What Happens When Another Website Steals Your Name?

The Coveted

Recently, a blogger friend of mine, and hands down the most helpful woman in the world of fashion blogging, had the name of her website stolen by another fashion site. Jennine Jacobs has been blogging at The-Coveted.com since 2007. After finding a serious lack of resources for fashion bloggers, she founded Independent Fashion Bloggers.

Independent Fashion Bloggers is one of the main reasons The Greyest Ghost is as successful as it is today. From meeting other bloggers, to html tips, to discovering how exactly to pitch a PR firm or request an invitation for New York Fashion Week—- I learned it all from helpful members of Jennine’s community.

Last week, new fashion site The Coveted launched, profiling the homes and closest of many of fashion’s elite. After seeing a profile of a vintage store, featuring the site’s founder Erin Kleinberg on Racked.com, I became confused. Who was this woman taking credit for my friend’s site? And why were the writers at Racked pretending The Coveted was a new “much anticipated” site? Many in the fashion blogging world had the same reaction. After the new site’s launch, post after post popped up questioning the trademark issues related to the new coveted, and wondering who was behind it. Was it Jennine? Or someone else? Many of us also questioned the speed at which word spread about the new site. Who exactly was running the PR machine behind it? And why was it suddenly everywhere?

Even if I didn’t know Jennine personally, I’d be outraged by what this means to me, as a fellow blogger. To see someone so amazing and helpful watch her years of hard work capitalized on by another site is disturbing, and I feel sick to my stomach watching the injustice of this situation carry out. What could have been resolved peacefully is now an all out legal conflict. The fact that the creators behind The Coveted 2.0 (what I personally like to refer to the site as) think they can get away with stealing Jennine’s site’s name, and then trying to threaten her into being silent about it absolutely enrages me. It’s the fashion industry’s version of schoolyard bullying. The scariest thing of all is, this could happen to any one of us. Someone with more money and press connections could come along and try to steal your name. No one wants to see years of their work tainted by someone new trying to capitalize on their good name. And in this case, the fact that the new coveted has tainted Jennine’s original site is glaringly obvious.

As someone who’s had their own work stolen and copyright violated before, there is no way I could stand by silently and watch The Coveted try to silence the original The-Coveted. I’ve started a petition to sign in support of Jennine and her site, The-Coveted, along with Poochie from Shoe Daydreams.

The new site’s lawyers don’t believe there is any way readers could be confused by the two Coveteds. If you were indeed confused by the appearance of new fashion site TheCoveted, please sign this petition in support of Jennine and the original The-Coveted

UPDATE: You can now donate to help cover Jennine’s legal fees here.

UPDATE #2: February 1st- Word is, both parties have come to an amicable resolution.

For more information on the controversy, see the following articles:
Jennine Jacob’s Own Take on The Coveted Trademark Infringement
(With an update re: The Coveted’s lawyers threatening to sue)

Fashionably Marketing Me
Racked post #1
Racked post #2
The Business of Fashion
Signature 9
Betsey J

About these ads

10 thoughts on “What Happens When Another Website Steals Your Name?

  1. Pingback: Response from TheCoveted [dot] com : Don’t talk about us or we’ll sue

  2. that is a really terrible thing that has happened to your friend and so not right. I signed the petition and tweeted it as well….hope she is able to get the issue resolved. It shouldn’t matter if the other folks have more money, it is wrong to steal others work. period.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention What Happens When Another Website Steals Your Name? « The Greyest Ghost -- Topsy.com

  4. Please keep talking about this so they can’t ignore it.

    1. Coveted2 obviously has a big PR budget and industry connections. The less we talk about their asshole behavior in regards to naming, the more you will only see stories about so and so’s closet, and how “OMFGLOL I looooove this site, it’s soooo original that someone looked at the Selby and decided to do it for clothes!!!! How awesome is it that people who work at fashion magazines have fabulous designer clothes?” type comments and tweets. Before this, I did like the idea, but they haven’t cured cancer here.

    2. I suggest the following:

    - on Twitter, track all responses to their account (@coveteddotcom), politely respond to the person explaining that you love fashion too, but you don’t like them infringing on Jennine’s brand. Link to a story explaining the controversy. For every tweet about how OMFGLOL amazing!!! they are, there needs to be at least one about how WTF? their response to the naming has been

    - on Facebook, reply to their updates with similar comments. Again, be polite – don’t call them names, don’t insult them or give them any ammunition to threaten Jennine with. Stick to what they’ve done, which is insulting all on its own.

    On Facebook they will probably delete any posts you make. Keep posting, and keep replying to their posts and other peoples posts until they’re forced to stand up and face this in a more honest way. Make their PR earn that check by having to constantly sort through responses that WILL NOT GO AWAY until they grow a backbone and stop treating this as some “little” blogger issue (my interpretation).

    - Contact the people who’ve appeared on the site, using the contact links on their websites. Tell them that while you enjoyed seeing their personal style choices, you do not support infringement on a blogger without industry connections and a PR budget.

    - Erin Kleinberg’s contact information from her website is erin@erinkleinberg.com, her press representative is eglass@theglobeshowroom.com

    Send an email expressing your disappointment in the way she is handling the naming controversy. Do not use personal insults, do not call Erin or any of her partners names. Goodness knows they haven’t been, but you keep it classy.

    One final DON’T; If you do not support Coveted2 using the name the Coveted, do not link to their site at all. That will only help them.

  5. Really well put, and such a good point – it could happen to any of us. I’ve signed the petition and I hope everyone who is involved with indie media will do the same. We all really need to stand together on this one!

  6. Pingback: Heraty Law - news - tv/film, music, fashion, and business law

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s