The Meridian Blog Bogus Takedown

george-orwell-truth-quoteMy website just came back online after being down since last Friday, why? An overzealous annuity sales company and a hosting company that has an utter disdain for their clients.

What started out as a small pain in the rear, has turned into a huge waste of time and resources at an extremely inopportune time given the volatility in the markets.

In December of last year I made a post that brought to light an industry practice of incentivizing insurance sales agents with trips to fancy places (Italy) and Visa gift cards for selling certain products. The offending company, The Annuity Store, had sent me an e-mail, unsolicited mind you, and I simply posted it informing the public of what is going on behind the scenes when they are being sold something.

Eight months later my website is shut down because The Annuity Store filed a DMCA Copyright complaint against me for posting the e-mail they sent me. Posting an unsolicited e-mail to draw attention to a practice the public should be aware of is protected speech. I responded to my host provider – Go Daddy – and even filed a counter-compliant. Go Daddy still shut down my entire website for parts of four days cutting off one of my primary vehicles for interacting with the public and clients. Go Daddy did this despite having no evidence that I actually violated any copyright.

It turns out that Go Daddy is famous for this, or rather “infamous” as this article relates. Go Daddy simply shuts you down with no due process. The Annuity Store new they didn’t have a legal case, so they tried to stop the information from getting out by using a backdoor, hoping that I’d just remove the content instead of fighting it. They’ve obviously not spent much time researching who I am.

I finally got my service restored this morning, though I’m not entirely sure why. I was told just minutes before it was restored that it would be 10 – 14 days. Then a few minutes later I got an e-mail saying the complaining party withdrew their complaint…

I’ll be changing hosting companies for sure and working to continue to expose the insurance industry.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MPAS, AIF

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