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Please help cease and desist notice

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by eviltazz, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. eviltazz

    eviltazz Newbie

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    I just received a cease and desist notice asking me to immediately transfer my domain name to the sender and refrain from posting their copyrighted material (I was unaware that anything I posted was copyrighted).

    I registed the domain topsecret-recipes.info after a purchased an e-book with full reprint rights of cloned recipes which I was posting as blog posts. I just received a bullying telephone call and a cease and desist notice from top secret recipes . com who said I was infringing their trademark (I didnt even know their site existed) and publishing their copyrighted material.

    I have removed the recipes from my site and asked them for proof that they do own the copyright. These recipes are published on many internet sites.

    However they also want me to transfer the domain name to them immediately and this is where I have the problem.

    In my opinion topsecret and recipes and common English words - my site is a blog it bears no resemblence to theirs. To be honest I am not bothered about the domain but it is the principle of the matter - I feel like they are bullying me - the big corporation against the little guy so's to speak.

    The site isnt even indexed in google - I wondered why it was never listed now I know they must have contacted google.

    What would you do - would you say f**k you come sue me (Im in the UK) or would you roll over and give them the domain. There was never any malicious intent to trade off their trademark _ I had never even heard of them until today!!!
     
  2. aaron_nimocks

    aaron_nimocks Newbie

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    You need to research if they have the term trademarked first.

    I received one for orprahwinfrey.net and I transferred immediately. Don't want to mess with Oprah. :)

    If they dont have it trademarked then they cant do shit about it. But if they do, they can legally take you to court and get your domain.
     
  3. breakfree

    breakfree Registered Member

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    What's their company name? If it's sounds like your domain, that may be a problem, since you're in the same niche.

    And where are they based? If not in the UK, just avoid publishing their content, and I don't think it would be worth coming after you.

    Are you profiting from their content, and how much? That's another interesting thing to know.
     
  4. eviltazz

    eviltazz Newbie

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    Thanks for your replies - no Im not profiting from the recipes in any way - there is adsense on the site but the site gets so little traffic there is no money there anyway - I was going to work on developing it but with all the other stuff I never got round to it.

    My domain it topsecret-recipes.info theirs is topsecretrecipes . com
     
  5. atlascopy

    atlascopy Junior Member

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    I originally owned the domain yanni dot com. Well you can imagine that was short lived. I have a legal binder 3 inches thick from that. Be careful.
     
  6. JesusChristSr

    JesusChristSr Regular Member

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    Usually if somebody goes through the hassle and expense of having an attorney file a C & D order it means they are pretty serious. But as far as I know domain names don't directly infringe on trade marks. If it's trade marked then that's a different story. But if your not really making money with it I would just let it go.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  7. RandomName

    RandomName Junior Member

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    I think the fact that you're site is also promoting something that's in the same subject area as the other guys then - depending on what protection they have put in place, you could get accused of what's known as "passing off" in the UK (basically relying on someone elses trade name to imply that you are affiliated with that company if I understand it correctly) so unless you can prove that you're trading in different arena's then I think it's easier for you to just ditch and move on.

    BTW - didn't want to do it but thought I should, picking up on a couple of your comments:

    1) Adsense is considered to be an earning mechanism so yes, you are profiting from it - just not very well

    2) You didn't know of the existence of the .com version of your site name? Really? So you didn't check whether you could grab that one before you knabbed your .info one? Not 100% sure I swallow that tbh, but you know what you know, I can only guess based on what you posted (as your second post here ever) so whatever

    RN
     
  8. uk_soer

    uk_soer Newbie

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    glad i live in the uk :)
     
  9. eviltazz

    eviltazz Newbie

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    Thanks again guys for weighing in on this. They have contacted me again - more nicely this time after I threatened to sue for harassment and I have offered to transfer the domain name on the basis that if I do they can take no further action. It then leaves it open for me to pursue it in the future if I want :p

    Actually i didnt even check the dot.com version - maybe Im a dumbass but i was just buying a bunch of cheap infos at the time - I was only really interested in those. This is a complete departure for me anyway I make my money in the gaming affiliate industry, but i thought i would dip my toe in something else and nearly lost my foot :D
     
  10. Rhianni32

    Rhianni32 Junior Member

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    Thats all you really have to read in this to tell its BS. Not your problem beig BS but the C&D order. They can request you to take content down but to give them your domain that you legally purchased and owned? They can't do that unless maybe the URL is a specific person's name or brand name but even then I would assume they would have to pay you what you paid to register it at least.

    But its for topsecret-recipes.info for crying out loud. The only thing I would worry about is did the ebook that said you have reprint rights to the recipe have the rights in the first place to transfer to you?
    Cause if they just copied them from this guy and sold them to you then he has legit concerns.

    I'm not sure if you cook much but cloned recipes are EVERYWHERE. You can't copyright a recipe because its a process of doing something. Just change the salt from like 1 tsp to 3/4 tsp. increase the basil by another tsp or something lol.
     
  11. ForeverNever

    ForeverNever Power Member

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    Yeah they should definitely not be asking you to transfer your domain to them. If you received the C&D though it's probably in your best interest to take down the domain.

    Then you can beat the hell out of him verbally while he tells you you have to give him the domain (you don't).
     
  12. Rhianni32

    Rhianni32 Junior Member

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    One more thing....
    search free online document sitse like docstoc.com to see if this guy just copied a generic C&D order as an easy scare.

    On the other hand If it came from an attorney's office, google to see if its real. If it is then this guy is ready to spend some money and you'll have to decide if its worth it.
     
  13. bushroad

    bushroad Newbie

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    It's bullshit. Get a free consultation from a couple lawyers to get varying opinions. What is funny is that they list recipes that are used by restaurants....whose calling the kettle black?

    Here is their "trademark":

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4007%3Ac89dko.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=Top+Secret+Recipes&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Query

    Know your rights.
    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4007%3Ac89dko.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=Top+Secret+Recipes&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Query
     
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  14. g-Vector

    g-Vector Regular Member

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    If you manage to let it drag on for a bit. Before handing over the domain, get privacy on it, knock up a site with lots of sick/illegal content, or do a 301 re-direct to sick/illegal content, and then start building lots of backlinks to the domain from similar sick sites and regular sites like wordpress.com, blogger.com, etc.
    Just make sure the domain is useless to them, and harms their name. Then hand over the domain to them.
     
  15. topsytips

    topsytips Regular Member

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    Yeah, BushRoad has got a point there!! ;) This is from the Trademark Info.

    They do have ® after the Top Secret Recipes but is it the logo/mark that they've registered??!!
     
  16. boffmaster

    boffmaster Junior Member

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    Tell them you are trying to transfer it and act very confused like a newb. Have them go over the instructions over and over. Tell them that you'll need to get some help and put your grandma on the phone with them. You could get a lot of entertainment out of this. Maybe get your wife on the phone and have her explain that you have Alzheimers and your not having a "good" day and maybe tomorrow you'll remember who you are again. hehe.
     
  17. Griffin

    Griffin Regular Member

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    This is an old scam. Tell them to fuck off or provide proof of infringement.
     
  18. streetjammer

    streetjammer BANNED BANNED

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    Ask them to show copyright info and proof of infringement.
    and Consult a lawyer !
     
  19. dizz

    dizz Elite Member

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    that's a great idea if you made money from the site but otherwise take their content down and tell them it is done do not give them the name without compensation. it was their mistake that they did not buy the name and all related to it so why should lose money for their mistake.


     
  20. g-Vector

    g-Vector Regular Member

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    Too funny. :p