Character Blocked from EQ2U Due to Trademark Claim

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2 Data & EQ2U

UPDATE

I have removed the block of characters named “Malshandir” from EQ2U.

I believe that a series of e-mails sent from a ISP address is insufficient to warrant blocking search results from a publicly accessible API. It also sets a dangerous precedent for other websites that merely index data from a third party source.

This morning, I received an e-mail from one Thomas Freyer of Freyer Consulting in Frankfurt, Germany:

From: Thomas Freyer
Subject: Deleting of Profile
URL: http://u.eq2wire.com/soe/character_detail/446677832604

We demand by law the deleting of this profile as the owner of the trademark “Malshandir” we gave you no permission to use is.
If this profile is deleted within the next 6 hours we will not take further legal actions against you.

As I was still a little sleepy, and since I receive threatening e-mails about once a month demanding that I remove characters from EQ2U, I replied informing Mr. Freyer that Sony Online Entertainment retains ownership over characters and thus he has no grounds to sue, but if he would avail himself of the Help section on EQ2U, he could remove his character in approximately 5 minutes.

Once I was a little bit more awake, I realized he was speaking on behalf of a company. So I googled Malshandir. I did not find a registered Trademark or Patent in the USPTO records, and so I brought to Mr. Freyer‘s attention that European trademarks are not applicable in the US. At this time, I also noticed that Mr. Freyer had registered but allowed to expire a domain name for the name in question:

registered-domain: Malshandir.com

registrant-firstname: Thomas
registrant-lastname: Freyer
registrant-organization: Malshandir Limited
registrant-street1: Heinrich-Busold-Str. 48
registrant-pcode: 61169
registrant-city: Friedberg (Hessen)
registrant-ccode: DE
registrant-phone: +41.789492666
registrant-email: thomas32@gmx.ch

registration-expiration: 24-May-2012

Mr. Freyer replied with this:

As explained, we are the OWNER of the trademark “Malshandir”.

So one of your users is using this illegally. You publish this on your site. So by law you have to delete it.We do not have an account with SOE.You are publishing this information so you are responsible for this and so it is your job to delete it.The misusage of a trademark is a crime and has serious consequence as civil case and criminal case. So it is up to you to avoid these consequences.

With the publishing you are violating our rights and so you are liable for this. legally you can’t exclude your liability.

freyer-consulting-frankfurt@arcor.de
Freyer Consulting
Unit 135, 155 Minories
EC3N 1AD London
Grossbritannien

I explained that his beef was with Sony Online Entertainment and/or ProSieben since they publish the data, to which Mr. Freyer replied:

Well, European trademarks are valid because your service is for Users in Europe too. In other cases you have to avoid that your website is availbale from all countries of the EU. The decisions of the EHC are binding too.

Additionally Prosieben is a German company. So your service is addressed to German customers. By the agreement of Lugano, is this case under the European law even if the other party has no address within the EU.

Furthermore it should be in your own interests. Even if you are not in the EU all countries have agreed in merchant cases to accept the decision of the wedish handelskammer in Stockholm.

At this point I was getting tired of the threats, so I e-mailed back with this, and hoped it would be the end of it:

First, you have a European trademark. It is not applicable in the United States.

Second, your trademark is applicable to a specific set of industries. It is not applicable to a video game character.

Third, I am publishing information provided publicly by Sony Online Entertainment. Even if I remove the website, the data is still public at SOE’s API here: http://data.soe.com/xml/get/eq2/character/?name.first=Malshandir

Fourth, the character Malshandir was created January 7, 2008, which precedes your Trademark application by over 1 year.

Your claims are spurious and invalid. Please consult a trademark attorney before wasting any more of my time.

But it was not meant to be. Mr. Freyer replied with more threats:

First it doesn’t matter when the account was created. It is in use means published on the site. BTW: I use this name in business since 1996.

Second European trademarks are valid. If your website is available from the EU then it is automatically under European law to avoid this you have to delist your site from nameservers within the EU and reject all requests from servers and clients from the EU. This is more than one time decided here by law.

Third it is valid for a character in an online game coz this is in class 41 and 42. BTW; The dpma is not the exact source for such an request because the application was made at the OHIM. The dpma is for the national trademark in Germany, the OHIM for Europe.

Fourth what with SOE is another case and not yours.I can not understand why do you make such trouble. The easy way is delete it. You can then tell your client that he breaks laws. What is easier for you? deleting ONE user or making your website unavailable for all European countries?BTW: I talk with a trademark lawyer. trademark attorneys doesn’t exist. If you have to talk with him it becomes expensive for you.

At some point, someone has to realize that they do not have deep pockets and, despite the merits of a legal case, the reality is, any legal action can be financially debilitating. Although Mr. Freyer is in Germany (or London, who knows?), he could be part of a larger company with lawyers on retainer in the US. So it’s time to fight another day and so I indicated that I would remove the character shortly:

I don’t tolerate bullies, and I don’t tolerate threats.

I will be removing the character soon, with a brief explanation why.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough and so Mr. Freyer decided to go full Streisand:

well, the courts decided such short notices and the admin / owner etc. of a website is responsible to follow these procedure very fast.

In other cases the courts sees a responsibility. That why I gave you see opportunity to do it and not sending you a letter from a lawyer what will lead immediately to cost of around 1500 Euro paid by you. Maybe you are not happy about the law but so is the life.

And I am not threatening. if I do so then you would got after your first email a letter form my lawyer and a decision from a court within 2 hours.

Incidentially, what is Malshandir?

From public records, Malshandir Ltd was a British company which has since been dissolved as of 2010:

malshandir-ltd-dissolved  malshandir-ltd-people

Malshandir used to have a website:

malshandir-com

This is what I get for getting out of bed this morning. Meanwhile, somewhere on Antonia Bayle, a level 92 Dark Elf can’t lookup their character on EQ2U anymore, and that makes me a sad panda.

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Comments (177)

  • Naladini

    |

    Did you get a cease and desist? I’d have ignored the email until I got a formal letter in the mail. Then, had the evasive conversation.

    Also, consider setting EQ2U’s address as 1060 W Addison, Chicago IL with the domain registrar.

    Reply

    • Cyliena

      |

      Completely agreed. In the end, this is SOE’s battle, and I bet that guy does NOT want to play with Sony’s lawyers.

      Reply

    • Hyperstrike

      |

      No! Do NOT set the address to 1060 W. Addison.
      That gives them a tool to have a domain revoked due to incorrect information.

      The part about waiting on a legitimate C&D on legal letterhead is smart through.

      Reply

    • Aerokii

      |

      1060 W Addison… that’s Wrigley Field.

      …and I’m a hundred and six miles to Chicago B|

      Reply

    • Hans Stuk

      |

      I want to know why this idiot couldn’t come up with an original name. Mithrandir must have been blocked so they picked Malshandir….

      Reply

      • Feldon

        |

        I want to know why this idiot couldn’t come up with an original name. Mithrandir must have been blocked so they picked Malshandir….

        Nice groundless assumption.

        Reply

  • Kruzzen

    |

    This is nothing more than a money grub. People like this are just looking for excuses to try and bully people. It is really a sad state. This is like someone trying to sue google because the search engine pulled up a name that someone else uses. You are doing nothing but provide a search engine for characters,

    Reply

  • Feldon

    |

    Can you trademark a video game character? Actually yes you can.

    Reply

    • Hans Stuk

      |

      The EULA forbids you from using a trademark, copyrighted, etc name. Someone needs to petition this character so he is forced to change his name. Then you can continue indexing him.

      Reply

      • Jason

        |

        You agree to a EULA at the time you sign up. It’s a legal contract between both you and the provider. That name was not a trademark when the contract was formed. Both parties are signatory to a contract.

        Reply

        • Delerius

          |

          awesome LMAO

          Reply

  • Tomatoh

    |

    I would have went all Harvey Specter on him and let his attorney contact me directly because this sir..is an Louis.

    Reply

    • MoFoQ

      |

      no…it won’t be a Louis…Louis would not have so many spelling and grammatical mistakes; it would drive him insane and would probably chew out the intern that wrote it.
      (plus, he’d probably use his uniball to write it out instead)
      :D

      Reply

  • Dethdlr

    |

    He was probably not happy about the EQ2U page coming up first when you Google the name and having such a wonderful bio.

    Reply

    • Mortager

      |

      - bingo -

      Reply

      • Cleve

        |

        lmao … a roleplayer!

        Reply

  • Dock

    |

    Personally I would go and tell him to take a long walk off a short plank.

    He’s got zero ground and is some overpaid lawyer fishing for money since he’s got nothing better to do.

    Reply

  • Sievert

    |

    I would just redirect it to EQ2 Players sight.

    Reply

    • Feldon

      |

      LOL great idea. There’s zero chance he’ll go after SOE.

      Reply

  • badcat

    |

    Well I think it all hot air and he is trying to extract from you a fee, as per the 1600 I saw in that last email from him. We call that extortion. I would call the FBI, the guy is a crook.

    Reply

  • badcat

    |

    Also I know a little something of trademark laws, getting a court order in 2 hours, never happens. trademark laws take months if not years of litigation.

    Reply

  • Twyxx

    |

    Personally, I make a point to never to accept decisions of the wedish handelskammer. Just a rule I have.

    Reply

  • Betony

    |

    Good Grief! Google that ‘name’ and wonder if that ‘lawyer’ is papering all search engines with threats. Of course, as the 3rd listing in Google is for a ‘meet men’ sight the ‘lawyer’ could just be lonely.

    Reply

  • Le Clown

    |

    YOUBETTER DO IT FELDON !!1!!! OR ELSEYOU’RE GONNA GET SUED!!!!!!1

    Reply

  • Benj

    |

    After a Google search for “Malshandir” I found some interesting results.

    First was EQ2U. The next few were European corporate search engines with small company profiles. The last four were EVE Online, Domain of Heroes, Facebook, and Bioware. None of the Google hits were an official company website.

    Reply

  • flosch

    |

    As someone who doesn’t live in Germany, you might have missed it, but one of the more hilarious parts is that his mail addresses have an arcor.de and a gmx.ch domain. Arcor is a, to quote wikipedia “the former name of the fixed phone line and Internet business of Vodafone D2 GmbH, a German subsidiary of telecommunications company Vodafone.” GMX is a webmailer with free webmail hosting.

    The guy can’t even afford proper mail hosting but uses a free mwebmail account and what probably came with his DSL at some point?

    He’s one of those people (I wrote a much more fitting, but much less neutral description first) that tries to extract money out of people by instilling fear without any backing. The grownup version of a schoolyard bully.

    Reply

    • flosch

      |

      If it didn’t take so much time to set up, and then 30 days to run, it would be awesome fun if you set up a kickstarter for 2000 Euros, then told him to “come at me”. Then never hear from him again and use the money for the servers. :D

      Reply

  • Avianna

    |

    Feldon reinstate this guy back to EQ2U and if your guy has a problem with that then simply ask to speak with his lawyer and then refere his lawyer to the public info on eq2 players and many other places where he can recieve his info about his name. I am very sure he is puffing smoke and the “lawyer” cannot charge you a darn thing without a court hearing where you would get a chance to defend yourself. Furthermore, as stated above you are just a character search engine in one handy place, what is this guy gonna do eliminate the name from the planet because he once had a failed business with that name? Have a cup of coffee, wake up and you will realize that your players here are right.

    Reply

  • Muusic

    |

    I think someone needs to go make a toon named “Malshandir” on every F2P game out there and then link the char page off their respective sites to this guy. One of two things is going to happen either he blows a gasket and spends the next 3 months emailing all of them or he winds up in a long legal fight with Attorneys on retainers that eat people like him for breakfast.

    Reply

    • Cleve

      |

      This is my new character name for when I want to be a gigantic a$$ clown. Thanks Thomas Freyer!

      Reply

  • 7rlsy

    |

    Absolute baloney, the guy’s whole line. While you didn’t mention it, Feldon, I imagine you noticed his language use degenerated rapidly with every further attempt to frighten you, regardless of whether his grasp of English is inherently slippery. To me, his throwing the word “coz” in there was a flag marking the writer as essentially juvenile…

    Given other commenters’ research, yep, I’d call it cheap online extortio,n at best. He needs to hear from a real law firm — or government agency, the little punk.

    Reply

    • apraetor

      |

      Maybe I misread, but doesn’t he imply that he’s an attorney? Practicing law without a license is a crime itself in many jurisdictions.

      Reply

      • Malshandir the IV

        |

        Normally anybody can represent themselves. They can’t claim to be a lawyer though, especially representing other people.

        Reply

    • Hans Stuk

      |

      I’m going level a Female cross dressing bloodelf in World of Warcraft named Malshandir and tape a video drowning myself over and over.

      Reply

  • Antonia Bayles bit on the side

    |

    A video game character is not a commercial entity. I can’t imagine for a moment that he has a leg to stand on against the owner of either the said character, Feldon, or SOE. The claimant is behaving preposterously. There isn’t even a domain name issue going on either which makes it all the more bewildering.

    What if I had given the name Malshandir to my pet Labrador, and then had a page on my blog about my pet Labrador Malshandir. No domain name issue, nor would my dog be a commercial entity of any kind, just like this video game character, (and even if it was a commercial entity – lets say its the face and name behind some dog collars I handcraft…. for there to be an issue it would have to be in a competing industry surely??).

    Like Dethdlr says the bio text in the search results is probably his real beef. Solution for him, as with anybody in that situation protecting a trademarked name – get a domain sorted with a holding page if need be to serve and protect whatever it is that this Malshandir supposedly is and represents (even if it’s a dormant trading name), If he’s so concerned about it, he would do that and have ‘malshandir’ as part of the TLD and his site would extremely likely be listed before everything else currently being returned for a search on that word.

    Probably better being safe than sorry by blocking the listing, but be sure to have a word with some of your contacts at SOE and see what their position is.

    Hope you don’t let idiots like this drag you down on the great work you do in all things EQ2/N related. Some people are just born to make nuisances out of themselves for no good reason.

    Oh and, why not check this forum out Fel – its a legal forum related to website issues, I’ve had cause to use it myself in the past, and had a very helpful reply from a legal professional – definitely worth a shot…

    https://forums.digitalpoint.com/forums/legal-issues.44/

    Reply

    • flosch

      |

      Despite what I wrote earlier about this, and despite how frivolous this still feels to me, the thing is that that guy is maybe not quite as off as I expected him to be first. At least not absolutely and obviously so. Having ads on your site, even if they only pay for a fraction of the hosting costs, can classify you as commercial. And providing search results from a third party (SOE API) that contain unsavory terms together with a name can, if you’re very strict, get you into trouble in some countries. Google actually had to switch off some parts of its quick search after a guy sued them for having words such as “fraud” next to his name, here in Germany. Don’t tell me it’s crazy, I know. ;)

      What others said is probably the best idea. Use your contacts to SOE, try to get in touch with the legal department and ask their opinion. See what their take on the thing is, and if it is favorable… Best bet in a situation with a guy that tries to bully you is to get the biggest guns you can on your side, and to show them. Worst case, SOE will have to take measures about the character’s biography, and you don’t have to bother with it any more, because the information is “gone” from eq2wire.

      Reply

      • Feldon

        |

        That’s the thing. If this were any other country, I’d just tell the fellow to pound sand. But Germany… Beautiful country, really enjoyed Hamburg. But you guys have some funny laws!

        Reply

        • flosch

          |

          Though his claim that at a snap of his finger, he can make “your website unavailable for all European countries” is quite hilarious, if you didn’t have to deal with that sort of junk.

          Seriously, it might seem otherwise, but Germany doesn’t own all of Europe! :D

          Reply

  • cherrychipmunk

    |

    This is honestly pathetic. Probably just butt hurt cause his name was already taken when he tried to make a toon. I’d love to know if he attempted to contact SoE about this.
    I sooo wanna trademark all my favorite names now. :lol:

    Reply

    • Feldon

      |

      It’s not easy being green.

      Reply

  • Grump

    |

    I’d tell him to GFY. Seriously, is he going to sue you? He can’t afford a real email address or website.

    Reply

  • Greygore

    |

    This is going to by the name of my first character on EQNext ;)

    Reply

    • flosch

      |

      Malshandir Streisand? ;)

      Reply

  • Enathalia

    |

    I think he is hurt because, he is not first on Google search. Another thing is that everything points the office is in Germany, but for tax reason a shell company in UK.
    Internet is Neuland for him. Or he is playing stupid. If there is a problem with the search result position, then he has to go to Google.

    In Germany there is something unique that is called Mitstörerhaftung. That is like shoot the messenger. You don’t need to go after the sender (the SOE data feeds). In the end it helps only to avoid a confrontation with a more powerful opponent.

    Feldon one thing to consider is to let the search bots only on the main page of u.eq2wire.com, but not deeper, from the view of Google u.eq2wire.com looks like a big link farm.

    Reply

  • Amaitae

    |

    Wikipedia

    A registered trademark confers a bundle of exclusive rights upon the registered owner, including the right to exclusive use of the mark in relation to the products or services for which it is registered.

    The law in most jurisdictions also allows the owner of a registered trademark to prevent unauthorized use of the mark in relation to products or services which are identical or “colourfully” similar to the “registered” products or services, and in certain cases, prevent use in relation to entirely dissimilar products or services.

    The test is always whether a consumer of the goods or services will be confused as to the identity of the source or origin.

    An example may be a very large multinational brand such as “Sony” where a non-electronic product such as a pair of sunglasses might be assumed to have come from Sony Corporation of Japan despite not being a class of goods that Sony has rights in.

    Once trademark rights are established in a particular jurisdiction, these rights are generally only enforceable in that jurisdiction, a quality which is sometimes known as territoriality.
    [...]
    The extent to which a trademark owner may prevent unauthorized use of trademarks which are the same as or similar to its trademark depends on various factors such as whether its trademark is registered, the similarity of the trademarks involved, the similarity of the products or services involved, and whether the owner’s trademark is well known or, under U.S. law relating to trademark dilution, famous.
    [...]
    Various jurisdictions have laws which are designed to prevent trademark owners from making wrongful threats of trademark infringement action against other parties. These laws are intended to prevent large or powerful companies from intimidating or harassing smaller companies.

    Where one party makes a threat to sue another for trademark infringement, but does not have a genuine basis or intention to carry out that threat, or does not carry out the threat at all within a certain period, the threat may itself become a basis for legal action.

    Funny that Sony was used as example reference.

    The character is not registered as a trademark, and visitors are not confused with the trademark when they read that character name (except for one).

    But I can totally understand it that you do not want the hassle of taking legal action and waste precious time to deal with a fucking nobody who threatens with the wedish Handelskammer using his awesome arcor email address.

    Reply

  • Tomatoh

    |

    I would treat him like Daniel Hardman and send Harvey after him!

    Reply

  • Lubal

    |

    What you received has no legal weight, and that’s because it would get laughed out of court — whether that’s an American court or a German one.

    There are about a million things wrong with the quasi-legal bollocks you received. If you’d been sent an actual C&D, that would be one thing. But you weren’t. You were sent the ravings of a troll who doesn’t understand trademark law, doesn’t have any legal representation (or they would have told him not to do this), and is likely put out that he’s losing control of the Google rank of his defunct website for his defunct business.

    I’d urge you to reinstate the profile; don’t let this set a precedent or you might as well post a welcome aboard sign to every parents’-basement law troll to harass you over the database. What you’re doing — including having that character listed — is fine. This guy is wrong.

    Reply

  • MalshandirUMadBro

    |

    My next alt will be:

    “Malshandircanbiteme Tryn’nsuemebitch”

    Reply

      • Cleve

        |

        +1

        Reply

  • Riid

    |

    Take from a person who has been sued. This guy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. First off, emails are not considered a formal request of action or complaint. Legal matters are sent via certified mail usually requiring a signature of receipt of the complaint. Second, unless you are a citizen of a European Union country, German laws (civil) or any other country of the European Union does not apply to you. The same applies to US (civil) laws trying to be applied to a person outside the US. In order for legal action to be considered, the person must press a suit in the defendant’s country of origin. Judging by your domain address, an attorney from the US would have to make the complaint in writing before you would have to consider it a problem.

    I would consider this to be some hoax until a formal written complaint is issued. Remember, don’t trust anyone on the internet sending you emails claiming something before you have verified it to see if it is legit. Your best bet is to restore the profile and wait for a written letter first.

    Reply

  • Striinger

    |

    I’d prevent Google and other search engines from crawling player profiles unless you want to continue to make it easy for these leeches. You could even require registration with terms of service that say a member may only use EQ2 to view profiles for which you are authorized. Profile security settings could also be a final option.

    The whole thing doesn’t smell right. I’d really like to see Sony’s take on it. It would be a good question for FanFare, next week. Better yet maybe you can get a legal contact from DJ?

    Finally, that guy has the most horrible broken English I’ve ever seen from a German (much less a professional representing a company). It just doesn’t look right.

    Reply

  • Malade

    |

    In the 6th ‘text’ I especially like the use of the word ‘coz’ for because. I think someone was jerking your chain. Now I want a character named Pepsi.

    Reply

  • Malade

    |

    I would put it back and ‘require’ a physical letter as proof.

    Reply

  • faB

    |

    Are you sure this guy isn’t a troll? He can’t even write english properly. Even as a non english native, it’s very unprofessional.

    Also it boggles the mind people waste their time and thus money on such futile requests.

    And you’re given 6 hours to delete a profile… what if your “webmaster” guy is on holiday today?

    This must be a joke..

    Reply

  • Zapphod

    |

    Out of interest how do you know the person making this claim is who he claims to be?

    I get emails daily from Blizzard, Arenanet and Nigerian Princes making all sorts of claims but the one thing they have in common is a free webmail address, hell give me 20 minutes and I will have the Pope send you an email from his Yahoo account (he is traveling you know) to absolve you of any wrong doing in this matter.

    Personally I would have thanked him for his interest and promised immediate action upon receiving the relevant documentation from his lawyers.

    Reply

    • Jeff/Brigade

      |

      Love this reply.

      Reply

  • Griffon Lady

    |

    I hate bullies with a blood-dripping passion (in the process of a get-bullied session from my x-husband right now via text, as a matter of fact), but yah… taking the name down was probably the least annoying way to go. I’ve seen lawsuits where someone spilled coffee on themselves and won the lawsuit because the cup didn’t tell them it was hot (duhhhh). I’ve seen a lawsuit where someone broke into a house through a skylight, fell, broke a leg and won the lawsuit… there was a guy in california that put up solar panels and sued his neighbors because the shade from their fully grown tree was on his panels….
    the world is a f***ed up place. :\ I deal with it by blockading myself in a shell with a computer and working night shift to pay the bills. :lol: Yer brave enough to make a site that a lot of people use. Unfortunately, being known = being targeted by lousy predator wannabes. :\
    Just be glad you didn’t win the lottery. >.>

    Reply

  • Saltydbs

    |

    Not sure if it was stated but, how does this guy have a problem with listing his character when we don’t own the characters or information, SoE does? lol. How can you sue for something that isn’t yours? lol. Fucking moron.

    I sold a character once on WoW. Then after a few months wanted to play again so I took the character back through recovery. Got told I was going to have legal action taken against me lmao. Right. Because I was going to be sued by the person BUYING something that shouldn’t be that I didn’t even own. MMMK. Guess what happened? Nothing lol.

    Reply

    • Feldon

      |

      I sold a character once on WoW. Then after a few months wanted to play again so I took the character back through recovery. Got told I was going to have legal action taken against me lmao. Right. Because I was going to be sued by the person BUYING something that shouldn’t be that I didn’t even own. MMMK. Guess what happened? Nothing lol.

      You should have gotten your ass beaten.

      Reply

      • Saltydbs

        |

        Probably, was younger then. But legally I’m not exactly sure how I was getting sued lol. Even had their “lawyer” call me.

        Reply

      • Saltydbs

        |

        Although a drug dealer complaining to the authorities that his drug deal went wrong lol.

        Reply

      • Liam

        |

        So you committed fraud and you are now bragging about it?

        What you did was actually criminal and if they had actually sued you would have lost. Regardless of Blizzards TOS, you sold a 2nd party something of value then stole it back. The law won’t care if it is against a term of service, it will care that you committed a criminal act.

        Reply

        • Saltydbs

          |

          How did I “sell” something that I didn’t own? lol. I didn’t sell anything as it wasn’t mine to sell in the first place :P. MMO companies own the property/accounts. Their dumbass fault for attempting to buy “property” from consumers that don’t own said “property.”

          Reply

          • Feldon

            |

            How did I “sell” something that I didn’t own? lol. I didn’t sell anything as it wasn’t mine to sell in the first place :P . MMO companies own the property/accounts. Their dumbass fault for attempting to buy “property” from consumers that don’t own said “property.”

            Again, legally you did nothing wrong. Ethically? That’s a jerk move.

            See also: Selling something to someone and then reporting it stolen and getting it back. You get the money AND your item back. The other person gets screwed with their pants on.

            Reply

          • Saltydbs

            |

            You are right it was a jerk move. As I stated I was younger and much more ignorant lol. Of course I can’t feel THAT bad for someone who shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing in the first place. But overall I shouldn’t have done it to begin with.

            Reason I stated all this though was in reference to your post. How can you sue for a name/character that isn’t yours? You’re just copy/pasting information that is already available through SoE AND owned by SoE, not this person. If he made his character name something that he “trademarked” that his own dumb fault. He released the license to that trademark when he “sold” it to SoE through making a character and you just copy/pasted that info.

            Reply

          • Feldon

            |

            Alright thanks for coming clean. ;)

            Reply

          • JT

            |

            I know I sold them some crack, but they shouldn’t have been buying something illegal in the first place, amirite?

            Forget ethics, how about some basic logic??

            Reply

      • Murfalad

        |

        Morale of the story, never buy or invest significant time and effort into an account you didn’t start yourself. It can bite you later on!

        Reply

  • Cirav

    |

    I would have told that guy to get bent.

    This looks like a job for the super lawyer from Somethingawful.com

    Leonard J. Crabs

    Reply

  • Dionis

    |

    Such a dummy.
    I wouldn’t care about the whole thing. If he really should sue you it will probably take years till something might happen. Take the game rocksmith for example. It took 2 years till the game was released in europe, because some unknown from somewhere in europe went apeshit for owning the name.
    In my opinion poor old babyface tommy here looks like he’s just trying to earn some quick money but didn’t think about that his opponent wouldn’t give in so easily Maybe someone at Soe would be interested in reading the e-mails and will fell the fell the urge to smack our little bully here afterwards.
    Or maybe he’s just one of the many attorneys here in germany that are trying to trick people into paying to avoid some fake sues.

    Reply

  • Abyss

    |

    Out of interest how do you know the person making this claim is who he claims to be?

    I get emails daily from Blizzard, Arenanet and Nigerian Princes making all sorts of claims but the one thing they have in common is a free webmail address, hell give me 20 minutes and I will have the Pope send you an email from his Yahoo account (he is traveling you know) to absolve you of any wrong doing in this matter.

    Personally I would have thanked him for his interest and promised immediate action upon receiving the relevant documentation from his lawyers.

    Hands down, I vote for this post ‘for the win’
    Abby

    Reply

    • Jeff/Brigade

      |

      I’m with you on that.

      Reply

  • Pipsissiwa

    |

    Don’t respond to him. Feldon, or delete the references to the toon – it will only encourage him and validate his claims in his eyes (and potentially others who want to try the same thing).

    He seems to be both claiming to be the trademark owner AND the solicitor at various times – it’s very muddled indeed. He’s trying it on.

    He’s not contacting you officially/legally – you don’t even need to acknowledge him.

    You don’t have to do ANYTHING unless ordered by a court.

    Reply

  • Lempo Of Everfrost

    |

    Well whoever this asshole is he has just lost Malshandir on twitter.
    I am debating on whether or not I want to tweet some very offensive material out from it.
    I know, I know you are all saying… Lempo… Offensive? No way.

    Reply

  • jesdyr

    |

    sorry if this is in there some place … but …

    What happened to the domain name? .. I think my pet snake Malshandir needs its own web page.

    Reply

    • badcat

      |

      The feeds just updated this morning and now somebody created a level 1, and the other guys profile is back.

      facebook now has malahandir, and twitter. LOL.

      Honestly until you get a cd letter you cant do anything, and they would also have to sue soe, facebook, twitter, and a dozen other sites.

      Reply

    • Lempo Of Everfrost

      |

      The domain name is in the redemption period I am also trying to snag that. It will cost me $79 if it does but I’ll consider it money well spent. I’ll just have to decide exactly what kind of material I want to put up on the site.

      Reply

      • Tomatoh

        |

        Lempo I want to see some dwarven pron

        Reply

      • jesdyr

        |

        it could be the new goat.se …

        Reply

      • Bart

        |

        Sell it to Oracle for 1 cent.

        Reply

  • Caam

    |

    This story just made the front page of slashdot.org. I hope your web server doesn’t go up in flames like many others have done in the past.

    Reply

  • Jaxyl

    |

    It just seemed like the kind of thing Slashdot would post…

    Reply

  • Vladislav Arkhipov

    |

    Other people have already expressed similar opinion, but being a lawyer (although neither a U.S. nor a European Union one) specializing in Internet and video game law, I feel obliged to add my two cents.

    For short, the style of the guy who wrote you and the contents of his e-mails show that either he is poorly informed on the legal subject-matter or was just trying to do some kind of fraud.

    In particular, I smiled at absence of any proof accompanying initial claim and further phrase “The misusage of a trademark is a crime and has serious consequence as civil case and criminal case”.

    The best line of action would be to ignore such messages at all, not continue the conversation and do nothing with content of your website unless you strongly and reasonably believe that you did something wrong.

    If you receive an official cease and desist letter, at least as a scanned copy of a signed paper document, as well as some reliable proof that it is really a copyright/trademark holder, all proceeding from trustworthy e-mail (like an e-mail of a law firm listed at Chambers website or similar reputable guide), then you may do as you are asked, but only if you are not sure that you can refute the claim. And no one can collect attorney fees from from you unless they are awarded by court.

    Not to mention extremely hard issues of determination of applicable law in absence of agreement and that some common law jurisdictions have ‘threat of litigation’ concept which may lead to penalty imposed on the one who threats without reason.

    Oh, and I really broke into a grin at the phrase “trademark attorneys doesn’t exist”. This is especially funny if you use the term “патентный поверенный” in your jurisdiction. :lol:

    Reply

    • Feldon

      |

      Thank you kindly for your unofficial legal advice. I am weighing options at this point and the feedback has been truly appreciated. I think I was too hasty to take action.

      Reply

      • Vladislav Arkhipov

        |

        You are welcome! At this point I feel the need of a disclaimer – although I worked with some U.S. and European matters, I am not a lawyer of that jurisdictions and may miss something. However, intuitively and from some general knowledge, I am quite confident with what I said. Please feel free to contact me if needed (free of charge, of course :smile: ). Good luck!

        Reply

        • Jo

          |

          Dear Feldon

          I came from slashdot to your site.
          Vladislav as someone who teaches law in Russia should be more careful.Given a wrong advise can bring Fedon in big problems.
          To myself I studied law in France and Germany.
          The comment from me is based on the information you gave us and is no binding legal advice. This could only be given after knowing all circumstances.

          The English of the trademarkowner is improvable.

          Let me explain the situation. Frederik and Enathalia gave you a few good advices.Think about this instead of following advice from someone outside of this country.
          Why? You are under German jurisdiction that was decided by theFederal Court of Germany in 2000. So you have to follow the regulation of GermanyOn the other side German websites have to follow the regulation of the DCMA.

          It is uncommon that a trademark owner informs without a lawyer.Be happy that it happens in this way you safe money. And it is legal. In english law an email is enough, you have to be aware the trademarkowner is free to sue you in each country of the EU.
          Now a way to show the lack of knowledge of Vladislaw. A CD letter. From a lawyer is not necessary.Every person can go by himself to the court and do not need a lawyer. So your demand could be seen as incooperative behavior by the court.

          The rights of the trademark owner are given that is out of discussion. I checked it with the OHIM. Your luck you are not sued for this.

          And now to a few things that I found out.
          For me it looks that the company was sold in 2012 that explaines a lot. It is not common that the full name of the company and the right, here the trademark, is sold too. That explains the expired website etc.

          Now the bad news.
          You started a shit storm and published private information.
          By German law you are fully liable for all content on this site. SOE is represented in Europe by ProsiebenSat1. You could not be sure that they haven’t got a claim.
          By German law it could be seen as crime. You have advertising on your website, so you will be seen as commercial and that you make money with it. Personally I see not enough for a crime but for a civil case.

          Now the really bad news.You published emails and personal details without permission to damage the reputation of someone and you are doing it on purpose. That was not a good move.First of all you could not be sure that Mr Freyer is the one who wrote you.take a look to the signature! I could only read a company and no name.That indicates that the owner or director a Miss Jesima … Is writing to you.
          But your website and what you started is attacking. Person who is not involved. And a lot of the things are offensive and illegal in nearly all countries of the world.
          And even if there was doubts about the impact on a business with the shitstorm you gave them the reason now.
          You got a message about trademarks and you do not delete pictures of maybe Mr. Freyer.This gives him a very good reason to sue you. And you know the DCMA. It is illegal to post pictures without permission of the photographer or owner of the right.
          That is a reason why I can’t believe that Ken is a lawyer. A lawyer would never break the law in this way.

          Now the good news. I am thinking that Mr. Freyer nor the Company is reading this. Your luck.
          So my advice: take a few deep breath then think how you would feel if someoneis stealing your work. You would be angry.
          Delete the full thread, delete the thread on Kens site and on splashworld. Tell your posters here to stop hunting an innocent man. Think about you have done something wrong by German law.
          Call the company or sent them an email to apologize the same to Mr. Freyer.You have to deescalate.

          At the moment nothing has happened.
          I will show you what could happen.
          You will lose the trademark case. If the lawyer wants to make money you will get one case for missing imprint, one for the picture, one for the trademark, one for the shitstorm.4 cases multiplied by 28 countries.
          So a good lawyer knows you will lose the case for not showin in court. Do you have the money to come over 112 times? Multiplied by 3 is 336 days in court in Europe. Even if you have the money next problem. You can only stay 90 days per year in th EU. After that you will need a Visa. A good lawyer will force a criminal case to avoid that you get a visa. So if you not show you will lose your cases.

          To the costs will come the order to you tlet make entries into the DNS servers that your website is not available from the EU.

          I read that people here support you but will they support with millions of Euro?

          Ask yourself do you want to destroy your life for a game? This is not a legal advice only an opinion as private person. If you want a few sources about the court decision drop me an email.
          That is a reason why I do not post here hundreds of cases which will not help you.I have done my best with my poor English. ( I am French) I hope you understand it.

          To Vladislaw. Your comments are risky, it could be seen as free legal advice which is forbidden in Germany.Legal advice could only given by registered lawyers in Germany. You will not find them all in your Chambers website.
          Your advice to wait for a c and d letter is dangerous.He has to pay all fees. Such a letter is not necessary after this behaviour this I expect a c and d order which could be done within a few hours. The fastest I got was within 30 minutes.
          In my opinion such advice will only cost Feldon money. I know a lot of collegues give advices to go into the court to make money.

          A good lawyer tells you the truth.

          I believe that a lot of misunderstanding based on the language barrier maybe a translation from google.

          And it is true a lawyer is different from an attorney. An attorney is working for the government. And none of them is called trademark attorney. To understand the claim you have to understand the legal systems.

          I hope that it will have a good end for you but from my experience it can end worst for you.

          Reply

          • Feldon

            |

            Hello Mr. Freyer. Welcome to EQ2Wire.

            Unmistakeable writing style, disposable e-mail address, also the IP address (93.186.31.97) shows the writer is in London.

            Reply

          • Vladislav Arkhipov

            |

            I am pleased by the feedback, although I clearly cannot agree with some of the points.

            Just to be sure: I hereby expressly state that anything I say and anything I said before at this website and at any other websites was not intended, is not and cannot be interpreted as a legal advice. This is a good point, I agree.

            Besides this, if you don’t mind to help me to understand the legal aspects better, may I kindly ask you to send me a link to the German court decision from which follows that Feldon’s website is under German jurisdiction?

            I also would be grateful if you could explain or just point me to a good source which would explain why German law should apply to me? With the argumentaiton I see, I could conversely state that Russian law applies to you and your comment as well.

            Reply

          • Feldon

            |

            Also, you want me to remove articles from Slashdot and 3 other blogs?

            As you hopefully are finding out, one cannot simply snap one’s fingers and have content removed from the internet that displeases them.

            Reply

          • Ken

            |

            Dear Mr. Freyer,

            Before you make more bumptious and uninformed threats, you may want to research the http://www.popehat.com/2010/08/27/speech-act-a-bulwark-against-buffoonish-brits/.SPEECH Act, a law that Americans passed because of the regrettable existence of people like you.

            In short, the SPEECH Act makes foreign defamation judgments (or judgments for things like defamation, e.g., various species of reputational butthurt) unenforceable unless the laws and process that produced them comply with our First Amendment.

            This thing, this thing we have here: you’re going to lose it. You can back down, and it will be forgotten in a few days, when the next person threatens bumptiously online. Or you can keep doubling down, and make it vastly worse.

            Choose wisely.

            Reply

          • Ken in NJ

            |

            “Choose wisely.”

            Shouldn’t that be “Govern yourself accordingly”?

            Reply

          • Mike

            |

            I believe that the correct phrasing is “govern self accordingly to big leagues”

            Reply

          • Very Concerned About German Law

            |

            Is this Mr Freyer’s website?

            http://www.malshandir.us/

            I found this on Ken’s blog comments.

            Reply

          • Jettison Salvage

            |

            malshandir.us ROLF

            Wonder who this is?

            Czech Republic Site.
            http://www.companydirectorcheck.com/thomas-freyer
            MR THOMAS FREYER
            Born: 1975
            Nationality: GERMAN
            Country: GERMANY
            County: 21339
            Posttown: LUENEBURG
            Previous appointments:
            MALSHANDIR LTD (dissolved)
            18 June 2008 – 30 November 2010
            Thomas Freyer was employed as Director (MERCHANT) at MALSHANDIR LTD from 18 June 2008 to 30 November 2010
            resigned
            Company address: MALSHANDIR LTD 81 OXFORD STREET, OFFICE 504, LONDON, ENGLAND, W1D 2EU

            Germany Site.
            http://www.freelancer.de/u/Malshandir.html
            Malshandir
            Employ WordPress Developer
            Nutzername: Malshandir
            Standort: Potters Bar, United Kingdom
            Mitglied seit: Mai 2012

            Thomas “Malshandir” Freyer is now famous.

            Good for all of us in the U.S.

            United States Supreme Court.
            http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=485&page=47
            1988, CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST:
            At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas and opinions on matters of public interest and concern. “[T]he [485 U.S. 46, 51] freedom to speak one’s mind is not only an aspect of individual liberty – and thus a good unto itself – but also is essential to the common quest for truth and the vitality of society as a whole.” Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc., 466 U.S. 485, 503 -504 (1984). We have therefore been particularly vigilant to ensure that individual expressions of ideas remain free from governmentally imposed sanctions. The First Amendment recognizes no such thing as a “false” idea. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 339 (1974). As Justice Holmes wrote, “when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas – that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market . . . .” Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630 (1919) (dissenting opinion).
            The sort of robust political debate encouraged by the First Amendment is bound to produce speech that is critical of those who hold public office or those public figures who are “intimately involved in the resolution of important public questions or, by reason of their fame, shape events in areas of concern to society at large.” Associated Press v. Walker, decided with Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130, 164 (1967) (Warren, C. J., concurring in result). Justice Frankfurter put it succinctly in Baumgartner v. United States, 322 U.S. 665, 673 -674 (1944), when he said that “[o]ne of the prerogatives of American citizenship is the right to criticize public men and measures.” Such criticism, inevitably, will not always be reasoned or moderate; public figures as well as public officials will be subject to “vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks,” New York Times, supra, at 270. “[T]he candidate who vaunts his spotless record and sterling integrity cannot convincingly cry `Foul!’ when an opponent or an industrious reporter attempts [485 U.S. 46, 52] to demonstrate the contrary.” Monitor Patriot Co. v. Roy, 401 U.S. 265, 274 (1971).

            Reply

          • Jeff/Brigade

            |

            That is the bet site thing I have ever seen was crying laughed so hard.

            Reply

          • Jeff/Brigade

            |

            best site I have ever seen*

            Reply

          • Jettison Salvage

            |

            Ah Ha!

            Good for you, putting all this in writing. Because it helps plaintiffs make their case against you.

            TRADEMARK/TRADE NAME INFRINGEMENT.

            The owner of eBay store malshandir created the entity in 2001. They’re from Switzerland. They were still active when you infringed on their trademark in 2009.

            Switzerland is in Europe you know. And funny thing about United Kingdom civil suits, the loser pays ALL court costs. Similar in Germany. Oh but they would sue in Switzerland, would they not? STRIKE ONE.

            COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

            Copyright begins at time of creation. The Refuge of Stone game has at least one mention of Malshandir.

            July 17 2006 8:48pm
            http://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=4714

            Your use of malshandir, which you don’t really have the trademark on due to your infringement of the Switzerland 2001 trade name, infringes on the copyright of Refuge of Stone. The website http://www.myth-weavers.com is located in Canada. They would file suit in Canada.

            Canada and Germany do have reciprocal copyright agreements.

            As you so drolly put it, ‘So a good lawyer knows you will lose the case for not showin in court. Do you have the money to come over 112 times? Multiplied by 3 is 336 days in court in CANADA.” STRIKE TWO.

            Your perceived German superiority jurisdiction over United States jurisdiction? Here’s a simple to read version. The detailed United States legalize is beyond your ability to comprehend.

            http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/property99/domain/Betsy.html

            ‘Harvard Law’, look it up. You could also look up the failed German Internet superiority over United States law. The list is long, and remember in Germany loser pays.

            STRIKE THREE.

            If there’s any consolation Thomas “malshandir” Freyer, the viral nature of this tale will allow others unknown, who you have infringed on their trade names, copyrights, et al., to find you and sue You. A cursory search reveals many of those infringed live in Germany.

            The consolation is for Feldon, not you Mr. Freyer.

            Condolences to you.

            Reply

          • Archangel

            |

            Hasbro has a copyright on the Malshandir material. First, what happens to Feldon?

            “Hasbro and TakaraTomy have a long history of being very lenient when it comes to the fans of their brand”

            Not a problem. Besides it’s Sony’s data.

            Second, about everyone else, except Thomas Freyer. In the U.S. parody is protected speech, and none of the EQ2Wire fans are directing actions toward Hasbro. But we’re all Hasbro fans right?? Nod. Nod quickly.

            So Thomas ‘Jo’ Freyer, what will you do when one of Feldon’s fans ‘drops a dime’ on you, to Hasbro? Their 1990 copyright does predate your now laughable 2008/2009 claims. Including your use of “Malshandir” in 2006.

            Here’s a clue, with apologies to Mr. Arkhipov, badly borrowed from Yakov Smirnoff:

            In Thomas Freyer land, he comes with lawsuits. In Hasbro world, lawsuits come to YOU.

            Hasbro Inc revenue for 2012 was $4,088,983,000. Likely enough petty cash for legal expenses.

            And yes Thomas Freyer, Hasbro has an office in Germany with lawyers. And an office with lawyers in Great Britain too. And likely anywhere else you might want to run to.

            /*

            http://www.hasbro.com/en_GB/corporate/legal/
            “No use of Hasbro’s Intellectual Property or products is authorised unless you have received a letter from Hasbro authorising the use and have signed and returned this ‘consent letter’ agreeing to the terms of use.”

            “He can run, but he can’t hide”
            Joe Louis

            Reply

      • Lempo Of Everfrost

        |

        I think you probably did act too hastily here Feldon, but you have to look out for yourself. it isn’t like you permanently deleted it from the interwebs, if and when you determine it is safe for you to do so you can put it back up if you choose to do so.
        I doubt anyone would have ever even noticed it removed had you not provided us with an entertaining column.

        Reply

  • EDR

    |

    Block your website for all of Europe and replace it with a message stating that, due to a trademark dispute from Thomas Freyer of Freyer Consulting in Frankfurt, Germany (include his email address), that the site is unavailable for viewing. It will be available again should Mr. Freyer drop the trademark dispute.

    See how much fan mail he gets.

    Reply

    • Feldon

      |

      I’m not going to punish Europe for 1 guy. Also, I lived in Europe for 2 years.

      Reply

      • MoFoQ

        |

        then just punish the 1 guy.
        add a disclaimer warning to that page saying that “if you are looking for Malshandir from London, you may want to go here” then point to the “other bio” or point to a search engine (such as google.com/?q=Malshandir+from+london)
        It’s similar to what Wiki does when it does a “disambiguation”

        other than that, why not give popehat an email?
        I’m sure they know of various EU lawyers that can chew this guy out and who knows….some might even do it pro-bono.

        Reply

  • Fredrik

    |

    Thomas Freyer is right. Only becource you live in America does not excempt you from European law. If your website is accessible from Europe you have to follow the law.
    Every time a EU citizen visit a webpage that is considered a new publication. if you don’t want to publish in Europe don’t do it then.
    We have to follow the stupid DMCA so you should follow our laws.

    Reply

    • Elikster

      |

      Actually, not true. European laws do not apply to contents that is hosted in US in general. If the content is hosted in Europe, it would be applied there, but this site is not hosted in Europe, so it does not apply. It only applies if US law is applied so that guy can wank himself and get nothing out of it.

      That is the major contention here, and Fredrick is incorrect on which laws applies for it. Only European laws applies if it is hosted in Europe on european’s servers and US laws applies if it is hosted in US on US’s servers. So European laws do not apply in this case, since I have dealt with it for past 14 years in webhosting business.

      Reply

      • Fredrik

        |

        Wow that odd!

        Since Swedish law does not care where the content is hosted. If the target audience is Swedish then the Swedish law applies.

        We have had several cases of gambling websites, witch the government have a monopoly on. So people hosted websites and slot machines over seas and let there customers remote control the machines. Yet they where shut down and charged.

        https://svenskaspel.se/img/omsvs/2011/engl/directorsreport/theswedishgamingmar/the-swedish-gaming-.html

        “The Supreme Court adopted a definite position regarding what are referred to as the two EMV cases, which involved gaming machines connected via the Internet to a server outside Sweden. The cases involved two issues of principle. One issue was whether the machines should be viewed as slot machines or whether it was a matter of Internet-based gaming (virtual lottery). The other case involved whether this gaming should be viewed as being arranged in Sweden or abroad.

        In its decision, the Supreme Court established that machines and games for monetary gain that were linked to a server abroad represent slot machines pursuant to the Lottery Act. The slot machine gaming was viewed as being arranged in Sweden. The decision entailed that the gaming machines are illegal, since they lack a permit.”

        Reply

        • Vladislav Arkhipov

          |

          An interesting reference.

          Did I get it right, that the gaming machines were inside Sweden while being connected via the Internet to a server outside Sweden?

          We had similar situation in Russia after gambling was generally prohibited with the exception of few specifically designated regions. People who run illegal gambling acted under the signs of “Internet-cafes”. There were computers in those “cafes” which were connected to overseas servers with gambling software. Finally, this activity was considered as being arranged in Russia and outlawed.

          You may disagree, but probably this gambling jurisdiction dispute looks different from the one in question. First, in those gambling cases there were elements of sham transaction: it was apparent that the servers were abroad to avoid the law. Second, it was clearly intended for local citizens because the ‘slot machines’ were inside the country. Third, there was some person ‘physically’ operating these ‘slot machines’ inside the country.

          On the contrary, and all the facts here are my reasonable guess, here we have a website hosted within the U.S. without any intention to avoid the law of any other country, and Feldon does not have neither any specific computer to access this website from outside nor any persons aborad facilitating this process. In addition, different appraches may apply to gambling, trademarks and general WEB 2.0 resources as public interest varies in respect of these subjects.

          Although this is the Internet, I would enjoy polite and argumented discussion on this topic.

          Reply

          • Enathalia

            |

            I think the problem is the misunderstanding, how the European (especially the Germans see liability in the Internet).

            This paper may give some insight:
            Injunctions Against Innocent Third Parties: Case of Website Blocking
            http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2257232

            Reply

          • Vladislav Arkhipov

            |

            Thank you for the link to a decent article. I have just read it.

            I can agree with you, but in part. It may not be completely apparent for common law people here how a website block can be justified if it is operated by an innocent third party. As for me, Russian law belongs to civil/continental law family and does not differ much from German law. We have in rem action, and our government has the same approach to website blocking as depicted in the article.

            However, the core of the problem, in my opinion, is related to the determination of jurisdiction and applicable law, and not within EU. The article does not give asnwer to this at all (except, probably, for choice of forum within EU, indirectly). Neither it clarifies my question about that Swedish case. And if in the Swedish case the server was outside the country but within EU, this makes that case even less applicable to Feldon’s issue.

            By the way, are you connected with International Max Planck Research School for Competition and Innovation? My institution has some common projects with it. If you are, it seems nice if we can talk via e-mail privately.

            Reply

          • Enathalia

            |

            To avoid any misunderstanding this paper is not from me (I was skimming the Internet to find some thing to explain some problems you run into the Internet).
            I just found it. I just thought is an example to give insight why this site here is the target and not SOE/P7S1 the place where the data originate.
            By developing software that is exposed to the internet you run sooner or later into these issues. See my other posts where I show a possible solution to avoid having any problematic data in your possession or processing them on your server.

            A technical solution for SOE and P7S1 would be to tag the data in what region can be showen and EQ2U does a “geoblocking” (for example the page shows not visible in your region). SOE and P7S1 manage their naming blacklists. And trademarks that are only in applicable in Europe can’t be seen from there. The character in question is played on an US server.

            Reply

      • Fredrik

        |

        I also remember that Google have to change their privacy policy to comply with UK and German law. Facebook and Twitter have to follow French law about hate-speech.

        You may not see the popups about websites using cookies but I do.

        Reply

  • Malshandir

    |

    /. Reader here. Put the profile back up if you can. You should never feed the trolls. Likely, this might also make it on Drudge. It’s just the sort of thing he links.

    Reply

  • Mu

    |

    The obvious solution is registering the Malshandir trade mark in the US, for a website, and send him a C&D letter.

    Reply

  • Enathalia

    |

    The problem with Germany their interpretation of laws for Internet is only helping the lawyers to leech of the uninitiated.
    Because your page has advertising banners and a donate button, there is very high chance your page is considered doing trade in Germany. And there are other peculiarities that makes operating web pages in Germany a mine field (Störerhaftung, Abmahnung, Impressumspflicht, …).

    Reply

  • Vexus

    |

    It seems his grammar and spelling are only marginally better than a Nigerian Scam email. Not to mention he also wonders why you’re refuting his claims also tells me he’s not on the up and up. He’d be able to give you actual legal precedence, not just say that it’s been upheld “This is more than one time decided here by law.”

    Streisand effect anyone?

    Reply

  • Ken

    |

    My name is Ken White. I am an attorney, a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, and a writer.

    As a writer, I write about censorious, stupid, and mertless legal threats calculated to chill speech, and through the Popehat Signal, help connect people with pro bono counsel to fight such threats. Please drop me a line if you require assistance.

    Reply

    • DN

      |

      Ken is the absolute man when it comes to helping defend these silly internet/law/speech demands. Take a browse through his archives http://www.popehat.com/author/ken/ .

      If you think, even for a second, you need lawyer help, drop this man a line.

      Thank you Ken !

      Reply

      • Jim

        |

        Seconded!!!!

        Reply

  • Adam

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    Extremely interesting that he is claiming trademark, listing a British address, in German…

    I’d just have left it up and told him that he needs to prove his trademark (which he does) and prove that your usage of the term is causing a confusion or causing negative reactions to his brand. Additionally, as I recall from my law classes (IANAL), by threatening legal action where he has no cause, he is in violation of the law and can be sued instead.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    Cowing to random e-mails on the internet sets a dangerous precedent, so I am taking some of the advice given above and will see how it goes.

    Reply

  • Jason

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    You dont host the information – you link to it via the API.

    Thus everything he said is worthless.

    He MUST redirect his request to SOE.

    Nothing a court of law can do as you dont have a copy of this data…

    Reply

  • Feldon 2

    |

    You might want to do some reading on legal/judicial matters, if your site wasn’t that well known before, it sure is now!

    incidentally, some local (Norwegian/UK/German/Swiss/Swedish/???) authorities might want to do some checking up on this freyer fellow, something about him, his emails and his business doesn’t seem right

    Reply

  • Ardur

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    naming all my charactors and my first born son Malshandir now. this guy is a natural born chode.

    Reply

  • Ardur

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    and this moron is wrong about any thing costing you without volition for this. lol at getting a 1500 dollar bill from someone elses lawyer without consent.

    Reply

  • Ardur

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    I just hope my toon pepsi mc’donalds doesnt get deleted now…

    Reply

  • I’m Malshindar and So’s My Wife! | The Ancient Gaming Noob

    |

    [...] 130 billion ISK worth of logistics equipment, I happened on the tale of one Thomas Freyer who is quite upset about  something over at EQ2 Wire.  It seems that Feldon, that tireless toiler around all things newsworthy in EverQuest II, had the [...]

    Reply

  • meatwaggon

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    Wow, it sounds like you folded like a lawn chair in the face of a retard’s threats. Why did you do that? I feel more sorry for malshandir than anyone else in this story TBH. :P

    Reply

  • War

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    When I worked at Blizzard, I received an email from a company asking to have their trademark removed from our forums. It turned out that a player was using this name and posting on the forums, which could be found in a Google search. I forwarded the email to our Legal team, and I was promptly told to remove all forum posts and force a character name change.

    Now I don’t know how the timing of character creation vs trademark date played in to this, but SOE would probably not want to waste any money trying to fight any type of legal battle. Any costs would far outweigh the revenue gained from the player in question.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      If this had been a professional email from a company with an actual business website, I’d have taken it quite differently than broken English rants from a throwaway email address.

      Reply

  • Malshandir

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    Time to make a transexual diaper lover on FetLife named Malshandir

    Reply

    • 7rlsy

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      Excellent idea.

      Fetish list suggestions — ?

      Reply

  • Ilse

    |

    I’ve been looking him up…. I find it very interestingly suspicious he’s listed in several countries:
    UK with at least 2 different addresses in London (one listing since 2 days)
    Germany (In Raben and somewhere else)
    Norway

    It’s all with low budgets, or at least that’s the info which’s publicly available.

    I suspect it’s some kind of fraud/scam or whatever.

    I did find a trademark listed somewhere but it seems only for the European market (though I don’t have any knowledge of these kind of things). It’s expiration date is somewhere in 2019, but since it’s specifically listed for the European Market, I wonder if it could be held up anywhere else, unless he’s registered it in the USA too.

    Anyway, good luck with your decision!

    Editor’s Note: I removed 2 associations to a different Freyer in the USA who were not the individual this article is about.

    Reply

  • Aaron

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    Excellent article, and good dialogue. I’ve forwarded this over to some colleagues at a UK based patent and trademark attorney firm. This article deserves more attention!

    Reply

  • Jettison Salvage

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    Interesting things about that “Malshandir” handle.

    It’s the name of an eBay seller:

    http://myworld.ebay.com/malshandir
    malshandir ( 95 ) Not a registered user
    http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&ftab=AllFeedback&userid=malshandir

    This seller from Switzerland opened the account on June 8, 2001 and folded around December 2010.

    There’s the 2006 Refuge of Stone NPC Malshandir.
    http://www.myth-weavers.com/showthread.php?t=4714

    Malshandir
    Assistant to Sixhand

    History: Malshandir is Firnafel’s younger brother, star-struck by his famous sibling and intensely proud to be allowed to accompany him. For all his adult life (Malshandir is but 147), he has worked with Firnafel, and the thrill hasn’t faded yet.

    Personality: Malshandir is somewhat shy, but is very trusting if befriended. He is brave and loyal, and trustworthy.

    Appearance: Malshandir looks quite like Firnafel, save for the birthmark and for his notably longer hair, which is tied back in a pony tail.

    The October 15 2005 Tales of Tamar post “Malshandir…”.
    http://tamar.4players.de/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=27631

    No idea what this May 3 2006 post says.
    http://www.razyboard.com/system/morethread-nazjatar-charakters-kracken-1145288-2745866-0.html
    “Malshandir
    LVL:16er Schurke…”


    Based on his OWN interpretation of trademark law, Thomas Freyer has opened himself to world of hurt in lawsuits. As All names were in use BEFORE his now legally dubious May 29 2009 trademark filing.

    Not that the world operates by his fantasy view of law, but h*ll maybe someone Just Like Him will send him what he sent EQ2Wire. And they’ll be located in Europe.

    File these bytes away before they vanish. Malshandir is the name used by someone uploading a photo to flirtbox.co.uk.
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:fbEY54QCpSAJ:birmingham.flirtbox.co.uk/photos/2012/04/24/malshandir
    http://london.flirtbox.co.uk/malshandir

    hmmm. Now what would be a good definition to file in the UrbanDictionary.com ?

    Reply

  • Liothen

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    Its odd to see an article posted on slashdot about a site i already frequently visit.

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    I have removed the block of characters named “Malshandir” from EQ2U.

    I believe that a series of e-mails sent from a ISP address is insufficient to warrant blocking search results from a publicly accessible API. It also sets a dangerous precedent for other websites that merely index data from a third party source.

    Reply

  • Seffrid

    |

    Well done Feldon for removing the block.

    I know exactly where you were coming from in reacting initially the way you did, there’s nothing like the sort of email you got to give an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of the stomach, and when you run an independent site for fun rather than profit it’s difficult not to take such threats seriously. It would be easy for me to say I’d have ignored it, and maybe I would have, but it would have niggled away at me nonetheless.

    At least you (and Herr Freyer) now know that the community is behind you, a community that includes quite a few helpful experts in such matters by the sound of it, and I don’t doubt for a moment given the invaluable service you provide promoting and assisting the game that SOE would be behind you too if necessary.

    Reply

  • Karofin

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    Well done for ignoring this oaf Feldon. I am confident, that if it did come to a legal battle, you would receive financial support from your loyal readers. I for one would throw a few pounds at your defence. It would all mount up. These parasites need to worry about real life and real events.

    Reply

    • Malshandir, Jr.

      |

      There also exists a number of supporters of free speech and (US) First Amendment rights who, thanks to Popehat, are now following this situation. Some of them are attorneys (government, private, whatever…) known to provide support at times. And many of them are not attorneys but nonetheless are also ready to provide financial support should that become necessary. You have a lot of support, especially since you are in the right.

      Reply

  • Enathalia

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    An idea but that requires the cooperation of SOE. What if the page is rendered client side. You host only a viewer in form of some stylesheets, images, javascript (or even HTML5). The client browser does the XML query to SOE directly.

    Problem I see here: Is your intellectual property, the viewer source code is easy accessible. Advantage you will have less traffic, because of hosting only static content (that is cache able by the browser and proxies).

    SOE infrastructure: It doesn’t look very scalable. What they need to do is adding cache control headers. It should be easy, most items contain last_update timestamps (the objects without use the one of their parent), that can be use to create last-modified and ETag headers.
    The cache control expire header can depend on object type, for example items (more or less static) till the next server downtime, players profiles are dynamic 180 seconds or something.
    The query engine must be modified to answer correct with 304 not modified if the request contains if-modified and/or if-none-match and the source data hasn’t changed.
    With adding correct cache control behavior to the XML responses. SOE can add web accelerators (reverse proxies) in front of the query engine server as many as needed, they can even use load distribution (round robin DNS, distribution by client location, …)

    Reply

    • Feldon

      |

      An idea but that requires the cooperation of SOE. What if the page is rendered client side. You host only a viewer in form of some stylesheets, images, javascript (or even HTML5). The client browser does the XML query to SOE directly.

      This is how EQ2Players works, and the result is an awful, unacceptable compromise.

      Reply

      • Enathalia

        |

        I’m a tech person, but I’m watching what is going in Germany, I’m not from there but this gives me an outside view. It is crazy. Operating web sites, better not without a lawyer.

        The above way is how you would do it in Germany to minimize your chance to get sued for content in the embedded feed that is not yours.
        In Germany lawyers dictate the software architecture.

        In Germany you can get into problems if an embedded RSS feed (from another source that is not yours) on your site contains material that offends someone. For example a link (linking stuff in Germany is also dangerous) to a picture that someone wants to have removed. There is an ongoing debate if it’s more safe to let the client load the RSS feed and render it locally. A big no go is to cache the RSS feed on your server.
        (This is also the cause you shouldn’t provide an open WLAN in Germany. Alone the possibility that someone can use the hotspot for a copyright violation is enough to cause trouble. Lucky for ISP this doesn’t apply to them)

        Freyers problem is that he wants to apply this unique German concept called Störerhaftung to EQ2U. Despite his company has an UK address. This is also something because the Internet is everywhere, you choose the EU country (maybe even more than one) with the most favourable laws for you and the court location in this country that has tendency to rule favourable in similar cases to yours (In Germany Hamburg is a well known example).

        With P7S1 handling the Europe business, the Germans should be more happy they can now use Abmahnungen (also a unique German concept). But this will probably end with ping pong between P7S1 and SOE. And SOE asking themselves what all this crazy Europeans have, especially the Germans.

        Reply

  • JdJdJd

    |

    Just adding 2cents here if it hasn’t already been said. I am sorry I did not read every post.

    I know the gut reaction is to stand up to the bully and ignore him. On the surface nothing has been done wrong here, no laws were broken etc. He really doesn’t appear to have a legal let to stand on.

    Have you really broken the law? Probably not, but if you ARE sued, that would not be made clear until AFTER your court appearance. If someone sues you from another country, can you afford to hire a lawyer to defend yourself? Can you afford to travel there yourself? How much would it cost you all told just to make the appearance?

    The reason this happens and people get away with it, is because most people don’t have the resources to fight it.

    It’s bullying, it’s wrong and it’s a shame that people get away with it.

    Reply

    • Feldon

      |

      if you ARE sued, that would not be made clear until AFTER your court appearance

      Wut? This is not how the law works.

      Reply

  • JdJdJd

    |

    I could very well be wrong. I am certianly no authority. The last case I followed was regarding someone who actually lived in the UK, the company sueing was in the US but they filed the lawsuit in Australia on the grounds the his writings were read there. He won, but not everyone has the ability to defend themselves when things are global.

    Reply

  • JdJdJd

    |

    Updated to add – the law you quoted above is absolutely true and was passed in response to the libel tourism going on. It was passed only in the last few years. So yes, a judgement against you would not be enforcible here. That makes the person threatening you with this crap really stupid. It does not mean that this does not happen though. Just means we are really lucky to live where we do.

    Reply

  • LimeSplitpaw

    |

    Wow what a load of crap, EQ2 wire is such a nice website really wish you didn’t have to receive such threats! :(

    Reply

  • Some Weasel

    |

    Someone has posted a website linked to from popehat that is unkind to our friend. If you respect this guy, please do not go to the following link and click the “update” links at the bottom to funny websites:

    http://www.popehat.com/2013/07/25/listen-dont-mention-the-malshandir-i-mentioned-it-once-but-i-think-i-got-away-with-it-all-right/

    For perspective for non-legal-eagles: if the law of whatever country was viewing the intertwebs got to control all content on the web, there would be no freedom of speech on the net at all. In Thailand it is criminal to say the King of Thailand is a leach living off of the hard work of his people, in Saudi Arabia it is a crime to say that Mohammed was a brigand, in Germany it is a crime to argue that Adolf Hitler was good for Germany, in North Korea I would disappear if I posted on the internet that all of the dear/great leaders were madman who have murdered millions of people while drinking Hennessy and wearing dumb sun glasses.

    Whether or not you want to make any of those statements is irrelevant. If some country had the ability to destroy all speech, the game is over. In the United States a person is certainly able to make, and post on the internet, any of those statements. WHY? Because the foreign countries do not get to limit our freedom of speech – only OUR government gets to do that.

    And thus far, according to Ken and other reputable authorities, the freedom to have websites such as the one posted above is still protected. For a huge number of reasons.

    God Bless America. And God Bless the Popehat.

    Reply

  • Teufelgott

    |

    Freyer Consulting
    Unit 135, 155 Minories
    EC3N 1AD London

    His address appears to be a PO Box at the local Mail Boxes Etc.

    Reply

  • Zapphod

    |

    Well I would have thought that this would have blown over by now clearly someone out there has a problem with EQ2Wire and is now amateurishly trying to pretend that this is a legitimate claim because he is too thick to know when he is doing more damage to his own reputation than a video game character ever could.

    If this was a professional company I am sure that by now that would be using professional tools not the equivalent of “John cant come to school today, signed John’s mother” emails.
    If you were dealing with a professional (even a low budget one) you would expect that had they been intent on removing the name from the internet that rather than dealing with the end user they would have to Sony and had them change the name thus removing it from all downstream users.

    Perhaps it is time to ask Freyer or one of his alter ego’s on this forum to come clean as to what his real aim is here because no one really believes the pseudo-legal BS that you are spouting.

    Reply

  • Jeff/Brigade

    |

    Anyone read “The Wheel of Time” book series there is a saying that is close to this Malshandir I cant remember the saying but is very similar think it is like Talshiandr or something like that.

    Reply

    • Johanna

      |

      Are you thinking Mashadar? That’s the name of the evil fog monster thing in Shadar Logoth

      Reply

      • Careless

        |

        I think he’s mixing that and something the borderlanders say.

        Reply

  • Archangel

    |

    Figured out where the mysterious “Malshandir” name originates from.

    http://www.pandius.com/gaz13_dm.html “for Dungeon Masters running D&D (R) Known World or Hollow World (R) campaign”

    A Dungeons & Dragons Hollow World Campaign Set is available for purchase at Amazon. The book was published by Wizards of the Coast, Copyright August 1990.

    Thomas Freyer would have been 14 or 15 years old at the time.

    Wizards of the Coast, a United States company, is still in operation today

    I wonder what their lawyers would do about Thomas Freyer?

    /*

    “Breakdown, takedown, you’re busted”
    Bob Seger, Shakedown, Beverly Hill Cop II (1987)

    Reply

  • Archangel

    |

    A clearer document showing the origin of “Malshandir”.

    http://mystara.thorf.co.uk/files/gaz13-the-shadow-elves.pdf
    The Shadow Elves Players’ Guide
    An Official Dungeons & Dragons Game Supplement
    By Carl Sargent and Gary Thomas
    Copyright 1990, 1995 TSR Inc/Wizards of the Coast

    Malshandir makes an appearance on page 48.

    Wizards of the Coast bought TRS/Dungeons and Dragons in 1997(?). Wizards of the Coast is subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. Founded in 1923, “Hasbro Inc is an American multinational toy and board game company. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world.”

    Like http://www.hasbro.de and Hasbro Germany DmbH.

    /*

    “I pity the fool.”
    Clubber Lang (Mr. T), Rocky 3 (1982)

    Reply

  • Archangel

    |

    er Hasbro Germany GmbH

    Coffee!!

    Reply

  • Cartaphilus

    |

    We need Malshandir characters on all servers! We’re almost there…

    Reply

  • Malshandir

    |

    No, I am Malshandir!

    Reply

  • Archangel

    |

    Beating dead horse/troll, one more time.

    She Is Malshandir (the blog anyway):

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/ee629a8ee1d65d9b723054a661b76c79/tumblr_mfu672G4kL1qzamioo4_1280.jpg

    Context of the photo:

    http://gerikson.tumblr.com/post/44884475713/the-dave-strider-morbidfashion-ianbrooks

    If that doesn’t give you little bumps or raise tiny hairs, you may be life impaired.

    /*

    “Remember, there’s always something cleverer than yourself.”
    Merlin, Excalibur (1981)

    Reply

  • Kelryth

    |

    May the Malshandir be with you!

    Reply

  • Archangle

    |

    Original article by Vladislav Arkhipov:
    http://gameponder.blogspot.ch/2013/09/information-law-symposium-at-free.html
    Information Law Symposium At Free University Of Berlin, 26-27 September 2013

    Props to Vladislav Arkhipov.

    http://www.slideshare.net/vladislavarkhipov5/arkhipov-malshandir-case-and-pervasive-internet-law-problems-26-09-2013
    Legal regulation of the Internet: pervasive problems and architectural design

    /*

    “What happens when casual conversation becomes serious fun?”
    Donna Paulsen

    Reply

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