Keyword spamming - the case of Steelow vs. Ehmann

Hi kiddies-

Got this email today and thought I'd open it up in a topic here as it brings up some fascinating truths and misunderstandings about keyword spamming - i.e. using someone else's name or business name usually as hidden text on your website, to draw search engine traffic.

I have edited some of the more personal attacks out (and noted edits) but otherwise run it verbatim.

quote:


From: "Steelow"
To: sites@jackiefactory.com
CC: steelow@mastersteelow.com
Subject: ABBY: I will not remain silent any longer.
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 10:53:23 -0400

Dear readers of this email,

I apologize for this intrusion. It seems that Our mutual acquaintance Ms.Ehmann has decided to stir up the pot again and create more mayhem in our scene. If you are not interested or find this email offensive please delete this email without reading. If you are curious or interested in what it is that Abby is stealing from me, please read on. Thank you.

Abby,

I think that we are having a bit of a problem. Listed below is what I came across when doing my web work in the past week. I seriously think you must have lost your mind. You hate me so much and attack me every opportunity that you get yet when I go to search for myself and check my rankings on search engines YOU come up waving flags. You look absolutely ridiculous.
I couldn't understand why in the world your site was coming up when I searched for myself. Then I fell onto the bottom of your index page. Finding that you are following my lead and using the same style as I do.

Meaning that I highlight the bottom of your page to find all this. 432 times you used my professional name. Why if you hate me so much do you believe that using my name is going to be
beneficial?
If you are truly as great as you claim to be in the fetish world as a promoter WHY ARE YOU RIDING MY COAT TAILS?

I worked for three years to build my sites up to where they are Abby. You think that you can just walk in and use my name and STEAL people by
using my professional identity?
I hate to tell you but that name is registered. I do not want to be connected to you in any way shape or form so I will tell you this now.

I advise you to remove my name from your pages before I am forced to ensue legal actions based upon your infringement of my trademark rights.

--------------------------------

Attached is a copy of keywords on your website www.editrixabby.com , On the lower section, hidden, by using the same font color as the background.

You are doing this without my permission and now you are finding out illegally. Using my professional persona to enhance your website or
business.

******Additionally, maybe you would like to read what trademarking means since it doesn't seem that you really understand it all that well.
Rights given to trademark owners:

Trademarks are essentially limited monopolies over the use of symbols in business. The government grants trademark owners the right to exclude all other businesses from using a similar mark on related goods or services.

For
instance, nobody in the computer industry is allowed to use the name "apple" as a way of identifying themselves, except for Apple Computers, Inc., who was the first to use that symbol to sell computers. If someone selling
computers uses "apple," Apple Computers, Inc. has the right to sue immediately in court and force that company to stop using the mark immediately, and without compensation. In fact, they may even be able to make the other party pay monetary compensation for their losses, and have them pay attorneys fees as well.

So Abby it seems that there is a bit more of an issue that you may want to see for yourself. You look like a fool. Look at what all these search
engines say when I enter my professional name for search purposes. Do you really think it looks good for you to have this come up when you try
to STEAL from the person you hate so very much?
Please read below of the evidence of Abby's foolish attempt at stealing from me by the search engine results I located.
-------------------------------------------------

Off Lycos search first page

7 Welcome to EditrixAbby.com! Fast Forward "
... Planner Fetish Party Planner Fetish Event Planner Master Steelow Master
Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master
Steelow Master Steelow Master ...
www.editrixabby.com November 15, 2002 - 59 KB

--------------------------------------------------------

Of Google search third page

Welcome to EditrixAbby.com!
... Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master
Steelow Master
Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master
...
www.editrixabby.com/html/welcome.html - 55k - Cached - Similar pages

---------------------------------------------------------

Off first page on Aol search

Welcome to EditrixAbby.com! - ... Master Steelow Master Steelow Master
Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master
Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master ...
http://www.editrixabby.com/html/welcome.html

-------------------------------------------------

Off first page On yahoo search for my name-

19 ) Welcome to EditrixAbby.com!
... Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master
Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master
Steelow Master ...
www.editrixabby.com/html/welcome.html cached | more results from this site


_________________________________________________

You may be wondering why I address third parties in this email to you. I think you know by now that I have sent copies of this letter to all those in the CC line above...

EDITED FOR LENGTH (4 paragraphs deleted)

... Keep checking the Master Steelow website Abby. The entire truth of what OUR relationship has been since day one will be posted as a separate website within the next few days. From the emails and egroup info to the most recent phone messages and word of mouth info, all of it is in my computer or written and in my possession. You have told the entire NYC (and beyond) fetish scene your side of the falling out. Now I will not be silent anymore. All will hear my side for the first time. I remained silent for too long. Allowing you to destroy my credibility as a promoter as well as a person. Now the entire story will be heard.

M. S.
Aol Aim - xxsteeloxx Info voice pager -917 738 7934
http://www.Mastersteelow.com - Master Steelow





Comments, class?
Original Post
I dont know who this is about, but the writer of the above is misguided on a few points as relate to keyword spamming. The use of someone elses club name, celebrity name or other trade name within one's website is not a trademark infringement as the writer above states. It may be sleazy, but as far as I know it is not illegal or prosecutable under the laws of either the US or UK.

Think of the celebrated "aolsucks.com" and other websites that clearly use a trade name in a way that is abhorrent to the owner of that trade name. For now at least, this is protected speech on the Internet, and I for one hope it remains that way.

The use of trade names in "hidden" tags, which I think this writer is referring to ("hidden" text on a site usually means text of the same color as the background which is invisible to the reader but is spidered by search engine bots) is not illegal either, but it can have one important side effect - it can get a site banned either permanently or at least for several months by Google. Since Google is the most important engine for serious surfers, and since some other engines use Google to deliver their results, this could have devastating impact on a site.

Interesting discussion here, regardless.
Ohh Im finally catching up a little with topics and this one is a hoot! I'm not sure how much "trademark" issues stand in this case , or in any case on the web. It's so tricky, just like our Mrs. Ehmann. It's a case of netiquet really. You have it or you don't.
Sorry, well, not really, to impart a trueism but new technology always gets utilized for ancient forms of human animosity. Gore, or was it the Pentagon, or some nameless university researcher, -whoever really invented the web also invented the cyberspat,inherently, along with it. Ehman's technological bait-and-switch is simply classic hucksterism, a latter day 'browser beware'. I believe Ulysses is right about the infringement point. The mention/use of the name isn't inherently a violation unless it is employed directly in a commercial transaction. Although there is some gray area with regards to the nature of Ehman's sites with respect to whether they constitute a form of commercial promotion for her own interests, there might be an angle to legally pursue this using the 'trade dress' concept of copyright which is concerned with in effect dressing up one's product or service with the elements of another's readily recognizeable product. -Think of counterfeit Gucci belts etc. But this would be very difficult to prosecute. However, there is the revered old legal tactic of just enjoining an action against the accused violator simply to cause enough nuisance (legaly and monetarily) to get them to desist with their tactic. Not to get away from the tech side of this topic too much, but, just being objective now, I've found some of the incarnations of Steelow's events to be much more enjoyable than Ehman's, and neither were as good as Gomorrah when it was on 23rd Street. -Now I suppose I have to look forward to my name being ripped off endlessly on both thier sites.

[This message was edited by seven on 06-20-03 at 02:44 PM.]
Steelow - who has many, many spammed keywords everywhere on his site, is just mad that someone has copied him.

Its not a like or dislike thing hyere - I also used to go to Gomorrah and thought it was really fun, have liked both Abby and Steelow events, etc.

Anyone can write anything about anyone on their site - thats free speech.
I saw Abby the other night and asked her about this. The story of what she did is actually quite funny, and I thought I'd post it.

A friend of hers told her "type in the word "lesbian" and something else, maybe ny? into a search engine and see what you get. The first site that came up was Steelow's, and the site description was "lesbian lesbian lesbian lesbian"
which Abby and friend thought was pretty hilarious as Steelow's nights aren't exactly lesbian.

So, not really understanding the whole meta tags thing, she decided to change her tags to something equally silly - the "Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow Master Steelow" business referred to above. That's when all hell broke loose, but hey, as dazed points out above - good for the goose, good for the gander or however that old hackneyed saying goes..
I just saw this was 4 years old! oh well...

anyway tonight I'm gonna hide SEVEN SEVEN SEVEN all over
Sternangel.com and draw ALL your Dominatrix traffic to New Mexico!

That should increase my bank account by at least 7 dollars I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_(number)

I have had "Messy Bonnie" hidden all over that site for a year now and haven't gotten ANY extra business! That's because the bitch gives it away.

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×