The creator of a Facebook page dedicated to quick interviews and glimpses into the lives of the Atlanta Beltline’s many travelers has been asked by officials to reconsider using the word "Beltline."
It's the latest example of the Beltline putting the kibosh on ventures (especially those involving real estate) bearing the "Beltline" name that aren't affiliated with the 22-mile loop. (R.I.P., "Beltline Broker.")
According to the AJC, the local woman, Jessie Fream, started the page "Humans of the Beltline" as a nod to the trail as well as the popular blog "Humans of New York."
As she traverses the trail, she snaps photos and posts quotes from those she meets.
Several weeks back, however, she got an email from Atlanta Beltline Inc. officials who asked her to stop using the words "BeltLine" or "Beltline" on her Facebook page.
Fream told the AJC that she "started this little blog as just a hobby and it has blown up which is kind of exciting ... It tickled my heart because a lot of people just love the Beltline and I hope they are getting joy out of reading what is happening out there."
While she has not been sent any kind of legal threat, Fream has concerns that Atlanta Beltline Inc. will try to keep her from doing what she loves.
"I wanted to interview babies and (take pictures of) pets and now I’m an (expletive)," she told AJC.
Beltline spokeswoman Ericka Davis said the entity aims to "respect everyone’s right to freedom of speech and expression ... our position is simply to protect this public asset for the public."
For the time being, the page remains on Facebook, more than 2,500 member strong.
Back in 2014, Scoutmob founder Michael Tavani met similar resistance (actually, he found a cease-and-desist letter on his doorstep) after deciding to name his design-focused incubator "Beltline & Co." He changed the company name a few days later and blogged about his logic for the initial name:
"I was shocked, disappointed, and somewhat amused at the same time [to see the letter]," wrote Tavani. "Shocked because I had done my homework. I confirmed that this “beltline” term is actually a generic word used to describe a transportation system in many cities across the US. Think “railroad”. I also saw lots of other Beltline-related businesses: Beltline Bar & Grill in Grand Rapids, MI, Beltline Electric Co. in Nashville, Beltline Foot & Ankle in Mesquite, TX, etc., etc."
- Beltline officials to creator of Facebook page: Beltline is a trademark that must be protected [AJC]
- Humans of the Beltline [Facebook group page]