Beware, your blog may be violating a registered trademark

Picture this – You post photos in your blog that come out of your own camera. If not all of them, at least about 99% are your own photos. No copyright, plagiarism or crediting confusions, right? Despite all the care taken, you get a call from an unknown number that identifies you as the rightful owner of your blog and you are informed of a flagrant trademark violation. What would you make of it?  
My instant reaction was, "WHAT !" But as the conversation unfolded, and as more details were provided to me, I realized the gravity of a photo (that came from my camera) that I had inadvertently posted to explain a certain How-to process. While I tried to reason out with the caller, I quickly understood that it is probably not right on my part to have posted what I had posted.
I recognized that a violation can happen not just by posting a copied photo, but also by posting a product image in your original photo.  I didn’t take much time to respond. I apologized and took down the post within couple of hours of the call. I removed one photo from the post and heavily edited the other one to ensure nothing was amiss. And I re-posted the edited version that night.

I have posted many photos of products in the past. This and this are good examples. But in this specific post, I had used a brand image to detail a procedure which is not the product’s original intended purpose. While the whole image capture was completely unintentional, it didn’t strike me at that point that it may probably be showing the brand in sort of a bad light. 

It is quite a popular post here in Woodooz. But then, it is only right on someone’s part to object to the use of their brand without their consent, right ? There was no mention of any trademark / copyright information that I could find in the product website. Yet, on moral grounds, I decided to honor the request to remove the image. This has now got me thinking and I plan to scan all the pictures to ensure there is nothing wrong with them.

While I do that, tell me this ! Did I do the right thing ? How would you have handled the situation ? And do share your thoughts on what else could be a violation on a personal blog. Would love to hear your views. 

- Somu

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  1. This sounds scary to me.

    Joy always,

    1. Susan :) Not sure if it was as scary as I was making it sound. Nonetheless, better to play it safe

  2. HI Somu
    First of all I think this is a good indication of the popularity of the blog. While I do not know which product you are referring to, I think the image may have cropped up in some innocuous search which led to them reaching your blog.
    Secondly I think you handled it well. A soft answer turns away wrath. Quick action will defuse the situation. I would have done the same.

    1. Hi Vinay, I was actually using a packed maida product was making the paper mache pulp. And I felt so too because I had not mentioned the product anywhere in the post. So guess it would have come up in a totally different search :) Either way, just didn't want to get into any unwarranted issue.

  3. Whoever the UNKOWN number called you handled the matter in a proper way instead of the way certain bloggers who leave abusive comments on others page (or) ask for justice in a public forum, without even checking with the concerned person in the first place.


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