OWNER at Photogold ecommerce
13 July 2004 12:34pm
I have a website castlepictures.com which features pictures and information about Scottish castles . I have a page about Inverlochy Castle Hotel. I have received a letter from their solicitor asking me to remove any mention of their castle from my site . Are they entitled to do this ? They say that their client " operates an exclusive hotel , concerning which privacy is very much part of their business goodwill . They positively do not wish to appear on any unauthorised websites or in any unauthorised web links . "
Since when did I need someone's permission to mention them on my wensite ?
Is there a law of privacy for businesses ?
Senior SEO at Weboptimiser
13 July 2004 13:42pm
If you are using a public domain picture, or one to which you own the rights, they cannot force you to remove it. If you are using one from their site, for example, then they could. Since the fact of the existence of the castle and the business conducted there is public domain information, I don't see how they can enforce that either.
As a comparison, I would imagine that Porton Down, the UKs bio-chemical warfare research centre "positively do not wish to appear on any unauthorised websites or in any unauthorised web links ." - but Google still records nearly a quarter of a million pages that DO mention them. If their appearance on your site cannot be proved to damage them, I don't think they have a case
So long as you do not misrepresent the castle, or infringe on their intellectual property, or claim an affiliation that does not exist etc I don't see that they have any LEGAL grounds to enforce such a request. Then again, if a polite reply to their lawyers doesn't resolve the issue, I must recommend that you seek competent legal advice, since I am not a lawyer (grateful for small mercies, and all that)
Director at Commercial Reality Ltd
13 July 2004 14:56pm
Photogold, I think I've found your site (did a Google search for "Inverlochy Castle Hotel" and "photogold") and assuming it is the one with the big black and white "gothic style" photo then there is nothing offensive there as far as I can see from a quick look although it would clearly benefit from more work.
The issue is a difficult one for many businesses but, and I say this without legal qualification, I don't see what they can do. The information society is here and I would have thought that, provided you don't rip off someone else's work, purloin copyrights or get important facts all wrong you'd be okay.
After all we are not dealing with top secret stealth hotel technology are we?
I'd be inclined to respond quickly and courteously and ask on what precise legal basis they are making their request. I've been on the receiving end of a few letters from lawyers myself and a lot of the time a strong but courteous response back makes any unreasonable or invalid claim evaporate.
Executive Vice President EMEA & Asia at Econsultancy
13 July 2004 23:31pm
Well unfortunately, even with links on your site, although the law is unclear, you should ask permission from the company that you are linking to before actioning the link.
Go to http//:www.out-law.com for additional detail. Register for free and search 'linking' and 'privacy'.
On 12:34:46 13 July 2004 photogold wrote:
>I have a website castlepictures.com which features
>pictures and information about Scottish castles . I have a
>page about Inverlochy Castle Hotel. I have received a
>letter from their solicitor asking me to remove any
>mention of their castle from my site . Are they entitled
>to do this ? They say that their client " operates an
>exclusive hotel , concerning which privacy is very much
>part of their business goodwill . They positively do not
>wish to appear on any unauthorised websites or in any
>unauthorised web links . "
>Since when did I need someone's permission to mention them
>on my wensite ?
>Is there a law of privacy for businesses ?
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