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Cease and Desist

From: Frances Beckman, Associate Counsel
To: Jameson Simmons
Re: Cease and Desist

Dear Mr. Simmons:

Thank you for removing the item from your web site which we discussed in our earlier letter. It has come to my attention that you have published our "cease and desist" notice in its place. I understand that this is common practice when revising a web site in compliance with a request such as ours, to provide an explanation to your viewers for the change in content. However, due to the specifics discussed in our earlier writing, we feel that the publication of that letter portrays Pinnacle Foods Corp. as unfavorably as the original digital illustration of Mrs. Butterworth to which it refers.

Pinnacle Foods Corp. respectfully requests that you immediately cease and desist publishing our letter (1 Apr, 2005, titled "Cease and Desist") on your web site. Failure to comply in a timely manner will force me to investigate legal alternatives.

Thank you again for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

(signed)

FB/jaf

9 Comments (Add your comments)

"michwagn"Fri, 4/1/05 12:09pm

What the? What is the story with this?

Bee BoyFri, 4/1/05 2:47pm

I've been instructed not to comment publicly.

Joe MulderFri, 4/1/05 5:32pm

That's so weird that all this would happen today, of all days.

Bee BoyFri, 4/1/05 6:47pm

Hee!

I actually had the idea weeks ago. People are constantly putting up silly parodies on their websites and then getting yelled at by the rights owners to take them down, and it is very common for them to post a scan of the "cease and desist" note when they do it.

I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if they received a second 'cease and desist' note to take down the 'cease and desist' note?" (Those who know me know that all my jokes – the ones that don't include the Olsen twins or "load bearing" – take this form, iterating an idea within itself to the point of absurdity.)

Well, I thought it was funny.

A couple of recent stirs in the blog world (one with Apple, one with Technorati) reminded me of the idea, so I almost published it on Wednesday – and then I realized waiting until today might be more appropriate.

Part of what entertained me about the idea is that typically by the time you get to one of these things on the web, by following the link in any one of trillions of blogs, it's already gone. The lawyers and intellectual property thugs are following the links faster than you! You get there, and it's just a takedown notice. So, in this case, the takedown notice is all there is; no matter how early you get there, it's already over. (This worked out great for me, because it eliminated the need to actually Photoshop someone bending Mrs. Butterworth over a barrel, or whatever I'm supposed to have done.)

Also, I've long adored the following passage in Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency:

People gravitated around [Dirk], drawn in by the stories he denied about himself, but what the source of these stories might be, if not his own denials, was never entirely clear.

So, partly this was also a tribute of sorts to that idea.

BrandonSat, 4/2/05 11:11am

LOL (shakes fist at computer)

"michwagn"Mon, 4/4/05 7:19am

Dare I say it...genius!

"Kerry"Tue, 4/12/05 1:20pm

Hmm.. something tells me, Jameson's mother was delt quite a hand and was probably more patient than any of us could ever hope to be.. just a guess.

Bee BoyTue, 4/12/05 3:07pm

I have to say: good guess and all, she probably was. But, where the hell is this coming from? I barely ever wrote fake letters to my mom. Her brother, once. (But in it I referred to Willard Scott as a "fat weasel" and we all had a good laugh.) And, yes, my dad's secretary's sister, once. But you'd have had a hard time resisting if you were in my shoes.

Bee BoyFri, 9/1/06 8:49am

In a similar vein: On Indy Movies. Much, much better (if not quite as convincing...) – a tip of the hat, gentlemen.

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