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Meta Tags - Regulation and Censorship Thread

From: Mike Newman <newman.mike@btopenworld.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 09:34:15 +0100
Message-ID: <000701c2fc17$5c8591a0$91b57ad5@baynet.co.uk>
To: <www-p3p-policy@w3.org>

Meta Tags - Regulation and Censorship Thread

Can anyone shed some light on the following situation?

I am a UK writer and adviser on "Internet Matters for Business" and I am
presently researching a specific topic for publication.

Briefly, the situation is this: a website has been published that, in the
meta tag search section, contains an entry (say) "ACME ABC".

The ACME company has complained to the ISP that the term "ACME ABC" is a
registered trade mark and cannot be inserted into a meta tag. The ACME
complainant did not object to "ACME ABC" being used in the general editorial
content of the website. But only in the meta tag which it alleged was an
infringement of its copyright.

The ISP removed the website even though the term "ACME ABC" is contained in
the editorial columns of hundreds of newspapers every day, and is generally
promoted by the company as its popular name and is used as such in all its
own corporate and marketing literature.

However, the website owner then inserted ",ACME ABC PLC," into the search
meta tag instead since it was not a registered trade mark. ACME again
complained that even though "ACME ABC PLC" was not a registered trade mark,
the full phrase contained "ACME ABC" which WAS a trade mark and once again
alleged an infringement had been made!

The ISP withdrew and banned the website totally and permanently.

Could anyone advise me  or even suggest where I might find authoritative
information on any “laws” or Internet “conventions” governing the permitted
or prohibited content of meta-tag search references (excluding decency and
libel and suchlike? I am researching a business article on topics that
include this particular aspect.


Mike Newman mipr
UK Business Communications Consultant
Received on Sunday, 6 April 2003 04:46:31 UTC

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