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Editor seeks to take down ‘spoof’ US version of defunct local news site

A news website whose content consists largely of strangely-worded US obituaries has been set up using the name of a defunct former local news brand.

Until 2021, the Llanelli Herald website was part of Thomas Sinclair’s stable of Welsh titles but he retired the brand after launching his Wales-wide platform Herald.Wales.

Now another operator, believed to be from the US, has registered the domain and revived the title – with the same masthead logo, but zero local news content.

As a result Thomas is now seeking to get the site taken down on the grounds that it has used his company’s trademark without authorisation.



The homepage of the Llanelli Herald currently consists mainly of IT software plugs and obituaries of people who have recently been in the news in the US.

One of its top stories yesterday was an oddly-worded report on the death of Ingrid Graudins, a singer-songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee.

The report, published under the byline of ‘Jack Reuben Fletcher’ appeared to have written by AI.

Its intro read: “Recently, music experienced an immense loss with Ingrid Graudins’ passing; she was an esteemed singer-songwriter renowned for her soulful melodies and engaging songwriting that touched many. More than just an artist; Graudins was an icon whose influence could be felt beyond musical notes alone.”

Another recent story concerned the death of Jackie Glynn, a 76-year-old from Tennessee who body was discovered on 6th January.

It read: “A shocking crime has unfolded in DeKalb County, shocking both family and community alike. On New Year’s Day 2024, Jackie Glynn disappeared without trace, prompting an intensive search operation that eventually yielded no leads and led to Joseph Glynn being arrested as the primary suspect for her demise and arrest as prime suspect in this harrowing case of deceit and violence.”

The WHOIS database shows that the domain is now registered to an address in Tempe, Arizona, USA.

Thomas, editor of Herald.Wales and the Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire Heralds, is trying to get what he termed the ‘spoof’ site taken down via a US procedure under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA.)

He told HTFP: “In 2022, we consolidated The Llanelli Herald and The Carmarthenshire Herald, integrating them into a dedicated section of our national news platform, Herald.Wales.

“This strategic move has propelled Herald.Wales to remarkable success, notably boosting viewer engagement on our Carmarthenshire news pages – an uptick that eclipses the former individual performance of the two separate news entities. Consequently, The Llanelli Herald brand has been retired.

“Subsequent to this development, an individual in the USA has re-registered the “The Llanelli Herald” name and initiated a website under this moniker, incorporating the original Llanelli Herald logo in their page header, albeit for different content.

“To address this unauthorised use of our trademark, we have filed a DMCA takedown request, which is presently in process.”

The Llanelli Herald has not so far responded to requests for comment.