Internet Fund Raising Companies Battle In Court And On Google

from the politics-down-to-the-software-level dept

There’s been a lot of press surrounding internet-based fund raising company Convio, who is getting a lot of the credit for helping Howard Dean be so successful in raising money online for his Presidential campaign. However, a competitor, Kintera, is saying that Convio’s software was stolen from them. They say that the software does exactly the same thing and even had a similar name (which has since been changed after a legal threat). Kintera says that Convio got the software when they were both competing to do fund raising for the same company – and Kintera sent the company a demo disk. Now, Kintera is claiming that the demo disk ended up in the hands of Convio (who won the bid) and they copied the software. While that is a much more direct claim than typical “stealing of ideas”, I do wonder just how complicated any online fundraising software can be? Is it really the type of thing you would need to “steal”? If a customer is comparing different products and asks one vendor if they can offer certain features, should the vendor say no because a competitor already has them? Meanwhile, there’s another interesting aspect to this case. Convio is charging that Kintera brought the lawsuit to scare away customers and that they’ve even been gaming Google so that info on the lawsuit shows up high in a Google search on Convio. If that’s true, it’s yet another indicator of how much value some people are putting on Google Juice.

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