The owner of a website which spoofs BT’s Superfast Wales project has been sent a cease and desist letter by the broadband provider, which has failed to see the funny side of things.
The Superfarce Wales (Cymru) website is a parody of the the official Superfast Wales scheme, which is BT’s online method of keeping the public informed about the superfast broadband that will be rolled out in their area over the next two years.
However, rather than updating people on BT’s progress, the Superfarce Wales site adopts a sceptical and satirical viewpoint which questions the broadband provider's ability to deliver on its promises and the actual impact that the rollout will have in Wales.
The owner of the website, Richard Brown, is the chief of consulting group Wispa Limited and a long-term critic of the Welsh Government and BT’s partnership to boost broadband access, but it appears his latest project has invoked the ire of BT.
In a cease and desist letter to Mr Brown, the TV, phone and broadband supplier claims that the Superfarce Wales site infringes on BT’s intellectual property and asks that all relevant matter be removed within a week of the date of the letter.
“In the absence of your compliance with this requirement, this matter will be passed to BT’s litigation department in order that appropriate action can be taken to safeguard BT’s intellectual property rights,” the letter, which is signed by BT Head of Trade Marks Bernadette M Mee, states.
Mr Brown appears unliekly to acquiesce in the short term, however, telling ISPreview.co.uk that the website “will be around for a while yet”.
“BT sending an ‘instruction’ to remove the substantial material and blurred logo from the superfarce-cymru.com website is entertaining,” he commented.
“Not least, there has been no request to Google to remove it from the index (much easier than the threatened legal action). I suspect that this is simply because they know that Google would not be interested – superfarce-cymru is a satirical website, not an attempt to benefit from someone else’s intellectual property.”
The issue is yet to be resolved.