Friday, August 01, 2008

Yes, we were included in Mr Brewers Cease & Desist Notices.

Dear All,
I can now confirm that this blog was indeed listed in a Cease and Desist Demand email issued on the 21st July!

However I can also confirm that I still have not actually been contacted directly by the person making the demand!! In fact I believe that in point of fact there may even be more emails than the first one in which this blog was mentioned, but they may be covered by confidentiality requests.

The first email was not only sent to someone within my sphere of livelihood but it was also copied and sent to a member of the British press! thus potentially having the repercussion of doing me more damage. Certainly some of the statements made are in all likelihood defammatory and certainly, as previously reported, they have had a knock on effect to my reputation and livelihood as demonstrated by my post on the 22nd - after all the news got around - of course this could well be because this initial email - to which I was not included either directly or copied into, thus not allowing me to take action, refutation or defense, - was not sent as a confidential email in any way! indeed as stated in point of fact it was sent to a member of the british press!

Now one of the reasons I may not have been contacted or included initially may stem from the fact that given how the email is phrased the sending party would like to claim they don’t know who owns this blog or who I am - how that could possibly be I don't know, and am sure no right thinking or reasonable person could understand either, as for goodness sake I give the name of my shop in the blogger header and blog title! I also give the place we are and the official website link there too! So there is no possible excuse for such a mistake or oversight to act as a defense in this action, indeed pretty much every blog headline is a direct link to my shops main website and my full professional contact details are clearly included on that site, as is a standard contact form. Indeed on that website my name is actually clearly reported on more than one page! Add to that the comments on this blog are not set to moderate so a message could have been left at any time, therefore there is no justification or defense for not having contacted me directly prior to the sending of the email, or my inclusion in the initial sending of the email, especially as the demand was for the total removal of my entire blog, most of which is entirely unrelated to the person, their company, their charity or anyone else within their sphere.

So what happens now?
Well I am going to be making contact with the Federation of Small Businesses legal department, as being a member of this I have recourse to their services for free - how good is that! I am also going to be getting in touch with the National Market Traders Federation legal department - another association to which I have membership - as well and asking them for some guidance on this issue.
Of course a letter of apology and retraction sent to me with an agreement it can be made public on this site, and a donation to our nominated charity, or a bunch of charities of our choice, might go quite some way towards mitigation! Oh and perhaps the donation to me of the remaining fittings, fixtures and stands and odds and sods etc. -or the equivalent- that are within the closed SPCK/SSG Lincoln shop that I note is listed as a Creditor in Schedule F of the SSG LLC Bankruptcy papers would be nice in way of compensation?

After all including my whole blog and therefore tarring me and my business with the unfounded allegations of wrongdoing, and bringing me under the threats made in the email, whilst completely keeping the email and substance of these threats from my knowledge may only be willful ignorance, but it is difficult to see how this could be interpreted as anything other than an act of malice given that he failed to do me the simply courtesy of sending the email to me directly, especially with the potential impact to my reputation and livelihood.

And I certainly am not a public company, charity or public individual - after all I am not currently involved in any actions of noteworthy legal proceedings or public interest either here in Lincoln or elsewhere, though of course as the individual that sent the email in the first instance is aware - I am listed on his schedule as one who has been involved in a prior legal issue with him, and resolved it. Therefore the failure to contact me -thus potentially occasioning much damage to myself, my reputation and my livelihood and my ability to trade - or attempt to inform or notify me in any way prior to contacting those within the sphere of my livelihood and the british press in what was a clearly unmarked email without even the most basic disclaimer attached as to privacy and confidentiality etc is surely without justification.

So there we have it.
Yes this blog was included in a C&D,
threats were made against it and therefore me and no I was not and still have not been contacted by the party making the demand and threats.
I shall be expecting a letter of apology and reparation in due course, meanwhile in case they should not be swiftly forthcoming I will be making contact with legal advisors and trade associations whilst we explore ramifications and options.

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