Hey The North Face! When You Said Sending Us A Bogus Trademark Threat Was A Mistake, We Believed You; So Why Did You Do It Again?
from the i-feel-like-i'm-writing-to-you-too-much dept
Hey The North Face! Hi, how are you? We keep meeting like this and I really wish it would stop. As you may recall, last month, the “brand protection” company that you hired, Yellow Brand Protection, currently owned by Corsearch, sent us a completely bogus legal threat claiming that our news story from nine years earlier — about someone you threatened for creating a parody image of a patch (not an actual patch and not for sale) saying “Hey Fuck Face” — was somehow infringing.
I realize this can get confusing, so let me spell that out for you again more clearly. Nine years ago, someone Photoshopped a fake patch parodying The North Face logo, with one that said “Hey Fuck Face.” They posted it to Flickr. You guys lost your shit and filed a bogus takedown notice on this obvious parody that was not being used in commerce in anyway. But, much worse, nine years later, you had your “brand protection” company send us — a news organization — an even more bogus takedown for our reporting on it.
That story got a bit of attention, and you had an executive reach out to me and admit that this “is obviously such a ridiculous mistake” and that you were “trying to figure out what happened.” You also said you were “digging into it” and thought maybe someone had just “hit the wrong button.” Your exec was very nice about it and apologized for the inconvenience and said that you’d use this as a learning experience to “course correct.”
I appreciated that.
So… what I don’t appreciate is that after all of that, Yellow Brand Protection/Corsearch apparently decided to escalate this matter a month after all of this went down. I assumed that after you realized how “ridiculous” this was and moved to “course correct” that at some point you informed Yellow Brand Protection to knock it off. Either you did not, or you don’t yet realize just how much money you’re wasting with them. Because on December 17th (again, a month after I thought this was all sorted out) Corsearch’s “Vice President of Enforcement,” Joseph Cherayath (who used to do internet enforcement for the City of London police, infamous for their completely confused and incorrect approach to intellectual property enforcement) upgraded the threat, sending a takedown demand not to us — but to our CDN provider, Cloudflare.
This now gets slightly more serious, because Cloudflare passes it on to our hosting company, who then demands that we do something about this potential legal threat, so rather than before where we could just ignore it, we need to go and explain to our hosting company why they shouldn’t kick us off or go talk to their lawyers on how to deal with this. And at the same time, we have to go reach out to Cloudflare to make sure they know that we’re not — as Joseph Cherayath falsely claimed in his letter to Cloudflare — “infringing on my client’s IP rights by misusing the ‘The North Face’ trademark to sell counterfeit products.”
So, now you’re not just wasting a little of my time, you’re wasting a lot of it, along with two other companies, and putting me in a position where my site is at risk.
So… yeah, forgive me for asking why do you still employ Corsearch for anything? And next time you’re looking to use this as a learning experience and to course correct, could you do it without risking my entire site being taken offline? Please?