Just to clear up some confusion, this post is talking about The Strictly Spoiler page on the Facebook social network. Only that page is affected and it is business as usual still on this website
So about 30 minutes ago I received a notification from Facebook and an email informing me that The Strictly Spoiler Facebook page had been removed following a complaint that the page violates a 3rd party’s trademark rights. The email received is below:
So yeah, basically the BBC have complained to Facebook that the page violated their trademark of Strictly Come Dancing even though said page was called “The Strictly Spoiler” and didn’t remotely infringe on their trademarks.
Needless to say I’m not very happy this has happened. The Facebook page was starting to become somewhat of a community with over 1,000 people liking it and many commenting on posts discussing the show, the spoiler and all things Strictly. I’ve also expended a significant amount of money advertising the page on Facebook in order to help build it up, money which has now gone to waste! I’m sure the BBC having this Facebook Page removed is more about trying to stop the results leaking out than it is breach of their trademark especially as many other pages and groups which do use the trademarked text exist and don’t seem to have been targeted by the BBC. Pages/groups such as this one, this one, this one and even this one all clearly infringe the trademark that the BBC is so concerned about and yet they remain on Facebook!
Of course if the BBC aren’t happy with me posting the spoiler to Facebook (or indeed anywhere else) the simple solution would be to do away with the whole pre recording the results show and have it live. It seems a waste of time, not to mention license fee payers money to have staff working to take down a page on Facebook that wasn’t infringing on their trademarks anyway.
Whilst I probably could fight it I simply don’t have the time or the resources to be in a legal battle with a large corporation at the moment. I am an individual with limited financial resources and I’m also a university student with many assignments due in so don’t have a lot of time either. The BBC are a large corporation with many millions of pounds of license fee payers money that they could waste on a legal battle with an individual. It wouldn’t be the first time (*cough* The Stig *cough*). Obviously if anyone who views this site is a copyright/trademark lawyer and wants to work for free…….. well it was worth a try! I am fighting this to the best of my ability though and you can read more about the fight and how you can help HERE
In the mean time I’ve removed any links to the Facebook page from the main site and posts. I’m also suspending entry to the competition I’ve been running on Facebook (for obvious reasons) and Twitter (as a precaution) so currently the only way to enter that competition is through this site now and all entries received on Facebook/Twitter will be void. I really wanted to give something back to the people who have made this site and respective social network communities a success and hopefully I can still do that but having this page taken down on Facebook has unnerved me somewhat and I may have to tone down my activities on social networking sites in the meantime.
Complaints to the BBC