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Fake or Real? Domain Infringement Letter

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Georges, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Georges

    Georges BANNED BANNED

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    Legal Administrator administrator-157@legal-notification.com

    January 5, 2012

    Dear Administrative Contact:

    I am contacting you on behalf of Macy's, Inc. its subsidiaries and operating divisions including Macy's department stores (herein referred to as "Macy's".) We manage the Internet monitoring function for Macy's brand identity issues on the Internet.

    The following website: (my website url) uses our client's intellectual property in the domain name and site content. As owner, Macy's has the exclusive right to reproduce and use its trademarks and authorize such reproduction and use. They do not recognize your use of their intellectual property as authorized vendor and your use of their trademark is a violation of their rights.

    As such, Macy's requests that you remove all use of the infringing materials from this and any other sites owned or operated by you, and provide written confirmation within seven (7) days of the date of this letter.

    Please address these issues immediately. Should you have any questions feel free to contact me at the information provided below.

    Thank you for helping us protect the Brand. If you are authorized to use the Brand and believe you have received this in error, please provide the name and number of your contact within the company in order to verify your use and close the matter.

    Sincerely,


    Legal Notification

    -----------------

    is this legit? or a scare tactic? i just registered the domain a week ago and have not set up the website at all - so theres nothing on the website AT ALL cept the hostgator default landing page.
     
  2. ppcmaster

    ppcmaster Supreme Member

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    Ask him for a contact number. I am pretty sure he will refrain from sharing one with you if he is not legit ;)
     
  3. Virus1

    Virus1 Supreme Member

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    does your domain have a copyright infringement on it.


    on another note...
    I would think that they would sign it off with the firms name.

    and the writing is kind of crappy for a law firm.
    They try to make it "official" sounding but it did not convince me.
     
  4. Gold Mike

    Gold Mike Registered Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it until you get cease & desist letter in the mail at the address that matches the registrant info.
     
  5. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    I believe that those are possibly automated emails sent by the parent company http://www.brandprotect.com/ which uses automated spidering to find potential brand / copyright infringements.

    I'm not sure whether to take it seriously or not. I'd wait to see what happens.
     
  6. Zelthcon

    Zelthcon Junior Member

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    I have seen such issues discussed before, I recommend going on google and typing in paypal sucks or going to the paypal sucks website, there is awesome information provided there.

    Hope it helps.
     
  7. oscarmike

    oscarmike Regular Member

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    I cannot comment whether or not it is legit or just automated as per our brother's responses above, but a similar thing happened in the philippines where a largebrand.com sued largebrand.ph because they claimed and believed that because they had trademarked largebrand.com, they have the ultimate exclusive right to use the "largebrand" in domains. However after a few years in legal struggle, largebrand.ph won over the case simply because the name of the "largebrand" is actually a common word, and the court ruled out that nobody can trademark (or gain ownership of) common words. I had a chance of working with the lawyer of largebrand.ph, a pretty slick trademark/IP lawyer imho.
     
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  8. Sacrilege

    Sacrilege Regular Member

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    Letter is real. It's basically a company that large brands hire to defend their brand online. Sometimes you can get hit with a letter just for linking to their site - which i'm pretty sure they can't do anything about - they are on the internet for crying out loud. Millions of sites, including search engines will link to them.

    You can write back and ask what they are complaining about. If you've got macys in your domain, make sure you're somehow covered under fair use or they're going to UDRP it. If it's a parked page, it's possible that the parked page has a link to a macy's property, in which case there is really nothing you can do about it.
     
  9. mikkosoporno

    mikkosoporno Registered Member

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    I'd say it is just bulls#it, ask for phone number and if they aren't giving a legit one, just move on.
     
  10. szhang

    szhang Junior Member

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    i call bulls**t. If you have no content, how could they possibly cry about domain infringement? Unless you clearly use their trademarked name in a slanderous manner. I would shoot your phone number to them and request they give you a call to confirm the validity of the letter.
     
  11. CoyoteAssassin

    CoyoteAssassin Elite Member

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    As one mentioned before, I'm willing to bet that you registered a domain name that has been parked and has content on it linking it to Macy's or another store.

    Back with .co's first came out, I bought a bunch of LargeName.co and later found myself fighting off attorneys. I did not receive a single letter as nice as yours. Most of mine threatened legal action and cited cases. I was lucky enough to end up selling the domain to the LargeName company for the price I paid.

    Lesson learned. If someone complains, find out if it is legit and if so, comply and move on.

    PS - Not all companies had an issue. I still have some .co's that are simple redirects to the main .com (via affiliate link) that generate $20-$60/month. I pay the $20 year for renewal and all is good.
     
  12. graphox

    graphox Regular Member

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    Reply to them very formally and ask for a follow-up call. If they don't do it then it's fake. Official firms would have no problem calling you.

    If it is real though... I suggest you find a new niche now before you start spending tons of effort on it and then it gets shut down.
     
  13. BigBrown

    BigBrown Registered Member

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    Any update on this OP?

    I know someone who got the same email and was asking me for advice.
     
  14. blackieman

    blackieman Power Member

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    No phone numbers?

    Email coming from hotmail or a legit legal firm's domain (you can easily check)

    If none of the above, and you respond and they don't answer properly, then BS

    But if you have Macys in the domain name, hm....
     
  15. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    It's fake I'm sure.
    On another note, I got a similar letter from an actual law firm.
    I renewed their expired domain. They changed company names so they let it expire.
    It was a PR3. They sent me an email, wanted it taken down and transfered to them.
    I took down the front page, so I could keep the PR3 inner pages up lol. Then they sent an email about it not being down and I had a week to reply or they would take appropriate action. Well I got lazy and never replied, and left the site up.
    However, I then re-read the law they were quoting and it talked about using the trademark to confuse people and profit off it. But I was only using the site in my blog network, so technically I wasn't breaking any law. I sent them an email, and they never replied. But what I made sure I did, was I didn't reply to the email that said "reply within 7 days", I created a new email. Why? Because if they actually take action on this, I simply say I never got that email. The truth is most of these emails are useless. You can simply say you never got the email. When you actually get a physical letter in the mail, then you better take it serious. So as of right now I'm waiting to see if they actually send a letter. And of course that letter will require a signature, as again will be no proof of acceptance.
     
  16. BlackHatCams

    BlackHatCams Junior Member

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    More importantly, how could a letter like this be legally twisted and used to prospect and get website clients? Think about it, any business owner that gets a phone call and letter like this will be alerted and then you can get past the gate keeper and make the sale!

    Could someone revise this letter so it could be used in a way to get a prospects attention without crossing the line? I mean it is "official sounding".


     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  17. ibmblackedition

    ibmblackedition Newbie

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    Georges,

    Legit or not DON'T answer it at all - Legally, if you answer you admit that you saw that notification and you don't want that. You should always hide under the "I didn't knew" statement until you receive a real letter and the postman asks you to sign for it. This is the law in my country and I'm pretty sure it's the same in yours.