Author Topic: Cease and Desist Notice (FTAO those who run their own outdoors websites)  (Read 5757 times)

tonyk

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John Merrill is the Director of the Foundation, as such, he is responsible
Bit of a grey area.

 "You are generally not liable for the actions of your fellow directors, if you knew nothing about them and took no part in them, but you have a duty to make sure you are informed about the company's affairs. You may well be liable if you turn a "blind eye" to misconduct by your fellow directors."
 https://www.lawdonut.co.uk/business/business-ownership-and-management/the-board-of-directors/directors-responsibilities

 What if he was of unsound mind? I presume in that situation Ms Sally Powers would make executive decisions.

ninthace

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I'll rephrase that - according to Companies House, he is the only Director, Sally is Company Secretary.  There are no other officers.
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Mel

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Of course.

As an afterthought... even if a route could be copyrighted, we're only talking about the visuals aren't we? After all, his maps tend to be hand drawn illustrations. So if I didn't display the map but instead simply offered a gps file for download - can that be comparible? A gpx file is, after all, simply a list of coordinates. It's something that many people use these days, and something that - so far as I know - he doesn't offer.


If you didn't display his (hand drawn illustration) map then you are not infringing his copyright.  You are perfectly entitled to show a drawn trace of the route you took.  If you think about it, everyone who publicly shares their tracks and routes on platforms such as ViewRanger or Ordnance Survey would be in bother otherwise.


April makes a good point about the trip reports on here.  Are we too all guilty if we happen to write about a walk which just happens to be in one of his books or on his website? 


You've done plenty enough research to find out if he has any legitimacy in demanding you sign this agreement and from everything you've posted, no, he doesn't.



Carry on doing what you are already doing and you shouldn't be made to feel like you have to take anything off your site just because the route you took happens to be the same one he wrote about in a book.  The route you took is the one you showed on a map that isn't his and you took your own pictures and wrote your own account of it.


Please don't waste any more of your time corresponding with him or his "team".



No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/

pleb

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Can appreciate being concerned about legal stuff, but sounds like just ignoring all this is the best idea.
We're all doomed! DOOOMED I SAY!

richardh1905

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I wonder whether the Wainwright estate will be getting any ideas about this - all those people climbing so called 'Wainwrights' along routes that the Great Man catalogued.

happyhiker

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I had never heard of John Merrill either, April.

Now I know about him for all the wrong reasons.


Think you have probably hit the nail on the head. Lots of us had never heard of this bloke. Now we all have - I.e. he is getting lots of free publicity. Perhaps we should stop talking about this and let him slither back into obscurity.

Owen

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I have to confess, I have heard of him. Way back when I was just young lad Blacks produced a Merrill Tent, then the last word in lightweight camping. Like many I'd just assumed he was long gone. I think he was the first to walk the coastline of Britain, that was way back in the sixties. I think maybe he's rather lost the plot now.

tonyk

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 Interesting biography here.

 http://s10probus.co.uk/walking-my-way-john-merrill-24112014/

 It says his ascent and descent of Ben Nevis in 30 mins was a record.I am sure it was considering he must have been running at 18mph plus. :o

mananddog

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Well I'm off down to Leicestershire tomorrow to do a new walk that I've devised. I'm going to call it 'Grantham Canal and Belvoir Castle'. Any similarities to other routes are purely coincidental - after all, there are only so many ways to walk down Grantham Canal. If I ever get forced to take my current one down, it's going to be instantly replaced with this one.

Oi!!!! I wrote an account of this walk in 2007 when I walked it with my dog and have repeated this walk many times to establish myself as the foremost walker in the Vale of Belvoir. I have website details and photographs to prove the case. I also invented the Hickling Wharfe Walk, The Stathern, Easton, Branston, Belvoir ale trail (SEBBAT) and 100 walks in the area, none had ever seen footfall before I trod them.

I will issue a cease and desist order unless you contribute to "The Church of The Immaculate Boot (PLC)". If you intend to take a dog that should be multiplied per foot and paw.

Seriously, I just came across this. I used to walk the Peak District through the 70s and kept a record in a stolen school jotter so perhaps the Reverend is infringing MY copyright.

fernman

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Thanks also for introducing Mr Merrill. I'd never heard of him and he seems to be quite a walker

Are you sure you spelt that correctly?

Dear John, you are welcome to have a look at my website, you'll need several hours to read all of it it, and if you find any infringements I'll take it as a compliment.

strawy

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Didnt he once sue a boot company for surnamemisspellagement...
Now thats a word..
Dont tell him,i dont like e-mails  :-X


ninthace

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Harry, have you had any more dealings with JM?  Curious to hear how this saga finally turns out.
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ninthace

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Now you are just being provocative Harry.  You will have Mr Merrill after you!
https://my.viewranger.com/route/details/MjY3NzIwNA==
Did you hear any more?
Solvitur Ambulando

tonyk

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Didnt he once sue a boot company for surnamemisspellagement...
Now thats a word..
Dont tell him,i dont like e-mails  :-X
From what I remember he complained because he didn't endorse fabric or lightweight boots.They had to be heavy,have steel shanks and cause blisters for the first 500 miles.Even though the name of the company was different he was sure they were trying to trade on his name as he was the most famous walker in the world.In a way he was right as the name caught my eye and I associated it with him despite the spelling being different.Despite the hype surrounding him his name did sell products in the eighties,hence the reason he was sponsored by Blacks who were a respected brand in those days.

harry_keogh

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Heard nothing at all since his last mail telling me he was referring it to his solicitor. In the meantime, I've talked about the subject of copyrighting a route (briefly) with the Ramblers Association, Ordnance Survey, the LDWA, an outdoors book publisher, and an outdoors book author. I've also had an informal chat with a couple of solicitors, and also posed the question to the UK copyright service. So far I've not found a single person that thinks you can copyright a route.

That viewranger link has been there a while although I updated it today. My original post for the Belvoir Witches Challenge Walk was written some time ago before I revamped the format of my site. As he brought the post to my attention with all this, it made me realise that it really needed updating. I didn't like any of the photos either as it was a bit of a drab day. So a few weeks ago, on a lovely sunny day, I decided to rewalk the route and get a load of improved sunny photos. I revamped my post, upgraded it to the new format, and added in a bit more historical information with a few new photos from inside St Mary's Church. So here I give you the new improved Belvoir Witches Challenge Walk!