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.
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Filed Under: cease and desist, copyright, streisand effect


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  1. identicon
    Mike F.M, 8 Oct 2007 @ 7:50am

    Can you turn on the lawyers?

    Is it possible to turn on lawyers that make false claims like this?

    I mean, the general public doesn't know enough about this subject to know if this claim - or others like it - are true or not. If it turns out that they are false, what can be done to the sneeky lawyer who tried to trick unaware people?

    It's the same as getting, for instance, videos pulled from Youtube when they are obviously fair use. You see plenty of these cases, but does any one really fight back and get the people perpetrating their ideals as facts correctly punished?

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