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Nikken Update

My life isn’t any less hectic right now, but I feel I have the obligation to follow up this story, with all the heart warming support I see from the blog community. (Thanks guys and girls!)

After I received the letter from Nikken threatening me with legal actions if I didn’t remove pages listed in the e-mail. Because, according to Nikken, they were in violation with their copyright. The letter was also sent to Morten, a friend and active Nikken critic. It appeared they were trying to silence any criticism against their business, business style and products.

As you can imagine I was first shocked, then appalled, then angry. Taking a few to calm down, I answered them and then let you all know what was going on.

My answer to Nikken was that I would never remove anything from my site, and that if they wanted to pursue with legal actions they should let me know and I would forward them the address to my lawyer.

Four hours later I received an answer from their “Compliance” department. (I wonder who’s compliance they could be seeking…). The author of the first e-mail lets me know that the e-mail, complete with all the legal threats and copyright claims, was a – read this carefully – STANDARD E-MAIL – and was not referring to all of my homepage/pages but to a couple of specific comments that, it appears, a couple of their distributors had left commenting the blog posting. Also note that the author does not say that the former threats and claims of the first e-mail should be discarded, instead she says the first e-mail only applies to a couple of comments on the named page.

So the comments (in Norwegian – and from the spring 2003) are in violation of the Nikken copyright? I can’t see how they could be. The first comment tell me that I am dead wrong and don’t know what I am talking about. The second goes on for lengths talking about new age tech stuff with the kind of scientific language you’d expect from a shampoo commercial.

Nothing in the comments that I can understand to be in violation with their copyright, unless they have copyrighted new-age-science-blabber. But, I’ll say this: I can understand that they might be shamed and want the comments removed out of pure embarrassment.

But wait, there is more…. Later in the evening I receive an e-mail from one of the two (apparent) distributors. He informs me that he has received threats from Nikken that he will be suspended as a distributor if he doesn’t get his comment removed from my blog. He also lets me know that the offending part of the comment is a LINK to his “homepage” for Nikken products! To top it all off it seems to be a homepage that is controlled by Nikken (The whois information for the page shows Nikken UK Ltd as the owner).

Amazing isn’t it? They are real generous with threats at Nikken, thats for sure. Not sure how I would have felt it if I was one of their distributors being threated with suspension for a single link.

So why such a big deal about a link? Why go out and threatened two people and their blogs and claim that they are violating Nikken’s copyright? It doesn’t seem sane, does it?

Being curious, I have asked the Nikken representative to explain to me why I should remove the comments, other than legal threats from Nikken. So, I am sure the story will continue and that I’ll hear from Nikken again. But after this I doubt I will be ever allowed to attend a Nikken meeting, nor become one of the fortunate to sell their magic products and make insane amounts of money.

Morten has written about his experience with the whole Nikken ordeal: Ceci n’est pas un blog: Cease & Desist, but not really

6 Responses to Nikken Update

  1. Ceci n'est pas un blog January 29, 2004 at 11:49 am #

    Nikken tries to censor blog comments

    As I mentioned yesterday, Nikken emailed Jarle D. Bergersen and me asking us to remove all our writings about Nikken by February 11. Their response to my reply was seemingly that they were not concerned with my writings at all,…

  2. aSH January 29, 2004 at 10:47 pm #

    unreal… :o

    and disapointing :/

  3. Antonio February 9, 2004 at 10:21 pm #

    Hello

    Let me clear some points to your “ignorance” in this matters.

    One thing is Copyright as “Coca Cola” or “Adidas”, and if you make a trademark, you wont that the name (or your name) be used only with your authorization.

    Imagine that you see your name in television whithout your permission.

    I believe this point is clear.

    The other thing that by your text, you may not know, is that products are registered to be sold in a country under specific rules like:

    -It’s to be sold on a store or;

    -Or it’s sold directly by TV, Radio, catalog (like “La Redoute(c)”) or by a representant that have a contract with rules to sell.

    Now, Nikken products are inocuous, that means that are proven not to be harm any one; so they are not medical products;

    Distributors are not allowed by contract to do traditional advertise because the products are registered has direct sale.

    So, imagine that your trademark starts to be merchandising out of laws that its registered…

    Its dificult to be boss, believe me, and im not in this game.

    Antonio

  4. Jarle February 10, 2004 at 12:51 am #

    How do you define “ignorance” vs ignorance? Are you using brackets to be ironic, and we’re supposed to read it as the opposite? If so, thank you. I do appreciate that you realise I am not ignorant.

    As to copyright and trademark laws. It sounds to me like you have no knowledge of such things whatsoever.

    Just one example that might make you start to think how bad an argument you are making: While Coca Cola (a strong brand and trademark) probably can stop anyone from using their brand/logo/style in marketing, especially in any field where they sell their products. However, that doesn’t give them total control over what people write about them, or any mention of Coca Cola or any of their other trademarks.

    Your two other points makes me think that you have a closer tie with Nikken than you are letting on. I know for a fact (now) that Nikken distributors are forbidden to make medical claims about Nikken (so be careful now), and that they are not allowed to market Nikken in any way. (At least here in Norway). You shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that these are general rules or laws however.

  5. Numer Manalo April 6, 2004 at 4:30 am #

    The informations I have read and gathered will really help my company much on its R&D since I am determining the possibility of including the NIKKEN product lines in our marketing group.

  6. Ceci n'est pas un blog July 29, 2004 at 11:26 am #

    Nikken tries to censor blog comments

    As I mentioned yesterday, Nikken emailed Jarle D. Bergersen and me asking us to remove all our writings about Nikken by February 11. Their response to my reply was seemingly that they were not concerned with my writings at all,…