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Muddy Torrents
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I am an independent research analyst with deep experience in the search and online advertising industry.
  • Perion Continues Funding Copyright Infringement 2 comments
    Nov 12, 2013 10:33 AM | about stocks: PERI

    After MuddyTorrent's first article on Perion (NASDAQ:PERI), Perion management tried to suppress publication by pressuring SeekingAlpha editors to retract our article, which was previously approved for publication. Our research indicates a conflict of interest on the part of SeekingAlpha as Benchmark Capital is an investor in both SeekingAlpha and Conduit, and Benchmark stands to gain significantly from a successful reverse merger of Perion and Conduit, both large partners for Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing search engine. Shareholders interested in more balanced coverage of Perion may follow us at www.muddyinsights.com. We will continue to serve the SeekingAlpha community by cross-posting our articles on our instablog.

    We were surprised that Microsoft is working with partners who are distributing Bing toolbars through these copyright infringing channels. We are seeking comment from Microsoft management on these practices.

    If an independent third-party is able to uncover these activities so easily, it does not speak well of management when they pretend to be unaware of how their toolbars are being distributed. Perion management should not be having back room conversations with SeekingAlpha editors to suppress factually accurate articles. Instead, they should be protecting shareholders by calling for an immediate stop to working with pirate sites.

    We have tracked the half-hearted attempts of Perion to disassociate with movie piracy and torrent sites, and while they have made a token effort to clean up their distribution, we were able to easily uncover dozens of additional pirate sites that continued to distribute Perion and Conduit toolbars. We have created several videos demonstrating how Perion and Conduit continue to work with pirate sites:

    SweetPacks Conduit Toolbar on SeedPeer: http://screencast.com/t/XO8FaqmwMadY

    MixiDJ Conduit Toolbar on ExtraTorrent: http://screencast.com/t/arCDqCJ2

    InternetHelper Conduit Toolbar on Pirate Bay: http://screencast.com/t/vVPpWArWK

    We are happy to privately send a list of pirate sites where Perion continues to distribute toolbars to interested readers and media organizations as we do not want to do Perion's work for them. Please contact us if you are interested.

    Perion shareholders should vote "No" to the merger of Perion and Conduit because both companies are engaged in the same kind of questionable activities and have not shown a conviction to reform their practices.

    Disclosure: I am short PERI.

    Stocks: PERI
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Comments (2)
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  • SA Editor Eli Hoffmann
    , contributor
    Comments (695) | Send Message
     
    To clarify: The original article was taken down for two reasons. 1) Factual errors. 2) The author failing to provide us with sufficient documentation of his true identity for our internal records. The author subsequently revised his article (and posted the revised version to his Instablog). We remain willing to reassess his article for reinstatement pending sufficient documentation.

     

    I am not privy to the precise relationship between Michael Eisenberg (a Seeking Alpha investor and board member), Benchmark, and Conduit. But do I believe the author is correct that some combination of Michael/Benchmark are investors in both SA and in Conduit, which presents a potential conflict of interest. Any such conflict had/has no bearing on our decision, which was handled under the standard terms of our dispute policy.
    12 Nov 2013, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • Envoy Global Research
    , contributor
    Comments (336) | Send Message
     
    This is a very interesting test case of SA's editorial policies, which I personally think have become totally arbitrary. SA routinely publishes articles that have little factual basis and are either pure hype to move a stock up or overt attempts to malign companies to drive the stock down. The unfolding PERI story should be interesting since there is a clear conflict of interest here. Incidentally, SA just allowed the publication of a positive PERI article from a publisher who has never written on the site before, is a former employee of Conduit, and whose only article is a bullish piece on PERI. How did the bullish article, which also is very slim on actual facts, get published and syndicated so quickly?
    12 Nov 2013, 03:39 PM Reply Like
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