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
    Lefty, 8 Oct 2007 @ 2:05pm

    There is one thing, however:

    I work for an online Electronics Retailer. This is an awesome example of how those with resources often bully those without. But remember: If you go from an open-ended forum to running a site like Directbuysucks.com (just an example, I have no knowledge or intention of looking up to see if such a site actually exists) and you put banner ads, you've crossed a line into the for-profit. Then they can come after you. Just food for thought.

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