48 Hour Magazine, the project I took part in earlier this month in which a team of Bay Area journalists and designers created a print magazine in two days, received a cease-and-desist letter from CBS, owner of the 48 Hours TV series:
On May 11, Lauren Marcello, the assistant general counsel at CBS sent a cease and desist letter, noting that "CBS is the owner of the rights in the award-winning news magazine televison series, '48 Hours,' and its companion series, including '48 Hours Mystery,'" adding later in the letter, "your use is unlawful and constitutes trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition …" along with a lot of other complicated, vaguely threatening legalese.
…"To be honest, none of us even knew that there was still a program called '48 Hours,' so it never crossed our mind," said Mr. Honan. "When we were finished, we all felt like we had accomplished something significant, that there was a magazine there. It is the thingness of it, the physical evidence of the weekend that is so great. But the unfortunate truth I guess is that unlike what we said in the editor's letter, you can't do anything really large scale in contemporary society without have a legal team and a corporation."
The staff of 48 Hour Magazine has hired lawyers and are sorting things out. Update