Facebook comes after Austrian firemen’s blog

A blog about volunteer firemen in Austria was forced to change its name after receiving a letter from Facebook threatening court action if it continued to call itself ‘Firebook’.

Facebook comes after Austrian firemen's blog
FF Stainz/Fireapp

The social media giant with a market value of around $245 billion came after the blog, which is used to share images of rescue operations, by claiming that the combination of ‘F’ and ‘book’ is too similar to their own brand.

Andreas Schimböck, a blog writer for the fire services, said he received a letter from the company threatening to take them to court unless they changed the name within four weeks.

Rather than enter a costly legal battle, the blog – which has been running since 2009 – has now changed it’s name to ‘Fireapp’.

“My only aim was always to support volunteer fire services in the whole of Austria and use the platform to motivate young people to be active in the fire service,” said Schimböck in an interview with technology website futurezone.

“Aside from the absurdity that a large internet giant feared a small website, I was especially bothered by the arbitrary deadlines they gave. I also find the argument that you can not use the word ‘book’ strange.”

It’s not the first time Facebook has threatened other websites with legal action over their name, although the social media company is not always successful. In 2011 they failed to successfully argue in court that the porn website ‘Faceporn’ was infringing on their copyright.

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