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Sense of Humor as an Alternative to Cease-and-Desist Letters

When it comes to cease-and-desist letters, maybe a law firm like Baker & McKenzie should follow the lead of Ginsu Yoon, counsel for the virtual-world company Second Life. As we posted here back in June, Baker & McKenzie sent a heavy-handed cease-and-desist to Boing Boing warning it against any potential unauthorized streaming and downloading of World Cup soccer matches. The cease-and-desist letter made its rounds on the Internet, earning Baker & McKenzie lots of negative PR for its overly aggressive tone.

By contrast, consider Yoon's response to a recent parody of his client's site, as reported in this article, Laywers Have Senses of Humor in Second Life (1/24/07). According to the article, Vancouver blogger Darren Barefoot invited Second Life to send a cease-and-desist letter in response to the parody that he had created. Yoon wrote:

"your invitation to submit a cease-and-desist letter is hereby rejected...."Linden Lab objects to any implication that it would employ lawyers incapable of distinguishing such obvious parody," Yoon wrote. "Linden Lab is well-known for having strict hiring standards, including a requirement for having a sense of humor, from which our lawyers receive no exception."  The note even gives Barefoot a "nonexclusive, nontransferable, nonsublicenseable, revocable, limited license" to use the modified logo on T-shirts he sells.

Maybe other lawyers should consider this approach.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 24, 2007 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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