SHAME AND NAME
I don’t often complain or comment, which is my Buddhist nature - don’t complain, don’t explain.” But, on this occasion I feel I should speak out about the serious infringement of my intellectual property rights. And as a warning to other walk and guidebook creators.
Being a leading Pilgrim walker I was delighted to learn of a new website - British Pilgrim’s Trust. However, when I went onto the website I discovered some 30 book covers and brief walk details of mine. I had had no communication, no request for permission to do so. I can only conclude that the cover pictures were hacked from my website. At first I thought this would be good publicity but a few weeks later I discovered that they had changed one of my route names, without even a request to do so. I also learnt that my guide to walking from London to St. Albans shrine had been removed. They said it was because St. Albans cathedral had now written their own, and took precedence over mine! Mine was the first guide detailing the route. Again I had not been consulted. As a result I told the BPT to remove all my content from my their website. This they did - their loss, for they could have had my full cooperation had they approached me first.
This set alarm bells in my mind and with more than 8.700 routes and 470 copyright guidebooks, I googled some of my walks and was astounded at what I found. The Long Distance Walkers Association website has all my challenge walks on their site. This was acceptable, giving details of the start and finish, the guidebook available and completion certificate and embroidered badge. BUT they had now gone further and added free gpx details, walk log, trail profile etc., without my permission. I contact an Intellectual Property lawyer and he informed they were in serious breach of my rights. He said they needed a Cease and Decease letter, which would lead to an agreement whereby they could under licence provide these details. I had no reply from LDWA but two days later found all my walks were no longer on their website. I resigned my membership. Again their loss.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg for I have found numerous sites using my information without any permission to do so, or any acknowledgement. Some of the information they give is totally inaccurate. One site details and describes one of my challenge walks with photo’s and the walks title, but no reference to me as the creator and writer of the route and guide. The author and creator should be acknowledged, not ripped off and made to look as though it is the website’s owner’s walk. Another site does an annual charity walk around one of my routes, with a a copyright guidebook by me but they have never asked permission or acknowledged that it is my walk. Another details all my walks from one book. Others have copied the information from the LDWA website. I am slowly working my way through these sites and ensuring that my intellectual property rights are restored, if not then I have no option but to bring legal action and sue for damages, and the content will also have to be removed.
Among the sites grossly infringing my intellectual rights are -