Public Statement about Pride Unbound*London, and a potential breach of personal data.
Published 1 month ago
During our Pride in London parade march in 2013 one of those who walked with us said there needed to be a better way to bring UK pups together. Being a web developer, I decided to build a website for the UK pups. It was named Puppy Pride after our parade walking group.
In 2016 the parade route changed, and had set line up locations, which meant that pups could no longer get changed on the side of the road, so I rented out a function room in Doggetts bar, for pups to use as a changing room, bag storage, and dinner after.
Each year since then we get more and more people wanting to attend the party as it got bigger, and lasted longer. In 2022 we had almost 200 attendees at the event, filling one of the largest pubs in the bank area of London!
All the events from 2016-2022 were run predominantly by myself, with some volunteer assistance on the day, mostly from the Pup Out committee and personal friends.
In a survey following the 2022 event, over 91% of attendees were highly in favour of the annual Pride Pup Party turning into a convention.
Knowing that running a full convention by myself wasn’t something I could manage, requests were put out for volunteers to help with different areas. A team was put together, from both pups and furs, to try to make sure that both were represented and would feel welcome at the event.
Pride Unbound*London was chosen as the name for the event, and the event was run solely by Puppy Pride CIC, with volunteer staff.
All design work was done on behalf of Puppy Pride CIC, and we used the connections, contacts, and mailing lists we’d built up since 2012 to advertise and support the event’s success.
However during the event, one of those volunteers registered the company “Pride Unbound Limited” (reg. 14973950). When questioned I was informed that they had overheard one of the attendees saying that no one had so they would, and that he’d done it to protect the event. They were requested to close this company, as keeping it open would be a breach of Puppy Pride CIC’s copyrights, and that a company was not needed to protect a trading name as it was already covered by UK law.
In spite of this, this individual has persisted in his attempts to illegally claim the event, and has even submitted a trademark application under false pretenses. We had attempted to communicate with them, and get them to cancel the application, however no satisfactory answer was given, and the application wasn’t stopped.
As of last week, we received a letter from that person stating that they were taking over the event, claiming rights to all images, names, and designs, but that they still wanted to work with us.
Puppy Pride CIC has at no point granted permission for another company to be set up without its consent, nor has it performed any transfer of ownership of the copyright for anything that was created for it.
We believe that this company was set up with the explicit intent to pass itself off as the organisers of this year's event, and to steal the goodwill and reputation that Puppy Pride has been building over the past decade of Pride marches and Pup events over the Pride weekend.
This is of course not legal in any way, and we intend to make sure that they do not get away with multiple breaches of law, and of the trust they were given.
We also believe, but are not sure, that they might still have access to some of the personal data that was used during the event. As they were involved in helping with registration sign ups, and ID checks, they were given permission at the time to see the data they needed to do these jobs. However it is possible that they have retained access to this.
We have already reported the potential data breach to the UK government body the ICO regarding this.
If you receive any emails from Pride Unbound Limited please note that they are NOT from Puppy Pride CIC and should be reported to us ASAP so that we can pass this on to the ICO for further investigation.
Puppy Pride CIC has always strived to do the best we can for the pup play community, to make it a fun and welcome place, and to help pups connect together and build connections to strengthen the community as a whole.
We are a very small company and don’t make much money. Our monthly subscriptions provide the bulk of our income, but they aren’t enough to cover all our overheads, and honestly most months we make a loss.
However, despite not having much to work with, we have and always will do our best to support the community as a whole.
For those who are unaware, CIC stands for Community Interest Company, and it means that we are legally obligated to assist the pup play community as best we can, and have strict controls on what we can and can’t do with our money and assets. This includes having to justify any wages we might want to pay (of which we don’t pay any), and need to be able to justify any assets that we give away for less than what it cost us.
This makes it very important that we protect our assets, including copyrights, at all times.
If Pride Unbound*London had made a profit, we would have used that money to help even more global pup events then we already do. However we can not be sure of the intentions of any third parties. And it is important that community things stay for the community.