How Conveeeenient.

January 28th, 2008at 11:45pm Posted by Eli

I don’t like this at all:

Apparently even the cease-and-desist letters sent to sites to inform them to stop violating copyrights are now – copyrighted.

TechDirt is reporting an update to a case they first covered back in October where a lawyer tried to claim his cease-and-desist letters fell under a copyright, and thus no one could legally reprint them without his express permission. The people’s advocacy group, Public Citizen, saw this as a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and moved to stop it.

Yet from the look of a press release put out yesterday by the lawyer in question, it seems the judge agreed the man’s claim. The publication of a letter can now result statutory damages for as much as $150,000 per occurrence plus attorneys’ fees that can average $750,000 through trial.

Ya know, I’m not a lawyer or a psychic, but I’m pretty sure that cease-and-desist letters were not the kind of intellectual content that copyright law was written to cover. In fact, this doesn’t really look like the protection of intellectual content at all, so much as protection against embarrassment and exposure for sleazy lawyers and their clients who use C&D letters to harass and intimidate.

It’s just a theory.

(h/t Caro Kay)

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Judiciary,Wankers


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