I have been offended by your misuse of my family name to increase your google standing. Not only that but the Bear foot you use was created by C. Camp and being used without his permission. I see this as another Rape by the Yonega(Cherokee for White man). I am under Texas law advising you, that beginning Monday. We will be making a attempt to find a legal way to make you stop this another injustice. Our Attorney's and A.I.M (American Indian Movement). American Indian Vietnam Vets etc. will be given a letter of intent. I am sending a letter to the U.S. Marshal's service. It is within their jurisdiction to enforce the American Indian art's and Craft act. To see if in their opinion You have violated this law as well. Warning there have been similar cases around the Country. The outcome was in favor of the Plaintiff and stood up on appeals. Do the right thing!
Stop what you are doing.
After considering this email a bit, I decided it warranted one response, but if there were further emails I would not dignify them with a reply. So I wrote -
Thanks for your interest in Two Bears Farm. The name of my blog is not Twobears (like your family name) but Two Bears. The name comes from the alma mater of myself and my husband - we both went to Baylor University and consider ourselves Baylor Bears. However, I'd like to share with you that my great great grandmother was Cherokee. In addition my husband and his family are verified members of the Mdewakaton Santee Sioux Indian Nation. My husband, having a strong identification with his Indian Nation, feels saddened that you would send an email such as this. We are a humble farm family, just making our way in a harsh world, as I am sure you yourself are.
I have emailed my designer about the bear paw print in question. As far as I know, she followed all copyright law in the design of my blog. However, if for any reason this particular graphic is under copyright for which she did not have permission to use, it will be promptly removed.
Washte (Dakota for peace),
Now in case you haven't guessed, the person who sent the email has a website with a similar name to my blog. I would link it here (I have no issue in sending traffic her/his way, as it is a completely different type of website from my own and I don't see us in competition in any way) however, I have a family-friendly blog and this other site has some questionable advertisements on it. However, if you google intuitively I've no doubt you can track it down, if you're curious.
There is no copyright on the phrase "Two Bears" or even on "Twobears". Nor is there any licensing on the bear paw in question that is by my signature. So for all intents and purposes, I haven't done anything wrong. I did receive an email back, stating again that I am using the name solely to increase my google page rank, and also expressing anger that images from my blog show up ahead of this other site's under google images. Well, hey, like the rest of the world, I have no control over what Google does or does not do. My PR rank is one above this other site, and I suspect that is only reason why my images show up first. However, I monitor my stats very closely, and I can honestly say that I have never seen "Twobears" show up in a keyword search for my blog - or any other Native American phrases. Here's a keyword analysis screenshot taken from Statcounter this past weekend:
In case you can't squint that well, terms used were Playdoh Valentines, couple on a caboose, Asian crockpot meal, amazement square, and jam is too runny can I cook it down more. What minimal results I may have on Google are the result of over two years of hard work to promote and build my blog - combined with the content of my posts. I am merely a small rural "Mom" blogger who enjoys writing and sharing my thoughts, and meeting other similar-minded folks online. I value a peaceful, quiet life, and it's so frustrating when you're just going about your days and someone tries to bring in a bunch of drama. I'm an Idealist, and when situations like this come up I can never understand the anger and animosity (and, quite frankly, bullying) towards other human beings, without true cause. So disturbing. For this reason, I will not read or respond to any further emails from this person.At any rate, I certainly won't be changing the name of my blog - it's the name of our farm (for the past 13 years) and who we are. My friend, Valerie, made me laugh by joking around that I should let her know if the Baylor Bears come after me threatening to sue next. Sic 'Em Bears!
A housewarming gift from my parents in 2005.
How about you, reader? Ever had any negative emails or comments about your blog? How did you handle it?
This post linked with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can't Say.