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    The Anatomy of File
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by Steve Gibson, Gibson Research Corporation  -  2000/7/14

How NOT to Win Friends
and Influence People:

Subject: False Statements

Dear Mr. Gibson,	

  We have just become aware of numerous false public statements 
you have made regarding RealNetworks' privacy practices and 
RealDownload.  Your statements have already damaged 
RealNetworks, and we request that you immediately publish a 
retraction to each individual to whom you have made false 
statements and inform participants on your discussion board of 
your erroneous statements.  RealNetworks will hold you and your 
company liable for any damages caused by your patently false and 
reckless statements.  It is in your interest to immediately 
minimize the damages.  We further demand that you immediately 
cease and desist from making any additional false statement 
about either RealNetworks' privacy practices or RealDownload.

  RealNetworks carefully protects the privacy of its 
customers.  RealNetworks does not track any individual's use of 
RealDownload, does not create profiles of RealDownload customers 
and does not transmit any unique ID when a customer downloads 
files using RealDownload.  Any use of RealDownload is completely 
anonymous and its communications features are clearly disclosed 
and optional.  Upon installation, users are informed that 
download URLs can be anonymously transmitted and we offer them a 
clear choice to opt out of even that functionality.  Your 
statements to the contrary are simply false.  It is readily 
apparent that your false and inflammatory statements were simply 
designed to create demand for your "Opt-Out" product.  Your 
complete disregard for accuracy or truthfulness is demonstrated 
by the fact that you made no attempt to contact RealNetworks 
regarding your numerous false claims about our company or 
products, despite the fact that we prominently publish privacy 
contact information.

  You also completely disregarded our detailed privacy policies 
and descriptions of RealDownload Internet communications.  Our 
privacy policies clearly describe the many ways in which we 
protect user privacy.  RealNetworks' policies have been 
independently audited by Arthur Andersen and have received 
Arthur Andersen's E-Sure Seal.  Moreoever, the privacy group, 
Privacy , independently reviewed RealDownload and 
concluded that it poses no threat to user privacy.

  Mr. Gibson, your reckless report not only damages RealNetworks, 
but consumers of our products and those interested in making 
informed choices about how to protect their privacy on the 
Internet.  Your false and inflammatory statements make it 
difficult for consumers to make educated and informed choices 
about products.  RealNetworks is compelled to take these matters 
extremely seriously and use all available legal recourse to 
protect our reputation and the reputation of our products.

  RealNetworks reserves all of its legal rights and remedies with 
respect to this matter.  We urge you to immediately respond to 
this letter with appropriate retractions.  Please contact me in 
the event you have any questions.

Robert Kimball
Associate General Counsel
RealNetworks, Inc.
2601 Elliott Avenue
Seattle, WA  98121

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Last Edit: Dec 04, 2006 at 09:34 (6,431.77 days ago)Viewed 3 times per day