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As per other discussions about legal issues lately, be sure that your link clearly lets people know that they'll be sent to that site if they click on it. And be sure you're not linking into a section of the site that is only open to, say, people who've already made a contribution to the charity.
[Edited to clarify a couple of sentences.]
[edited by: Beagle at 2:35 pm (utc) on Feb. 26, 2007]
Perhaps you should send a letter in reply informing them that if they continue to harass you then you will be writing to the papers about the way in which they are spending the charitable funds entrusted to them, and how they seek to alienate those who link to their website out of the kindness of their heart.
After all - I doubt those who have been donating from their hard-won incomes would agree that legal fees and administrative time spent on this were in any way acceptable. I'm sure those responsible know that as well!
I didn't slander them in any way so it was completely protected under free speech. They did the same saber rattling over copyright issues, etc.
I removed the link simply because it helped them with the link and I didn't feel like dealing with people who would write such hostile letters with no good reason. I could've by all right left it though.
I removed the link simply because it helped them with the link and I didn't feel like dealing with people who would write such hostile letters with no good reason.
I reckon someone should start a site which links freely to any site which has been sending out such letters :-)
[edited by: JudgeJeffries at 5:10 pm (utc) on Feb. 26, 2007]
Don't Link To Us [dontlink.com]
Don't Link to Us! links to sites that attempt to impose substantial restrictions on other sites that link to them.
It sounds like your situation is really similar to mine. You can talk about a company using their name as long as you're not slandering them.
Companies have this approach where they'll have their lawyer try to scare you first. If that fails then they'll hound you until they get what they want.
In my case I could've posted the letter from their lawyer and been a further pain to them. I decided to just let it go because I didn't want to deal with them at all.
...by the inclusion of a link containing their registered trade mark.
You don't have the right to use their trademark in your link (unless you mean you're putting the little ® behind their name, but their name is written in plain text). My bet is that their complaint isn't about the linking itself, but about the use of the trademark.
If you're using their trademark rather than their name in regular text, it could certainly be confusing to some people, especially if one of the links just says "xyz charity" without a "link to" or "go to".
One possible reason for companies to attempt to make rules about linking is so that they can avoid being linked to in link farms and other such seedy, spammy sites without their knowledge.
I'm definitely not saying that you're site is an example of a spammy site. I don't know anything about that, and believe that they are most likely barking up the wrong tree with their complaints about this particular example.
Put yourself in the shoes of a company that finds incoming links to their site in the same space as links to Viagra and pornography. That seems to me to be the most ligitimate reason for companies attempting to govern the linking to their site.
Again, not justifying "XYZ" charity in this particular situation, just bringing up another side to it.
The closer you are to their business, the more careful you have to be, but you can still use their marks.
As a private citizen posting to a forum, I can mention Intel without bothering with any sort of disclaimer or funny little symbols. Even AMD can use every single one of Intel's trade and service marks including logos on their web pages. But AMD had to be much more careful, including full acknowledgment of the owner of those marks, and being absolutely certain that they do not create any confusion about who owns which mark.
Ford is able to compare their cars to those made by Chevy. They can even put up a chart where they compare the blue oval with the bowtie logos at table headings. They just need to make it clear that they are not in any way related to the bowtie.