Try to control what can and cannot appear on the Internet at your own risk.
We’ve seen how the Streisand effect
just brings more attention to something you’re hoping to suppress on the internet. Now, Ikea is suffering some bad publicity of a different sort.
The company has angered some of its most devout customers by shutting down the fan site IkeaHackers
, forcing it to set up shop elsewhere using a URL that doesn’t include the name Ikea. Gizmodo
calls the move “boneheaded
,” while many fans are outraged.
IkeaHackers offers ideas for ways to use the Swedish furniture maker’s products in unintended ways, encouraging people to break the rules included in Ikea’s packages. They community figured out ways to build some creative and often beautiful design solutions.
Ikea has forced the site to shut down by way of making it impossible for its owner to sell advertising, claiming trademark infringement. Jules Yap (a pseudonym for the person who runs the site) posted the following to the IkeaHackers blog
Long story short, after much negotiation between their agent and my lawyer, I am allowed to keep the domain name IKEAhackers.net only on the condition that it is non-commercial, meaning no advertising whatsoever.
I agreed to that demand. Because the name IKEAhackers is very dear to me and I am soooo reluctant to give it up. I love this site’s community and what we have accomplished in the last 8 years. Secondly, I don’t have deep enough pockets to fight a mammoth company in court.
Needless to say, I am crushed. I don’t have an issue with them protecting their trademark but I think they could have handled it better. I am a person, not a corporation. A blogger who obviously is on their side. Could they not have talked to me like normal people do without issuing a C&D?
Poor Yap. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but if there’s anything that large, faceless corporations hate, it’s talking like normal people do.