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