After learning about a Change.org petition where a request was made for Gearslutz.com to change the name to something less offensive to women, I decided it was time to step forward to shed light on the site's true origins. Too often the contributions of women are undervalued. As such I think it's important that my story is told.
My name is Meg Lee Chin. I built and created Gearslutz (now called Gearspace) with Julian Standen in 2002. The site began as a hobby which grew into a business. He was the head moderator. I performed all the technical work behind the scenes.
He chose the awful name.
After 5 years where I busted my butt up to 80 hours a week, Standen decided to pretend I was not a partner but just an employee simply because he had paid for most of the small expenses during the first year - before we got serious and became business partners.
On February 2007 I woke up and was locked out of the server and all accounts. Effectively I was locked out of our business. I guess Standen figured that the $10 he paid for the domain name was infinitely more valuable than the years of sweat and the sacrifice of my music career. No doubt he saw himself as a swashbuckling, globetrotting CEO - even though it was me who actually came up with the idea, built it, and ran it for 5 years.
On the 18th June 2010 in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, I won my claim against Julian Standen. After 3 years of battling for my rightful ownership, Judge Master Justice Briggs ruled in my favor in Claim# HC07C03181. Settlement for my compensation was agreed out of court.
Unfortunately, my lawyer did not fight for the ongoing share which was in our agreement and I got pressured into a one-off settlement amount. When divided by the 8 years spent, this amounted to less than the minimum wage.
The settlement was made in 3 payments within a Tomlin Order on July 17, 2010, January 5, 2011, and July 5, 2011
The UK system does not allow much in the way of damages or distress caused. Ownership is 9/10s of the law. There is an emphasis on compromise even if you are the party wronged. Hence seizing your partner's share can be an effective tool for negotiation. In effect, it puts the wronged party at an extreme disadvantage as wrongful party holds all the cards. It's an elitist system that favors the more powerful and it's the attitude at the heart of the British class system
This is how the UK legal system works and this is my story.
Margaret Li Chin O'Leary aka Meg Lee Chin