American Express threatens me over joke on web siteSubmitted by brad on Tue, 2004-04-13 09:17
On my rec.humor.funny web site, I maintain the newsgroup archives, including this 13 year old joke entitled American Expressway.
Today I got one of those bullying "cease and desist" letters from American Express's law firm, ordering me to take down the joke for trademark infringement. Here's the text of the cease and desist
Do these guys know who they are trying to bully? I guess not, here's my response to them:
You can "Screw More" with an American Express Lawyer
Do you know me?
I built a famous company with a famous name, and then satirists made fun of me by taking advantage of the constitutional protections afforded parody when it comes to trademark law?
That's why I retained Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd, the "American Express Lawyers." Should you ever feel your reputation lost or stolen by free speech and satire, just one call gets LVM to write a threatening cease and desist letter -- usually on the same day -- citing all sorts of important sounding laws but ignoring the realities of parody. Most innocent web sites will cave in, not knowing their rights. LVM will pretend it has never read cases like L.L. Bean, Inc. v. High Society and dozens of others. There's no preset limit on the number of people you can threaten, so you can bully as much as you wish.