When is all publicity not good publicity? Penguin Books have just released a book called katie.com [Full Article: Guardian]. The book describes the experiences of a girl who runs her own website and who came into contact and was finally assaulted by a paedophile she met in a chatroom. Unfortunately, katie.com isn’t the domain name of her site, but of a completely unrelated website. And now the second Katie is getting vast amounts of traffic, along with tons of e-mail talking about the issues surrounding paedophilia.
The latter Katie is extremely irritated, and asked them to change the name of the book. Penguin’s lawyers responded with a very firm no, stating that she had no case whatsoever.
So when is all publicity not good publicity?
- When what should be your intellectual property (unless proven otherwise) is used without your approval or consent – ie. katie.com.
- When the association between yourself and the book means that people think that you have been assaulted or raped by a paedophile.
- When your traffic increases to such an extent that you must pay additional bandwidth charges (as seems likely in this case).
- When your e-mail address is undermined by thousands of e-mails describing disturbing and upsetting events (not to place any blame onto those people who have written of course).
- And when the distressed caused to you has been completely ignored by the company concerned.