Categories
rants and raves

I will not be shut up

these-lawyers.gifIt seems like telling the truth and speaking your mind will get you in trouble wherever you are. At the very least it will get you some interesting e-mails threatening you with lawyers.

That was exactly what happened again, today. I received another e-mail threatening me with lawyers. Maybe I should start a new category of the blog dedicated to being threatened with lawyers? What would a good name for such a category be, anyone?

Well, lets cut to the case. This time there is no direct referral to juridical steps or lawyers, they are simply saying they will take any steps necessary to have me remove the page concerning their company. And I choose to believe that they are talking lawyers and not baseball bats when they say that.

Not long ago it was Nikken who wanted me to remove some pages, this time around its the Norwegian search optimisation company Mosaikk Gruppen. In this case its for calling them spammers in my Norwegian blog, after having received 10 e-mails and been in contact with them a number of times to be remove from their spam list. I even got a written apology and promises that we would never hear from them again from their general manager in November 2003, so I really felt like venting when I received yet another spam from them in April 2004.

Some explanations and an English translation of some of the juicier parts of the threatening weblog comment in the extended entry.

Categories
rants and raves

A McSpoof please

mcdonaldsbanner.jpg

As if it wasn’t obvious what would happen, McDonalds launced their own “Design-your-own-banner” campaign. The results can be viewed on top here. (Curtesy of AdRants) and on MonkeySpan which has lots of links to creative McDonald’s spoofs.

I bet some people over at AdBusters must be delighted, although – it might appear that McDonalds should have anticipated it all – especially not with the Bush-Cheney poster “success”

Categories
rants and raves

Protection against the press?

As many of you might have noticed: The right of free speech and a free media is what I consider fundamentals in an open and free society.

And while I think we, the public, should have the right to know what goes on, and that people that voluntarily enter into the public arena (politicians, celebrities etcetera) should be prepared for extra scrutiny, I think that stories like the one going in the media today is a gross violation.

The case? An e-mail gone astray. The story? A womans e-mail to her boyfriend, with details of phone sex, flirting and daily chatter. The consequences? Work trouble for the woman and her boyfriend, and the dubious honour of being portrayed and rediculed in the media.

The English newspaper The Evening Standard even graces us with the full story, and the entire e-mail. And as if that wasn’t good enough, they make sure to be at the airport to snap a picture of the woman as she arrives at London airport Heathrow.

This story would have been bordering on the unacceptable even if it was a public persona that did the grand mistake of CC’ing the message to more recipients than the desired one, but when a major newspaper chooses to make such a big deal out of a regular womans e-mail, I think its sickening and way over the line. This is a woman who has probably had no experience with the media, and will be highly effected by the story.

Shouldn’t we be able to expect more from the press? In my opinion the most emberrasing part of this whole story is that an inocent woman is put on display for something like this.

Categories
rants and raves

Into Macromedia?

into.jpg

Or into something else? If you haven’t seen Macromedia’s excellent INTO – What are you into?, then you really should take some minutes to check it out. It features many interesting stories of peoples use of the internet and the web. One of the better is Tim O’Reilly talking about how the internet was a big revolution and people having trouble understanding that documents could come to you withing a matter of seconds from the other side of the earth, and how that has come so common place we don’t even think about it today.

PS: Yes I know its old, just thought I would make myself (and maybe someone else equally slow as me) the heads up on this cool MM resource.

Categories
nikken rants and raves weblogs

Nikken replies?

I am not sure if this reply was supposed to be an official reply from Nikken. But I thought it was so funny I should share it with you all. Its a comment to my first entry about the whole Nikken ordeal.

Let me quote the comment in full. With all the interesting information:

IP Address: 217.204.127.132

Name: Eckhard

Email Address: a@a.com

Comments:

Hello,

I am looking thru the inernet today, and I think you are a very sad man that should surely go out and get a LIFE!

Is the anti-Nikken the only thing in your life that you can occupy your time with? I will suggest that you go and find a hobby or a girl-freind.

Eckhard.

Seems like a regular boring flame, and isn’t exactly signed by someone wanting others to know who he/she is. But, the poster seems to be oblivious to the fact that he/she left her IP-address behind when he/she posted the comment.

Lets look at who owns 217.204.127.132:


inetnum:      217.204.127.128 - 217.204.127.159

netname:      NIKKEN

descr:        Nikken UK Ltd

descr:        Office

descr:        Buckinghamshire

descr:        Milton Keynes

country:      GB

admin-c:      MH28412-RIPE

tech-c:       EH92-RIPE

rev-srv:      ns0.easynet.co.uk

rev-srv:      ns1.easynet.co.uk

status:       ASSIGNED PA

notify:       hostmaster@easynet.net

mnt-by:       EASYNET-UK-MNT

changed:      matt.spiers@uk.easynet.net 20010914

source:       RIPE

So, the question is: Should I interpret the comment as an official response from Nikken UK LTD? ;-)

BTW: Expect another update to the whole story soon.

Categories
nikken rants and raves weblogs

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

Categories
nikken rants and raves weblogs

Nikken bullies

I have never liked threats. Especially when they come from big corporations that try to stifle any dissenting voices.

In this case its Nikken, a MLM company that sells “magic magnets” (I won’t say what I think they are, in fear of being sued).

So far I have received a letter (You can see it if you want, its in the “more” section of this post – but be warned, its in Swedish – and NO, its not written by the Swedish chef, unfortunately).

In brief the letter seems to indicate that Nikken UK thinks I have violated their copyright just by mentioning their company, and linking to fellow Norwegian blogger Morten Wang. Morten has been an avid researcher of the activities of Nikken and their products. For reference, take a look at his Nikken Archives (In english).

Let me just briefly translate the most important parts of the e-mail I recived from Nikken today:

Vi har nyligen uppmärksammat att du har information om Nikken UK Ltd. på internet. Du är inte tillåten att marknadsföra Nikken på något sätt på internet. Om du även visar Nikkens produkter, så bryter du mot copyright lagar.

Vi ber dig formellt att avlägsna all information om Nikken från din sida/sidor och svara skriftligt att den/dom är avlägsnade innan den 11.02.2004.

Translation:

“We recently discovered that you have information about Nikken UK LTD. on the internet. You are not allowed to market Nikken in any way on the internet. If you even show Nikken products you violate copyright laws.

We ask you formally to remove all information about Nikken from your page/pages and in respond in writing by the 11th of february 2004”

The copyrighted information I am supposed to have published? A short story about Morten Wangs writings and research about Nikken, its products, distributors and “MLM” type business.

If you know norwegian, you are welcome to check out the initial posting about Nikken.

Categories
rants and raves

PABAAH!

Please tell me that this is just a joke: PABAAH!.

PABAAH stands for “Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood”. From what I have seen (Daily Show) and read (on the PABAAH site). I think the whole movement should be called “Supporting Bush and Mccarthyism against critiques”

Calling people that happen to disagree with W. Bush communists and attacking them like PABAAH does can’t be something to be proud of, at least not if you believe in democracy.

BTW: I actually thought the american democracy had come along to the point that “communist” wasn’t a swearword. But I guess I was wrong.

Categories
rants and raves

Sorry for the lack of updates

Its been over a month since my last update of the blog. Not too uncommon for blogs I guess, but its strange to be on the “outside” of all the fun stuff I see going on with Flash. Oh yeah, and some not so cool stuff — it sounds like there is always trouble when a new version of Flash comes out.

So what is it that is taking away from my time to play with Central, Flash 7 and all the other cool stuff going on?

Believe it or not, I have moved into the safety business with a company called Trygg og Sikker. The company started out on the web 18 months ago and opened its first physical store on the 30th of august.

“Trygg og Sikker” can be translated to “Safe and secure”, and sells safety products. You know, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, escape ladders etc. And get this: There are actually new safety products coming out all the time, like wireless smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher for TV sets. (The TV fire extinguisher is actually a space-age product, produced by the Russian space agency for the monitors in MIR).

Maybe I will bug you more sometime with posts about how its like running a safety shop. There are definitely some interesting stories and rants building up.

Categories
rants and raves

Copyright – what right?

This slashdot posting was really interesting. its brief look at the history of copyright, and the misuse of it. Slashdot: Copyright

The scary stuff for me, living outside the US, is how the process of weakening the established fair use is also affecting Europe and european countries.

[Via Waxpraxis]