Author Topic: My Cease-and-Desist Letter  (Read 89375 times)

Offline Jake Freivald

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My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« on: May 26, 2013, 06:01:17 PM »
I got this as registered mail from Richard Trenk, the town attorney, yesterday. I had to retype it, so any errors not noted with [sic] may be mine. The formatting is slightly different. The PDF that they sent me by email is also attached so you can see it for yourself.

I offer it without comment, at least for the moment.

[Update: It occurs to me that this is really a cease-and-desist letter, not an order, because it's not from a judge. Some guy wrote me a letter with demands. The guy just happens to be the town attorney. So I've changed the title from "Order" to "Letter".]

[Update: I responded to this letter at the Town Council meeting of June 11. The text can be found here and the video can be found here.]

[Update: My attorney finally responded to the letter here.]



May 23,2013
 
VIA E-MAIL (jdfreivald@gmail.com)
CERTIFIED MAIL, AND FIRST-CLASS MAIL
 
Mr. Jeff [sic] Freivald
10 Ridgeview Avenue
West Orange, New Jersey 07052
 
   Re: Demand to Cease and Desist From Use of Westorange.info Domain Name
 
Dear Mr. Freivald:
 
I am the Township Attorney for the Township of West Orange ("Township"). It has come to our attention that, on or about May 13, 2013, you registered and began to use the domain name "westorange.info" (the "Info Domain"). The Township interprets this action as an effort by you to confuse and conflate the Township's official domain name and Web site with the Info Domain that you maintain.
 
The use of the Township's name is unauthorized and is likely to cause confustion [sic], mistake or to deceive the public and may be a violation of the Township's federally protected rights. The Info Domain falsely creates the impression that the Township is associated or affiliated with the Info Domain. At a minimum, this action has been taken with constructive knowledge of the Township's name and Web site, and constitutes bad faith use of the Info Domain.
 
Accordingly, the Township demands that you cease and desist from use, ownership and maintenance of the Info Domain. The Township further demands that, within ten (10) days, the Info Domain be withdrawn from the current registrar, and that you cease all current and future use of the Info Domain, or anything else confusingly similar thereto.
 
The Township reserves all rights and remedies.
 
Please be guided accordingly.
 
Very truly yours,
 
Richard D. Trenk, Township Attorney


« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 04:57:45 PM by Jake Freivald »
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Offline WO-StatusQuo

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 06:57:42 PM »
I saw your post on that other forum!  I responded over there but, since the thread will be deleted soon, I'll put it here, too. :)
"Interesting concept ...

I hope they also go after http://www.westorangetax.com. My elderly neighbors have been sending checks for their quarterly payments to Dillard St in Winter Garden, FL. Talk about confusion, eh?

If someone in West Orange, FL had registered the (available) domain, what would Mr. Trenk have done? I think what he needs to do, is to realize that West Orange, FL has willfully registered HIS domainname for the sole purpose of diverting our tax revenues into their own coffers - it's shameful!

The taxpayers should insist that their social media, Web 2.0, gurus spend whatever tax monies are necessary to snap up any, and all, postible domainnames containing "westorange". We wouldn't want any confusion or conflation to happen on OUR watch."

Offline KG

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 07:05:21 PM »
There happens to be a domainname http://www.westorangeinfo.com - the owner is in the business of selling real estate.  Should I assume the the township is in the business of selling houses around town?  Will someone be confused by that?  What was the person who registered such a domain name thinking?  What were his "willful" motives?

Are there federally protected rights around a city's name?  How many towns/cities name "Springfield" exist around the country?  This seems to be much ado about nothing.

Offline Paul

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 05:50:50 AM »
Wow, just wow. I can't even begin to wonder the real reasons behind this letter. Maybe the town should Hire Judge Stein again to defend Mr. Trenks questionable business deals. Any attorneys willing to help in this domain name fight?

Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 08:55:19 AM »
Almost 400 people have read the letter now, about 300 of them coming from links that I've posted in various spots. Not bad. Transparency means, in part, making sure that people know what was sent.

Wow, just wow. I can't even begin to wonder the real reasons behind this letter.

The "why", on the other hand, has not been disclosed to me, though I have my suspicions.

It has been a very funny couple of weeks with respect to people sending stuff that looks like it's designed to intimidate.

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Offline MsSumida

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 09:18:15 AM »
What a complete waste of time and money for the town.  How could anyone mistake that one page website with links, that is clearly not an official re-creation of the town website is beyond me.  There are no logos, no seals, no pictures and no masthead announcing it as a township owned page.

If that web domain is so important to the overall well being to WO's Internet presence, let the township buy it. 


Offline Bert Peronilla

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2013, 01:37:22 PM »
I quote from the subject letter:   "The Info Domain falsely creates the impression that the Township is associated or affiliated with the Info Domain."

I perused many entries on this site and did not get the impression that the Township is associated or affiliated with this site.   It seems no different than the West Orange Patch or other sites with similar names.   Just my humble opinion.

Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2013, 04:38:04 PM »
No comment.

What's in a name? A lot with NewYork.com
In the age of apps and social media does anyone care about URLs anymore? A Florida businessman hopes to piggyback on the Big Apple brand. He's relaunching NewYork.com this week.

BY MATT CHABAN
MAY 29, 2013 11:03 A.M.

Tourists have Trip Advisor and telecharge, Airbnb and Open Table, the age-old New York Times and thousands of nifty apps. So can a franchise based out of Florida become the homepage for the Big Apple's 55 million annual visitors, not to mention its 8 million residents? That's Brett Reizen's hope for NewYork.com, which he's re-launching Wednesday.

Mr. Reizen's firm, Entertainment Benefits Group, acquired the rights to the URL last year for a sum he would not disclose, except to say it was "substantial." Ever since, he has been redesigning the site and hiring a team of a dozen writers, with many more on contract, to create what Mr. Reizen hopes will not only be the top destination for theater and tour tickets—the site's old turf, as well as EBG's specialty—but also restaurant reviews and hotel reservations, even real estate and job listings.

Read more
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Offline westorangevoice

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 05:55:47 PM »
The Township interprets this action as an effort by you to confuse and conflate the Township's official domain name and Web site with the Info Domain that you maintain.
 
The use of the Township's name is unauthorized and is likely to cause confustion [sic], mistake or to deceive the public and may be a violation of the Township's federally protected rights. The Info Domain falsely creates the impression that the Township is associated or affiliated with the Info Domain.

In an effort to address Mr. Trenk's concerns of cofustion [sic], mistake or decption, or to confuse or conflate anyone I would suggest further clarifying that the purpose of the site in the opening page where it currently says "West Orange Info - Information about West Orange, NJ." and clarify it as a discussion board for the residents of West Orange not maintained or associated with the township in any way other than by the common bond most of us share as taxpaying residents.  The fact that there are a number of links to the sites maintained by the township prominently displayed should have already addressed his concerns. 

Did Mr. Trenk visit the site and look at it before he sent his letter or did he just take Gary's whining and complaining and shoot out a letter which appears not to have been proof read?

Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2013, 07:55:06 PM »
Perhaps, without commenting on the specifics of this case, it's worth noting that a remedial plan is only needed if there's something to remediate.
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Offline Bert Peronilla

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2013, 08:46:58 PM »
Although doing nothing is an option, you can put this issue to bed by adding a disclaimer on the banner page which states "This forum is not associated or affiliated with the Township."   EOD.

Offline Jake Freivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2013, 09:51:29 PM »
That would not comply with the letter, so whether or not it would put the issue to bed is an open question at this point.
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Offline Paul

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2013, 11:31:20 PM »
Since you broke no copyright law, the letter can be tossed in the trash. It's not an order. as you said, it's merely an attempt to scare you into removing the url. Trenk should look to previous cases and the outcomes, before he uses scare tactics. The town has no basis and you infringed on nothing.

Offline Suefreivald

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2013, 11:37:25 PM »
For me, the question is: why would the Town attorney send this? What was he hoping to accomplish, and why? 

Offline Bert Peronilla

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Re: My Cease-and-Desist Letter
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2013, 03:23:46 PM »
Jake, you wrote: "That would not comply with the letter, so whether or not it would put the issue to bed is an open question at this point."

Comply with WHAT????    You legally registered "Westorange.info" and nobody can force you to unregister it.   If you take the advice of Westorangevoice and my advice to simply add the disclaimer that your forum is not associated or affiliated with the Township's web site, then you have addressed Mr. Trenk's assertion about the perceived "confusion."