*Update (See Below)* KGMB Asks Me to Remove Their Logo From a Blog Posting

The other day, I posted a blog about a smuck that was scamming people.

I sent off a twitter message to the @KGMB Twitter account and informed them of the broadcast that they showed on the air promoting the scam.

I received a few “Tweets” back from them, which I copied and pasted into my blog.  Part of that copy and paste included the KGMB Logo.

I just received the following email:

—————-

Aloha Damon,

KGMB9 kindly requests that you remove our logo from your blog.  While you are free to post whatever you like, we are asking that you remove our image.

Thank you,

C.

CANDACE HIRLEMAN | Marketing Director | KGMB9 – Hawaii ’s Severe Weather Station


LOGO DELETED Phone: 808.973.4255 Fax: 808.941.8153 E-mail: chirleman@kgmb9.com

Address: 1534 Kapiolani Boulevard; Honolulu , HI   96814

Website: www.kgmb9.com

———————————————-

So of course now I have the following question… can a news station ask me to remove the LOGO from a private blog such as mine?

Wonder if I would have got in trouble if I copied and pasted my own email message from them with the logo in it?

*Update*

I sent the following email off to KGMB:

Aloha Candace,

I just received this email.

I’m curious why are you asking me to remove the KGMB9 Logo?

This is my personal blog and I did not know of any laws or rules that would forbid me from using it.  I’m not using your image to make money so there isn’t any copyright laws that I know of that would forbid me from using it.

Have you asked all of the other bloggers that have posted your logo in the past to also remove them?

I have no problem removing it if you can please cite a law or rule that states that I can not use it on my personal blog.

P.S. if you look around… you will find your logo on a few other blogs.

Sincerely,

Damon Tucker

And got the following reply:

I appreciate your response.  Our brand is important to us, and apparently to you, too.  Thanks for considering our request.

Aloha,

Candace


8 Responses

  1. Nope- not illegal That’s why they’re just “asking” you.not telling you. Called “fair use” under Title 17 USC

    But it seems you’ve stumbed onto one of the more disgustingly reprehensable local TV news practices- running these commercial “video news releases”. There are commercials disguised as news pieces that local news programs use to fill their news hole… and often they are scams. But the stations are reluctant to admit that.

    Anyway, it’s fair use if you are reporting on a story- even if you quote . If you were using it to deceive people into thinkig you were doing soething with KGMB it could be fraud but they arent telling you to do it because they can’t

  2. Damon,

    I agree, it is a very strange request.

    From a PR perspective (my former career) I guess they are thinking that their logo represents their brand and their brand has now been associated with a negative (for them) story. Let’s just say they would rather hide their heads in the sand than get free press from you. We live in such a litigious society where law suits are filed for the silliest of reasons and the only winners are usually the lawyers with change jingling in their pockets. Perhaps they are concerned about some kind of liability issue with their logo being associated with what you wrote. It is really too bad, because it was an important story and you brought the truth to light.

    Anyway, just because they ask you to take it off does not mean that you have to. On the other hand… it is the aloha thing to do. Maintaining a cooperative relationship might be worth it in the long run.

    Aloha au i Hawai`i,
    devany

  3. P.S. To explain my point more: trademarks are similar to copyright in that while they are property, there’s a principal called “fair use” that applies to “purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.” Basically, just as KGMB can put up the Ford logo when discussing an auto-industry bailout, you can put up a KGMB logo when discussing reporting. On the other hand, KGMB couldn’t prominently display the KITV logo for substantial parts of their nightly news (or vice versa), because doing so might confuse a viewer as to which channel they were watching.

    The “simplest thing that could possibly be true” is that the way you presented their logo may have been confusing to a reader (Someone may have mistakenly thought “Gee, that TV station labeled this guy a scammer.”) That sad truth is that TV and newspapers are so scared of lawsuits that they’ll never actually state a conclusion such as that. The best you can hope for is “Some say this man is a scammer.”

    Damon – I appreciate your well thought out logic.

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