The maker of SpyHunter, the anti-malware software product, is filing a lawsuit against the tech blog Bleeping Computer after one of its moderators posted a bad review of SpyHunter on its forum.
Enigma Software says that Bleeping Computer participates in an affiliate programme run by Malwarebytes which earns them a commission for every new customer they introduce to the company, which means Bleeping Computer would find it beneficial to allow a negative review of SpyHunter on its forum.
In the lawsuit filed in the US Southern District Court of New York on 8 January 2016, Enigma Software accuses Bleeping Computer's parent company, Bleeping Computer LLC, of false advertising, commercial disparagement and defamation.
Lawrence Abrams, Bleeping Computer's owner, made a statement on the site, saying that the lawsuit has the hallmarks of a SLAPP suit, which he explained as "a frivolous claim to try and silence your opponent".
SLAPP, short for strategic lawsuit against public participation, is a type of lawsuit where the plaintiff attempts to outspend the defendant who cannot afford the high cost of legal representation. Even if the plaintiff is right, they may sometimes look to settle with the opposition just to avoid huge costs.
To handle the cost of the legal defence, which currently stands at $US100,000 (£70,000), Bleeping Computer has put up a GoFundMe campaign and is also taking donations via PayPal and Bitcoin.
As of publication, the site announced it had raised $72,000 for its defence fund.