As some of you know I have a history with facebook.
I used to watch most of the shopping networks on TV during my off days. So when I joined facebook I not only made fan pages but groups for television shows, networks etc.
I created groups for QVC, HSN, then ShopNBC and Gem Shopping Network, which I watched periodically after ShopNBC/Shop HQ/Evine Live became boring to me. The hosts were hilarious, and some of the jewelry was nice. I used to watch with a friend over the phone laughing and enjoying the shows.
Surprisingly my Gem Shopping Network group took off and people started posting their love and hate, even purchases of their products, showcasing Gem Shopping Networks goodies. The group was just there for others to share and comment about Gem Shopping Network, members were and are not allowed to post any outside links other than directly from Gem Shopping Network’s website. In mid October 2016, the group was removed without cause or reason from facebook.
On the 9th November the group was restored by facebook after I emailed them for a reason, and on the 17th November, Gem Shopping Network’s lawyers emailed me, here are a few snippets of the letter:
Our firm represents Gem Shopping Network, Inc. with respect to its intellectual property matters. We are writing to inform you of some of our client’s specific rights and of certain activities by your company that infringe those rights.
Since at least May, 1997, Gem Shopping Network, Inc. has been using in interstate commerce the mark “Gem shopping network” and associated design in connection with its online jewelry retail sales services. On June 2, 2015, it obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Registration No. 4,746,112. Our client has invested heavily to promote and advertise the goods associated with the Gem Shopping Network trademark throughout the country. As a result, the mark is well-recognized by the purchasing public as indicating Gem Shopping Network, Inc. as the sole source for Gem Shopping Network sales of online jewelry.
Your use of the term Gem Shopping Network on Face Book while promoting sales of jewelry is likely to cause confusion among the purchasing public as to the source of the respective services and tends to represent falsely that your recruiting services are legitimately connected or associated with or are sponsored or approved by our client, all of which constitute service mark infringement and unfair competition in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114(1) and 1125(a).
We realize that you have a history of making fan pages and attempting to profit therefrom. As such, we are skeptical of your intentions with this site, especially since we do not have a record of you ever purchasing merchandise from the Gem Shopping Network.
Therefore, you are required to cease immediately from any further willful and unauthorized use of The Gem Shopping Network in the advertisement, promotion, offering for sale or sale of gems or jewelry. Gem Shopping Network, Inc. considers your infringing activities to be a very serious matter and will undertake whatever action is required to enforce its rights in this matter. If you immediately comply with our client’s demand,
it will not seek an accounting of the monies your company has received as a result of your use of the “Gem Shopping Network” mark.
- Who is confused? Since the beginning of facebook, groups were made so people could chat about anything.
- We don’t sell anything in the group, we just chat about the products, hosts, likes, dislikes about Gem Shopping Network. If anything was being sold, which has never happened, the person would be removed.
- No one including myself has ever sold or bought anything in the group, so what monies are Gem Shopping Network’s lawyers talking about? It’s a group! No outside links apart from Gem Shopping Network’s links are allowed, so anything being sold or bought is through Gem Shopping Network. So the accounting in this matter would be $0.
“This group is for fans of the Gem Shopping Network, all posts must be pertaining to GSN, the products & hosts ONLY.
All other posts, advertising for other groups, facebook pages, external websites etc, other than GSN, will be removed and the offenders will be banned. No exceptions. If you are caught doing this, you will be removed with no explanation.
This group is run by a fan not GSN and NOT affiliated with GSN or any of their employees.”
I’m not fighting with a low ranking TV network, who doesn’t even have a random wikipedia page.
Everyone in the group knows we have no affiliation with Gem Shopping Network. QVC ($2B sales), HSN ($600M sales) & Evine Live $200M sales) numbering 1, 2 and 3 in the most profitable shopping channels in the US, all have facebook groups run by me, with no selling and chat about only the respective stations. They obviously have no concept of what a group is and have problems with facebook groups not me.
So I have to ask myself the question, what is Gem Shopping Network’s gripe with it’s fans on it’s only 900+ member group? If anything the group is bringing more awareness to the fledgling network as more people are aware since they are obscure. Whatever their problem is, it’s not financial as we don’t make money off anything. I have not gained a penny from the group. Members post videos of their purchased FROM Gem Shopping Network, talk about the hosts on GEM SHOPPING NETWORK, laugh about shows or moments on GEM SHOPPING NETWORK! So I don’t know why they think people are confused or think we are selling jewels.
Whoever is feeding the powers that be at Gem Shopping Network these confounded lies who then regurgitate the same lies to the lawyers are wasting their time. According to Facebook: “Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.”
We share a common interest with this group which is Gem Shopping Network – we made it clear we are a fan group, not the official Gem Shopping Network group of which there is none. Anyone who uses facebook knows groups are places where members can vent, share, chat, laugh etc. There are no “official groups” or even any verified groups on facebook. That’s what verified pages are for.
This is the first time I have ever heard of an entity or business going after a facebook group.
Ridiculous. What are your thoughts? Post your comments below.