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What de Hek? 18 June 2001 Edition
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I've not mentioned the antics of Internet cowboy Danny de Hek on these pages for quite some time -- because he's one of those people who really isn't worth wasting a keystroke on.

However, this morning I'm going to mention his latest unethical and bad-mannered actions for the benefit of others who might also fall foul of his child-like behaviour.

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The operators of an NZ tourism site at newzealandlive.tv have become another victim of Danny's delinquency.

The site has a discussion forum in which visitors are invited to leave comments or ask questions -- that's a pretty good idea, nothing wrong there.

However, it seems that the forums do not strip HTML tags from messages that are entered so Danny appears to have taken advantage of this by inserting a meta-refresh tag into a highly self-promotional message. This meta-refresh tag automatically redirects the user's browser to Danny's own website.

My goodness -- Danny's site must be really languishing for lack of visitors if he has to resort to such antics just to grab an extra hit or two.

Firstly let me say -- it is extremely bad manners to advertise your website on that of another which might be considered to be a competitor. It also shows an incredible lack of professionalism -- but we're not surprised are we?

The Managing Director of New Zealand Live Ltd, Dharmesh Chandra, says "I believe this to be a serious offence not only because of it's intent but because of causing malfunction on www.NewZealandLive.TV", and he is canvassing other tourist-site operators to seek their views.

"New Zealand's respectable Tourism operators such as myself do not need this sort of behaviour as it obviously is not a proper reflection of NZ" says Chandra.

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Previous comments

  • Cheers... - Russell
  • Use mailto: tags without fear!... - Camryn
  • Have Your Say

    Whether or not the actual redirect is an offense in the eyes of the law is doubtful -- but I suspect, given the manner in which Danny has performed the redirect, there is good cause for action under copyright or trademark law.

    Why?

    Well, Danny's limited knowledge of the technology over which he claims a high degree of expertise has meant that his own site loads into a frame which is actually served from the newzealandlive.tv server. The result is that the web-surfer actually sees this on their browser.

    Note that the URL line still clearly says www.newzealandlive.tv -- which, in my opinion as a non-lawyer, exposes Mr de Hek to claims of passing off and infringing New Zealand Live Ltd's trademark.

    Penalties for such copyright/trademark infringement can be quite stiff and I certainly hope that "New Zealand's respectable Tourism operators" join together and throw the book at Danny for this.

    I have suggested to Mr Chandra that he has the software used by his forums modified so that it strips HTML tags so that, although Danny might choose to show his prattish nature by indulging in self-promotion on a competitor's site, at least he won't be able to hijack their browser.

    You'll find previous Aardvark comments on Mr de Hek's activities here.

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