I am the Real Restaurant Gal

Posted on Tuesday 21 April 2009

I went on Twitter for the first time a few days ago. And guess what? Some food writer in South Carolina is using my copyrighted name as hers. Nice.

I contacted her boss to point out that my name and my site content is copyrighted. The boss said I should get a lawyer and deal with her company’s lawyer. In other words, go away pesky gal.

I contacted the writer who said it would be a terrible “inconvenience” to stop using my copyrighted name, but that she’d do so for compensation–$10,000 to be exact. Even nicer.

So, now I am on Twitter as restaurantgal1 (get it–the first one and the only one).

I find it perplexing that a fellow writer and her publisher have so little regard for my copyright. I find it disgusting that they want to sell me my own name.

To those of you who have been confused by this other restaurant gal on Twitter, be confused no more. I am me. Only me. And she’s not.

Some days I just despise people, especially those who should know better. Especially those who know enough to know better.

19 Comments for 'I am the Real Restaurant Gal'

  1.  
    Annapolitan
    April 21, 2009 | 9:08 pm
     

    I just looked for you on Twitter and they say “We couldn’t find anyone named restaurantgal1.” RestaurantGal is there, though.

  2.  
    Laura
    April 21, 2009 | 9:33 pm
     

    It sounds silly, but rather than take it up with her, take it up with twitter. She is clearly violating their TOS in several ways- and her stating that she would give up the user name for ten grand is enough to get her investigated for “user name squatting.”

  3.  
    mikepete
    April 22, 2009 | 5:57 am
     

    Rather-she should pay YOU $10,000!!! But-$10,000 is nice-as log as we can find you!!!

  4.  
    mikepete
    April 22, 2009 | 5:59 am
     

    I meant long-and your not there!!!!

  5.  
    Restaurant Gal
    April 22, 2009 | 7:14 am
     

    Annapolitan–I am there because suddenly I am getting followers. But you found the one using my name?

    Laura–Great advice.

    mikepete–Which begs the observation: I am only worth 10 grand??

  6.  
    Lisa
    April 22, 2009 | 8:53 am
     

    I agree with Laura – contact Twitter. I’ve heard of several cases in which they’ve evicted name squatters.

  7.  
    April 22, 2009 | 11:39 am
     

    I seem to have beaten any other kimayres’ to twitter, although I’ve yet to figure out what to do with it. However, I have added the real you ๐Ÿ™‚

  8.  
    April 22, 2009 | 1:04 pm
     

    I found you. Just linked you from there. Very cool. Go get that impostor! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9.  
    Mike N
    April 22, 2009 | 2:54 pm
     

    Don’t worry about it, RG. Twitter is the latest flash in the pan…it won’t be around five minutes from now.

  10.  
    Dani
    April 22, 2009 | 3:29 pm
     

    I hear that twitter is pretty good for investigating and correcting “name squatting”. WaiterRant is in the same boat right now.

  11.  
    mikepete
    April 22, 2009 | 5:11 pm
     

    I’m on Twitter-but I don’t really use it. I guess I don’t need to know EVERYTHING a friend is doing all the time. Facebook is a whole ‘nother story…I am there all the time!

  12.  
    April 22, 2009 | 7:26 pm
     

    RG, there was a famous case about the website “katie.com” that is sort of similar. Basically, a woman named Katie (duh) got the domain name katie.com as a gift from her boyfriend. A few months/years later, a book came out called “Katie.Com” about a survivor of online sexual abuse. The legal battle that ensued was ridiculous – the publishing firm, the author, and their lawyers did everything they could to force her to give them the domain name. The whole time this poor girl was inundated with stories of abuse from people who naturally assumed the domain name was related to the book. She finally won her case.
    The point is, I STRONGLY suggest you get a lawyer to at least write a strongly-wordered “Cease and Desist” letter and NOT let this drop. It’s your name and you own it.

  13.  
    Restaurant Gal
    April 22, 2009 | 9:46 pm
     

    Wow, lots of comments. Thank you, everyone. I am now on My Space and Facebook as well. I will try to keep up with these sites, most likely the twitter and Facebook ones first. And of course, my blog. It’s interesting seeing who’s out there, who’s reading my blog, who’s following all of this. Stop by Restaurant Gal on Facebook so I know who you are. As for legal action against the Twitter person, we’ll see. Meanwhile, back to life in the Keys.

  14.  
    Mary
    April 23, 2009 | 3:52 pm
     

    Remind the “squatter” that extortion is illegal; in fact, it may be a Federal offense depending on where the squatter is located

  15.  
    Annapolitan
    April 26, 2009 | 12:03 pm
     

    RG, when I went to Twitter and used their search function and typed in “restaurantgal1” (without the quotes), I kept getting the message “We couldn’t find anyone named restaurantgal1.”

    Even today, I got that message. I’ve double and triple checked to make sure I’m not misspelling the name.

    http://twitter.com/search/users?q=restaurantgal1&category=people&source=find_on_twitter

    I used the link in your blog to find you and subscribe to your tweets but I don’t know what is up with that Twitter search function!

  16.  
    April 27, 2009 | 2:58 am
     

    ๐Ÿ™‚ you’re the gal!! The one and only- the original- I’m happy to be able to follow u on twitter!!!!!

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  17.  
    SkippyMom
    May 2, 2009 | 10:38 am
     

    Are you using the wrong term? I was under the impression you cannot copyright a name, you can only trademark it. Copyright is used for your intellectual property as in your writings on this site…that is yours if copyrighted, but have you trademarked your name “Restaurantgal”? Because it is a pretty common name [no offense] – she may have just used it without thought that someone else out in interweb land was using it too….

    I might be wrong – I just wanted to make sure that you were protected in the way you assume you are…and get that 10,000 dollars ๐Ÿ™‚

    It might be why her boss “blew you off” – knowing you might not have a case.

    Just a thought.

  18.  
    SkippyMom
    May 2, 2009 | 11:07 am
     

    Just one more thing…I did read the TOS for twitter – it specifically says “Trademark” – just because you have this name on this site and Facebook, I am not sure that constitutes a “Trademark” – do you have the legal paperwork to back this up?

    And I read her site at Restaurantnews.com – and it might be that she simply took her name one step off of Restaurantnews to Restaurantgal not knowing you existed.

    Again, just a thought.

  19.  
    May 19, 2009 | 8:39 am
     

    RG,

    SkippyMom is correct. You can copyright material that you have written, songs, books, etc. essentially any intellectual property, but you have to Trademark a name. You register the trademark with the Patent and Trademark office, and here is a link to get you started filling out an online application:
    http://www.uspto.gov/teas/index.html

    The drawback is that it costs 275 – 300 bucks, depending on the type of application. The positice side is that if you trademark your name, you can sue them for lots of money for continuing to use your name after you have asked them to stop.

    Good luck.

    By the way, I don’t comment here often, but I love your writings!

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