Feeds

NatWest sets lawyers on student site

Don't speak of us without our permission

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.