I had a wonderful post planned today, full of pink and red goodness, lots of pictures, etc. And then I got home from school and checked my email.
Sew Fast/Sew Easy Inc. has notified Yahoo! Inc. ("Yahoo!") that service and/or trademark(s) proprietary to Sew Fast/Sew Easy Inc. were used in connection with the
Yahoo!® Group Fwknits. Sew Fast/Sew Easy Inc. has further notified Yahoo! that the Fwknits group is not authorized to use the mark(s) in question at:
Yahoo! respects the rights of both its users and the owners and rights holders of intellectual property. Accordingly, Yahoo! intends to expeditiously remove or disable access to the mark(s) in question. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT UNLESS THE MARK(S) IN QUESTION ARE REMOVED FROM THE GROUP AND GROUP TITLE, OR ACCESS TO THE MARK(S) IN THE GROUP AND GROUP TITLE ARE DISABLED, WITHIN FORTY-EIGHT (48) HOURS, YAHOO! INTENDS TO DISABLE ACCESS TO YOUR GROUP.
In order to change your Yahoo! Group Title, please follow the instructions below:
1. In the control panel on the left side, click on the Management link.
2. Under the Group Settings, click the Description & Appearance link.
3. Under the Description heading, click edit to update the Title.
4. Click the Save Changes button when you are done.
Through your participation in Yahoo!® Groups you agree to abide by the Yahoo! Terms of Service, as well as any additional Terms of Service applicable to you. The current Yahoo! Terms of Service may be reviewed at: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms. Pursuant to Section 6 of the Terms of Service, Member Conduct, the use of Yahoo!® services to "upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights ("Rights") of any party" is prohibited.
As you know, Yahoo! may terminate any and/or all services and accounts without notice. This notice is provided to you as a courtesy. Without waiving or limiting any rights or remedies Yahoo! has or may have, as the listed owner of the Fwknits group you are hereby advised that our receipt of another notification of infringement alleging the infringement of another party's intellectual property in connection with the Fwknits group may result in not only the suspension of the Fwknits group, but the termination of all of your Yahoo! services as well as the deactivation of your Yahoo! ID.
If you believe that the Fwknits group was designated by Sew Fast/Sew Easy Inc. by mistake or misidentification, or if you believe that the group has not infringed upon Sew Fast/Sew Easy Inc.'s service or trademark rights, you may contact Sew Fast/Sew Easy Inc. directly at:
Address: Sew Fast/Sew Easy, Inc
237 West 35th Street, Suite 603
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 268-4321
Fax: (212) 268-4329
We wish to thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.
Copyright Agent, Yahoo! Inc.
I'm sure this looks familiar to many of you. I guess I should be grateful that they at least notified me before shutting down the group, unlike last time.
I am having quite a head-scratcher though - what exactly infringes on their trademark here? Fort Worth Knits is the name of our group and the words stitch and bitch don't appear in the description either, unlike the other 183 groups still in existence on Yahoo that do. Why aren't they shut down?
I have a sneaky feeling, and I hope this is my overactive imagination at work. I checked my stats yesterday (I only check them about once a week) and saw that I got a hit from someone googling "Ms. Stole-it." (If you missed it, here is that post.) Then today I get this shut down message? Coindence? Isn't it nice that that post also links to our yahoo group? Hmmmm, did they look for people who were against them and now are personally attacking them? Because I know I might be all Conspiracy Theory on you, but seriously! All this happening in 24 hours? All these other yahoo groups being left alone? And our group having no mention of the words stitch or bitch anywhere on it?
I'm more than a bit pissed off and I let Yahoo know it:
To whom it may concern.
I'd like to know exactly what trademark I am infringing upon with my group titled Fort Worth Knits. Last I checked, no one could trademark any of these words, and they are not trademarked in this combination.
This will mark the second time this company has shut down my group. The name of our original group was SNBFW. No mention of anything they had trademarked. They have an application to trademark the term "Stitch and Bitch" but no trademark has been granted.
I will most likely be ending my service with Yahoo if/when my second group is shut down. This is harassment and I can find another provider for this free service. I will also be asking all of my friends, family and local craft community to boycott both the group attacking my 8 member knitting group and Yahoo for not following through with researching this claim.
A reply to this letter is appreciated.
I also sent basically the same letter to SFSE with this addition:
I am uncertain as to why you would alienate the very community you are trying to encourage to use your services. I am also concerned that only certain groups are being targeted, for if you look on yahoo, there are 183 groups that come up when you search those two words that you seem to think you own a trademark for.
Gee, I hope my 8 member knitting group doesn't cause people to do whatever it is SFSE is afraid they'll do! Wouldn't you be worried about the 1,381 member NYC group?
And I guess it really makes me mad because almost no one is coming to S&B night anymore, and I'm sure it's because the group disappeared and they can't find the new group, and I don't have anyone's old info as I wasn't notified of the previous shut down. Whew. Please come back! We're still stitching and bitching! Oh, and I have saved all my current member's info - won't get caught with my pants down again!
I moved us out of Yahoo to blogger. I'm not wild about the change, but I haven't heard (yet) of a blogger blog being shut down. Set your watches.....
So, short story long, we're here now. C'mon down!
More cheery goodness tomorrow, I hope!
ETA: Apparently they are going after any "snb" group too - but still, why us!?