statistics theory likes very much to have at least 30 data points, and I doubt we'd get anywhere near that for feedback on most dealers. So why try to sqeeze what is really anecdotal evidence into a statistical rating system?


pianodevo
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968309
05/27/04 06:06 PM
05/27/04 06:06 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 81
Houston
T
TGG Offline
Full Member
TGG  Offline
Full Member
T

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 81
Houston
Frank, I am one of your member/lawyers (lawyer/members?). I very much enjoy your site. It sounds like you're already getting good legal advice, so I'll just add a thought or two for us all to keep in mind...

1. There are way too many lawyers.
2. It doesn't cost an agressive competitor much to turn and aggressive but ethically challenged laywer loose with claims of defamation/libel.
3. Most allegations of defamation/libel are made for purposes of chilling the competition, nothing more.
4. The practicalities of taking a libel/defamation case to trial are considerable...not the least of which is proof of damages. How is your hypothetically injured dealer going to prove to a jury that his business has been damaged by this forum?
5. Given the practicalities/difficulties with libel and slander cases, 99% of the demand letters that go out are not precursors of litigation. They are intended to (i) chill the market from saying anything contrarty to the letter writer's interests and (ii) cause the recipient to spend money on lawyers. Judging from this thread, your angry dealer has achieved what he intended to achieve.
6. I wouldn't change a thing. You're doing great and your posters already seem to be very moderate in their language. TGG

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post! #968310
05/27/04 06:14 PM
05/27/04 06:14 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,966
The Evergreen State (WA)
jodi Offline
6000 Post Club Member
jodi  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,966
The Evergreen State (WA)
Oh yes, and I just wanted to add my vote to not change a thing about this place. Adding some sort of dealer rating system would just open a whole 'nuther can of worms. It's just not necessary.

smile Jodi

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