Internet Law Canada (.gov pressure / bullying)

Hello,

After three plus years online and spending a lot of money to buy our domain name, design and development we are facing pressure from the Canadian government to make drastic changes to our website which will enevitable completely devalue our company and likely force us to close.

For reference please visit this cached link of our website. Even this cached copy contains aspects we were asked to change!

We have already made substantial changes as per their request and our business is already suffering because of this. It also seems like the pressure is not stopping and they are purposefully trying to put us out of business.

Thoughts
Do we have any means to defend ourselves? I mean we have been online for over three years now and have not heard a word from the government until now.

Approximately 1.5 years ago the government launched a website which we believe is the primary reason we are receiving pressure now. Yet we have been online for at least three years.

Our terms have always stated we are not associated with the government. We provide professional immigration services, and a lot more to make sure we identify ourselves properly.

We are not cybersquatting we have built up our own professional immigration business.

List of Changes
These are the list of recent changes requested which will complete devalue everything we have worked for over the past three years. We have already took a big hit in major search engines due to changes already completed.


change color of background
remove phrase "Online Application Center" (we custom built an online application center)
remove all references to SINP, and Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program (yet these are exactly the services we provide)
change the Title (again we provide SINP services)
change description to ensure that is clear that this is not affilated with the government (this is already done and we have been very clear we are not affilated with the government since day one.)
change Why SINP?
change Submit your application!
change Get SINP on your side
remove sinp for all url endings (ex: sinp.com/about-sinp/)

We have already removed almost all reference to SINP in our current website and now none of our services match our website. We have helped over 300 people with applications!


We have already responded to one round of changes and yet they keep demaind more changes. This recent request will likely be the end our business and professional services.

Looking for any advise or help!
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UltraFluxAsked:
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Sounds like it's time to get some professional legal advice and/or some publicity about what's happening.
UltraFluxAuthor Commented:
I was hoping to get some insight here before doing either of the above.

Publicity about what is happening is also business suicide. They will likely stop processing my applications, delaying them on purpose, or outright denying them even if they are correct.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
This is a rock and hard place situation, without advice your business will die anyway, whether by suicide or strangulation. Guessing that up to now you have tried voluntarily to comply with gov requests but you may not have had to. Because you have complied you're being pushed further. If you continue to give with the pressure applied the business will fold. You need to esablish a dialogue with the gov dept but you really do need some legal advice on your options too.  If you really are trampling on some legitimate trademark or other restricted use of terms you may have no choice but if this is purely an attempt to restrict your business and favor them you need to push back.

*Legal advice from some guy you met on the Internet may not constitute a binding contract
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Cornelia YoderArtistCommented:
The best advice I can give is this:

Make the changes as quickly as you can, tell your customers why, and move on with your business.  

Fighting will take a lot more resources than you will want to spend, and you'll likely lose one way or another in the long run.

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nickg5Commented:
We have already responded to one round of changes and yet they keep demaind more changes. This recent request will likely be the end our business and professional services.

...............what are their current demands, in addition to what you have already done?

One reason they may be opposed to your business, is that many such sites are mis-representing themselves and the innocent people in the other countries think that the immigration service can guarantee them a visa, or more, when all they can do is charge a high fee to help them fill out the visa application. And provide forms which the person could have printed themselves from the countries website at their local internet cafe.
I am not implying that your business falls into that category, but I am guessing that the Canadian government is thinking in that direction.

I have friends who have wanted to just visit the USA. After alot of efforts and talking to many people we found out it is quite easy to immigrate to Canada versus even a tourist visa to the USA. The Canadian government knows this, and are probably trying to curb these "easy ways in." Your company may be caught in their web, though you do not have business practices as described above.
nickg5Commented:
The Canadian government may be like the Internal Revenue Service in the USA.
You can not beat them.

In your case the government may want as much control as they can get, over the people who are applying for immigration.

Your internet based business falls under internet law.
But, your government feels that you are stepping over some line, they have created in the sand.

If you can tell us their new demands, maybe we can take a look.

You may need to assume that their goal is to put you out of business, for whatever reasons they have about your business. Those reasons may be baseless, and as suggested, speaking to an attorney before you might be forced to shut down, is advised.
UltraFluxAuthor Commented:
governments suck
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