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Re: [ProgSoc] web/law soc
On Mon, May 28, 2001 at 10:37:53AM +1000, Rupert Su wrote:
> On Sun, 27 May 2001, jedd wrote:
> > But what legal recourse is there, for us, if someone frames or links
> > or uses our logo in a way we don't like? Has anyone heard of any
> > precedents at all, within Australia?
My understanding is that if you have your logo in something like a GIF
or JPEG file on your web page then anyone can use a link to that file
and stick your logo onto any other page. From a technical point of view
there is no way to prevent them.
From a legal point of view I still don't think anyone has managed to
prove ownership of a link, but there may be more recent events that I
don't know about. If they are using your logo to slander you then it is
much the same as using your company name or something similar so you might
have a case for defamation, depending on what they said about you.
If they are using your logo to trade goods and they are trying to make
it look like they are genuine goods then you might be able to get them
for fraud or false advertising or one of the many consumer protections
(e.g. if these guys are pretending that your company will service the
warranty on the gear when in fact you are not really associated, then
they are effectively selling goods without warranty, whilst pretending
that there is a warranty).
> The biggest precedent being the recent
> SOCOG and Olypic insignias;
Did that actually include linking to SOCOG websites though or
copying the insignias themselves?
> however, they were backed by specific
> legislation to protect them but I think the purpose of the legislation was
> more to assist prosecution than to protect specific rights associated
> with a registered logo.
The purpose of the legislation was to give SOCOG whatever the
hell it wanted regardless of who else was affected, thankfully it's all over.
> In respect of the linking of data from your website, again there are
> intellectual property rights involved. All avenues of resolution involves
> instructing a team of highly skilled IP lawyers to write letters to the
> offending company to tell them to stop linking.
Yeah, it's usually tricky with areas that are as vague as web linking.
> The cheapest solution is
> probably to, like CK suggested, come up with some funkytechnical thing
> big copyright signs at the bottom of each page with a link to your
> company's main website.
None of which works very well when the logo is a plain GIF file.
> Although I don't understand, if you're already providing the pages free to
> the public, what's wrong with having a link from someone else? The
> information is there for the public use anyway right?
Yes, that's the basic argument which says that no one owns the
links to pages. However, if someone were to write a page of complete
crap then use an inline image to stick someone else's logo on the top
then the result is something misleading to say the least.
I guess that the principle of HTML makes all links into global variables,
there was no thought given to encapsulation or information hiding.
As a result anything can make reference to anything else and a web author
cannot control which URLs are exposed under which circumstances.
The object oriented nuts would all be saying `Java' at this point and
I guess you could encapsulate your logo inside a java applet which gives
you a bit more control, but then there will be some people who don't
see your logo at all.
Another shonky idea is to constantly change the URL of your logo so
that your pages update themselves to the new URL and people linking to it
will end up with stale links. They can always make an auto updater of
course but this method will shake off the casual logo thief.
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