Don't Post This Cease-and-Desist Letter, Or Else

from the let's-test-that-theory dept

Greg Beck writes "In an apparent attempt to avoid the Streisand Effect, lawyers sending threat letters sometimes claim that the recipient would violate the firm's copyright by posting it online. This post is about Public Citizen's response to one dumb threat letter and its decision to post the letter online despite the copyright claim." It's funny how popular it has become for lawyers to claim it's illegal to post or even show anyone their cease-and-desist letters. Remember: just because a lawyer says so, it doesn't mean it's true. You can see Public Citizen's response to the letter (pdf), which lays out a variety of reasons why the cease and desist is ridiculous (it's yet another attempt to force criticism offline) and ends with a fantastic response to the claim that the original C&D is covered by copyright and cannot be posted online without additional charges: "By this letter, we are inviting you to test the validity of your theory that the writer of a cease and desist letter can avoid public scrutiny by threatening to file a copyright law suit if his letter is disclosed publicly on the internet." Somehow, I doubt the opposing lawyer will test out this theory.

Filed Under: cease and desist, copyright, streisand effect


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2007 @ 10:32am

    I don't know if all laws are written vaguely or not. Take for instance the UCMJ. Its pretty straight forward to read and understand what its talking about, other than article 134, but that is there really to railroad someone out, or as a tack on when you've really upset the PTB. The UCMJ for the most part, can be read and understood by anyone who looks at it. Its ment to be simple and straight to the point. The biggest difference of course, is that its military law, so its streamlined and without as much glut.

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