Dear [President of The Olive Press]:

I can see why you might not like my site to use the same name as yours, but frankly, I really don’t see much of a conflict. My site is simply a personal site, where I post personal projects, thoughts, reading lists, etc. The fact that I have not once discussed olive oil anywhere on the site should make it clear that no one would confuse my site as in any way related to yours. In fact, as described in my “About” page, the name is taken from a quote by Aristotle, and I think it’s pretty clear that the relationship with olive oil production is only metaphorical.

I’m reminded of the recent court cases involving Fox News vs. Al Franken (over the use of the phrase “fair and balanced”) and Microsoft vs. MikeRoweSoft.com. Though I’m far from an expert in the law, my understanding was that if there was no realistic confusion between two distinct entities (and certainly no intent to cause confusion), then the use of a common phrase should be acceptable. Certainly “The Olive Press” falls into the category of a fairly common phrase that can be used in a variety of contexts without causing confusion regarding who the name represents on a given web site.

That said, I am sensitive to the concerns of a business to protect its copyright claim. If it were as simple as simply changing the name of my site, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so, but I’ve actually invested a lot of time and energy in this site, and though I don’t flatter myself to think that my readership is anywhere near large enough to affect your business in the slightest, changing the site name and domain name would make it difficult to maintain the limited readership I actually have.

I would like to resolve this conflict without having to rename my site and move it to a new domain. Would it be acceptable to you if I inserted a link to your site somewhere in my sidebar, perhaps with a note to the effect of: “Looking for The Olive Press, makers and purveyors of award-winning olive oil? Go here.”

Again, I do apologize for any confusion. If my suggestion does not satisfy you, please let me know via email. If we really must discuss this matter on the phone, I will make time.

Regards,
Brian

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