February 04, 2004

Yay! My first cease & desist! (aka Cease & Desist, Charlie Brown!)

It seems as if the people who syndicate the Peanuts are not too happy about that Hey Ya, Charlie Brown parody and have been sending C & Ds out to people who were listed as "mirror sites" from Venis Productions. (See below for a copy of the correspondence.) It looks like other people have been getting the same letter... check out the post & discussion at weirdsmobile (thanks for the link, mikey).

There has been some debate as to whether or not that .mov is protected by law in the United States under the United States Content and Media Parody Act. I've heard some people say that it is not a parody because nobody is making fun of the Peanuts in that video. professoreric and I were discussed this last night and we decided that it is indeed a parody because we thought that video was edited in such a way to mock the "gaytarded* dancing skills" of the characters being displayed.

Regardless, I had already decided to take the .mov down because of the bandwidth issues I was having. So it's gone now & I'll go back and update the one place I linked that file to make a note that the file is no longer available. And I'll reply to Ms. Gordon within the week to let her know of the action steps I've taken. I, along with some of other the folks who have also been contacted by UFS, have removed the offending file and replaced it with the one that was created by Danji at anime-source.

Thanks to professoreric, who provided much insight on the whole cease & desist process, this being his second involvement with a cease & desist. We'll let him tell you about his first cease & desist situation directly.

I guess Ms. Gordon's job is to sit there and send out cease and desist emails all day because here's a link to something in 2003 regarding a Dilbert parody.

From: "Gordon, Angela" (agordon@unitedmedia.com)
To: "'[joz]AT[myISP].net'" <[joz]AT[myISP].net'>, "'[my listed email address]ATjozjozjoz.com'" <[my listed email address]ATjozjozjoz.com>

Subject: Unauthorized Use of PEANUTSR Intellectual Property - jozjozjoz.com
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 17:12:24 -0500
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)

February 3, 2004

VIA E-MAIL: [joz]AT[myISP].net

RE: Unauthorized Use of PEANUTS® Intellectual Property

To Whom It May Concern:

United Feature Syndicate, Inc. dba United Media ("UFS") is the exclusive owner of all copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property rights in and to the world-famous PEANUTS® properties. UFS syndicates the comic strip PEANUTS® by Charles Schulz in thousands of newspapers across the United States and around the world. The rights owned by UFS strictly prohibit any individual attempts to reproduce, transmit, copy, or otherwise utilize the PEANUTS® comic strip, or the characters appearing therein, without the express written permission of UFS.

It has come to our attention that the Website located at http://www.jozjozjoz.com/heyyacb.mov contains an unauthorized copy and derivative reproduction of the PEANUTS® characters. Our research shows that you own and/or have effective control over this Website. As is made clear above, this material is owned by UFS and cannot be used without the express written consent of UFS, which consent you have not been granted.

We therefore demand that you immediately remove all unauthorized PEANUTS® materials and any links to unauthorized PEANUTS® materials from the Website address http://www.jozjozjoz.com/heyyacb.mov and any other sites over which you have control. You must confirm to us in writing that you have complied with our demand by no later than two (2) weeks from the date appearing at the top of this letter.

Nothing in this letter shall be construed as a waiver or relinquishment of any right or remedy possessed by UFS or any affected party, all of which are expressly reserved.

Angela Gordon

Posted by jozjozjoz at February 4, 2004 03:36 PM


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I think Schulz would have liked the parody. Too bad the cartoon is in the hands of high muckety-mucks with lawyers in each pocket now.

Posted by: Mikey2 at February 4, 2004 03:48 PM

whatever! Adam and I have downloaded TONS of videos made by people mixing songs and cartoons. We think they are totally cute and sometimes, we prefer my little nephew to see those versions, rather than the real video versions!
I thought it was cute, and nobody was selling it, so I see no harm done.
Whatever. Good thing I right clicked and saved as, just like you said! Now I can watch it EVERYDAY!! Muahahahahaha!

Posted by: Rachael at February 4, 2004 05:52 PM

cease and desist all they want I have already mass mailed it to all the people on my list. If it were a virus, it would be in everyones hard drive by now...How do you like that Charlie Brown?

Posted by: kinkoman at February 4, 2004 06:47 PM

They're really fast with sending letters. It must be her job, checking the internet all day for funny paradies :) ... Are they hiring?

Posted by: Sweety at February 5, 2004 12:52 AM

i was JUST thinking what sweety said. who the hell sits around and mails cease and desist letters for a cartoon of all things? this world is so skewed.

Posted by: girlwonder at February 6, 2004 06:34 AM

Uh oh, I haven't checked the link that I posted on my site, so I don't know if it's there anymore. I wanted to download that before it got taken down! If you still have it, let me know. = )

Posted by: Serra at February 7, 2004 11:51 AM

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