HOWTO keep your parody site safe from legal bullies

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5 Responses to “HOWTO keep your parody site safe from legal bullies”

  1. nosehat says:

    Alas, this reminds me of this essay of yours, which you posted a few days ago:

    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/05/13/copyright-protects-c.html

  2. Anonymous says:

    If Badco accuses you of “violating its intellectual property rights”, that is vague to the point of being meaningless. Copyright law and trademark law are totally different, and each has (different) specific requirements. There are other “intellectual property” laws too, though experts don’t always agree on which ones they are, and they are all different too.

    Any statement formulated in terms of “intellectual property” spreads confusion. If Badco talks about “intellectual property”, that is probably meant to confuse, to distract your attention (and your provider’s attention) from all real laws, and from all real legal issues about your site. Badco doesn’t want the case to be judged based on real laws. It wants to intimidate you.

    So the first thing you should do is demand a specific complaint instead of “intellectual property” handwaving. That will be the necessary information to show to a lawyer.

    If your provider is thinking about disconnecting your site, and if wants to act like a reputable business, it owes you specific reasons why. So tell your provider too, “Don’t give me ‘intellectual property’ handwaving. What exactly is your complaint about my site?”

    If the provider went so far as to take your site down without discussing the complaint with you first, that business does not respect its customers and does not deserve anyone’s custom.

    See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html for more explanation of why the term “intellectual property” must be rejected.

  3. TheMadLibrarian says:

    Not just gripe sites get hit. Fansites that get a little too intense also get scrutinized. Then there are the players (I have personal experience with this) who claim to represent the offended party, and either try to demand a payoff to not sue you, or attempt to scoop up the abandoned site should you be frightened away. Threats –> owner rolls over –> profit!

  4. frijole says:

    On several of the parody sites I’ve put up, I use a variant of the following in the footer:

    “Parody copyright © 2008 AppleCanceledChristmas.com. Original content Copyright © 2008 Apple Inc. | Parody protected by 17 U.S.C. Sec. 107.”

  5. MrScience says:

    Cue the Penny-Arcade Tarte as Double Entendre escapade (#1 of this Top 30 P-A list). Apparently satire/parady of a second party using a third party’s works isn’t a slam-dunk protection.

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