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Dear PhoneDog Fans,

As many of you may have recently heard, PhoneDog has been in a legal dispute with a former editor of ours, Noah Kravitz.  Not knowing the full story, some are quick to paint PhoneDog in an unfavorable light.  Although we have tried repeatedly to settle the dispute privately, the recent media coverage regarding our lawsuit against Noah has made it clear that we need to provide you, our fans, with the facts and why we’ve been essentially forced into this position.


BACKSTORY

Noah joined the PhoneDog team in April 2006.  During that period, PhoneDog.com was in the very early stages of becoming the personality-driven mobile tech review site it is today.  We found Noah to be a very talented and charismatic editor/video blogger and an excellent addition to represent PhoneDog.  Over the next four years, we invested in Noah and the site by sending him to trade shows and conferences from San Francisco, Vegas, New York, Barcelona and many places in between.  We hired PR agencies to increase PhoneDog’s exposure and Noah was frequently featured on CNBC, FOX Business, and other national and local media outlets.  During this time, we also expanded our efforts into many forms of social media, starting with our YouTube channel, then to Twitter and facebook respectively; each with the very specific intent to grow PhoneDog’s social media following and its loyal audience.  From all of our efforts, the site’s popularity continued to grow and Noah essentially became a micro-celebrity of sorts.  What started out as a small part-time freelance opportunity grew into a very well paid career for Noah.


WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

So when Noah notified us in October 2010 that he wanted to leave PhoneDog and the mobile tech industry to pursue something more “meaningful,” we were obviously disappointed.  However, we completely respected his decision and wished him our most sincere best of luck.

Shortly after Noah left the company, we found that Noah’s intentions had changed.  Whatever his motives, he began publishing content for other tech publishers while still being paid by PhoneDog, thereby going against the terms we agreed to prior to his departure.  In addition, he was promoting the competitors’ content to the Twitter account we clearly had and have rights to.  For several months after Noah’s departure, I tried on many occasions to contact Noah directly in hopes of working out our differences.  Noah would not speak to me directly and shortly thereafter hired a lawyer who began calling and threatening a lawsuit.  Even after these actions, we had no desire to further damage what had been such a good relationship.  We hoped to just move forward and put that chapter behind us.

Then earlier in 2011, Noah filed a lawsuit against PhoneDog for meritless claims under California employment laws.  Although he has sworn under oath that he was not an employee of PhoneDog, Noah continues to insist that PhoneDog pay substantial sums to settle his employment claims.  During all of his media interviews, Noah has avoided the fact that PhoneDog has offered to settle the cases under very reasonable terms.  Unfortunately, Noah’s motives are based solely on monetary gain.

It takes both sides to compromise in order to settle their differences, and while I can’t speak for Noah, I can assure you that we are looking to find a fair and reasonable solution.  Noah has the ability to stop the legal nonsense and move on; it’s his choice.


THANKS FOR BEING A PHONEDOG FAN

PhoneDog was started by two guys interested in the web and technology in general, and to this day we are a small group of passionate mobile tech enthusiasts.  We are privileged to have been able to grow such a loyal audience of regular site visitors, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and YouTube subscribers.  We are fortunate to have all of you as fans and we truly appreciate your choice to follow us and subscribe to all of our channels.

 

Thank you for being a PhoneDog fan,

Tom Klein
President/Co-founder
PhoneDog Media


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Comments & discussions  

81 Reactions to this post

"Curious about the Twitter lawsuit? Here's the full story: "


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Liandra_Xi PhoneDog is full of crap, this is nothing more than a blatant smear campaign!
Paris Hiltons Noah is the only reason i watched phonedog unsubscribed on youtube unfollowed on twitter unliked on facebook Bye
Chad Allen Also im not sure whos comment it was but i agree 100 precent that there are 3 sides to every story including this one phonedogs side Noahs side and the truth!
Chad Allen I follow both phonedog and techno buffalo and dont know what really happened therefore i dont judge so i think its funny how so many people pick a side in this has if they know anything about what went on behind the scence. I will continue to support both Noah and Phonedog!
Petar Iliev Clearly I side with PD on this matters. Noah proved to be not so loyal after all and what is more - he is more likely not to change and repeat and do the same later on with his next emplyer and steal there accounts too. Q: If TechnoBuffalo is paying decent and things are going well for Mr Kravitz why does he need further pays from PD to which regretfully only he is claiming he's entitled to? Second: he is what he is because of the whole concept, he does not own the brand and the whole idea and the Twitter is for sure not his as in a normal contract the company or paying party owns all creative work and the tools for it done or executed during working waged hours. Third: Noah, get it together man, and return the goodies, stop the suits, not everything is money, keep a good name not full pockets. Sometimes is better.
Mark Pooler I like aaron but phonedog has tanker since noah left. He made your site and now took his followers elsewhere. Sounds like someone is a little bitter.
Anonymous Just my guess: There probably wasn't an employment contract/non-compete clause, or a weak contract if he signed one. Hence, all these he said, they said and who owns what & how much paid, etc.
David Moreno This suit all depends if Noah signed a non-compete clause and the date of resignation. In the world of marketing if u represent company A in a specific industry where u say they're the best, u can't just go work for competing company B and say they're the best too while still being employed by company A. Thats like marketing for Apple and yet publicly stating that Samsung is better. Now if PD didn't pay him while for his work prior to his departure, then they should just pay him and move on.
Chris Robato I watch Phonedog on YouTube thanks to Aaron. TechnoBuffalo looks too ridiculous for me.
Sou Lim I just read someone's comment. If you get paid to create recipe for a company, then it's company's property because you got their money, used equipment, their home. I don't know if a follow is 2.5$/month. Just let judge settle it down. I love PD, and support PD.
Eireann Flannery Just found out about you guys today. Your videos are awesome and have really helped me figure out my new phone. I am sorry for any lawsuit you are involved in. I can say you made my day better though. So, Thank You.
Anton Claeys Childish, of to technobuffalo
Kyle Huber The more I read about this, the more convinced I am that this whole lawsuit is retaliatory and without merit. PD says that it clearly had rights to Noah's twitter account, which is complete BS since the idea of ownership of twitter accounts has not even been brought up in a legal way until this... so to say that an issue that has never been decided is "clear" is baseless. Admit it or not, but this case would not have been filed if Noah wasn't suing for back pay. In my world, that is retaliatory and does little other than make phonedog look like a bunch of butthurt douchebags because their biggest draw, by far, decided to move on.
Robert Valdívia And this had to be on response to Noah's interview on the Patt Morrison show in L.A. today... Look it up, good stuff and all the sharks, er, lawyers and legal types side w/ Noah on this one...
Robert Valdívia So lets say TV news anchor Talking Head's contact expired and he left Station A for a new gig at Station B. Suddenly Station A sees a drop in ratings while Station B enjoys an increase. Can Station A sue Mr. Talking Head because his fans followed him?
Cole Mannuzza After Noah left it was all down hill. Their apps dont work and the reviews aren't as good. Noah explained how he felt about it not just the statistics. I'm glad that you guys posted this because I forgot to unlike phonedog. Noah's cool and I follow him on twitter. You don't own him. Grow up. It's twitter, get over yourself. Who cares make a new twitter. Again.... IT'S TWITTER
Fernando Leo Pina I'm I curious??.......no
Robert Mathias I appreciate phone dog coming out trying to explain it self. However, this lawsuit whether its right or not makes phone dog look like a big evil corporation attacking a former employee for getting a job with a competitor.
Lam Tron Meh. I still think Phonedog is the best site for phone reviews and news, so I couldn't care less. I think they found a good replacement with Aaron anyways. :)
Larry Campbell Unless he signed some sort of no-compete clause in his contract it would be difficult to win... good luck.
Larry Campbell Go pd...
Ryan DeClue I was going to file suit against Noah AND Phonedog .... but then I took an arrow to the knee.
Zach Cline Same here.
Ryan DeClue Ladies and gentlemen, and hopeless tech geek recluses, you are now witnessing the end of Phonedog. Fact is, I love Phonedog. Love Aaron and Sydney to death, and get all my tech information from the site and from the Facebook page ... but I wouldn't even know about it if not for Noah's videos. Nor would most of the long time followers. Now, while it isn't fair or right, the courts WILL side with Noah on this. They will say that Phonedog owes their fame to him, that Noah made Phonedog what it is, and that a followed twitter account is about the person who writes it... especially when it is under their name. Regardless of whether Phonedog had him make the account or whatever, people subscribed to it because they wanted to hear what Noah had to say, not Phonedog. Again, I think this is a crap deal. I think, if what this article from Phonedog says is true, that Noah betrayed his colleagues and friends at Phonedog. But the legal system works differently, and fairness is never a factor. They will award Noah damages, and it will he the end of our beloved Phonedog ... unless Best Buy Mobile throws their legal muscle in the ring for this fight....
Christopher Mullenax Thanks for posting this, almost forgot to unfollow/unlike your stupid asses. This lawsuits is bullshit regardless of what happened and just because noah is suing for back pay doesn't mean you should sue him instead for twitter followers. I have lost all respect for the phonedog crew and I hope you lose this lawsuit.
Tom Parker FUCK YOU for suing Noah!!! Your company is a bunch of FUCKING BACK STABBING bastards. And fuck Phonedog.com. I hope your lawsuit is worth all the hate.
Mick de Raad Why not just ask Noah to place some tweets about phonedog, saying he worked there before and that we all should follow Phonedogs twitter account. And than we can leave the rest. I follow both of you, have been a fan of phonedog since Noah worked there (and left) and I have been a fan of Techno Buffalo even before Noah worked there. Still am. Please guys, just stop the sueing and get along! Get a drink together and talk about it, rather than sueing eachother asses.
AJ Goren I have decided to take the side of not taking sides. :P
Henry Murillo PhoneDog rocks! Noah is a douche anyway :D
David McNeill Btw I'm entirely impartial in this one, I follow both sites. I know nothing of the people involved or the back story so it'd be highly naive to pick a side. I'm sure both sides have reasons to feel aggrevied. Anyway its nice to see such a niche market make world news for a change (unless you're involved I'm sure). Ha.
David McNeill Phonedog find themselves in a real sticky situation, unless they can prove their allegations and fast they risk damaging their business beyond repair. There can be no doubt the swathe of public opinion backs Noah on this one due to the nature of their lawsuit. Implying they actually own their public followers and even going as far as to put a value on them comes across as extremely crass and people are rightly angry about the connotations. Phonedogs credibility and goodwill from its followers is being seriously damaged with each day that passes, at the same time they are also giving their main rival the kind of publicity they just couldn't buy. It'll be interesting to see how of pans out.
Austin Wirl GO PHONEDOG!!
Alberto Colon Reyes The site will not tarnish. I will continue ti follow, like & subscribe to phonedog.com. Hope you succeed.
Jonathan Recinos Whoever's on the phonedog.com account, just stop replying to people. You're talking to the people who read your articles, and if you anger them, chances are, they will find another place to get phone news. Just ignore the comments.
Dennis Heggenstaller Aaron does the worst reviews, so boring...
Jozef Sakac Love Phone dog and will all ways support you guys love Aaron's reviews.
Humberto Aguilar The sad part is the law has not caught up with technology, and PhoneDog can actually win this case. This could set a dangerous precedent. This is akin to having the Cleveland Cavs suing Lebron James, because his Facebook followers were potential ticket holders, and since he's with the Miami Heat, all of his followers are now potential Heat ticket holders and buying Heat gear instead. How about having UMG sue Lady Gaga if she were to switch record labels? They can make an argument that they want to recoup losses based on her Twitter fans that are now buying her latest album from the new record label. By setting a dollar value on a individual "like", you're effectively saying that I belong to you forever, and I must buy from you and you alone.
Steve Jackson You just tarnished it with the article...sit back and watch. Silence....somebody once told me "loose lips sink ships" guess we'll see.
Dennis Heggenstaller Sorry your name is not Noah Kravitz...so you can't claim his identity on twitter...next
Adam Taxier go phone dog!
Facebook user @Steve J: TK says: Really! if you spent 10+ years growing a company and another party continued to attack it, would you just sit idle and be quiet? How much longer would you have suggested that we remain silent, should we have waited until the site/brand was tarnished?
Carlos Araujo i want pancakes.
Paul L. McCord Jr. While I think suing him is off the charts idiotic, why don't Noah just create another account and cancel this one. Now that everyone knows his name, they can search for his new account.
Steve Jackson Agreed with Jay and Lance. Also you people at phonedog just publicly put somebody's laundry out there for the world to see. I had supported you but after seeing this its time to look for something with more professionalism. Happy new year (here's a resolution=grow up).
Justin Charles Reback Honestly I have a hard time picking a side in this. Noah is awesome and I read Phonedog regularly, however if it does come out that you did indeed tell him that he could keep the twitter account, then your case has no legs. I honestly think a judge should just throw this out, and have the two sides settle it themselves.
William Martin in most arguments, both sides start getting pretty petty. i think that's what's going on here. it'd be nice if both sides could just back off a bit and let bygones be bygones, i can see both sides of the twitter argument, but when it boils down to it, while noah built up that twitter following largely thanks to the exposure his work with phonedog brought him, it was still him people were following. it could go either way, but surely it's just time to let it go because i think the current situation just makes everyone look bad.
Devlin Robear I still continue to watch you guys because of your wonderful editors like Aaron, Sydney, and Jon. However, your upper management needs to go as you go all out with the lawsuit, instead of trying to negotiate with Noah like civilized adults. (This is coming from a teenager that started to love the tech world from watching your videos). I am disappointed.
Jay Massey "Such as I DISLIKE"
Jay Massey Once again, phonedog is using what they Think they have, and TOTALLY misrepresenting themselves, I Never said ANYTHING, such as I Disliking YOUNGSTERS, those are YOUR words, NOT mine, watch putting words in my mouth!, with laws the way they are these days you might end up fighting a lawsuit with me for defamation, look that up, don't say I DISLIKE anyone or thing, unless I say that!!
Thy Heng Who's running this phonedog facebook? It can happen to you too
Martin Hodgson i love phone dog stay strong and smart phonedog
Facebook user Jay Massey We're always here to help at PhoneDog. Given the demographic that you claim to dislike ("youngsters"), might I recommend some additional reading outside of our site that would be more in tune with your preferences: (1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svNdS4GNNz0, (2) http://www.greatcall.com/, (3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlpRHqjOP5M
Martin Hodgson he backfired on u and jump the gun as a fan a want the best out of phonedog and the best og luck againist noah
Shrinivas Mittal Buffalo vs. Dog. I bet on dog, now where do I place my bet??
Chris Green Im a phonedog fan, regardless to the situation I know phonedog.com will still be entertaining and give valuable information with or without Noah
Matthew Hackmann I'm curious where you guy came up with $2.50 per follower? There is no way each follower is one worth that much and two I doubt you guys lost the must potential revenue from his twitter. If you are going to talk about monetary gain as a motive then you have clear a intent for it. The thing that scares me most about this all is how a company could potentially take this ruling and use to to shut down a purely personal account. I agree there is some take in the fact that it included the company name and he was pretty much the face of phonedog, but this attack on him for wanting to make sure he got was he was apparently promised for his work is just utterly disturbing. I hope both parties can take a step back and be reasonable about this all. Best of luck to you both.
Jeremy Schneider Sometimes to get your point across, the best way is to totally offend. Yes, I could use big words to show my dismay towards frivolous lawsuits, but being crass is a sharper knife than being polite. For example, my comment is the only one in which phonedog responded to, something dug in a bit deeper. BTW, I started following Noah on twitter two days ago. So does he owe you $0.17 for the time I have been following him, since I wouldn't know his name if it were not for your litigation and an XDA post?
Kyle Huber I don't know if Noah is owed any backpay or not, nor do I care. I do care about this whole arbitrary value placed on twitter followers and the $340k lawsuit. This could have serious ramifications on the whole world of social media, and I hope Phonedog fails miserably in this venture. Since I am apparently worth $2.50 to Phonedog, this is a $2.50 that you won't be getting. Unliked/unfollowed on twitter/unsubscribed on youtube. Adios.
Dan Lupescu I can't believe these guys posting are so mad about something that has nothing to do with them. I guess their lives are just that boring....
Jay Massey Awwwww, phonedog is even trying to "parent" no need to curse, would be proper, but you knew the little kids your so after would understand cuss better, you are pitiful, enjoy your youngsters, and stop trying to make yourself out to be the Good Guys, those who you no longer care for, wont buy your crap, ( s*#t), uh-oh, are you going to put me in a time out?!
Dan Lupescu Jeremy is probably not very good at making a point without using swear words...or getting his picture taken
Tony Abiama U tell em Phonedog.com! I think there's 2 sides to this story, but the bashing is unnecessary on either side you "defend"
Facebook user @Jeremy S: Does it make too much sense? It's based completely on fact and truth. btw, no need to cuss
John Webb phonedog was half crap before noah left. now it's all crap. this post is the last straw. i doubt most of what they wrote. noah went on to bigger and better things and the one thing they had going for them is now gone so they're crying about it. they should spend less effort "explaining" this thing to us and more effort improving their steadily declining site.
Darren Dunn I'm in the same profession as Noah, it's his twitter account, he can do what he likes with it. I think Noah is in the right.
Jeremy Schneider You guys at phonedog are so full of shit.
Jerson Yanes i used to respect && like noah but now... NOAHHHH U SUCKKKKK !!!
Taylor Jones Friends for ya
Zach Cline Agreed. This is just stupid, And this was obviously written to make noah look bad.
Shaunta Lovejoy Weems Go phone dog!
Monsta Kody Go phonedog Go!!! Forget noah
Bryce Weekley His articles sucked anyway. Wait did he write articles? To be honest I've never read any of them.
Nick Pederson Andrew, Phonedog is the one driven by greed, they are suing Noah for $340,00
Jason Torchy Leave Noah alone.
William Hall Let the battle begin!
Andrew Sowards Wow. Just another person driven by greed
David Araya That's so stupid....
John-Michael Kobes Woof, Woof, We wove you and Scooby Doo!
Ian Jamieson Oh this is going to be good...




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