An IKEA fanpage that was started eight years ago by a Malaysian was forced to shut down due to the page’s usage of IKEA’s trademark.
The fanpage, IKEAhackers.net was established in 2006 by a 44-year-old Malaysian woman, using the pseudonym Jules Yap, who operated the website by promoting IKEA goods and showing users how to use and modify IKEA furniture wisely.
Although considered a harmless action by many, Yap was a devoted fan of IKEA and she chronicles her love for IKEA by sharing amazing and creative combinations of IKEA furniture and tips on how to remodel IKEA products into something unique, fresh and beautiful. However, after running the website for eight years, the Swedish furniture company, IKEA sent a cease and desist (C & D) letter to Jules Yap that requested her to give up her domain name.
After much negotiation between IKEA’s agent and Yap’s lawyer, Yap was allowed to keep her domain name on the condition that the fanpage will be non-commercial, “meaning no advertising whatsoever,” explained Yap. Yap then posted on the IKEAhackers the reasoning behind her agreement:-
“I agreed to that demand. Because the name IKEAhackers is very dear to me and I am soooo reluctant to give it up. I love this site’s community and what we have accomplished in the last 8 years. Secondly, I don’t have deep enough pockets to fight a mammoth company in court. Needless to say, I am crushed. I don’t have an issue with them protecting their trademark but I think they could have handled it better. I am a person, not a corporation. A blogger who obviously is on their side. Could they not have talked to me like normal people do without issuing a C&D?”
On the other hand, this issue has created an uproar among the dissatisfied and angry fans of IKEAhackers. The fans of the page claimed that IKEAhackers.net did nothing but had put IKEA in positive light while promoting IKEA goods for free. Fans are also enraged by the fact that the company IKEA waited for so long to enforce its intellectual property claim.
Since this issue has cropped up, many parties have disagreed with IKEA’s action and have lashed out with a series of bad remarks towards the company:-
“You’d think IKEA would be thrilled that a site is hyping their goods and giving customers more reasons to come to their store,” the Washington Post writes. “But now IKEA has been trying to shut her down.”
“The site relies on strong connections to the IKEA name brand and other imagery, but Ms. Yap makes clear on the site that IKEAhackers.net is independent and relies on external advertising for survival,” the Wall Street Journal writes.
“Ikea’s C&D is, as a matter of law, steaming bull[bleep]. There’s no trademark violation here — the use of Ikea’s name is purely factual. … This is pure bullying, an attempt at censorship,” influential Internet writer Cory Doctorow says on Boing Boing.
“IKEA Plan To Shut Down IKEAhackers Frustrates Bloggers And Designers,” reads the International Business Times headline.
“What absolute clots,” a post on Lifehacker Australia opens. It continues: “The reality is that the brand damage done by this kind of Streisand effect move is potentially greater than any risk of dilution.”
“Why Ikea Shutting Down Its Most Popular Fan Site Is a Giant Mistake,” the headline on Gizmodo says.
Yap has decided to remove her advertisements on the site by 23 June and move to a new site where she will mainly use it for her advertising.
Check out some of the photos of the crazy but genius combinations of furniture from IKEAhackers.net
|A storage bed made from nine cabinets|
|A bookshelf and ceilingscape made from toy bins|
|A hamster home made from a bookshelf|
|A guitar made from table|
|A curving wall made from USD2 vases|
|A bookshelf made from stools|
|A twins’ highchair made from a dining table|
|A huge library made from Billy bookcases|
|A coffee table made from file organizers|
|A children’s raincoat made from IKEA bag|
|A bedside table made from a stool|
|A pendrive made from stuffed crocodile|