Having spoken to Cynthia Typaldos and several people who have done business with Kachingle, I disagree with the Times’s accusation that Kachingle is misleading people for Typaldos’ own financial gain. True, Kachingle might benefit from the publicity, and if it got more people to sign up by virtue of its implied relationship with the Times, it obviously does stand to gain financially from the transaction fees. But the damages from this lawsuit will surely wipe out any small gains they’ve made.

All that leads me to believe that the Kachingle team simply did not know what it was getting itself into here. I think that their intentions have always been noble, and that they really don’t understand why news sites wouldn’t want to partner with them to start getting money for their content, from the loyal readers eager to contribute. But this “Stop the Paywall” clearly should have been thought through a little more, and Kachingle would definitely have benefited from some legal advice before it launched a site that looked just like a Times blog and led people to believe a partnership was forthcoming.

Kachingle has not yet directly addressed the complaints in the Times’s filing. At the conclusion of the document, Times demands a jury trial and asks to be awarded all the profits Kachingle has received from using their trademarks (which judging by the Leaderboard results will not be a lot of money), plus legal fees (which one can assume will be a ton of money). I’m not a lawyer, but it’s hard for me to see how this little start-up is going to get out of this thing alive.

Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner