Toothless Tyger Taken To Task
Tyger Shark Has Threatened Our Benevolent Community and Charity Service With Vexatious Litigation, and now we are biting back
The original article can be found at:
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A couple of weeks ago we published an article about how Tyger Shark, a local website design company, had threatened to file unsupportable vexatious civil litigation against our benevolent not-profit-motivated social enterprise that donates all services to our community and all profits to local charities. The reason for their vacuous threat was because we did not move fast enough when they asked us to do them a favour by deleting from our YouTube channel a benign video that they had participated in producing as part of a Chamber of Commerce awards banquet five years ago.
The original article can be found at
It is not that we cared if the video stayed online or not, as it is one of hundreds we have produced, and it is really not that impressive when compared to our more recent work. We were willing to do them the favour, which is what it would have been, and all we wanted was a few days to hire a coder to update our website to remove any holes created by the deletion.
But then the ‘tough guy’ wannabes at Tyger Shark chose to threaten us,
and that is when their troubles started to escalate with no end in sight.
In a letter emailed on July 15, 2019, to Andrew K. Zyp, a lawyer for Stewart Esten LLP, our Producer, John Ironside, noted:
“Sometimes when a surgeon begins a routine procedure they find something unexpected and worse, such as cancer. That is the reality we have now discovered through our decision to expose the transparent attempt by Tyger Shark to bully our not-profit-motivated social enterprise through a threatened abuse of the true intent of our civil court system. That initial story, which has been read by more thousands than we can count, has led us to discover new information about Tyger Shark that we will now be reporting.”
That letter was ignored by Andrew K. Zyp, a lawyer for Stewart Esten LLP, or at least it received no reply, as has been the case with all letters sent to this ‘professional’ and ‘ethically bound’ lawyer for Tyger Shark. The lawyers for Stewart Esten LLP, like the directors of Tyger Shark, appear to be hiding under a desk, metaphorically speaking, rather than facing the public backlash of the exposure of their own wrongful actions.
They would have saved face if they had either backed up their bravado or shown the testicular fortitude to publicly apologize.
This is the original video, produced in colaboration with Tyger Shark five years ago. Now they are claiming the right to costs and damages based on the fantasy that they just learned the video exists. We are a not-profit-motivated social enterprise that donates all profits to local charities, so the directors of Tyger Shark and their lawyers at Stewart Esten LLP are literally threatening to take money from those most in need just to satisfy their egos.
As part of our research into the claims made by our followers, and various local business owners, we have discovered a pattern of ingratiation for certain businesses in Barrie that on the surface appear worthy of some adulation. However, when researched even at the most basic level, they are revealed to be quite different from the image they project.
We have found evidence of businesses with long histories of employee and regulatory abuses of many kinds who are given large contracts based on nothing but their connections and boasted claims that are not thoroughly researched. These employers and business owners also appear to be above reproach on a municipal level even when it is obvious that they are doing wrong or are shown to be breaking federal and provincial laws.
The pattern does not seem to be based on quality of work or proven skills, but purely on favouritism.
This is the voice mail message left on our system by 'Tyler from Tyger Shark'. Tyger Shark was started and is at least partially owned by Tyler Murray
This abuse of power is also apparently used to ensure control over other businesses through punitive measures. We have learned how employers and business owners who are not part of the 'old boy’s network' in Barrie are sometimes chastised for ridiculously small or even made up ‘offences’ just because they rocked the boat. We now find ourselves to be part of the latter group, which we wear with pride. In in our case, the pattern of harassment all started the very day after our Producer published a scathing review of the Barrie City Council’s ‘handling’ of the Opiate Crisis in Barrie.
We wondered what it was about that article that would generate so much interest from staff at City Hall,
and we found out.
Since that day, somebody accessing the Internet from “Corporation of the City of Barrie” has visited our website 33 times since June 26, 2019, the day after that article was released. Further, that individual or group of people have visited our first story about Tyger Shark multiple times, with the last visit to that article lasting nine minutes.
What would warrant that level of research to be conducted by city staff regarding a registered media company covering a public issue?
We then continued our reporting on that story through a video we shot at City Council, that we edited at the request of one of our followers to show how City Council ducked and dodged an issue that is killing people almost every day in Barrie. That video is included here.
Well, last week, a City of Barrie official decided to just drop by and advise our Producer that our studio building, which has been a duplex for more than thirty years, suddenly no longer qualifies as such so he cannot rent out the second apartment without modernizing the 100 year old heritage home and paying big fees to . . . guess who . . . the City of Barrie.
This is the video we produced about the opiate crisis in Barrie that had drawn so much attention from people using the Internet connection for the 'Corporation of the City of Barrie', who then turned their attention to the Tyger Shark story.
So, the house had been two legal units, with apartment numbers, additional garbage allowance, two furnaces and gas accounts, and it had been rented as such for thirty years; however, the second we spoke out against the city and then one of their 'special' local businesses, suddenly three decades of reality just went poof.
There was no written order or evidence of any kind presented to support that this was a legitimate claim. The demands were made vocally, and by surprise, so there is no way of establishing what was said through evidence. John was also hit for $200+ by the City of Barrie for a property inspection. Next, we expect them to go after his dogs. If this is what happens when you speak out about the old boy’s network and the businesses that are protected in this city, it is little wonder why so many people are afraid to expose this dark secret of our city. There is, however, strength in numbers, and maybe it is time to move forward to fairness for all.
This also explains why there is so much resistance to progressive voices in Barrie,
be they on City Council or in the media.
Now back to Tyger Shark, whose directors brag that they no longer lower themselves to do business in Barrie, and that they deal now only with household names like Drake, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, the Atlanta Hawks, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Partnerships (MLSE).
The latter, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Partnerships (MLSE), is the company that manages promotions for national sports icons like the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Football Club (Toronto FC), the Toronto Argonauts, and the currently much coveted Toronto Raptors. Those teams and organizations spend a lot of money to generate an image of being family oriented organizations, and we cannot imagine how they will feel about their website designer acting in such an obviously abusive manner to a benevolent not-profit-motivated social enterprise that donates all services to their community and all profits to local charities. Also, as Tyger Shark has swam away from the protective shores of our local lagoon, there is nobody watching out for them in the much deeper waters.
There are lots of ethical website design companies that would do almost anything to land such clients,
and bravado and bull-splatter only go so far in the business world.
The decision by the directors of Tyger Shark to attempt and then fail to bully a not-profit-motivated supporter of charities and the community cannot sit well with senior management at those family-oriented teams and businesses. Most of the old-school businessmen who run those enterprises will remember what their father told them back in the day, that ‘those who swing wildly and then run and hide when their intended victim hits back deserve no respect’. It might take them a while to find a new service provider, but in their own best interests you can be assured somebody is looking into it. Our IPNoid system shows who is visiting our site, and this story is drawing a lot of attention from the cities where Tyger Shark’s clients are based.
It is also clear that some competitors are taking advantage of the storm that has been created solely by the cowardly actions of the directors of Tyger Shark.
The link to our original story has been emailed out to thousands of people in the website design industry, and to anybody and everybody who may do business with Tyger Shark. This was not done by us, but evidently by at least one competitor of Tyger Shark who saw an advantage and took it.
We know this is happening as we can see the tail on thousands of incoming visitors as being that of an email hosting service.
We did contact Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Partnerships (MLSE) as is our right as we are journalists writing a story about abuse of our legal system by one of their services providers. Also, on top of that, from the emails and messages we are receiving, it is clear that Tyger Shark’s local reputation is damaged as a result of their own actions, which we have simply exposed to the light. We are a not-profit-motivated social enterprise so if this was a school yard, the bullying Tyger Shark would have been picking a fight with a child of limited mobility and means.
Worst yet, the 'weaker' kid just put the bully on their ass in a very public way,
and then made them run and hide from the laughter of those watching.
The threat from the lawyers for Tyger Shark gave us five business days from July 5th, or until July 12th to remove our video from our YouTube channel. That was eleven days ago. We responded to their threat by going public and outing their intended abuse of our civil legal system. We have also written correspondence to their lawyer several times, but despite his obligation to reply, pursuant to the cannons of ethics of the Law Society of Upper Canada, both the directors of Tyger Shark and their tough talking lawyer are metaphorically hiding under their desks. The threat was “Should you not remove the video within 5 business days, our client has instructed us to take further legal action, including seeking injunctive relief, damages, and costs.”
Since the threat, we have heard back nothing but crickets;
however, clearly somebody has become obsessed with our website.
Our IPNoid website tracking software has some very interesting features. One is its ability to group together visits from various IPs based on an analysis of the MAC address of a device. So, if somebody uses their phone or tablet at work IPNoid tracks their MAC address, which is unique to every device. Then, if that person takes the device home IPNoid uses the same unique ID of the device and links the visits from the two IPs. The addresses don’t have to be connected to the same service provider or even be in the same geographic region. Then, if another device, such as a home computer, visits the site from any of the associated IP addresses they are automatically added to the group.
Several such patterns have been tracked.
Some were twenty and thirty something visits,
but one stands out as obsessive.
The first visit occurred about one hour after we posted the first article. That visit came from a downtown location. They then visited again and again, often from several different locations, totalling more than 102 visits in 12 days, and more than four and a half hours spent reading and re-reading our website. So, this person, who we cannot conclusively identify, is spinning their wheels, evidently trying to figure out how to make this article just go away because they lack the courage needed to back up their threats or apologise for their wrongful acts.
pa·per ti·ger ~ /'pap?r 'tig?r/ ~ noun: a person of little worth who projects an image of power or danger but who is inwardly weak, pathetic, and ineffectual. This syndrome is found often amongst men who are impotent.
Our original article that focused on corporate bullying has rung a bell for many people, as the response to that posting has been phenomenal. Amongst the thousands who have clicked to that page, and other related social media posts, we have been contacted by a growing list of local business owners who told us their stories of doing business with Tyger Shark.
We could post some of the allegations here verbatim,
but we want to take some time to review the reviews and perform due diligence.
We also became a lighting rod of complaints by former staff, who relayed to us concerns and condemnations similar to those we found online at websites like Indeed and Glassdoor that can be found at https://ca.indeed.com/cmp/Tyger-Shark/reviews and https://www.glassdoor.ca/Reviews/Tyger-Shark-Reviews-E1533060.htm respectively.
Although we cannot and do not claim any kind of validity for these published claims, they are publicly accessible online and are apparently unchallenged. As such, we can repost them here as anecdotal commentary without making any inference as to their authenticity. Having said that, there is a very valid old saying about ‘where there's smoke there's fire’. We should also note that there were a few complimentary and downright sycophantic reviews on the GlassDoor website, but that is commented on the first post on Indeed, which states: “We were ask to "write glassdoor reviews..."
“The typical day starts at 8am and more then likely to extend past 6pm, sometime 8pm. This way of work to life balance has lead to burnouts. This is due to meeting unrealistic deadlines. Keep in mind there was no compensation for the extra hours. It "was expected and a blessing to work in a place like this because so many other people have it worse". We were ask to "write glassdoor reviews..." to "leave our best and honest opinions". Many people who are experienced in this industry typically leave within 6 months.”
“highest turn over I have ever seen in a company”
". . . in the 2 years of my employment, I saw 15 employees fired/"let go" - leadership are young and inexperienced - not building a brand or sustainable company in my opinion, I would not be surprised to see this company gone in 1-2 years from today."
“Looks can be deceiving.”
“fear based management - egotistical owners - false promises to clients and team - low energy”
“12h-work day / 8h-work pay - Toxic culture, being a jerk impresses the bosses - Feels like you're cheating the clients all the time - Keep busy (no matter work) culture”
Overpriced WordPress Sweatshop"
“You don't get compensated for working extra hours Extremely high turnover rate Micro-managed Take themselves too seriously when really they're just pumping out WordPress sites for 500% of what they're worth”
“Bullying is the corporate culture”
“Upper management threatens jobs weekly with "inspiration speeches" to the company. If you're not working from 8 to 6 and pulling extra hours every day you're not giving everything and will be talked to and looked down on. Upper management plays favourites and will ostracise people who aren't, in-turn the favourites will do the same. Vacation time is looked down on as you are not giving 100% to the company.”
Wow! Just Wow!
Many of the characteristics noted in these comments are reflected in the email sent to our Producer by Andrew K. Zyp, a lawyer for Stewart Esten LLP. Through it, the directors of Tyger Shark lied in claiming the following to be true:
“Our client has become aware of video footage of the principals of the company, as well as the use of their logo in the above referenced Youtube video, for use in association with your brand and Youtube channel. Our client has not consented to this use and demands that you immediately take down the video as it breaches several areas of the law including misappropriation of personality, copyright and trademark infringement.” The letter is available here.
If you look at the video, the first one on this page, you will see clearly that:
- The directors of Tyger Shark did not just ‘become aware’ of the video that has been online for almost five years
- The directors of Tyger Shark did clearly consent to the recordings as they are in the video, being interviewed.
- The directors of Tyger Shark did consent to us using their logo because they emailed it to us to use in the video.
This email from their lawyer represents nothing but lies, and the actions are clearly those of a wannabe corporate bully who picked a fight with the wrong kid in the playground.
Clearly, the directors of Tyger Shark did not expect to end up on the receiving end of such a metaphoric nosebleed from their intended victim.
Although we fully understand that we were meant to cower in fear of this threat by lawyers, we didn’t do so. In fact, we did the exact opposite. We not only published a fully supported article, we also uploaded a rather confrontational voicemail recording by ‘Tyler from Tyger Shark’ and updated the information in the video that had caused this intended abuse of our legal system so that those who find it would know about our article.
So, less than two weeks later, what have the directors of Tyger Shark accomplished from bullying?
- Through their own legal claims about just becoming aware about the five-year-old video, the supposed online branding experts at Tyger Shark have exposed that either they are not the digital marketing gurus they claim to be, or they are liars who will attack a community service like ours to get what they want.
- Thousands of people, including their clients and competitors, have read our article, and now they have a different image of the company that maybe they respected just a few weeks ago.
- Those same clients are likely weighing the value of the services provided by Tyger Shark against the potential damage to their brand that could be caused by continued association with the easily replaced website design company.
- We now have dozens, if not hundreds, of stories to publish in support of our decision to take on this intended abuse of our civil court system should we choose to do so, and we will be presenting many of those facts in the documentary we are producing about corporate bullying.
- Any and all potential clients for Tyger Shark who take the ten seconds required to Google their name will find this article, and the original article dated July 9, 2019, and if they have any kind of conscience, they will likely move onto the next company without even considering the bully who tried and failed to intimidate a charity service that donates all services and profits to the community and charities.
- How much will this act of adolescent arrogance cost this company that according to one employee's review charges 5x what their service are truly worth?
- Despite the nonchalant attitude they are trying to project, we have shown how it seems very, very likely that at least one of the directors of Tyger Shark is now obsessed with our website, to a point where they have spent more than four and a half hours visiting our story and other pages more than 102 times in two weeks.
So far, a grand total of two, yes two, people have suggested it is not in our best interest to continue telling this story, and both made their comments the day after our Producer predicted trolls would soon come. In a letter to Andrew K. Zyp, a lawyer for Stewart Esten LLP, dated July 11, 2019, our Producer, John Ironside noted: “we are currently supported 100% by the people of Barrie who have reviewed the evidence. Not one person has stepped up to condemn us for exposing this abuse of our civil court system; although that will probably coincidentally change now that I have pointed this out. Of course, such derogatory postings made now would be just a tad obvious; however, most people are not frankly foolish enough to threaten a selfless service like ours with frivolous legal action . . .” And . . . exactly then is when the two complainants jumped in. ;-)
We have also been in contact with Larche, the company that bought out Tyger Shark’s small and medium sized clients, but they refused to comment when asked if they were still working together. We received a similar reply from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Partnerships (MLSE). We had asked both for on-camera interviews, but neither showed the integrity or intestinal fortitude to either stand in support of or denounce the abusive actions taken by the directors of Tyger Shark.
For some, it is easier to hide, to live in denial, and to evade ethical decisions,
all the while likely looking for other options.
In closing, if anybody truly feels any harm was done to Tyger Shark by the existence of that benign video, or that their threats are anything but a transparent attempt to abuse our courts, look no further than this screen grab. It is the page on Three Best Rated featuring Tyger Shark as one of the best advertising companies in Barrie.
Genuine kudos to them.
We hold the same honour for our commercial videography.
Now, look at the bottom of that post, which had to be approved by Tyger Shark, and what do you see? Yes, that is the very same video that ‘Tyler from Tyger Shark’ demanded be removed from our YouTube channel, and about which Andrew K. Zyp, a lawyer for Stewart Esten LLP said “Our client has become aware of video footage of the principals of the company, as well as the use of their logo in the above referenced Youtube video, for use in association with your brand and Youtube channel. Our client has not consented to this use and demands that you immediately take down the video as it breaches several areas of the law including misappropriation of personality, copyright and trademark infringement.”
Think about that for just a few seconds.
How could Tyger Shark be using our video to promote themselves on Three Best Rated, yet only now have learned of its existence? Why would a business like Tyger Shark think they could get away with such transparent lying, and why did Andrew K. Zyp, a lawyer for Stewart Esten LLP clearly feel so comfortable in proposing to engage in sharp practice by threatening to abuse the authority of the court against a not-profit-motivated social enterprise that donates all services to the community and any and all profits to local charities?
This is a transparent lie told by once-respected business operators, bolstered by a threat from an ethically-questionable lawyer, made against a social enterprise that gives everything back to the community and local charities.
It is truly unfortunate that we have been forced to expose these lies told and the abuses that were threatened,
However, these kinds of abuses cannot go unexposed because they will simply do it again.
The directors of Tyger Shark and the lawyers of Stewart Esten LLP have done this to themselves.
All we did was point a strong light at what they were doing, and we will do that all damned day.
#Drake, #Universal Pictures, #Sony Pictures, #Atlanta Hawks, #Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Partnerships, #MLSE, #Toronto Maple Leafs, #Toronto Football Club, #Toronto FC), #Toronto Argonauts, #Toronto Raptors
Article written by: John Ironside
Owner, Publisher, Producer, and Chief Petter of Dogs
Five Points Media