i just put up a website about my experience dealing with aplus hosting. while they ofter took a week to respond to me when i was a customer i got this within an hour:
Your posting and management of the website http://aplus-webhosting.com/ exhibits false and misleading information regarding Aplus and its employees. Further, the site contains unauthorized use of the Aplus trademarks, tradenames, logos, unique graphic elements and other trade dress that is the exclusive property of Aplus.Net.
This serves as official notification of our demand to immediately remove all references to Aplus and cease use of the Aplus tradename in the website address, Failure to immediately comply with this demand will result in prompt and aggressive legal action including but not limited to injunctive relief and recovery of all damages incurred and attorneys fees expended.
does anyone have any suggestions about resources that could tell me what the legal ramifications of posting information about a company are?
I would think there might be some legal backing of use of their logo - but I believe with the name - you can use it as long as you make reference that this is your opinion and give proper reference to the company. Using the actual names of staff is wrong without written consent. (I believe)
Call a a lawyer -- many will give you an hour of time up-front before you decide whether you're a good match.
In general, though, slimy folks like to throw around legal threats to try and bully you into shutting up. Threats don't necessarily mean much. If everything is factual and you're both in the US, then it's not going to be libel/slander (which is the common threat). I'm not a lawyer, but I'd think what you're doing would be considered editorial use, and the IP claims they're trying to make wouldn't hold up.
thanks for the input. i did not use their logo, but i did post a screen shot of one of their salesmen lying to me. i took down the site anyways, until i hear back from my lawyer. at least I am finally getting a response from them!
"use of their logo" and such is probably an attack on using screenshots that back up the OP's case. It's one thing to try and pretend to be another company, it's another entirely to put up a screenshot.
Freedom of speech is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one's opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment. The right is enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is granted formal recognition by the laws of most nations. Nonetheless the degree to which the right is upheld in practice varies greatly from one nation to another. In some nations with relatively authoritarian forms of government, overt government censorship is enforced, while among liberal democracies, censorship has been claimed to occur in a different form (see propaganda model) and there are different approaches to issues such as hate speech, obscenity, and defamation laws.
Just make sure you follow the logo rules and don't disclose any information about any employees.
If you use their logos and stuff on a complaint site and it is fair for anyone to post their experience with them and you let Aplus post their comments to, I believe you are safe under the Fair Use Act.
If you make it a parody site, you are safe under the Fair Use Act too.