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Mon, Feb 2, 2015 2:35 PM


Old Images of Your Website - Of Potential Use

I ran into an issue with one of my sites recently and thought I would share just in case  someone else can learn from my experience. The following does not constitute legal advice and I'm just sharing.

I manage 2 sites with  Homestead. The first one was published in January of 2010. In 2011, I opted to add a service mark to my site  name to protect it. I talked to an attorney at the firm where I work and we discussed the legal protections that would give me. I've had a "SM" on each page of my site next to the site name for years.

In the years since, I have had some minor problems with people using the name of my site. Most were flash in the pan uses by high school kids. One was/is use by an organization in Canada.  Based on geography, I don't consider that  much of a problem. When I get email for the other group, I forward it.

I recently ran into an issue with a group in another state using my site name. A client in Minnesota alerted me to this and said he was confused. When I contacted the people using the name, they pretty much said "tough." I again talked to my legal guys and they sent out a cease and desist letter.  In response to the letter, the person who developed the site using the name of my website said that I only started using the service mark recently.  Uh, no. That is not correct.

If you want to get to old versions of your site because you want/need to prove something, you can use a cool resource called The Wayback Machine. As a fan of Dr. Peabody and Sherman that just cracks me up. When I typed in the name of my site, I got a report that my home page had been saved by this neutral archiving organization 23 times since 2010. And I can now prove I have been using the service mark for years.

This will not help you restore lost data, of course. But if you run into an issue similar to mine and you need to prove what you home page looked like once upon a time,  you can do it.

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