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  1. #1
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    Exclamation NetEnforcers and Bidding on Adwords!?
    I was recently contacted via registered mail by NetEnforcers with a legal letter saying that our affiliate site which sells Sony products through Amazon, Crutchfield, J&R etc was infringing on copyright laws by bidding on Adwords for Sony products. They gave us 1 week or else we will have to pay $150,000 per ad.

    We don't even use the word 'Sony' in the ads.... we have ads that target a specific product, such as a Sony XYZ123 DVD Player, and for the keyword we have an ad saying 'Buy XYZ123 DVD Player' and send the user to a page where they can purchase the Sony product.

    So we get this letter saying we can't have an ad for it since we are using 'Sony Works' which is copyright... (the term XYZ123 I guess is the problem). BUT dozens of other affiliate sites are bidding on the SAME TERM with almost the SAME ad with XYZ123 in the ad just like we did.

    How is this a violation? Is this NetEnforcers company even reputable? Is it a scam? Why can/do they stop us an no one else?

    ??

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    TIP: don't even try to push SONY or Panasonic trademark advertising, as they will hand you your butt on a platter. Some licenced resellers can't even openly advertise the prices.

    If Sony wanted to get real anal they can Google their strickly controlled trademarks terms seeing who actually is playing PPCSE and SERP spammy games with trademarks + coupon http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...aio+coupons%22
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I just received the same email from Netenforcers for using the J&R, Sony, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. datafeeds. I sent them a response back telling them I've been granted access to this data by the Sony affiliate program. I've only just received this notice and they said I need to comply by tomorrow. Apparently there was a mixup with my registrar and they didn't get the email to me until today. Anybody else have any experience with this? Should I worry about this deadline? What do they want me to do? Remove all the Sony products from my site? I don't use any PPC and I don't bid on copyrighted terms. I don't get it.

    jvanv, what was your resolution for this case?

    Thank you,
    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  4. #4
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    "They gave us 1 week or else we will have to pay $150,000 per ad."

    That's nuts. They need to contact the affiliate program so they can tell all their affiliates if that's the case. I figure any product that a merchant sells is open game unless I'm told otherwise.

  5. #5
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    From the keyword link at CJ

    Sony:
    "Publishers may use Sony brand names in keyword tittles or descriptions, but only as a reference to products sold on SonyStyle.com."

    Panasonic:
    "Publishers may use Panasonic Product names in keyword titles or descriptions, but only as a reference to products sold on Panasonic Direct."

    I don't see what the problem is. Affiliates are selling your stuff.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "They gave us 1 week or else we will have to pay $150,000 per ad."

    That's nuts. They need to contact the affiliate program so they can tell all their affiliates if that's the case. I figure any product that a merchant sells is open game unless I'm told otherwise.
    I agree. Why are they picking on me when thousands of other affiliates have this data available to them to use as they wish. I just hope they're mistaken and this can be remedied. If I had to pay $150k for every Sony product listed on my site I'd have to file for bankruptcy. I can see it now, "Self-employed webmaster bankrupted for participating in affiliate program".

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  7. #7
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    Remove first, work it out later. Companies hire these idiots to go out head hunting without any knowledge of what the main company itself is doing or allowing. I have talked with a NetEnforcers lawyer before, they are morons and they don't care they are ignornat. An ignorant lawyer with an itchy lawsuit finger is trouble, so remove the ad then fight it with the affiliate program.

    These type of lawyers are the bottom of lawyer rung, C&D mills. I was once threatened by coke for running ads they were paying me to run. I stopped running the ads and kept the money.

    Chet

  8. #8
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    "NetEnforcers has established itself as the leader in comprehensive brand protection services. Our systems and personnel detect, track, decipher and engage to eliminate illegal activity and unauthorized brand abuse from hurting your company, stealing your revenues, and devaluing your product brand names. We do this all in an extremely cost-effective manner, and our services quickly produce a positive ROI in the form of increased brand value, decreased legal expenses, and better control over your product distribution."

    And they do this with their "Fully developed sophisticated intelligent scanning software"

    There's no hurting the company, stealing of revenues or devaluing the product brand names. They come across to me as a little bit clueless of what we do.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    Remove first, work it out later. Companies hire these idiots to go out head hunting without any knowledge of what the main company itself is doing or allowing. I have talked with a NetEnforcers lawyer before, they are morons and they don't care they are ignornat. An ignorant lawyer with an itchy lawsuit finger is trouble, so remove the ad then fight it with the affiliate program.

    These type of lawyers are the bottom of lawyer rung, C&D mills. I was once threatened by coke for running ads they were paying me to run. I stopped running the ads and kept the money.

    Chet
    The thing is I'm not sure what they want me to take down. They gave me the URL to a single Sony product on my site. I have a price comparison engine so this product has 8 prices from various merchants. Do they want me to remove the Sony logo I have beside the price for Sony Style? Or do they just want me to remove this product and all 8 prices? Do they want me to remove every Sony product on my site? I guess for now I'll just remove the Sony logo beside the Sony price. But what about the product image? They really weren't clear on what they want me to do.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  10. #10
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    Have you tried calling them? My notices from them had a phone number on it.

  11. #11
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    I was going to say call them up and you might be able to get a number but check out their contact page:

    http://www.netenforcers.com/contact.cfm

    "Calls not related to sales inquiries will not be accepted nor returned."

    Just searching on their name, all kinds of complaints
    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...q=NetEnforcers

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    Have you tried calling them? My notices from them had a phone number on it.
    I called the number in the C&D and it said they don't listen to messages recorded on that number and the only way they'll listen is if I email them. I've emailed them and I'm just waiting for a response. I removed my 88x31 Sony logo, so I hope this is what they were referring to.

    It's pretty obvious they don't know what they're doing. If they're going to target me, they might as well get the entire affiliate roster in CJ and start mass-emailing C&D's to each Sony affiliate. Afterall, Sony is apparently paying them to take legal action against their affiliates.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  13. #13
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    They must have changed that, I haven't gotten one in a bit.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I just found somebody who's got a lawyer working on a class action suit against Netenforcers. Sounds like a plan to me. I'm going to check into this and hopefully get a piece of the pie.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I just got a response back from the Sony affiliate manager. They told me that this was most likely made in error because Sony is not currently filing any lawsuits of this type. They said a couple other affiliates are being harassed by NetEnforcers and that I should refer them to www.cj.com. They said everything I'm doing is under the agreement I have with CJ and is perfectly legitimate. It sounds like this NetEnforcers company really doesn't know what they're doing.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  16. #16
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    Either that or they know all to well what they are doing and are trying to help other brands by limiting competing brands. >>>"he Sony affiliate manager. They told me that this was most likely made in error because Sony is not currently filing any lawsuits of this type."

    Just make sure that you keep copies of any emails from affiliate managers stating that your actions are within the programs bounds to C.Y.A.

    PPC might be a whole different animal.

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well their are a few couponers showing up one page one with closed down servers.. http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...aio+coupons%22 .... notice some of the same ones Ben caught cookie stuffing. I'm surprised Sony + Coupons shows eBates and the Supers getting a pass...
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  18. #18
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    seems affiliate programs are going right down the Sh1t Hole lately.. all this crap about bidding on terms is just getting stupid.. i think its time i pulled my size 20 boot out and shuffed it up some stuffy nosed coporate marketers ahole

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Except in my case I don't bid on any terms.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Why are they picking on me when thousands of other affiliates have this data available to them to use as they wish
    Probably because the site capabilities seem like a Real Coder did it, AND it looks decent.
    So they ass-u-med that meant that you're some big, deep-pocketed (ie, worth suing) company that *hired* a coder for the backend, AND a webmaster for the front end...the typical employee-mindset. Born-Empl*yee types just can't imagine that the coder/webmaster is the one that actually owns the site!
    Last edited by Leader; April 24th, 2006 at 08:55 PM. Reason: typo

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Probably because the site capabilities seem like a Real Coder did it, AND it looks decent.
    Wow, a compliment, Thank you! Maybe you should reach 10,000 posts more often!!

    - Scott
    Last edited by Snib; April 24th, 2006 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Leader's quote changed
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  22. #22
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    Wow, a compliment, Thank you! Maybe you should reach 10,000 posts more often!!

    - Scott
    Well, you actually made a post without spouting off what a site "has to" have or any of that other related Napalm-attracting stuff...

    *Bites down a few S.A. remarks that came to mind just now *

  23. #23
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    I believe one of my eyes is watering up

  24. #24
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I believe one of my eyes is watering up
    Hm, is that because you're moved...

    Or is it that you're laughing because I've got the wrong image in mind, and the site in question actually looks like Ecom's?

  25. #25
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    I received a certified letter today from Net Enforcers about a single page on a site I had not touched in 2 years, really forgot about it, it was an Onyko product. It was a 3 page letter about copyright and infringement. blah, blah, blah.

    That same site had Sony products but no mention of them.

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