Cease of IKEAhackers.net – An open conversation with IKEA.

Notiert am 16. June 2014 · Kategorie: Aufreger, English · 8212 Mal gelesen

Following the events of the recent cease & desist order against IKEAhackers.net, I wrote an email to IKEA to express my disappointment. I will post the answers following that email below.

My original email from June 6th, 6:45am CET was inspired by an email Dave Etler wrote earlier that day:

I’m disappointed in the situation described at http://www.ikeahackers.net/2014/06/big-changes-coming-to-ikeahackers.html. Is this really the best idea your lawyers have had? Not smart, alienating loyal customers. On top I have seen IKEAhacks shown on that website many times in your stores, so your employees seem to love it as much as we do.

Wouldn’t it have been smarter to partner with Jules in some way? I’d have viewed such an action as an extraordinary act of leadership and vision. She’s worked hard to advance your brand, even if she does make some money on it.

A hugely popular website takes a lot of money to run, where should she make it from now on? Instead of ceasing IKEAhackers.net, maybe you should fund it instead, give Jules the money and resources to build a platform for the next generation of skilled customers and earn the right to place these ideas in your stores.

Please pass this message on to an appropriate person who has some say in these matters and reply publicly on your website, so the world knows where you are going with this.

Thank you
Martin Storbeck

The first answer I got was from Jules, who runs IKEAhackers just three minutes later:

Thanks Martin.
Your support means a lot to me.

Jules

An email from IKEA Customer Service followed the same day at 3:38pm:

Hi Martin!

Thank you for contacting us!

We are happy for the commitment that exists for IKEA and that there are communities around the world who love our products as much as we do.

We feel a great responsibility towards our customers, and that they can always rely on IKEA. It is important for us to safeguard the IKEA name and brand used to be able to maintain the credibility of the brand. We do not want to create confusion for our customers about when IKEA stands behind and when we do not. When other companies use the IKEA name for commercial purposes, it creates confusion and rights are lost.

Therefore, Inter IKEA Systems, which owns the rights to the IKEA brand, agreed with IKEA Hackers that site by the end of June 2014 continues as a fan-based blog has no commercial element
Have a nice day.

Best regards,
Kristin
IKEA Customer Service

I think their arguments are bullshit not thought through very well. So I wrote back on June 7th, 9:07am CET:

Dear Kristin,

your argument does not compute. You are saying You want to protect your brand from other companies using that name. IKEAhackers is – as you stated – a fan based community, not a company. The fact that IKEAhackers is raising money to pay for infrastructure does not make it a company. It is not registered nor does it act as a company.

A possible confusion with the IKEA brand does not go away when you remove advertising. Looking at the page I cannot see how someone might think of it being anything else than a community of IKEA-enthusiasts. Nevertheless, a brand homepage is not defined by making money from advertising. The IKEA brand homepages have no advertising on them, but they are recognized as the IKEA homepages. Therefore the argument that the removal of advertising from IKEAhackers.net is nonsense.

If what you say is true and IKEA is happy about existing communities, why don’t you support those communities by advertising on their pages so they can pay for their infrastructure and development costs? I don’t think of every small community, but something that has grown as big as IKEAhackers should be supported by you not only by your happiness of its existence.

Regards,
Martin

I’ll keep this post updated. Maybe somewhere in this conversation an honest solution can be found (or at least the real reason IKEA feels urged to act after 8 years of accepting IKEAhackers as an inspiration.