Hey Lyons Partnership, L.P., SUE THIS!
Well, this page DID have some parody sound files of Barney the dinosaur "dying" but they have been removed. You see, some people want to sue me for posting the sound files.
No really. I'm serious.
Below is the notice I received in August, 2000. I received no removal requests prior to this. Interestingly enough, they don't even seem to realize that I created the site, just that I work for the ISP which hosts the site. So, instead of contacting the owner of a site (it just so happens that I am also the owner in this case) and requesting a page to be removed, it appears that Lyons Partnership, L.P. goes right to the ISP and threatens a lawsuit.
All this for a few short parody sound files of Barney on a page which I rated with RSACi, so that parents can use software to keep children off the page. I'm quite curious as to whether these sound files actually really do violate anything, since this is... or if it is covered under parody. (I would believe it is - I mean, come on, let's all remember the Larry Flint case - and hey, I bet Barney is considered a public figure too! HA) However, I don't have the time to research this and fight some huge company just so I can keep my "Die Barney" page up. I suspect that they depend on this - people being busy and not having time to fight legal battles revolving around some stupid dinosaur (hey, sue me for saying that!) Have any other anti-Barney web site creators run into this? (note: after first posting this, I was contacted by other people with similar pages who had received the same request) Considering the numerous extensive anti-Barney sites out there, it seems rather odd that my little page was sought out and given such a harsh notice.
So, take a look at the nice letter that was sent to me....(watch, next they'll sue me for posting the e-mail...) Just a great example of a big company spending time and money on individuals who "dare" to post small, harmless parody sound files of some make-believe character! (yes boys and girls, BARNEY IS MAKE BELIEVE!) Wow, I wonder if they feel really big and important now? ;) I never did respond to their letter, I just removed the files. They actually expected me (or my company) to write them a letter promising not to put any big bad Barney sound files up! Sheesh.
~ Carolyn ~
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 15:50:47 -0400 From: email@example.com (Gibney Anthony & Flaherty) X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.72 [en] (WinNT; U) X-Accept-Language: en To: firstname.lastname@example.org CC: email@example.com Subject: Re: Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property August 22, 2000 BY E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org AND CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN REQUESTED InterStat, Inc. Attn: Carolyn C. Gargaro P.O. Box 456 Mount Laurel, NJ 08054 Re: Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property Dear Ms. Gargaro: This firm is counsel to Lyons Partnership, L.P. (“Lyons Partnership”), the owner of the exclusive right to use the copyrighted children’s dinosaur character Barney® as well as the federally registered and famous trademark and service mark Barney. It has come to the attention of Lyons Partnership that your company is the Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) for a website found at URL: www.gargaro.com/barney.html. This web page incorporates images and violent sounds of the children’s character Barney without permission from Lyons Partnership. Such use is likely to cause confusion and constitutes copyright infringement of Lyons Partnership’s intellectual property rights in violation of federal law. We are writing to notify you that, as the ISP for this website, you may be held liable for contributory trademark dilution. As a result of Lyons Partnership's continuous promotion of the Barney character, Barney has come to be recognized as a distinctive and famous trademark and service mark. Lyons Partnership vigorously objects to the unsavory and unwholesome content that the owner of this website has associated with the trademark and service mark Barney. The content on this website, used in conjunction with the federally registered and famous trademark and service mark Barney, including all relevant hyperlinks to third-party websites, constitutes a violation of the Federal Trademark Dilution Act pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1125(c)(1). By associating the Barney trademark with violence, this website tarnishes the distinctive qualities of the trademark and service mark Barney. Remedies available to Lyons Partnership based upon a violation of the Federal Trademark Dilution Act include a permanent injunction, damages, costs and attorneys' fees. We are also writing to notify you that, as the ISP for this website, you may be held liable for contributory copyright infringement. In order to avoid further legal proceedings, we must receive your written assurances, directed to Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty, LLP at 665 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022 (email@example.com) by September 12, 2000, that your company will immediately remove all Web page content containing any images and violent sounds of the children’s character Barney. Your written assurances must also state that you have removed all web page content relating to the unlawful use of the Barney copyrights as well as any links to the official Barney websites. Lyons Partnership believes in good faith that the use of its intellectual property complained of herein is not authorized by its agents or otherwise under the law, and that the information contained in this notification is accurate. Under penalty of perjury, we certify that this office is authorized to act on behalf Lyons Partnership, the owner of the exclusive rights that has been infringed. We await a response from you or your counsel. Sincerely, Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty, LLP By: ________________________ Ronald D. Coleman cc: Angelo Mazza, Esq.