So some of you know I'm into photography. And for the fun of it, I used "weebly" to make myself a little photography website. I like to pretend people look at it and think "Man, I would pay her to do my photos" and they'd call me and I would be super duper professional. But REALLY, that site is mainly for family and friends to look at my photos, and for me to have a safe place to put them that I know the will always be there and I can look at them whenever I want.
TODAY! I get a fun email, and goes as follows:
Dear Lisa marie trent -
We refer to your website hosted at the above-referenced URL ( lmtphotography.weebly.com ) Your Website incorporates certain items which are either copyrighted to, or form part of registered trade marks held by, LMTphotography. Specifically, you have used the name lmtphotogrpahy copyright in 2008 over images and on your website" in conjunction with Titles lmtphotography, the "Offending Material"). The Offending Material clearly can be mistaken for content from our website hosted at the URL, www.lmtphotogrpahy.co.uk
-We hereby demand that: you immediately cease all use of the Offending Material whether as part of your Website or otherwise; this includes the lmtphotography contained in the webaddress.
-You will not at any time in the future promote or conduct your business or provide any goods or services by reference to any name, image or trade mark which is proprietary to lmtphotography, including the Offending Material.
We would like to deal with this matter amicably. Accordingly, please confirm your agreement to the above undertakings by return email within seven days. Assuming that we receive confirmation from you to the above undertakings before Thursday 15 January 2009 and you fully comply with the undertakings then we will treat this matter as closed.
If, however, you fail to provide your full cooperation as requested then we will instruct our IP legal counsel in the United Kingdom, to take such action against you as may be necessary in order to protect our intellectual property rights. We trust, however, that we will not need to take further steps to enforce our rights and we therefore look forward to hearing from you by Thursday 15 January 2009.-
- After reading your site closely we can clearly see you have set up the site to improve and showcase your photography skills , your work is pretty good and we wish you all the look in the future but sadly your site name and branding bears to much resemblance to our own ( currently our site is going through a major over haul and your site hasn't affected any enquires to our business)
Lee ThomasLMT Photography / Media / Design / www.lmtphotography.co.uk
My favorite part is the backhanded compliment, saying my work is "pretty" good. Telling anyone that anything is "pretty good" is a certifiably dubious gesture.
In quick response I wrote the gentleman back, telling him that my site is mainly for family and friends, and that I am not a professional, and if you are going to suck all the fun out of it, and be a the jerk across the pond that made me cancel the website that I put alot of work into JUST because they think that someone in the UK will see me as a photographer before they see you, and FLY me over there to do their wedding, then ok.
Be the jerk.
But in further investigation I realized that yes, it's true, I don't have legal rights to use the copyright towards a name I have not registered as a business entity. So I went to my weebly site and changed all copyrights to "Lisa Marie Trent" (because I do have legal documentation proving that is my name.) However, the website it justified because I registered it with weebly.com and if it wasn't available, because Mr. LMT Photography DOT CO DOT UK found it before me, in fear of someone using the name, then that would have made perfect send. But I entered "lmtphotography" into the blank and it WAS available.
Not to mention, that it is a SUB domain, I didn't go out paying for it and making sure it was the first site that would pop up if someone googled "LMT Photography". So my feelings are that this man has no legal boundries to "demand" of me and that my site will stay alive.
So I sent him this:
Re: Legal Action Taken By Mysterious British Dude
I agree to take all "Copyrighted to LMT Photography" ........."offenses".....as you call them... and I will no longer claim LMT Photography as my name basis, UNTIL, here in the land of the free, I get a business entity. But as for the website, I will NOT change the web address, because doing so will ERASE all photos and ALL work I have done and it took ALOT of time, and energy to get those photos up.
Now, I entered www.lmtphotography.weebly.com into the weebly browser and they said the SUBDOMAIN was available. So take your problems up with weebly. But as it is a subdomain, and I am not paying for it as my personal domain, I don't need to do anything you hereby demand.
Good luck. ~Lisa Marie Trent
So for now, my site is alive and well. Please visit it, to help make this effort worth the fight. Thank you to all who do. And please, go visit Lee's site, because you might like his photography more than mine, and YOU may want to fly LMT Photography British Style over here to do your next Christmas Card.
(Later, I received another.)
Hello lisa I see that you have changed the copy right notice on your website. thank you but we are asking you to remove every title and reference to LMT photography this includes the main page title and all other title and reference to the the above. There are 2 ways we can solve this , you can act as requested - but you may keep using the webaddress lmtphotography.weebly.comor we can as you put it take the matter up with weebly , who I may point out hold your self liable and will just remove your account and all contentplease find below the following for reference.
Thank you for your compliance.also my client would like to point out they do not do weddings and they are not "douchebags" also know as deformation of character please think wisely before you respond to this email as I would hate to have to write another email regarding a whole different matter.
I did say douche bag. Sorry.
And for the big finale:
Hello Lisa Thank you for your email - I take it you do not believe in copy right law then, all we are asking is you replace the words lmtphotgraphy this is all, think of it this way we have paid money for lmtphotography and if you had paid for something you wouldnt like other people using it.Also in reference to you blog please can you remove my contact details from your post I found it quite an enjoyable read.
See. My blog is known worldwide.