Is It Against The Law To Put The Name Of The Toronto Airport On The Web?

from the ah,-legal-challenges dept

Sometimes you have to wonder about folks who are very quick to dash off legal threats to websites that happen to mention their name. The site is a (surprisingly) popular website posting pictures of urinals from around the world. They were recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal and on BBC radio among others. The site has hundreds of fans who regularly submit pictures of urinals they take from locations all over the world. Basically, it’s the sort of bizarre, but amusing, site that makes the internet fun. Not everyone seems to get the fun part, though. Someone from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (the GTAA) happened to find a page on the site that includes two completely normal photos of urinals from the Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport, and decided that this must be illegal. They’ve sent an email threatening legal action against the site if they did not remove the name of the airport from the site. The site’s owners complied, but were clear to mention that the GTAA had muted them. In response, the GTAA has also told them they cannot even mention the GTAA. Again, the site has complied in very amusing fashion. The description of the airport now reads: “The [facility in question] – covering 1,792 hectares (4,430 acres) – has been [Canada’s largest city’s] main international [aircraft take-off and landing facility] since 1939 when it was first known as Malton [facility].” They also note that the “Gee-Tee-Aye-Aye” forbids them from naming the actual airport. It makes you wonder, on what legal authority the GTAA is claiming you cannot name their organization or their airports. It’s not likely that anyone is going to be confused into believing that is the official website of the Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport. These days, people seem very quick to pull out legal threats any time anyone so much as mentions their name on a website.

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Comments on “Is It Against The Law To Put The Name Of The Toronto Airport On The Web?”

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aNonMooseCowherd says:

Re: Yes, but that information could be used by ter

Couldn’t the photographs of the washrooms be used in planning terrorist activities? I think the GTAA had every right to demand the name be removed.

I think you got this slightly wrong. They’re obviously afraid that posting the name of the city will make terrorists aware of its existence, thereby making it a target. They were probably hoping to keep off the beaten path, like Brigadoon.

Bruce Martin says:

Re: Re: Yes, but that information could be used by ter

That’s the clever bit: Toronto Person International Airport is actually located in the bordering suburb of Mississauga, thereby throwing terrorists off the trail!

Besides, anyone who has actually tried to travel to this airport knows it’s practically imppossible to get there…

Bruce Martin says:

An open letter to the GTAA/TPIA

Dear Sirs;

I am appalled by your stunning lack of judgement, as evidenced in your scandalous and patently misleading letter to Your ill-considered actions reflect poorly on all of Toronto.

Therefore, being a resident of Toronto, and by the same authority as you claim, I declare it illegal for you to include the name “Toronto” in either “Greater Toronto Airport Authority” or in “Toronto Pearson International Airport”.

I appreciate your cooperation. I will check back in a week to ensure that this information has been removed from your website. If at that time it has not, you will have demonstrated your belated understanding that your claims in this matter are baseless and specious.

Thank you, and have a good day.

Beck says:

Internet Publicity

Once again someone has made a situation much worse by calling attention to it, thereby causing it to be spread all over the Internet. Better to let sleeping dogs lie.

Maybe a handful of people saw the photos on, but now that the folks in Toronto have made a stink about it the photos have been publicized all over the Net.

Now thousands of people have come to associate “Toronto” with urinals.

Hans says:

No Subject Given

I am living now 6 years in Canada. There is more restrictions and less humor than everywhere in european countries. And Toronto-Aiport is the most uggly airport I have ever seen. The architect should be “killed” or work in the fast-food-area by McDonald. The walkways are endless, the customs are unpolite – at least not much difference to Moscow-Airport. And the authorities are completly humorless. Not a good entrance in this coutry. Yes, – perhaps when you are from Ruanda or Somalia it might be better. The urinals in the restrooms have been the only peaceful places on this airport. So the conclusion is that Toronto-Airport is a provicial-airport – to boring for a soft-target for terrorists.
Sorry my english is not perfect.

[The Very Rev.] Tony Begonja (user link) says:

Is It Against The Law To Put The Name Of The Toron

Hi there, saw the article
that talked about the bogus legal threat made by the GTAA against the U.S.-based bathroom-fixture web site.

I was actually sued by someone last year for mentioning the name of his corporation
on my web site. The EFF helped me obtain a lawyer. Go to
to read about it.

In particular, I recommend reading page 20 of the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation
which basically states one can freely criticize a corporation by name, trademarks and
servicemarks nothwithstanding. [I’m not a lawyer, your mileage may vary.]

Thought my comments might help the cause of free speech on the web.

[Fr.] Tony

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