Guardlex Rep Contacts Blogsite Claiming Link To Client’s Website Is Copyright Infringement

In what is an entirely weird and utterly disturbing incident, the blog Big Pink Cookie was contacted by a rep from SEO company Guardlex demanding that they remove a link to his clients website because it was ‘illegal’ and detrimental to the clients website because of “search engine penalties.”

The rep, named Jacob Getman, stated in the letter that he works for Guardlex’s ‘Anti Piracy Department’ and instructed Big Pink Cookie to remove the link or face the consequences of legal action.

My name is Jacob Getman, I work in the Anti Piracy Department of Guardlex (http://www.guardlex.com), we provide anti-piracy and Intellectual Property protection services for [COMPANY NAMED removed so they don’t think I’m linking to them again] company.

As such I am personally authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the aforementioned company.

It has come to our attention that your website (or website hosted by your company) contains links to the [name removed] company website (URL removed) which results in material financial loses to the company we represent.

This material financial loss is due to search engine penalties resulting from the links originating under your control.

I request you please remove from the following website http://bigpinkcookie.com all links to [removed] website as soon as possible. Please see the list of website pages in question:
http://bigpinkcookie.com/2001/07/27/specs-similar-to-mine

In order to find those links, please do following:

1) If this is an online website directory. Use directory’s search system to look for [removed] links.

2) If there are any hidden links in the source code of website. Open the website’s home page and view its source code. Search for [removed] in the source code. This will reveal any hidden links.

It is our understanding; the links in question have not been authorized for use by our client, its agents, or the law.

Therefore, this letter is an official notification to effect removal of the detected infringement listed above.

I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by [removed] company, its agents, or the law.

I further declare under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of the trademark holder and that the information in this letter is accurate.

Please, remove all links to [removed] website within the next 48 hours.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are at all unsure how to remove the links. We will be happy to assist you in any way to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

According to Big Pink Cookie writer Christine, the post that got Getman from Gaurdlex’s knickers all in a twist was a post about eyeglasses from 2001. She explains that she got a pair of glasses, some readers asked about them, so she posted a link to the site of the company she purchased them from. This is, as she states, and as we all know, “the way the internet works.”

She said: “Considering the post was 11 years old, it either wasn’t impacting their SEO at all, or since it was in the context of a post about eyeglasses, it was helping their SEO.”

Seems like this isn’t a one off either, Guardlex seem to be doing this sort of thing quite regularly, however despite the strongly worded letter loaded with some scary legal terms, the hosting company that Big Pink Cookie uses, Hosting Matters, responded to them with this polite ‘piss off and get over yourself notice’.

Their response to the audacious letter was: “We’ve had this discussion with you before: there is no infringement of anything in merely linking to one site from another – case law exists on this. We absolutely will not instruct our users to remove links that violate no statute or our terms of service. Whether they choose to do it on their own is entirely up to them.”

Christine said one of the most frustrating things about the entire incident was the fact that company’s like Guardlex were going round selling this “crack-pot service” to companies, wasting their time and money by scouring the internet and telling people to stop linking to their websites. It is plain and simply ridiculous!

BoingBoing.net’s Cory Doctorow summed it up perfectly for me, he said: “I’m sad to say that this appears to be the kind of legalcomic dipshittery that will come to define the coming century.”

Dear Guardlex, You’re Doing it Wrong (Via Big Pink Cookie)

About Sheniz Raif

I am, and think I have always been, a writer. I’ve been scribbling stories since I was old enough to hold a pen and thoroughly enjoy using my words to make people laugh or inspire them. I love going to gigs and am a professional groupie for a couple of awesome bands. I am an avid fan of socializing, football, film, and refusing to grow up! I’m also a proud member of the BODO UK team!