Other Contributors

About Us

The contributors to the Consumer Law & Policy blog are lawyers and law professors who practice, teach, or write about consumer law and policy. The blog is hosted by Public Citizen's Consumer Justice Project, but the views expressed here are solely those of the individual contributors (and don't necessarily reflect the views of institutions with which they are affiliated). To view the blog's policies, please click here.

« CAFA Symposium | Main | More on the Arbitration Trap »

Friday, October 05, 2007


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Don't Post This Cease-and-Desist Letter, Or Else:

» Lawyer asserts copyright, forbids publication of cease and desistletter from Online Liability Blog™
Ponder this one. Users (including, allegedly, Website Owner) post allegedly defamatory Statements about Company on Website. Company isnt pleased, and hires Lawyer to submit cease and desist letter to Website Owner. Lawyer asserts in his lett... [Read More]

» Donning Copyright Cloak, DirectBuy Forbids Posting Of Cease And Desist Letter Sent To Consumer Opinion Site from Consumerist
DirectBuy got more pushback than they expected after sending a cease-and-desist to over the site's users calling the direct to consumer seller of furniture and home supplies a "scam" and a "nightmare." Absurdly, DirectBuy even trie... [Read More]

» Don't forget to sue me too from I Hate Linux
I was always raised to believe that lawyers were very smart people, after all, to be able to spend so [Read More]

» From the "I'm Not At All Suprised" Department from scoreboard
Remember that law firm I worked for for a couple of months? Remember how I didn't like it? Looks like they're in the news: "Don't Post This Cease-and-Desist Letter, Or Else" Absolutely hilarious. Having worked there, I'm not suprised at... [Read More]


tribal elder

The letter really wasn't copyrighted ? Donald Morris, Esq. LIED ?

Lisa Westveld

I have a simple suggestion. Let all website owners put a copy of that strongly worded demand letter at on their site or at least link to it. Of course, with an additional text around it explaining why it's on the site to make sure this document is fairly used. Let's just bully the bullies. :-)

random person

everything that is created is protected by copyright by default.
not registering your creation with the library of congress does not mean you do not get to sue for copyright violations, it merely limits you to actual damages and not statutory damages.


It's true that a work can be copyrighted even if it's not registered. However, registration is a prerequisite to filing suit. 17 U.S.C. § 411(a) ("[N]o action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title."). The law firm could still register the work and then sue for infringement, but even if it could get past the fair use defense, its damages would be limited by its failure to register before the alleged infringement.


Forwarded to


This is a truly interesting illustration of legal chicanery on the part of DirectBuy's legal representation. Just a shining example of the lengths that attorneys will go to collect a fee for an unnecessary service. I am however glad that there are other lawyers who are willing to stand up against statutory bullying such as this


Copyright status for email communications is absurd.

They CC'd DirectBuy, thereby giving up all rights to anything resembling a private communication. Post it wherever you want.

Check out this article:


Absolutely brilliant response!


I am confused, isn't any letter involved in litigation a matter of public record? And doesn't cease and desist fall under that as well?

Marvin Glenn

Is there a legal premise by which someone can reject any incoming correspondence that is copyrighted? i.e. "You can send me a letter, but it will not be accepted if you have extreme copyright restrictions on it." Therefor leading to, "you cannot legally establish that we've been put on notice, because you have not sent the acceptable communications to that effect."


Thanks for sharing this C&D letter and your brilliant response to it with the public.

In addition to hosting the C&D letter on your own web site, please consider sending a copy to I'm not affiliated with them, but believe it's a great resource.

marcelo bezerra tavares

The fact is, even if it would be possible to copyright a letter with or without copyrights registration, the lawyers couldnt use this kind of letter to threat anyone, based on false rules, laws that doesnt exist or any other unsupported argument, this is the most idiot bluff i ever seen, just to not say that is a shame for any lawyer that tries to do this kind of thing with people out there.

A Better Writer

Although I enjoy a good parry, I have to say that neither the author of the cease letter, nor the attorney who responded from Public Interest are particularly skilled writers.

Let me guess, second-tier law schools?

Doug V

Bravo, thank you for taking the time to respond to that threatening letter. And for posting it so that others can see how the technique of intimidation is used in a real situation.

Marc Holt

Actually, under copyright law a document does not become copyright until it is published in a public place by the creator of that document. And, as 'random person' pointed out, Morris can only go to court if he registers copyright with the Library of Congress. So, Donald Morris, Esq. not only lied, he showed his complete lack of understanding of copyright law.

I would not only post the letter everywhere I could, I would also ignore his threats. The man is obviously a buffoon.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe to CL&P

RSS/Atom Feed

To receive a daily email of Consumer Law & Policy content, enter your email address here:

Search CL&P Blog

Recent Posts

March 2015

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31