Suing Over Secrets


Scott McGrewSometimes it’s best not to call attention to the fact that someone is telling your secrets.

The classic case is Barbara Streisand, who sued a California coastal project that was photographing beaches along the Pacific. She did not want this picture of her home included in the project, citing privacy concerns.

Now, practically no one had heard of the California Coastal Project until Streisand sued. And then all of the sudden everyone was looking at pictures of her home.

Along the same vein, Apple sued website Think Secret for speculating the computer company would unveil a sub-500 dollar computer. The site was right – it was the Mac Mini.

In a truly bizarre case, the Marco Beach Ocean Resort in Florida sent a cease and desist letter to the website, which features pictures of urinals*, saying the authors have no right to use the hotel’s name. Or for that matter, its urinal. In an even weirder development, it’s alleged the hotel says the website cannot show the cease and desist letter to anyone, which makes one wonder how the website’s authors will be able to get an attorney’s help.

I think it’s unlikely anyone would have been aware of Marco Beach Ocean Resort’s alleged urinal problem — namely that it’s visible from the lobby when someone opens the men’s room door too wide — had the hotel not asked to cease and desist.

Put another way, if someone’s telling your secrets, you might not want to point it out to the world.

Scott McGrew
NBC11 Business & Tech Reporter



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