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Chilling Effects Cease & Desist Clearinghouse

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the good-idea dept.

The Courts 192

Wendy Seltzer writes: "The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, EFF, and other major law school clinics have launched ChillingEffects.org to combat the chilling effect of Cease & Desist letters with ungrounded legal threats. (Slashdot readers got a site preview in the story on the Bnetd Cease & Desist, already in our database.) If you have received a Cease & Desist, we invite you to add it to the database, where law students will analyze the legalese and annotate the C&Ds with Frequently Asked Questions and answers. The site already offers several sets of general legal FAQs."

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Go to FuckedCompany.com (1)

volcanic_god (312399) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065962)

FuckedCompany.com has plenty of them!

Re:Go to FuckedCompany.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3065978)

On the same topic, check out www.fuckmicrosoft.com ! Pretty funny.

Alan Thicke DEAD. (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065965)

I just heard the sad news on CBC radio. Comedy actor/writer Alan Thicke was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did for 80's television. Truly a Canadian icon. [slashdot.org]
He will be missed :(

Show me That Smile (The Growing Pains Theme Song):

Show me that smile again.
Ooh show me that smile.
Don't waste another minute on your crying.
We're nowhere near the end.
We're nowhere near.
The best is ready to begin.

As long as we got each other
We got the world
Sitting right in our hands.
Baby rain or shine;
All the time.
We got each other
Sharing the laughter and love.

Re:Alan Thicke DEAD. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3065985)

If Alan Thicke is dead, how do you explain that YOU are Alan Thicke? Huh? Huh?

This is wonderful. (5, Interesting)

Daunting*Alligheri (215036) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065980)

Hey slashdot crowd, you all should be excited about this. We finally have a place to go check out what the laws really mean (and how they're really applied), as opposed to talking out our asses all the time. This is indeed a Good Thing (tm) and I only hope the best for the affiliated schools.

You Mean... (3, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066342)

watching 200 episodes of "Ally McBeal" doesn't make me a legal expert? I'm flabbergasted. Gotta go have to have a hallucination about a dancing baby...

If you like that (1, Offtopic)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065982)

Your just gonna love Jack Valenti's latest rant [washingtonpost.com].

digital movies on the Internet can be pilfered and hurled at the speed of light to any spot on the planet. This is what gives movie producers so many Maalox moments.


Congress must step in to protect valuable creative works on the Net

He's quite articulate... (1, Flamebait)

JohnDenver (246743) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066128)

I had never read any of Jack Valenti's writings up to this point, and I must say he's quite poignant. Unlike many of my fellow slashdot posters, he makes sound and specific arguments which flows gracefully from assertion to conclusion.

I wish I could say the same for slashdot...

Re:He's quite articulate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066318)

You know, halfway through reading your comment, I thought to myself, "Hey, I think I skipped the message header, I wonder if it was moderated funny, because it sure is funny to me." Of course, it hadn't been, maybe it still isn't, but I think Jack Valenti is kinda funny, like when he's being deposed. Y'know:

Q Has anyone ever told you that a DVD has
6 been de-encrypted by DECSS?
7 A I don't recall.
8 Q Has anyone ever told you that they had
9 ever seen on the internet a DVD de-encrypted by
11 A I don't recall.of it."

Re:If you like that (0, Funny)

Mayor McPenisman (557253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066158)

Oh come on.

We all know that they are being spewed at 66% of the speed of light on average.

Geez, these people always overstate things!

Re:If you like that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066256)

Without concord, one option is left: Congress must step in to protect valuable creative works on the Net and thereby benefit consumers by giving them another choice for movie viewing.

Geez. Tell you what, Jack. You keep your damned movies on VHS, and stay the fuck out of my computer. Then we can both be happy.


Re:If you like that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066403)

I sleep just a little better every night knowing Jack Valenti is head of the MPAA.

Very quick reply (3, Insightful)

tulare (244053) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065984)

because I am working :)
At first glance, this looks like a great thing. In fact, what the internet was supposed to be. My only question is - how long will they remain available and maintained? Operations like this tend to get their funding mysteriously cut. Sounds like a job for the EFF to fund?

Re:Very quick reply (1)

d-e-w (173678) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066285)

If you look at the About Us page, it reveals that the site is funded by the EFF, the Stanford Center for Internet & Society (an organization run by Stanford Law, AFAIK) as well as a couple similar organizations connected with other law schools.

I've had contact with some of the above, and have knowledge of the legal work/defense that they have helped with (esp. from Stanford.) You're talking some semi-big guns here, not pie-in-the-sky idealists. They know what they're up against.

How Long.. (5, Funny)

Heem (448667) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065986)

How long until this site itself gets it's own Cease and Desist for whatever unfounded reason?

Lost his faith in democracy,

Cease and desist slashdotting! (1)

h00pla (532294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066365)

Yikes! The site's been slashdotted(tm)!!. (20:30 CET) I wonder if they'll send Slashdot a cease and desist order to stop it?

Gettin' Jiggy Wid It (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3065994)

Cohn asked Greenglass about a visit he had with Julius Rosenberg while on forlough in September, 1943.

GREENGLASS: He came up to the apartment and he got me out of bed and we went into another room so my wife could dress.

COHN: What did he say to you?

GREENGLASS: He said to me that he wanted to know what I had for him. I told him "I think I have a pretty good description of the atom bomb."

COHN: The atom bomb itself?

GREENGLASS: That's right.

Greenglass testified that Rosenberg asked him for a written description of experiments underway at Los Alamos. Greenglass said that he would prepare the descriptions. Rosenberg gave him $200. COHN: Did you draw up a sketch of the atom bomb itself?


COHN: Did you prepare descriptive material to explain the sketch of the atom bomb?


COHN: Was there any other material that you wrote up on that occasion?

GREENGLASS: I gave some scientists' names, and I also gave some possible recruits for espionage.

COHN: Now, about how many pages would you say it took to write down all these matters?

GREENGLASS: I would say about twelve pages or so.

excellent (4, Insightful)

prizzznecious (551920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065997)

This is exactly what the internet is for: obscure information easily available to the masses. Be sure to tell your friends etc., as the only way the internet can remain a free place is through active individual self-education. A disturbingly low number of people actually read things like the DMCA or cease and desist letters; we need to be smarter and more aggressive if we want to stay free.

fp. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3065998)

I am teh best post firster.

Re:fp. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066019)

Except your 5 minutes late, I got the FFP bitch!

Re:fp. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066141)

No, I was first poster. you must have hax0red the slashdot gibson and faked time stamps. CHEATER.

This is a *great* idea (4, Interesting)

syzxys (557810) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066005)

If the "Clearinghouse" manages to stay up, it will certainly become very useful. One of the worst things about cease-and-desist letters is that the lawyers throw all kinds of threats at you, which you then have to spend time checking into. If you're a small operation, this means a big company can basically bludgeon you to death with cease and desist letters. In fact, we've seen this happening a lot more in the past year.

I'm glad to see this site go up, IMHO it's a victory for the little guy. It'll be interesting to see what happens to the cease and desist climate after word of the site gets around; maybe people will stop throwing cease & desist at everything they don't like. (Heh, that's probably a pipe dream.) Anyway, just my $0.02.

Crash Windows XP just by viewing a simple text file! [zappadoodle.com]

I agree completely (4, Funny)

Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066011)

To do my best to prove to the Movie Industry that their attempts at scaring everyone is futile, I am proceeding on a path of complete and total Civil Disobedience:

  • I have obtained a DVD copier (at great expense) and I frequently rent movies and copy them so I can view them later, like so:
  • I use DeCSS-derived software to copy DVDs to my Hard Drive and later to DVD, only this time encoding free!
  • I hand out free copies of DVD movies everywhere I can to as many people as I can, along with a 2600 flier about how bad the DMCA is
  • .

  • Join me in protesting for our freedoms! Remember, information (and especially movies like Good Will Hunting) want to be free!

Re:I agree completely (5, Interesting)

renehollan (138013) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066137)

I have obtained a DVD copier (at great expense) and I frequently rent movies and copy them so I can view them later, like so:

O.K., cool!

I use DeCSS-derived software to copy DVDs to my Hard Drive and later to DVD, only this time encoding free!

Also cool, sounds like traditional fair use to me. I too use CSS-defeating software so I can view DVDs I purchased under [GNU/]Linux.

I hand out free copies of DVD movies everywhere I can to as many people as I can, along with a 2600 flier about how bad the DMCA is.

Unless these are movies you made, this is uber-uncool. You should be fighting for fair-use, and reductions of copyight protection terms, not blatently fueling the flames of oppression. Such piracy just proves "them" right. Handing out the 2600 flyer is cool. I wear my anti-DVD/CCA t-shirt proudly, too, and explain what it means when people ask.

I realize that you posted in jest, but civil disobedience isn't about completely ignoring bad law, just orderly refusal to obey those parts of the law that are ill-concieved.

Re:I agree completely (1)

nytes (231372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066233)

Such piracy just proves "them" right.

But he's not a pirate, he's a privateer :-)

Re:I agree completely (5, Insightful)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066148)

This is not civil disobedience, it is common thievery.

Civil disobedience would be to copy your DVD's and store them in a safe space as backups.

Civil disobedience would be to use Microsoft Office on your laptop and desktop.

In other words, civil disobedience is doing things that might be illegal but still carry the full force of morality. Your acts are both illegal and immoral.

Re:I agree completely (2)

lhand (30548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066290)

Absolutely. Handing out copies of the intellectual property of others is a BAD THING. Shame on you for mistaking civil disobedience with breaking the law. How can I get a copy?

Re:I agree completely (2)

fishebulb (257214) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066417)

actually civil disobedience is breaking the law. But what he is doing goes far beyond the law he is trying to defeat. He is disobeying copyright law in all

big difference.

Copyright infringement is NOT theft (3, Insightful)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066376)

Copyright infringement is NOT theft.

Yes it is a crime or at least a civil violation (tort). It may or may not be immoral - but it is NOT THEFT. Calling it theft does not make it so.

Theft involves obtaining something, and taking it away from someone else - not illegally using, making or distributing a copy.

Re:I agree completely (2)

ftobin (48814) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066396)

Your acts are both illegal


and immoral.

Whether or not the action is immoral is questionable at best.

Re:I agree completely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066217)

It can only be called civil disobedience if you openly break the law in front of authority figures, and willingly accept whatever punishment the judicial system gives you.

Unless you're copying DVDs in front of Jack Valenti's house, what you're doing serves no political purpose whatsoever. It seems like you're just gleefully enriching your own DVD collection because you don't want to pay for them. If you're not willing to go to jail for your beliefs, you can always *gasp* deny yourself by boycotting DVDs, and fire off an angry letter to movie execs telling you why. Then you'd actually be taking the moral high road, instead of just committing the second wrong.

Re:I agree completely (3, Insightful)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066288)

I hand out free copies of DVD movies everywhere I can to as many people as I can, along with a 2600 flier about how bad the DMCA is.

Do you do it publicly and openly? Or do you hide behind nicknames when you do it? If you're doing it while attempting to remain free of repercussions, that's not civil disobedience, it's simply petty theft. Civil disobedience is standing up and saying, "I believe this is wrong, and I'm not going to obey it. You'll have to keep arresting me until the law is changed." What you claim to do is a disgrace to all those who practice true civil disobedience.

But that's okay, I realize now that you're a troll. Trolling to one story a day is one thing, but right after replying to you in the multi-player game thread I see this post, and it made me check your posting history. Something I recommend everyone do before any significant replies.

Waiting for the inevitable (2, Funny)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066012)

Why do I have the feeling that some featured organization will issue a C&D onto ChillingEffect.com?

Re:Waiting for the inevitable (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066159)

Why not have a judge strike it as they did the legal advisor software in Texas a few years ago.

Remember, most judges are lawyers, too.

This is the last Natalie Portman thread (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066015)

It's over people, move on

Shocking! (5, Funny)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066033)

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, EFF, and other major law school clinics have launched ChillingEffects.org to combat the chilling effect of Cease & Desist letters with ungrounded legal threats.

Yeah, those lawsuits hurt me a lot too when they're not grounded - They build up lots of static.

How about groundless?

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066079)

LOL! A lawyer misrepresented a word! SHE SHOULD BE DISBARRED!!!

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066082)

Looks like he couldn't decide between groundless and unfounded, and so he split the difference. But I'd recommend a grounding strap anyway!

It's Nice To See (5, Insightful)

lblack (124294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066043)

It's nice to see that after all the talk and jokes about open-sourcing the law, that it is happening.

Is this that much different from submitting a patch to a peer-maintenance group and having it reviewed by various persons of various qualifications? Or from submitting an Ask Slashdot, for that matter.

I've been involved with businesses that have been threatened by letters about various things. Upon receiving the first of those letters, I started expanding my knowledge of legalese, law application, etc. A lot of google and a few dead trees later, and I'm much more informed... and can now spot the bullshit much easier than I once could.

This database should provide a short circuit, so that people can quickly learn about things that pertain to them, and get assistance on resolving them.

I think this sort of idea is important to free speech in an increasingly corporate medium. It's heartening to see that people care enough to actually devote their time to it.


Almost as bad (2, Funny)

return 42 (459012) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066046)

How about the chilling effect of putting up a site and being instantly slashdotted?

Re:Almost as bad (1)

Cinnibar CP (551376) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066197)

I can almost imagine CmdrTaco recieving a cease-and-desist letter to get him to remove the link and cease this denial of service attack.

Re:Almost as bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066286)

Hrm, then if the link is removed and the URL noted in plain text on the front page of slashdot. Then they'd have to send a C&D letter to all the users to force them to stop typing in the url.

put where your mouth is your money (5, Insightful)

geckoFeet (139137) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066047)

Join the eff [eff.org] already. No more excuses.

/. readers have had another prequel to this with the attack of Barney [slashdot.org], the purple Tyrannosaurus rex.

Re:put where your mouth is your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066272)

Since when does a shameless plug get modded up? Comon now...

Penis bird found DEAD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066053)

I just heard it on the radio this morning the PENIS BIRD [rotten.com] was found DEAD. He will be missed. Even if you didn't like his giant penis, you can certainly remember him for his work on protecting his owners penis.

Re:Penis bird found DEAD (-1)

Dead Penis Bird (524912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066124)

Hell, no! I may be dead, but I'm not BURIED!

I'm still working on my newest project - to dethrone Tux the Penguin!

He's not dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066253)

He's pining for the fjords.

Anyone have experience with brandimensions.com? (4, Interesting)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066055)

I've seen them in my http logs a few times over the past few weeks. Their site says that they "empower our clients to retain control over their names and brands on the web." I may be wrong, but that sounds a lot like marketing-speak for "corporate bully."

Their tag line: "monitoring and protecting your brand equity."

Check the connotations of the individual words:

  • Monitor is a fancy way of saying "invasion of privacy," but don't worry, we're invading someone else's privacy.
  • Protect carries images of military campaigns and gunning down burglars in "self-defense."
  • Brand is a corporate identity, an entity bigger than [and therefore above the laws of] governmental institutions.
  • Equity = money.

Again, I may be [and probably am] wrong.

Re:Anyone have experience with brandimensions.com? (2, Interesting)

Anonynnous Coward (557984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066135)

Yup. You got it. These kinds of people are the Pinkertons of the twenty-first century, hired goons in the service of corporate bullies.

Fortunately, at least now, they can't keep the news of their actions localized. Now let's just hope people pay some attention.

And with that name, they're easily confused with a laxative company--Bran Dimensions. Of course, now I'll probably be named in a lawsuit.

Re:Anyone have experience with brandimensions.com? (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066190)

yup - you got it - block them in your firewall right away - make them use a real person next time ....

Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066401)

... they are a image security type company. The problem is they didn't bother to check on their own name before going into business and are due to be served soon for their lack of foresite. Kind of appropriate, isn't it.

Their scans are mostly manual, btw. If they came to your site, they are looking on the behalf of a client and they are lawyer and lawsuit happy.

For Senders Too?! (5, Interesting)

volsung (378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066061)

If you go look at the site, you'll see that there are forms for entering your Cease & Desist letters if you are the receiver or if you are the sender. I expected to see the receiver form, but was surprised to see the sender form. How many businesses can you think of who would want to advertise that they are trying to indimidate people with C&D letters? I would imagine most businesses would be rather annoyed, actually, to have their letters end up in this thing and come back later to be a PR headache.

Along that line of thinking: How long do you think it will be before C&D letters contain language specifying that you cannot publish them? (And even if you say that is not possible/legal/whatever, how many will try anyway?)

Re:For Senders Too?! (2, Informative)

volsung (378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066081)

And for the spelling Nazis out there: "intimidate" is the correct spelling.

Copyright (2)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066115)

Copyright may already apply.

But as a defense, you could argue that publishing these threats with analysis are of public importance.

Can't publish the letter? (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066122)


Unless the sender and recipient are under NDA, this would be laughed so far out of court it would land in the ocean. And not just in the Ninth Circuit.

Of course, some unscrupulous shark might push Congress for a law saying C&D letters are confidential, but I can't imagine that passing 1st amendment scrutiny.

Re:For Senders Too?! (2)

lblack (124294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066136)

That way if an Evil Empire Corporation sends me a cease and desist letter, I can craft one of my own and volley it back:

Dear Evil Empire,

After extensive research, I discovered that your website contains a reference to "Widgetmitalls" on its third page. Please note that all discussion of Widgetmitalls are to be considered a trade secret on the grounds that Widgetmitalls form the foundation for my business / religious movement. Please remove all references to Widgetmitalls, or replace them with the more generic "Widget".

The Little Guy

I could then run that through this database and have people comment on it. That will allow me to improve on it, so that by the time it actually reaches Evil Empire Incorporated, it looks ominous enough that they might pay it heed.

I assume, at any rate, that that is what the functionality exists for. Quite subversive.


Re:For Senders Too?! (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066140)

There is considerable case law regarding copyright on letters. The short story is, if you send someone a letter, they can do what they please with it.


Re:For Senders Too?! (2)

lhand (30548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066315)

This is just the opposite of what I understand. Are you sure about this? Since everything I write is copyright by me (implicitly) giving a copy to you does not negate my copyright nor does it give you a right to publish it.

Who's right here?

Re:For Senders Too?! (2)

Hostile17 (415334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066309)

This isn't going to happen. If someone sends me a letter, it becomes my property, to do with as I see fit, unless I have signed a prior aggreement, specifing what I may or may not do with it. At the very least, I would consider it an unsolicited gift, but more reasonably, if someone is threating legal action against me, I have the right to seek legal advice from any source to include a public forum. I wouldn't even need a Lawyer to fight that one, though it would probably wise to get one anyway.

Good idea (3, Interesting)

nick255 (139962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066063)

Unforunately I think it would only be helpful for those living under US law. Therefore not applicable to many people. Getting law students involved from many other countries would be a good thing.

Re:Good idea (1)

PowerTroll 5000 (524563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066085)

Also note that the U.S. currently has the most stringent laws, especially in regards to IP and copyright, which seems to be the cause for most C & D letters.

Re:Good idea (4, Insightful)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066164)

That's actually quite false, though it is a common European misconception. Our problem is that we are a country that too quickly moves our problems into the courtroom. A C&D letter does not actually imply that the person sending it has any legal case; it simply means they took the time to try to intimidate you into believing they do.

Re:Good idea (2)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066405)

To many companys have change our "Right to sue anyone for anything" to our "Requirement to sue anoune for everything"

you've come a long way, slashdot... (2, Interesting)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066071)

It's kind of funny how the relationship between technology and the law have changed. Four years ago, who would have expected to see an archive of legalisms as a /. front-page story? I mean, this is a tech news site, right?

Ah well, at least there are still white hat lawyers on our side, for the moment at least.

How many C&D are written by amateurs? (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066073)

So how many, rough percentage-wise are written by rank amateurs pretending to be Dewey, Cheatham & Howe?

Assuming you got one, and I'm pretty sure I know someone who did, if they aren't signed by a member of a state bar or plaing fantasy, any recourse, other than telling them where to shove it?

Examples may include, "Dear Sir/Madam, our attorney has advised us that what you are doing violates etc etc etc...", which, IMHO is hardly a C&D rather wishful thinking.

The SuperString Theory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066077)

.I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you

Re:The SuperString Theory (0, Offtopic)

LordKariya (195696) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066139)

how about a cease and desist on page-widening motherfuckers ?

Re:The SuperString Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066298)

Broken browsers just suck. Don't they, buddy?

Just like every other Microsoft product.


Re:The SuperString Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066155)

You idiot!

/.'d (5, Informative)

Asikaa (207070) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066080)

It's /.'d already. Try Google's cache [google.com].

I wonder if EFF et al will be sending /. a Cease & Desist letter for a premeditated DOS attack on their web server? :)

Re:/.'d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066220)

omg, you slashdotted google, you bastard.

This is great news! (1)

Anonynnous Coward (557984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066084)

A centralized place to hold corporations accountable for their negative actions against members of the community is something that's been needed.

The legal analysis is a bonus.

Now, I wonder how long it will be before chillingeffects.org itself receives a C&D demanding that it remove someone's "confidential" C&D letter they sent, after realizing the whole world will see what their legal thugs have done.

Cease and Desist (3, Funny)

cperciva (102828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066091)

Dear Sir,

It has come to our attention that you maintain a web site operating under the moniker "chillingeffects.org" and through that service are engaged in the provision of legal services.

Since you are not licensed to provide legal services, we respectfully ask that you cease and desist from providing such services.

Respectfully yours,
Joe Q. Lawyer and associates.

site is under the slashdot-effect... (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066095)

so i cant see it right now - but if the eff is involved i say kudo's to them. im glad to see more sites (anit-dmca.com, fuckedcompany.com, eff.org, etc) popping up against the dmca. this way people will have a better voice rather than just the usual "thats shitty - burn the goverment anarchy - yay" statements made from people who complain and contribute nothing to the movements. i hope this site and the likes continue to grow.

the EFF isn't as friendly as you think (-1)

Ninjak (552197) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066096)

I just did a google search with the search query "eff evil" and there were 13000 MATCHES!! [google.com] Also, I did a search for "eff nazi" and found 3120 matches!! [google.com].

Clearly, these people at the EFF aren't the saints that you think they are.

ah! (3, Insightful)

icejai (214906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066133)

I stumbled across this on the site:
Question: Are there exceptions that allow the circumvention of technological protection systems?

Answer: There are seven exemptions built into section 1201 of the DMCA, some of which permit the circumvention of access and copy controls for limited purposes, some of which allow for the limited distribution of circumvention tools in particular circumstances. These seven exemptions are for:
  • Libraries, archives, and educational institutions for acquisition purposes; [1201(d)]
  • Law enforcement and intelligence gathering activities; [1201(e)]
  • Reverse engineering in order to develop interoperable programs;

This is something i feel would be a strong argument for all things decss. I was a bit weary of defending 'fair use' of a dvd by descrambling it ... but this exception in the DMCA just seals the deal. If they had only developed a dvd player for *nix, then the *nix guys would have no chance in hell for defending the development and use of stuff like decss. But since they didn't, they left this gaping hole available for the *nix guys and decss supporters to come crashing through.

They ignored a chunk of their customers, and now those customers are going to use this claus to bite them in the ass for their ignorance.

Oh well.... more power to the people!

RIAA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066157)

Anyone ever receive the C&D letter from the RIAA? Once I get home i-net access back next week, I'm going to add that one if no one else has yet. They threatened me with something like $100,000 per offense (of selling roughly 20 bootlegged, NOT pirated, recordings for $6 each, s&h included), years of jail time, etc. And they would decide exactly how they were going to punish me once I provided them with lists of A) every bootleg I have ever owned, B) where I obtained it, C) every bootleg I have ever sold, D) who I sold it do, E) for how much, etc. etc.

At least this is what I could decipher from the legalese.

Off topic but is there a site like this for NDA's (1)

gordie (139287) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066184)

Great informational site, I'm sure it will be invaluable to Webmasters and other web content providers. But does anyone know of a site like this, dealing with Non-Disclosure Agreements that may contain Non-compete clauses or force employees to give up various rights to work etc.? A friend was recently asked to sign such a NDA that would have precluded her from taking any web based work of any sort (the wording was intentionally vague) for 5 years after leaving the company, even if laid off or terminated, with or without cause. The employee would also have to agree that the employeer could terminate employment at any time without reason. As a web designer, this was un-acceptable and she's looking else where for employment. A site like the above dealing with NDA's would be invaluable to her and the rest of us working geeks.

Re:Off topic but is there a site like this for NDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066287)

I had a similar experience. I hired a very good attorney and he shred it to tears. The trick of it is that the courts take a very dim view of any language that prevent employees from earning a living. There can be legitamite boundaries (such as working for a competitor, etc.)applied to the employee, but such over-reaching language is null & void right out of the starting gate. I would suggest that you get out of there as fast as you can. I would also suggest you contact those that have signed the NDA, to hire effective legal council immediately. This is a new world (for the worse). Little by little, all of your legal rights that have been hard won in the past, are being taken away. If you don't continually fight for them, you lose them.

Re:Off topic but is there a site like this for NDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066363)

Good question, I would advise your friend to check the laws in the state she's in. I live in Texas and I've been asked to sign such non competition agreements, but for the most part they aren't binding. In Texas you have a fundamental right to earn a living, and you cannot sign away your fundamental rights.

So I'd tell your friend to just bite her tongue and sign the thing, knowing it's not worth the paper its written on. Check the laws in your state first though.

Of course, if they actually took you to court, you'd have to argue to the Judge that the current field you are in is the only one that a person with your education/background could maintain your standard of living. The duration of the non-competition agreement is important too, if the term is too long (5 years is excessive), the Judge may throw the clause out because it is excessive.

hm (0)

prizzznecious (551920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066193)

While I applaud the makers of this website for providing important and otherwise unobtainable information to us, education alone will not make the C&D climate change. No matter how much you know about groundless C&D letters, you can never be sure without talking to lawyers etc., and that's the power of a C&D.

What we need to do is to lobby our representatives in government (generally this is best done with old fashioned "snail mail," although email is better than nothing) to devise harsh penalties for groundless C&D letters, so that companies will think twice before abusing their power. It wouldn't hurt if laws like the DMCA were revised into oblivion, too--even bogus C&D letters need ostensible reasoning.

Great timing (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066211)

This comes in just as I'm dealing with a cease and desist letter from an outfit that's annoyed that I reported their phony-invoice scam to their web design firm.

Now as soon as the Slashdot effect fades, I can use the site.

Oh good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066260)

Now we'll have a place to put all the AvaGram [google.com] C&D letters that Scientology lawyear Ava Paquette keeps sending out.

When the best crime that the "Church" of $cientology [xenu.net] can throw at you is "Copyright Terrorist", you know you're in the right.

Cease and Desist Clearing House (1)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3066338)

Now that they're sponsoring a Cease and Desist Clearing House, the EFF should change their motto to "You might be a winner" and hire Ed MacMahon as a spokesperson.

Power to the people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3066381)

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