The MagicJack is a VoIP dongle that hooks ye olde landline telephone up to the world of tomorrow via a humble computer. By all accounts, it seems to work pretty well and does the job it promises. Sadly, it doesn't seem like we can say the same about its management team. A post on Boing Boing in April 2008 addressed some pretty concerning aspects of the MagicJack EULA: it demands that you cede your right to sue the company and give it permission to "analyze" the numbers you call, but even more worrying was the fact that no links to said EULA were provided either on the website or at the point of sale. That is to say, every purchaser of the product was agreeing to something he or she hadn't (and couldn't have, without tracking the URL down via Google) read. Oh, and apparently the software comes without an uninstaller.

The whole thing could've been just a nice warning tale about not getting into contracts without reading the fine print, but MagicJack CEO Dan Borislow, hardly a man who shrinks from controversy, felt so offended by Boing Boing's, erm, statement of factual reality that he took them to court, citing that his company was exposed to "hate, ridicule and obloquy" (we had to look that last one up, it's just another word for ridicule, which makes the whole thing a tautology. Lawyers, eh?). Unsurprisingly, he lost the case, but he did manage to squeeze in one last act of shady behavior prior to his loss by offering to pay for Boing Boing's silence regarding the proceedings and costs. After he was turned down, MagicJack's coffers were still lightened by $54,000 to cover the defendants' legal fees, whereas its reputation can now be found somewhere in the Monster Cable vicinity of pond scum central. Great job, Boing Boing.