Announcement Date: September 6, 2016
On September 6, 2016, Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, was sent the below email by HamCation® Chirman Peter Meijers concerning the flyer he had distributed at the Huntsville Hamfest and had on his website:
Subject: Demand to Remove Unauthorized Photograph Likeness And Demand To Cease and Desist False Association with HamCation®
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2016 09:32:49 -0400
From: Peter Meijers
To: Greg Sarratt
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 6, 2016
Mr. Gregory Sarratt Via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested
230 Latigo Loop U.S. Mail, Postage Prepaid, Email
Huntsville, AL 35806
Re: Demand to Remove Unauthorized Photograph Likeness
And Demand To Cease and Desist False Association with HamCation®
Dear Mr. Sarratt:
As you may know, I am the Chairman of HamCation® and Vice President of the Orlando Amateur Radio Club, a Florida Corporation. “HamCation®” is a U.S. Trademark Registration, No. 3,844,612 issued September 7, 2010 to the Club. The U.S. Trademark Registration provides our Corporation exclusive rights to use HamCation® in association with arranging and conducting trade show exhibitions in the field of radios and computers.
Your attention is drawn to the enclosed copy of your election promotional brochure used in conjunction with your bid for election as the ARRL Southeastern Division Director. Prominent next to your photograph on the bottom left is the use of a photograph of you shaking hands with me in close, but false association with our trademarked term “Orlando HamCation®.” The unauthorized use of my photo is promotional and clearly designed to suggest an association and/or approval of you and specifically your ARRL director election bid by the HamCation® organization or myself.
Since neither the Orlando Amateur Radio Club nor I endorse you, and will not do so, your use of the HamCation® trademark in such a manner is a violation of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act 15 USC §1125(a), in that we have not authorized your use of any reference to HamCation®, particularly in association with myself as the Chairman and Vice President of the Club, in a manner that falsely suggests that the Club or I endorse you. Because of your use of the photograph and the HamCation® trademark, it is clear you intend to suggest that there is approval of your candidacy by HamCation® or myself, or that you are somehow associated with the HamCation® activities. Both of these presentations are false.
As a separate matter, under Florida law, I personally have not provided you with authorization to publish my likeness in your promotional brochure. Florida Statutes Annotated §540.08 provides remedies for the unauthorized publication of name or likeness. It provides:
(1) no person shall publish, print, display or otherwise publicly use for purposes of trade or for any commercial or advertising purpose the name, portrait, photograph, or other likeness of any natural person without the express written or oral consent to such use given by:
(a) such person; . . . . .
We are mindful of the limited exceptions provided for use of a photo for a news broadcast or other news medium or publication “as part of any bona fide news report or presentation . . . “ Your advertising brochure promoting your candidacy is not a qualifying news event as defined by the law generally.
To make no mistake, you are directed to immediately cease and desist using my photograph and also remove any references to HamCation® in a manner or fashion from any and all literature, flyers, communications or websites that presents any false association or presents that somehow you are endorsed by, or connected with, HamCation® activities or the Orlando Amateur Radio Club. You should govern yourself accordingly.
Vice President Orlando Amateur Radio Club
CC: Rick Roderick, ARRL President
Tom Gallagher, ARRL CEO