Dear Guardlex, You’re Doing it Wrong…

This is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen today. (Yesterday got a little crazy towards the end, so I can’t even say “this week” — but for TODAY, this tops the charts on the crazy scale.)

In my email today was this:

My name is Jacob Getman, I work in the Anti Piracy Department of Guardlex (http://www.guardlex.com), we provide anti-piracy and Intellectual Property protection services for [COMPANY NAMED removed so they don't think I'm linking to them again] company.

As such I am personally authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the aforementioned company.

It has come to our attention that your website (or website hosted by your company) contains links to the [name removed] company website (URL removed) which results in material financial loses to the company we represent.

This material financial loss is due to search engine penalties resulting from the links originating under your control.

I request you please remove from the following website http://bigpinkcookie.com all links to [removed] website as soon as possible. Please see the list of website pages in question:
http://bigpinkcookie.com/2001/07/27/specs-similar-to-mine

In order to find those links, please do following:

1) If this is an online website directory. Use directory’s search system to look for [removed] links.

2) If there are any hidden links in the source code of website. Open the website’s home page and view its source code. Search for [removed] in the source code. This will reveal any hidden links.

It is our understanding; the links in question have not been authorized for use by our client, its agents, or the law.

Therefore, this letter is an official notification to effect removal of the detected infringement listed above.

I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by [removed] company, its agents, or the law.

I further declare under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of the trademark holder and that the information in this letter is accurate.

Please, remove all links to [removed] website within the next 48 hours.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are at all unsure how to remove the links. We will be happy to assist you in any way to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Looking forward to your positive reply.

Regards,

Jacob Getman
Head of Anti Piracy Department
Guardlex company
2820 West 8-th str,
Brooklyn, NY, 11224
Tel: 17183032669
Fax: 19175913014
E-mail: antipiracy@guardlex.com

The post was from 2001. Just shy of 11 years old. So 11 years ago, I got new glasses. I shared about them, and a lot of people asked, and I suggested to check out a website (the link I’ve now removed) so that they can get similar glasses.

YOU KNOW, THE WAY THE INTERNET WORKS.

Considering the post was 11 years old, it either wasn’t impacting their SEO at all, or since it was in the context of a post about eyeglasses, it was helping their SEO.

But what really makes me sad is that this company is selling this crack-pot service to corporations and telling them that they will waste time going around the internet telling people to stop linking to them. I mean … really??? WOW.

And they must do it a lot, because my hosting company responded to them with this:

We’ve had this discussion with you before: there is no infringement of anything in merely linking to one site from another – case law exists on this. We absolutely will not instruct our users to remove links that violate
no statute or our terms of service. Whether they choose to do it on their own is entirely up to them.

Oh my, how I *LOVE* Hosting Matters. (I’ve used them for 10 years and I can’t rave about them enough!)

Le sigh. The whole thing is just silly. I removed the link, but I REALLY hope that they figure out how the Internet works and stop telling people not to link to each other. That is part of the beauty of the Internet!

Update 7/20/2012: Hey, Guardlex? SUCK IT. I just put the link to Eyeglasses.com back up. Because it was innocuous. Especially after reading all the comments on my site, BoingBoing and Hubspot. Oh, and I didn’t ask their permission to link to them either… BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THE INTERNET WORKS.