Display of heraldry on the internet

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Guye Pennington
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Display of heraldry on the internet

Postby Guye Pennington » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:38 pm

Greetings, all! As more and more heraldry seems to be displayed on the internet, I have a question about the Lord Lyon's jurisdiction in cyberspace.
As arguably the strictest (and in my opinion the coolest) authority on heraldry in the world, I readily grant that Lord Lyon has jurisdiction over all public displays of heraldry in Scotland. But what about heraldry displayed on the net -- does the Lord Lyon have jurisdiction over the server the heraldry is hosted on if the server physically exists in Scotland? What if you have an American citizen who pays for webspace on a Scottish server, would that person's heraldry fall under the Lord Lyon's jurisdiction? Alternatively, what if a Scottish subject payed for webspace on an American server and displayed heraldry? Is there any case law that gives insight on this? As the internet did not work nearly as well in the 13th and 14th centuries, I suspect this has not become an issue until recently... :wink:
Respectfully yours,
Guye
Last edited by Guye Pennington on Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Guye W. Pennington
"Victory without honor is defeat."

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J Duncan of Sketraw
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Postby J Duncan of Sketraw » Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:07 am

Hi Guye,

It is a question that has been bantered about for a while. I feel, if it fell within the Lord Lyon's jurisdiction he would, if he so wished, be able to do something.

If it was a Scottish company trading 'bucket shop arms' for example using a US server it is still a Scots company and if it was a US company using a Scottish service provider, I am sure he would have reasonable power of persuasion for them to rethink their policies.

No matter what you do though people will still try and exploit any loopholes they can find in order to dupe the public and try and make them believe what they sell is genuine.

At the moment we have companies selling fake Scots titles Such as 'Laird of Glen Cairn' or Laird of 'John O' Groats' http://www.scottishhighlandtitles.com/index.html selling you a square metre of turf in some remote field and telling folks they can call themselves Lady this or Laird of that.

They get round it by saying they make it clear that it is only a 'gift' or 'novelty' trouble is some take it seriously not knowing any better. However, bringing these people to justice is no easy task and is a costly exercises for the Lyon Court and as you have quite rightly pointed out with the growth of the internet and peoples increased interest in their genealogical roots and so called 'family crests' the battle has increased 10 fold.
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The Armorial Register - International Register of Arms
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Guye Pennington
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Internet Heraldry

Postby Guye Pennington » Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:17 am

Greetings, Sketraw! Thank you for the information!
I can appreciate what you are saying about the fake Scot titles. My wife bought me one of the "Laird of Jura" plots for my birthday a few years back. She meant well, but even if it was a legitimate sale of land (which I don't think it was as the vendor would never identify precisely where the land was), I had to explain to her that if it were legitimate, I would have to pay a solicitor in Scotland a not insignificant amount to explain Scottish estate law to me so that I could change my U.S. revocable trust to account for the holding. Thankfully, the vendor was a fraud so I have just disposed of the "land ownership" certificate and pray that the silliness is over. Furthermore, I had to show her in Debrett's Correct Form where the term Laird is only used for large tracts of land (and I think it also requires the authorization of the Lord Lyon, but the book did not mention anything about that).
Good luck in prosecuting these persons, although I can certainly apppreciate that the cost of litigation can prove daunting in pursuing them. But I hope you can take comfort in that you are performing a valuable community service!
Respectfully yours,
Guye
Guye W. Pennington

"Victory without honor is defeat."

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J Duncan of Sketraw
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Postby J Duncan of Sketraw » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:16 pm

Oh I'm not prosecuting them Guye that's Lyon's job and the Lyon Court. I just try and tell people to avoid those websites like the plague.
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John A. Duncan of Sketraw

The Armorial Register - International Register of Arms
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