Can of Worms…

This is getting good! I told you to stay tuned. Matt at Blog Media believes he is going to be able to bully me to take down MY OPINION about Cowboy and how unoriginal and quite possibly “theft” of an idea and look for the design of their webpage.

Mr. Marquart:

You’ve posted material on jaob.wordpress.com in regards to our corporations’ actions accusing us of design theft and other patently untrue material.

I am asking that you remove this material immediately and post a retraction or we will turn this matter over to our corporation’s counsel for action.

I do not take issue with you expressing your opinions about us, our sites, our employees, or our contractors – I do take issue with public statements that are harmful to our corporation that are patently untrue. In addition, you are referencing our trademarked corporate name in a manner that violates federal law.

I appreciate you taking care of this issue before it becomes something more serious.

Sincerely,
Matt Craven
VP, Online Services
BlogMedia, Inc.

So…What do I do? Nothing!
My blog is named just another opinion blog. I never said I had proof, and I do not know that what I am saying is a false statement. I made an observation and asked that it should be investigated. So, this could and should have been easily shrugged off.
Although I am confident I have nothing to worry about I am glad I am a contributing member of the EFF, because I will email them a transcript of what I said just to cover all my basis. I am sure Matt read the guidelines of libel before emailing me, but if he hadn’t here is a link. I wonder if Blog Media also thought of the “can of worms” they are opening. My reason for the post was because they have pointed out the same of others. I was just pointing the finger back at them.
Just within the hour!
Mr. Marquart,Your use of the trademarked term “BlogMedia” to disparage our corporation is a violation of federal trademark law. Your accusations of design theft are libelous under both state and federal law. The rest of your post is indeed opinion and we have no concerns with those whatsoever.We’ll turn this matter over to corporate counsel in the morning – you can deal with our attorney.Matt
I would advise Matt not to turn this into his attorney, he will be wasting money. From the TWO things I have read, I have not violated any of his companies rights of trademark. Matt, you also have to have Blog Media trademarked to sue for me breaching that trademark. I also have not claimed or tried to say I was Blog Media. Hey it is your dollar!
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19 responses to this post.

  1. […] If you post comments or posts with the name “Bob Anderson” for example, you may have trouble keeping track of things and with so many blog networks around plastering each other, you may never know if someone said something nasty! […]

    Reply

  2. Posted by Brian on January 15, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    LOL… looks like someone wants to wring out all the money they can from their $100 pre-paid legal subsrcription.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Marc on January 15, 2006 at 11:38 pm

    jaob I should think you would be more worried about the threatened lawsuit than your commenting difficulties. Your use the b5Media without the TM symbol is in fact a violation. Having said that, without the imflamitory nature of your post there would not be a problem. As it is, and under the law, they in fact can go to court over it. And win.

    e.webscapes has been in the web design business for a very long time, they do not steal designs no matter what you may believe.

    A word of advice, your “getting beat up” for making false charges not stating an opinion.

    Opinion: What do you think of So and So Blogs design? “Well it’s nice but nearly the same as the Blogopolis Blog.”

    Slander and or making a false charge: What do you think of So and So Blogs design?

    “Well I think it was stolen from…. blah, blah , blah.

    If you fail to see the difference you’ll need a lawyer shortly.

    BTW jaob:

    If Jeremy Wright who is one of the three driving forces behind B5Media, and the site you claim was “stolen from,” is quoted as saying this:

    Well, I don’t see the theft. Sure, same 3 columns, but it’s not like we invented that. I won’t touch the rest of the post, but just wanted you to know that we didn’t see the copying of it when the design launched, and we don’t see it now.

    Where does that place your accusation on a truth scale of 1 to 10?

    Reply

  4. WoW, you really thought about that one. Look, read the post. I do not claim that e.webscapes stole the design. I never said that BlogMedia ever stole the design. I did call out similiarities. What people don’t do that? I am going to need a lawyer? For what? I said their name?

    If you want to compare b5media opinions, go read the Blog Herald review.

    Reply

  5. “Your use the b5Media without the TM symbol is in fact a violation.”

    Err, no, it’s quite clearly not. Go read any computing book and you’ll see that they make dozens of references to Microsoft, Google etc. without putting a TM symbol after each one. You can’t sue someone under trademark law for referring to your company by its name.

    jaob: I wouldn’t worry too much about this, I’ve had companies try and knock me around before over a slightly different issue (domain name dispute) and they tend to back down if you don’t. Reply to their emails saying that you won’t act on anything unless it’s put in writing so that you can present it to your lawyers (or attorneys or whatever you US guys call them). They’ll either stop at that point or if they start sending you letters just reply with several pages of legal rambling and eventually they’ll decide it’s not worth the cost of pursuing the case.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Marc on January 16, 2006 at 5:06 am

    Err, no, it’s quite clearly not. Go read any computing book and you’ll see that they make dozens of references to Microsoft, Google etc. without putting a TM symbol after each one.

    Paul are you stupid or just playing the part.

    Since when are “computer books” the authority on Patents and trademark policy? To use your terminology… Err, no.

    As I noted in my previous post any and ALL refs to a trademarked name requires the TM symbol. Does that mean everyone will get a call from a lawyer? NO

    But in light of the nature of the post in question and the childish way it was written open the author to the possibility. In short when engaged in a p*ss*ing contest, you may get p*ssed on.

    Paul, educate yourself, and stop pulling stuff out of your a**.

    BTW two other points jaob, you stated in your “apology” you have been a web designer for a while, care to point to a couple examples? Surely they are online right?

    And this is a direct cut and paste quote from your post.

    Blogmedia and Erati are looking for writers interested in writing for a “city centric” blog. Hmmm, slam Gothamist then steal Another obvious ripp-off, a writer for Battle Star Gallatica. Original, b5media, just happens to be the one who cultivated the tv cult blogs. AGAIN, slam, slam, slam, b5media then steal.

    If the two sections in boldface aren’t a direct statement accusing someone of stealing your delusional.

    Reply

  7. b5media isn’t a registered trademark, though it is an industry mark.

    Reply

  8. Yeah…Adam stepped in it no matter how you look at it. It’s interesting to see how a new blogger hits the pavement. Some do it well, some…well..not so well.

    Reply

  9. Marc doesn’t just ride motorcycles people.

    Reply

  10. […] Adam states that he will do “Nothing!” because his accusations are actually just an opinion. Like his blog says – Just Another Opinion Blog. Adam is clearly not a lawyer. […]

    Reply

  11. “As I noted in my previous post any and ALL refs to a trademarked name requires the TM symbol.”

    No, they don’t. If you’re referring to a company you don’t have to slap the TM symbol after it every time. I used computer books as an example that I hoped you’d be familiar with, not as the definitive case. If any business took a media outlet (or anyone else for that matter) to court for referring to them by their name without including the TM symbol any judge would throw the case out and tell them to stop wasting the court’s time.

    Trademark law exists to stop businesses and individuals misleading consumers by pretending to be associated with a name that they’ve built up good will around. It’s not for filing suits against people because they refer to your business without putting two little characters after it.

    By the way, if you’d bothered to read the site you referred me to, or even just searched the article, you’d find a “fair use” clauses which cover news reporting and commentary, amonst other things. But then I wouldn’t expect someone who feels it necessary to respond with vulgar language when they see something that they disagree with to be able to comprehend anything as complex as trademark law.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Marc on January 16, 2006 at 3:00 pm

    joab:

    “Marc doesn’t just ride motorcycles people.”

    How cute… he doesn’t save all his invective for those he accuses of stealing designs.

    But I note you didn’t question the fact, and as quoted from your post, you did specifically call b5Media thieves which is exactly what got you in trouble to start with.

    Keep looking at the linked article Paul, you’ll find the ref that applies and it has zero to do with Fair Use.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Marc on January 16, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    TW Paul I almost forgot. Nice job of cutting my quote short so you could go off on your rant, the entire quote is:“As I noted in my previous post any and ALL refs to a trademarked name requires the TM symbol. Does that mean everyone will get a call from a lawyer? NO.The highlighted section is obviously the part omitted.

    And joaf where is that link to examples of your “design work?” It’s rather odd, most web designers enjoy showing off their work as a way to promote themselves.

    Reply

  14. I designed houses not websites.

    Reply

  15. Posted by Eddie on March 30, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Great looking site so far!! I’m just starting to look around it but I love the title page! Please visit my homepage too:

    Reply

  16. Posted by Clyde on March 30, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Hi! Your site is very nice! Would you please also visit my homepage?

    Reply

  17. Posted by Steve on March 30, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Cool design, great info! Would you please also visit my site?

    Reply

  18. Posted by Merideth on March 30, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I am very impressed how you can build webpages! Please visit my homepage too:

    Reply

  19. Posted by Rose on March 30, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Nice webpage, lovely, cool design. Would you please also visit my homepage?

    Reply

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