Feeds

NatWest sets lawyers on student site

Don't speak of us without our permission

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A student finance website which offers summaries of bank accounts available for the feckless unwashed masses has been hit with a copyright infringement claim by NatWest.

The bank's hungry lawyers claim this page which summarises NatWest's student offer is infringement of its copyright.

The letter claims that 118student.co.uk is trying to deceive people into believing it is part of the nationalised bank, despite the page being headed with a large 118student.co.uk logo.

The letter said Peter Hale, the site's owner, had no permission to use NatWest trademarks - although the letter actually says "Natwest" without the middle capital letter.

It said:

we assume that the Natwest is included on your website to deceive customers into believing they are dealing with Natwest when in fact they are not. Your use of Natwest in the manner noted above is an infringement of our copyright and trademark rights. Further, we consider that your use of Natwest takes unfair advantage of our marks and may cause harm to the repute or character of our marks. Your use of Natwest in this manner amounts to a misrepresentation that there is a connection between you and Natwest and is a deliberate attempt to appropriate our goodwill and/or reputation.

The lawyers said Hale had one week to remove all references to NatWest from his site.

Hale told The Register that he could hardly review NatWest's student account without using the word NatWest. He has run the site since 2004 and covers all the major banks and has never received a similar demand.

Blanket trademark or DMCA claims are increasingly used by big business to silence critics, or even non-critics, because the letters often resemble automatically created spam mails.

For a business not versed in arcane publishing law the usual and easiest thing to do is to simply remove the page rather than get involved in expensive legal battles. If the business does not remove the content then corporate lawyers go after nervous hosting providers and scare them into taking pages down.

We're still waiting to hear back from NatWest. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.