Monday, April 20, 2009

Phil Steck

--Update: New letter at the bottom--
I got a letter from Phil Steck. An image is below and I think if you click on it you get a bigger version.

I love this line: "Please cease and desist from using philsteck.com without my permission."

Mr. Steck - I don't need your permission. You let your own domain name lapse. I'm just recycling your waste. And you had plenty of notice of this kind of thing: All Over Albany told you so over a year ago.

I did send him an e-mail offering to post a link to his firm website, if he asks nicely. No response so far.

I also provided him with web stats showing that the philsteck.com site is not promoting my law firm business. The sad truth is that very few people are looking for Phil Steck on the internet. Even Phil himself didn't notice until the reporter called him - Times Union.

I wrote a blog post about the legal issues not too long ago, related to Ken Runion and the Lanham Act (cybersquatting) that Steck mentions.

The text of my e-mail is below the letter.

Mr. Steck,

Thanks for your letter. I am not using your name to promote my law business. I'm not sure why you think otherwise. My primary purpose is for political speech about you, especially since I think it's likely you will run for office again.

If I were using it for my law business, it would be horribly ineffective. My law firm site has been visited nearly 19,000 times since mid-February when I acquired control of the domain name. Only 8 of those visits have come from philsteck.com (see the attached report), and none of these visits generated any business. Of course, most of the 8 visits were probably you, the TU reporter, and maybe me and a couple of my friends. As best I can tell the 8 visits came from 5 different computers. Another report (attached) shows that the 3 visits yesterday came from your firm.

You claim I'm violating a number of laws, such as the Lanham Act, "state unfair competition law," and "legal rules of ethics." I disagree, but am willing to review any cases, statutes or rules if you want to provide more specific information.

Please let me know if you want any more information on web traffic to philsteck.com. I'd be happy to provide you with reports. I've also attached a general report showing traffic for the past 2 1/2 months. I'm providing these reports to save you the expense of litigation. I thought you should know any damages would be trivial. You would get this information in discovery anyway.

You may want to consider a different approach. Instead of a threatening letter, you could try nicely asking me to do something I might be willing to do, such as add a link on the site to your firm's website. While I disagree with you strongly on some policy issues, I do have a great deal of respect for you as an attorney.

Warren

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Update - Got a new letter from Mr. Steck. See below. I went ahead and posted links to his law firm even though he didn't ask nicely.
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