Why they picking on the little people?

38 replies
So last week I launched a basic site that provides helpful info for companies. It makes no money, hardly gets any traffic, in fact 99% of the traffic is from referring sites. So today I get an email from someone claiming they are from a company listed on the site and they are asking if the site is making money off their name. Are you serious? Why are they picking on me? I don't even rank on the first page for this company and there are major websites ahead of me that provide the same information with adsense slapped all over the page. My domain is generic, doesn't have the company name in the URL, I even state this site is not affiliated with this company and provide a link back to the companies website, but whatever. Site deleted.

I'm sure I will get flack for this from fellow Warriors.
#people #picking
  • Profile picture of the author enterscope
    Here is a neat article from Harvard's website talking about Copyright infringement, fair use policy and legal defenses:

    Copyright Basics
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5981624].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
      Originally Posted by enterscope View Post

      Here is a neat article from Harvard's website talking about Copyright infringement, fair use policy and legal defenses:

      Copyright Basics
      Thanks, I will just go talk to my lawyer if it goes further than this. But Im just saying, go pick on the people who actually are making money off your name. I guess Im easy pickings. They even mentioned traffic from search engines, I have had zero traffic for this company in search engines. Dont even know how they found the site buried within the millions of other sites found.
      Signature
      No more...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5981639].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    So now your next blog post goes into how the big company is picking on you. Leverage what is presented. When life hands you lemons .. find a friend with vodka.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5981726].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    I'm not quite sure of the specifics, but I'd guess it's because you're an easier target?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5981760].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
      Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

      I'm not quite sure of the specifics, but I'd guess it's because you're an easier target?
      The site basically gives contact info for companies and that's it. Some companies its hard to find contact info for, all I did was put up a website that helps find specific contact info. They are claiming I'm making money off their business name. Do I have adsense on the site? Yes. But Im not claiming to represent the company, just making it easier to get a hold of a company. You cant tell me there arent millions of sites out there that dont do this with ads all over the place. I only had 1 adsense ad. But again, whatever.
      Signature
      No more...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5981890].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    I have 2 recommendations:

    1) In the future, ask for their permission before you put their information on your site.

    2) Take off the information of the company giving you a hard time.

    Don't make it more difficult than it really is!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5982335].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
      Originally Posted by Justin Stowe View Post

      I have 2 recommendations:

      1) In the future, ask for their permission before you put their information on your site.

      2) Take off the information of the company giving you a hard time.

      Don't make it more difficult than it really is!
      You need permission to post contact information for a company on a website? Wow if that is the case there are tons of sites that should be sued. And not "lashing" at your post, I just think its a little much for a company to want permission to post their contact info.
      Signature
      No more...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5982533].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Originally Posted by Justin Stowe View Post


      2) Take off the information of the company giving you a hard time.

      Don't make it more difficult than it really is!
      there is your answer...

      this world is filled with all kinds of weird people. Don't let their BS stop you from being successful. Remove the company's info and move on.

      don't allow yourself to be distracted by pettiness, because that will just slow down your success!
      Signature
      ---------------
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5982582].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    These big name companies get rich by picking on the little guy, it's sad but true. Next time you should ask for permission but I guarantee they won't give it. I'm sorry for your troubles, I know it must be frustrating.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5982352].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    If they are posting this information openly .. scroooo them ... with the power of social media, you can do them more harm than good if they want to play that game.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5982396].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
      Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

      If they are posting this information openly .. scroooo them ... with the power of social media, you can do them more harm than good if they want to play that game.
      Yeah they are posting the information on their website, but its hard to find. Its not on their main navigation, its in a place most people wouldn't normally go to. All I was doing is giving a short cut to find the information. Like I said I even post the link back to their website telling people go here to find this information. Im sure they dont care about this, they see the adsense ad and think I'm making a ton of money off their business name. Just not worth the legal hassle to stick with it.
      Signature
      No more...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5982638].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Now that you deleted them you should write to them and say that you normally charge for the free listing they had.

    Seriously, who cares? I don't think they're picking on you at all. Weird stuff happens all the time online. You didn't do anything wrong so delete their silly link and go on about your business. Don't spend another drop of energy fretting about it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5982714].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Check with your lawyer before trying this.

    Keep the name of the company on your site. Put up a notice in big, black words that you removed the information because they bullied you. Then...include a link directly to that company's own webpage that has the info.



    Granted, there may be a few flaws with this plan, but it should keep all parties happy.

    All the best,
    Michael
    Signature

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5983013].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Palusko
    Some of them just do it to show that their are protecting their brand and trademarks (even if you do not infringe at all).
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5983014].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
      Originally Posted by Palusko View Post

      Some of them just do it to show that their are protecting their brand and trademarks (even if you do not infringe at all).
      You make a good point - There are actually instances where if a company doesn't come after people for trademark infringement, they can loose that trademark - it establishes a precedent that your company "doesn't enforce" it's trademark rights, therefore they can't arbitrarily decide to start enforcing them, just because they find an offender that they're particularly offended over (did that make sense?).

      It's legal stuff - mortals like us aren't supposed to understand it :rolleyes:
      Signature

      I just added this sig so I can refer to it in my posts...

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984597].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author cashtree
    Everyone I list on my site I contact first, or they contact me, either way it works because they're getting free advertisement on a pretty well known site, which equals sales a lot of times, and I'm getting quality content/deals to bring in traffic. I don't make much on it and it's not really worth my time, but i'm a fan of the niche and maybe one day i'll make decent money at it. That being said I did have a provider get smart with me, a Canada guy who was upset he didn't get any sales on my site and felt the need to talk down, etc...I pulled his ad immediately, and truth be told the reason he got no sales was because his offer sucked. So my point is you get all types, some who recognize the benefits of free advertisement and some who don't, but I recommend you start an open dialog with them ahead of time.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5983056].message }}
  • If you mention anyone in any way they can pick on you it's not fair but it's true. it's happened to me to so I try not to use anyone's content, images, songs or talk in any way shape or form. I also got picked on for answering a question (without laying) about someone, so now I just don't tell anything about others. I just do my thing talk about my thing. So far I'm allowed to do that. I know it's not fair (or American).
    Signature
    soon people... Relax...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984086].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
    I appreciate everyones feedback, to be honest I was expecting to be chastised over this. I will take the advice given, thank you!
    Signature
    No more...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984386].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Devin X
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Sillysoft View Post

      I appreciate everyones feedback, to be honest I was expecting to be chastised over this. I will take the advice given, thank you!
      We all make mistakes, you live and learn. Getting an ass rippin' from other warriors would be counter-productive. Only those with an ego trip would chastise you.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984539].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Devin X
    Banned
    I like the idea of sticking it to them and causing waves, but I'd consult a lawyer first...the last thing you want is serious legal ramifications for trying to run up against the big boys. They got there by running over enough people, and prolly won't hesitate to make another example out of a "little guy".

    If you can, I'd make waves using social media, that **** has the power to really stick it to them, but again, be careful. Libel lawsuits are no joke.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984527].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
    So, how exactly would this play into those "directory" sites that are all over the place?

    A link is a link, right? I'd be happy to see a link to my site on directories, sites, etc.

    I agree with Travelin Guy, delete it and move on.
    Signature
    Learn Website Tips, How to Do Keyword Research, & How to Write Killer Content.
    Stop Wasting Time.
    Start Living Your Dream.
    Click Here NOW to Get Your Hands on
    One of the Most Valuable Ebooks Ever!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984634].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
      Originally Posted by Lori Kelly View Post

      So, how exactly would this play into those "directory" sites that are all over the place?
      That was my issue/point. I know a website owner that lists contact information for companies that shows how to navigate the phone tree to get to a support person as fast as possible. They make over 5k a month in adsense revenue just from this site. I looked up the company that was giving me crap on this other site and they are listed on this site as well. And as we all know there are tons of information sites out there with other business contact information. So that is why I was up in arms earlier when I said, why are they picking on me? Go after the big dogs that make a ton of money instead of someone who just started a site a week ago that doesnt even rank well, yet

      But Im over it, just hope they dont go any further than the emails sent today. Just dont want to deal with legal crap over some little site.
      Signature
      No more...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984885].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author makingiants
    One of the unfortunate risks of the IM game.
    as charles Barkley would say: "Turr-bull, turr-bull"

    Vince aka makingiants
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984736].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    A lot of confusion about this issue, from what I see.

    Check with a business lawyer for the greatest clarity, and take all of us forum posters only half-seriously, as people will say things on a forum and have no idea what they are talking about. People just give their opinions.

    So, with that preface...No, I don't think it's trademark or copyright infringement at all to simply give the contact information of another company on your website. Companies that don't want anyone else mentioning them on their websites and think you could somehow be "making money off of their name" are severely misguided and stupid. Also, they are probably greedy and paranoid.

    There are ways you can cross the line and can infringe on trademarks, copyrights, etc. but from what I've seen, you were not even close to anything like that.

    Just because a company wants you to remove their contact info from your website does not mean you have to do so. For example, a company may be really upset that a certain newspaper gives them bad press based on things that have happened. This newspaper is making money off of that company's name, for sure. But as long as they stick to the facts, they have every right to comment on that company and the company can't do anything about it.

    See what I mean?

    We can't control what people say about us and demand they never speak our name or give information about us, as long as that information is publicly available and that person is not lying about us to cause us harm.

    Also, as long as it's clear you are not acting like you represent the company or are affiliated with the company and you are not using their company name in your domain and are not committing any copyright infringement, you are likely in the clear.

    That said, if it means nothing to you to just take down their info, that solves the headache quickly.

    But if they are going around demanding any website remove mention of their company and demanding removal of links from legitimate websites, they are stupid in my opinion. They are getting rid of free, non-spammy backlinks. Makes no sense and just shows they are misguided.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5984925].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author magnamino
    silly question maybe: but are you sure the person who contacted you was a representative of that particular company and not just someone trying to scam you?? especially, if you don't even rank for that company. I have had a few come to my site who couldn't possibly have found my site organically. I swear there must be a spam forum out there somewhere passing out website addresses.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5985043].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
      Originally Posted by magnamino View Post

      silly question maybe: but are you sure the person who contacted you was a representative of that particular company and not just someone trying to scam you?? especially, if you don't even rank for that company. I have had a few come to my site who couldn't possibly have found my site organically. I swear there must be a spam forum out there somewhere passing out website addresses.
      I actually looked the email address up and it matched with one of their big wigs at the company, looked at the email headers as well and confirmed it came from that company.

      Also, I do rank for the company in the search engine, just not on the first page... Far from the first page. There are a lot of big wigs who actually rank higher than the company itself for search terms relating to their company. But I went through GA and found ZERO traffic from any search engine with any of their name.
      Signature
      No more...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5985292].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5985124].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    So much "blah, blah, blah" on this thread. LOL

    This happened because a bored attorney needed some billable time to add to his invoice.

    There are a bunch of companies out there that make money by:

    1. Finding trademark infringements and sending a cease-and-desist; and

    2. Doing Reputation Management, cleaning up bad press online.


    Both create a lot of bad press, by letting their computer robots make the determination as to who to contact, without seeing the usage of the business name or link in context.

    Both assume that everyone is guilty, rather than taking a moment to see what is bad and what is in fair use.

    LOL

    Next time, just take down the listing in question, but don't take down your site.

    Then go get a Life Saver to get the bad taste out of your mouth. :p
    Signature
    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5985444].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Joseph
      Haha... great post Bill.

      Very amusing, as often. Makes sense!

      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      So much "blah, blah, blah" on this thread. LOL

      This happened because a bored attorney needed some billable time to add to his invoice.

      There are a bunch of companies out there that make money by:

      1. Finding trademark infringements and sending a cease-and-desist; and

      2. Doing Reputation Management, cleaning up bad press online.


      Both create a lot of bad press, by letting their computer robots make the determination as to who to contact, without seeing the usage of the business name or link in context.

      Both assume that everyone is guilty, rather than taking a moment to see what is bad and what is in fair use.

      LOL

      Next time, just take down the listing in question, but don't take down your site.

      Then go get a Life Saver to get the bad taste out of your mouth. :p
      Signature

      Jon

      "Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone." -- Deepak Chopra

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5985769].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AdwordsMogul
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post


      ...
      This happened because a bored attorney needed some billable time to add to his invoice.

      ...
      They are not picking on you. You see, employees need to justify their existence. And you just happened to come along.
      Signature
      "Those who can - DO IT. Those who can't, say it's impossible."
      Jean Paul a.k.a AdwordsMogul
      PHPDevelopers.net - Top of the range PHP developers

      Easy Link Saver - Are you tired of the pain of constantly searching for your affiliate links? ( Chrome extension - FREE )
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6110442].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Runner900
    It's just the fun of establishing a new business/site.

    Just make it clear that you don't have an affiliation with any of the companies on your site and you should be OK.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5985458].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
      Originally Posted by Runner900 View Post

      Just make it clear that you don't have an affiliation with any of the companies on your site and you should be OK.
      I did, I actually put it in bold red stating that this site is not affiliated with {company name}. If you have issues with {company name} please contact them directly, this site is for informational purposes only. Then I give a link back to the companies site.
      Signature
      No more...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5985462].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Joseph
    Hi there,

    This is a pretty odd occurrence. If in fact you were an affiliate and you had the companies name in your domain, and the whole site was built around it - then that may be a difference scenario.

    However, if you're just providing the companies information in relation to the niche of the product you're selling (even though I'm not quite sure what you're selling), then that should be fine.

    They're just trying to protect their brand, and profits, it isn't personal. Either way, since you took down their info now, you should be OK!
    Signature

    Jon

    "Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone." -- Deepak Chopra

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5985763].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
      Originally Posted by Jonathan Joseph View Post

      Hi there,

      This is a pretty odd occurrence. If in fact you were an affiliate and you had the companies name in your domain, and the whole site was built around it - then that may be a difference scenario.

      However, if you're just providing the companies information in relation to the niche of the product you're selling (even though I'm not quite sure what you're selling), then that should be fine.

      They're just trying to protect their brand, and profits, it isn't personal. Either way, since you took down their info now, you should be OK!
      Not selling anything, just an informational site. I had a similar site prior to this one that was getting on average 30k unique visitors a month spiking to over 70k. I sold it on Flippa for well over 10k. So sticking to this area I decided to create another site. One thing I notice is you can get a lot of traffic with informational sites, plus it doesn't require a lot of maintenance.
      Signature
      No more...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5988488].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi Sillysoft,

        The site basically gives contact info for companies and that's it. Some companies its hard to find contact info for, all I did was put up a website that helps find specific contact info.

        [snip]

        Yeah they are posting the information on their website, but its hard to find. Its not on their main navigation, its in a place most people wouldn't normally go to. All I was doing is giving a short cut to find the information. Like I said I even post the link back to their website telling people go here to find this information. Im sure they dont care about this
        Looks to me like they might care about it after all. Otherwise, why would they make it hard to find in the first place?

        Good advice from other posters -

        Take off the information of the company giving you a hard time.

        Don't make it more difficult than it really is!
        And...

        don't allow yourself to be distracted by pettiness, because that will just slow down your success!
        I'd follow that advice, especially as you mentioned -

        It makes no money, hardly gets any traffic
        Life's too short, there's enough annoying stuff that gets in the way of making money from your sites, to be concerned about the annoying stuff that gets in the way of your sites that don't make money :rolleyes:
        Signature


        Roger Davis

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5989689].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
    Just a quick update, I emailed them back and told them whats up (That their allegations were wrong, gave them stats yadda yadda yadda). They never responded since then. But a few days later from my last conversation with them all of a sudden my website traffic went from 60-70 uniques a day to no more than 5 uniques a day, and thats on a good day now. I checked to see if I was de-indexed but I wasn't, nor was I penalized. Maybe it was just a coincident? Anyway I guess thats that, just continue building back links like normal and see what happens from there.

    I did setup a webmaster account with Google when I first launched the site and as of today haven't received any messages and it continues to show an increase of pages being indexed from my sitemap.
    Signature
    No more...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6106147].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author werpetalpushers
    I think it is always beneficial to ask a company to use their information beforehand, even if you aren't making money off of them. I would just take the info down, and be done with it. Everything is a learning experience. Good luck in the future!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6110708].message }}

Trending Topics