An easy workaround
Simply refer to them throughout as tw*tnest.
A student finance website which offers summaries of bank accounts available for the feckless unwashed masses has been hit with a copyright infringement claim by NatWest. The bank's hungry lawyers claim this page which summarises NatWest's student offer is infringement of its copyright. The letter claims that 118student.co.uk …
... like they have a bot looking online ofr references to Natwest, saw that it was a finance page and assumed they were using the NatWest trademark to lure customers in. I can't see howelse this would have come about. Unless people really ARE this stupid.
Thinking back, they did manage to give me a second student account after I already had one with another bank...
"we assume that the Natwest is included on your website to deceive customers into believing they are dealing with Natwest when in fact they are not."
I assume that if I live off the dole long enough, some day Bill Gates will come and give me all of his money for no reason and I can retire early.
It's fun to make assumptions.
Banks do have a habit of calling it 'Multi-Banking' and inferring that it's illegal or against the rules.
You may open as many Bank Accounts with as many banks as you wish. Even Student accounts.
The reason they don't like you doing is... it makes it much easier to move your business elsewhere
In the terms and conditions of all student bank accounts is usually words to the effect "I don't have any other bank account, student or otherwise". If you sign the account agreement knowing full well that you do have another bank account, then you are fraudulently accessing credit.
I think you will find that breaks quite a few laws, refer to your local beak for more details.
to apply for a number of student accounts at different banks at (much) the same time, hence when on each application you state that you "don't have another student account" it is true. No applications have actually gone through, no accounts have been opened, hence you don't have another account.... yet.
£50 is never sweeter than when it's for nothing.
Except that this is a trademark issue, not a copyright issue. Owning a trademark doesn't prevent other people from using the word, it just prevents them from pretending to be [Redacted] plc. Having looked at that site, there is no way anyone could possibly confuse them with [Redacted] plc.
If you are too dull to be able to refuse something you know you can't pay back, then you don't deserve a bank account.
There was a story a few years back of an American woman who sued a bank claiming she got into so much debt because they gave her a high credit card limit
Bloody hell, the 'blame someone else' culture pisses me off.
Learn some self-responsibility people!
Precisely why I declined their offer.
There are people who aren't smart enough to say no, when they should though. Yes, you could argue that these people should have access to credit, but then why does the bank offer it?
The buck ultimately stops with the customer, but banks should be more inclined to sage advice rather than a drive towards sales.
As a little aside, I knew someone who worked in NatWest little while ago. Only once they'd taking the job, were they told that if they didn't make a certain number of sales in a month e.g. sell enough credit cards, new accounts etc. they'd get a reprimand. If that happened three times they got fired.
HOWEVER, I can see why they wouldnt want to be associated with this site. The owner clearly wants to make a little revenue from Google Ad's but this is more likely to be associated with CyberSquatting. He uses keywords from NatWests marketing meaning anyone searching for NatWest could end up on his site first where they then click the link back to what they were looking for in the first place. He gets paid and NatWest suffer. Down the whole site, it's misleading and a waste of space, however NatWest, calm down he is technically helping you get customers!
I'd mention that there was a high-street bank whose name could not be mentioned who did not want to be on my website, so anyone looking for some reasonably decent student offers could either go onto the bank's own site (Google it, friends) or take a look at the other listings. I would add that, personally, I would wonder how friendly a bank was to students that didn't want to appear on a website that could only gain them customers, but who was I to step between them and their trademark.
Or, in other words: NatWest, how to shoot own foot.
Nope, still using "NatWest" there.
They should try: "The useless, moronic bunch of bum-sucking arsebandits you can find here". With "here" linked to natwest.com.
That should do it. I'd like to see GnatWorst try "You can't link to our landing page without our permission" in court. Ideally I would like to see 'em try, win, set a legal precedent on linking to NatWest and then see their faces as the term "Pyrrhic victory" is explained to them.
"anyone searching for NatWest would end up on his site first"
WTF?????? OK, I just tried Googling "Natwest" and the Natwest Bank site was first hit. No sign of the 118student site on the first page and I couldn't be arsed to look further. Enough to disprove your point.
I had been about to post that no-one could be dumb enough to mistake 118student for a bank's website, but then I came across your post.
Just had a look at the site, and I'm wondering how dumb Natwest thinks people/students are?
Its not in their corportate colours
Its does not use their logo in any way
It has equal guides for other banks, listed on the left.
As this post meets 2 out of 3 of those criteria, I'm eagerly awaiting my C&D so I can have the joyous experience of watching Natwest get laughed out of court (whilst filling my pockets with the change from my countersuit).
over any "mark" - it is used for pupose of review.
Natwest (small w) is Not registered by anyone - see http://www.patent.gov.uk/tm/t-find/t-find-text.htm.
The person who wrote the letter may be making a vexatious series of false claims or, attempting to suggest Natwest is (falsely - allegedly) a "mark".
Case history suggests that such f***wit can now make a sentence of "shot, foot,oneself, in"
I west my case!
I'd happily review my local (Edinburgh) branch for them. Tried to depost two cheques - £1000 and£100 - a year or so ago. Gel behind the counter needed a calculator to add them together and still got the sum wrong.
Guess they really are an equal opportunity employer and take people on irrespective of numerical aptitude.
Our local branch has recently replaced 3 counters with 3 deposit/cashpoint machines that can't add up either.
A few months ago I took in 5 cheques to pay into our company account, they totaled something like £5648.23 (I forget the exact amount). I fed the cheques into the machine, and it attempted to read the values on them, it got 4 right and 1 wrong, so I had to manually enter the value for that cheque. It came up with a total of £5648.22 on the screen. That wasn't the figure I had so I thought it had read another cheque wrong by £0.01, and rejected the total at which point it ejected the cheques and the paying in slip.
I repeated the operation, this time paying careful attention to the values of each cheque and again it came up 1p short.
I went up to the help desk and spoke to one of the senior cashiers who was there, she checked my adding up and agreed with my figure. So I got her to come over to the machine and try it. She got exactly the same result as I had earlier.
I was told that even though the machine was showing the wrong figure, our account would be correctly credited as all the deposits were manually checked anyway. So, at that point we decided to print a receipt for the deposit, and the receipt actually had the correct figure on it.
My boss who normally does the bank deposits has a similar problem with the machine displaying and printing different figures twice since then.
Customer service from............
Reminds me of the chain store in Australia called Big W or formerly Woolworths.
Girl 16 on payroll stacking sock rack in men's clothing dept.
Asked "Do you have a tape measure?"
Replies, "What's that?"
The management of that company are so stupid that they don't check the basics or provide an "essentials" training program......
Even if the most stupid of students (or anyone else who accidently landed on this page) thought that this was an official Natwest page (or even authorised page) what halm could be done? There isn't even anywhere to log on, let alone try and apply for an account or credit card or anything.
Nastywest are obviously just hacked off that they didn't get a glowing review on the website. And if they want one of those perhaps they should offer better deals, service and services.
I thought they were called ShatWest anyway.
They used to be the second worst bank in the UK, until they were taken over by the worst bank in the UK, the Royal Bank of Shitheads aka RBS.
Just to reinforce what a crappy bank it was.. when RBS took over NatWest, they converted all the NatWest branches to run OS/2.
"Blanket trademark or DMCA claims are increasingly used by big business to silence critics, or even non-critics, because the letters often resemble automatically created spam mails."
I don't think that companies have decided to silence critics specifically because their silencing of critics results in spam-like emails. I think they probably have other reasons.
Plus, it would have been a rather difficult policy to get started.
How about this? I'll let you use it without filing a DMCA claim:
"The letters often resemble automatically created spam mails due to blanket trademark or DMCA claims, increasingly used by big business to silence critics, or even non-critics."
There. Was that so difficult?
It would appear that in citing this article you yourselves have infridged our copyright by mentioning our name, your users too with their comments, would you please from now on refer to us as "the nameless government owned bank" as we have yet to register this trademark.
Additionally would you please remove all comments and articles with the words, NatWest, National & Westminster, now I understand this could make things tricky when writing on articles of a banking nature, or even national issues, or should you wish to mention the location of parliament.
However as we are so stupid and therefore unable to keep our bank in the black or understand copyright laws we insist that this action is taken immediately.
Additionally if you would all kindly take yourselves outside for a spanking ensuring to film it on your JudasPhones then finally email these videos too: "WeHaveNothingBetterToDo@NatWest.co.oh.actually.you.cant.publish.our.url.either.com"
This way our staff will have something else to do during the day seeing as we have none of your money left to gamble anyway.
London (copyright pending).
P.S. Can anyone recommend us a lawyer who knows wtf he is doing?
Oh no I better not say or they will get their scary lawyers on my ass!
Surely if they think they can sue this student site, they better also go and sue Compare the Bastards or whatever its called to then?
Maybe the person who owns the site could change their name to "Nat West" and then change that page to read:
"Hi, I'm Nat West and I'm a massive corporate c**t!"
Left unit 20 years ago with an 1st in engineering but I was going on Gap year, so no job. I needed to move my existing TwatNest account nearer to where I live, and the new branch said that was a totally new application, and then refused me as I had no prospects. The fact that I had been left £50,000 by my uncle and it was invested by their investment arm and I needed an account for the investment payments to go into did not seem to bother the local manger at all. I had the Natwest Investment manager pleading with him to open an account for me, but "No job- No bank account". I withdrew all my money and went around the corner to another bank who welcomed me with open arms.
Never set foot in one of their branches ever since.
As a subsidiary of a subsidiary of the Department for Business, a route for the protagonist in this story is to contact the Secretary of State especially if the site has anything to do with Twickenham, the constituency for which The Cable guy is MP.
He's at best a bit upset with the banks at the moment and it maybe an excuse for him to ask the RBS CEO to explain why a subsidiary is wasting tax payers money with egregious legal letters while he's concerned about the inadequate lending at the moment.
Maybe El Reg could, in the meantime, promote a series of alternative names for each of the banks so while everyone would know the bank by the reference, no trademark infringement cases could be bought. NatWorst is a starter for 10.
I think this bank should be ashamed of itself for persuing a student site that's reviewing banking products. Prior to this article and fuss, I did not know this student site existed. Now that I have seen this site and, in my opinion, there really is no confusion - unless, of course, your a dim-witted lawyer or banker.
I don't understand how such a financial institution thinks it can walk all over smaller sites who appear to be legitimately helping students.
I guess I will be boycotting ANY bank that does this type of thing - NatWe**t consider yourself boycotted !
If he complies with their request, they'll simply be left off the list, and get no leads from this site.
A small note saying ``We are aware that there are other banks, but not all are prepared to be listed here." will make it clear that he hasn't just forgotten them.
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