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[mob] [Fwd: [IP] Is it against the law to mention the name of Toronto's airport online?]



-------- Original Message --------
From: Dave Farber <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]

From: Mike Masnick <[email protected]>
To: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>, Dave Farber <[email protected]>

Declan, Dave,

Thought you might be interested in the following...

People are very quick to send off threatening legal letters these days.

Here's a story I just posted:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20031113/1338207_F.shtml

Is It Against The Law To Put The Name Of The Toronto Airport On The Web?

Sometimes you have to wonder about folks who are very quick to dash off
legal threats to websites that happen to mention their name. The site
Urinal.net is a (surprisingly) popular website posting pictures of urinals
from around the world. They were recently profiled in the Wall Street
Journal and on BBC radio among others. The site has hundreds of fans who
regularly submit pictures of urinals they take from locations all over the
world. Basically, it's the sort of bizarre, but amusing, site that makes
the internet fun. Not everyone seems to get the fun part, though. Someone
from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (the GTAA) happened to find a
page on the site that includes two completely normal photos of urinals from
the Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport, and decided that this
must be illegal. They've sent an email threatening legal action against the
site if they did not remove the name of the airport from the site. The
site's owners complied, but were clear to mention that the GTAA had muted
them. In response, the GTAA has also told them they cannot even mention the
GTAA. Again, the site has complied in very amusing fashion. The description
of the airport now reads: "The [facility in question] - covering 1,792
hectares (4,430 acres) - has been [Canada's largest city's] main
international [aircraft take-off and landing facility] since 1939 when it
was first known as Malton [facility]." They also note that the
"Gee-Tee-Aye-Aye" forbids them from naming the actual airport. It makes you
wonder, on what legal authority the GTAA is claiming you cannot name their
organization or their airports. It's not likely that anyone is going to be
confused into believing that urinal.net is the official website of the
Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport. These days, people seem
very quick to pull out legal threats any time anyone so much as mentions
their name on a website.

Mike


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