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423 comments

FP! (-1, Troll)

BumbaCLot (472046) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859233)

FP!

YOU SUCCEED IT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859239)

qwerty

Re:YOU ALSO SUCCEED IT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859265)


*TWO* succeeds in a row! Huzzah! Oh joy, oh rapture! Verily this is a blessed day. Allah is truly ON TEH SPOKE!!

Pft, wrong threat (5, Funny)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859245)

The power to sue a website is insignificant compared to the power of the /. effect.

Re:Pft, wrong threat (5, Funny)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859274)

Do you mean Slashdot got paid by Mastercard to close netfunny its own way ?

Re:Pft, wrong threat (5, Funny)

RLW (662014) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859448)

Oh, that's insidious.
Step one, Send threatening letter to web site
Step two, get story posted on slash dot.
Step three, wait and watch as web site goes down faster than a pending injunction.

slashdotted (5, Informative)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859247)

link1 [google.com]
link2 [google.com]

f1rst ps00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859248)

can it be?

Both sites already slow, here they are (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859253)

Mastercard threatens rec.humor.funny over satire
bt@templetons.com (Brad Templeton)
http://www.templetons.com/brad

(topical, chuckle, true)

Two years ago, rec.humor.funny published a sick satire of the Mastercard "Priceless" ads (There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's Mastercard) based around the Columbine tragedy. I won't repeat it here, since it was pretty sick and offensive, though you can find it on the web site at:

http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/99/Apr/columbi ne .html

Today we received a "cease and desist" letter from Mastercard's lawyers demanding that the parody be removed from our web site, falsely claiming it violates their trademarks and copyrights, in spite of the well established rules protecting satire and parody from such attacks.

The letter can be found at

http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/price.html

Here, however, is my response...

Web site hosting for anybody: $10/month and up

Threatening letters to people who satirize you, hoping
they won't know the law: $500

Reputation as giant corporation required to intimidate
small publishers: $billions

Supreme court decisions protecting parody and
satire from accusations of copyright and
trademark infringement... Priceless

There are some rights money can't buy. For everything else, there's Mastercard's lawyers.

============

April 13, 2004
American Express threatens me over joke on web site

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.

After all, Being Giant and Intimidating has its Privileges.

American Express Lawyers: Don't leave your home page without them.

For more examples of such games, check out our joint project with the Berkman center to document them: Chilling Effects Clearinghouse. And yes, Mastercard pulled the same stunt several years ago.
Posted by Brad at April 13, 2004 03:17 PM | TrackBack

Re:Both sites already slow, here they are (5, Informative)

slackerboy (73121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859390)

And the text of the actual joke that AmEx is complaining about is google cached here [google.com] .

A little slow... (5, Funny)

bbrazil (729534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859258)

Web site hosting for anybody: $10/month and up
./ed after just one comment: Priceless

Re:A little slow... (5, Funny)

gandalf013 (586578) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859280)

Nope, getting the "spelling" of /. incorrect: priceless :)

Re:A little slow... (4, Funny)

MostlyHarmless (75501) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859386)

./ed after just one comment: Priceless

-bash: ./ed: No such file or directory

. . .

~$ watch -n 10 w3m slashdot.org

Re:A little slow... (4, Funny)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859452)

Try 'cd /bin' first.

If that doesn't work, you must be using some newfangled "visual" editor instead. Those waste a lot of line printer paper.

He's safe (4, Interesting)

PingKing (758573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859260)

I'm not a lawyer but I'd bet the guy is pretty safe. Satire is protected from accusations of copyright infringement and IMO there's not a judge in the land that wouldn't view the AmEx parodies as just that.

Re:He's safe (1)

d88-jwn (257716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859338)

Hm, so according to USA Law, you can slander a company (or person?) in any way you want as long as it is deemed to be satire. Is it not just the Copyright that is protected in this way could he not be sued for "slander" (in lack of juridical term).

Re:He's safe (5, Insightful)

Mazzie (672533) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859383)

Also you have to look at the other side of the coin. Can you imagine this country, in this day and age, if true satire/parody was not protected?

Re:He's safe (5, Funny)

BrynM (217883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859524)

Can you imagine this country, in this day and age, if true satire/parody was not protected?
Mybe I'm becoming a cynical slashdotter, but I really expected the typical slashdot finish to this sentence:
Can you imagine this country, in this day and age, if true satire/parody was not protected?
...oh wait.

Re:He's safe (5, Informative)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859409)

In order for speech to be "slander", it must be untrue. Since parodies don't purport to be truth, they are not covered.

Oh, and you are really talking about libel, which is written. Slander is verbal.

Please get your terminology straight before talking out of your ass.

Re:He's safe (0)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859463)

Oh, and you are really talking about libel, which is written. Slander is verbal. Please get your terminology straight before talking out of your ass.

Hmm, out his ass? Slander, no. Libel, no. Must be ... splatter... yeah that's it.

Re:He's safe (2, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859475)

No, you can't slander anyone with satire, because satire is defined specifically NOT to be slander.

Re:He's safe (1)

RLW (662014) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859501)

Slander is making a claim that is know by the speaker to be false, and causes actual damages to another person (or corp. entity) or inhibits that person's ability to make money.
It varies a lot by jurisdiction but that's the basic gist of it.

Re:He's safe (3, Interesting)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859421)

Indeed, an obvious instance of parody, and therefore equally obviously protected.

Why, then, is there no mention of any counterclaim against MasterCard for a frivolous lawsuit (which, I think, covers such plainly deliberate harrassment)?

(I'm no trial-judge, but I pay one on TV...)

Re:He's safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859461)

Probably because there was no lawsuit. They sent him a C&D, which might have threatened a lawsuit, but they never filed an actual suit.

Re:He's safe (1)

Igmuth (146229) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859496)

Well, possibly, because there was no mention of a lawsuit by MasterCard. Just a plain C&D letter from the lawyers. (Possibly becuase they know they don't have a leg to stand on)

Re:He's safe (1)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859423)

Um... correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't it trademark infringement that's protected? (Or is it both trademark and copyright infringement?)

Re:He's safe (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859479)

It's both, fair use provisions for copyright include protections for parody and satire.

It's not the the result which matters in America (5, Informative)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859441)

It's the cost of the process itself. For individuals It doesn't really matter whether you'll win or not. The process itself is so long, slow and expensive that it'll bankrupt you.

Re:He's safe (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859497)

Well, it wouldn't surprise me if a jury got hung up on the fact that he parodied *Columbine*, in a way that makes him seem sympathetic to the shooters...

Re:He's safe (4, Informative)

K8Fan (37875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859517)

As the Supreme Court majority opinion in "2 Live Crew vs. Rose-Acuff Music" said:

Parody, even witless and stupid parody, is deserving of the highest level of protection.

Brad needs a lawyer (4, Insightful)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859261)

What Brad needs, instead of writing sarcastic responses himself, is to get a lawyer to write a letter pointing out to these pinheads that satire is constitutionally protected, and if they don't want to make asses of themselves and get laughed out of court like Fox News did against Al Franken, they should shut the fuck up.

Preferably in those exact words.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (4, Insightful)

jdifool (678774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859290)

Well, this is what he did, basically, though with slightly different words... :)

You don't need a lawyer when your common sense is enough to protect you... or at least you shouldn't need it.

Regards,
jdif

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (5, Interesting)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859350)

Many lawyers will write stuff like this for free. Some years ago the Canadian Olympic Committee sent Orienteering Ontario a letter saying that the logo we were using for our sport infringed the stick figure logos that they'd been using since 198x. Well, what they didn't count on was that one of the members of the Canadian national Orienteering team was a lawyer, so he wrote back a letter that basically said we got the logo from the World Orienteering Championships of 197x, and they could stuff their claim up their collective asses, and we never heard from them again. So they went after some guy named Olympus for calling his pizza restaurant "Olympic Pizza" instead.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (2, Informative)

smack_attack (171144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859393)

I remember that, it happened in Savannah, GA during the 1996 Olympics hosted by Atlanta. The best part is the guy changed his business by adding one l little line to the 'c' at the end of Olympic, changing the name to Olympia.

A judge ruled in his favor when ACOG tried to sue him again.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859472)

Every time the Olympics come to a city, they have lawyers run around threatening all the long-established Greek restaurants, travel companies, etc. Anyone know how they managed to obtain obtained such an overarching trademark/ownership on that word? I understand Zeus wants a word with them.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (4, Interesting)

jdifool (678774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859480)

True enough.

But the real power of his answer is that he made a parody of this cease-and-desist letter, hence making the point even clearer.

It's just like asking them to stick their fist in their ass instead of only one finger... :/

Regards,
jdif

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859368)

"First they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Of course, you have to pick your battles. You have to be careful when you poke a large organization with lots of lawyers and no sense of humour. (Note to self: fix up site [primus.ca] to be "more poking".)

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (4, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859304)

Nah, I don't think he's willing to take them that seriously. He's right that these letters are not all that serious themselves, but mostly scare tactics.

All he has to do is demonstrate knowledge/awareness of the law, his rights, etc. and they'll back off. He's done nothing wrong and they know it - so their threats are empty and he calls them on it.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (4, Insightful)

Ami Ganguli (921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859308)

You're probably right, but think there's something wrong when you're compelled to spend money on a lawyer every time somebody makes a stupid threat.

If he's confidident enough about his position to write the response himself then more power to him.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (2, Insightful)

luckyXIII (698285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859328)

The only people who win when we need lawyers to articulate a simple statmement of existing laws are the lawyers themselves. He seems to have a good grasp of the laws and precedents, so why can't he respond himself?

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (2, Funny)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859332)

If he should do it in those exact words, he doesn't really need a lawyer now, does he?

What was your fee, anyway?

::Colz Grigor

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (2, Insightful)

cwhicks (62623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859385)

I am sure all the lawyers are well aware of the legality of the parodies. Their hope is that the person receiving the cease and desist does not.
You'll note that after the Mastercard incident, nothing more was heard from the lawyers, as will happen here.

Why waste money paying your own whores, when simply rubbing their face in it accomplishes the same thing.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (3, Insightful)

Gulik (179693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859417)

What Brad needs, instead of writing sarcastic responses himself, is to get a lawyer to write a letter pointing out to these pinheads that satire is constitutionally protected...

This presumes that the aforementioned pinheads really don't know that his parody is constitutionally protected, which is somewhat unlikely. They know that the charges in their C&D are groundless, but figure that he will be cowed just because he got a letter from a lawyer. He's disabusing them of that notion.

Now, if they're dumb enough to actually bring suit on these charges, I'm sure he'll get himself a lawyer. Hell, there will probably be a pro-bono line outside his house -- who wouldn't want to get a slam-dunk against American Express on their resume?

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (5, Informative)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859458)

which is somewhat unlikely

Back when Fox News tried to C&D Al Franken's book, I assumed, like everybody else in the world, that Fox's lawyers were actually graduates of law schools that teach things like that, but we were all wrong. Fox, being one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, evidently has a legal staff who all got their law degrees at Joe's Garage and Lawer Stuff Skool. You should hear Al Franken's own description of what happened when they went to court - the judge literally laughed when he told that not only don't they have a case, but if they persist they're very likely to find out that "Fair and Balanced" isn't trademarkable.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859428)

I'm glad Brad wasn't idiotic enough to let himself be provoked into the lawyer arms-race that this sort of fearmongering is designed to produce. When going against a large corporation's battery of lawyers, that's a fool's investment.

What Brad needs, instead of mealymouthed protest and armchair ballsiness, is acknowledgement and support for his chosen course of action.

Re:Brad needs a lawyer (5, Insightful)

Mazzie (672533) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859462)

Law schools are pumping out more lawyers than the economy can support. I think the new trend of sending out thousands of cease and desist letters is the law firm form of telemarketing, phishing, or even spamming.

I think they look for a mega-response. If they get a response from a company written by a big law firm it tells a lot about what the company has to lose, and how big their bank account is.

IMO, most lawyers are just looking for an easy settlement anyways. Use a 'bot to dig the internet for 'infringements', send out 10K letters, get 5 settlements for 25K each?

This guy has more b*lls than I. (5, Funny)

dexterace (68362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859262)

Soon, he will much have less b*ndwidth...

B*lls?? (5, Insightful)

Seekerofknowledge (134616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859263)

This guy has more b*lls than I.

What, can people not say balls now? If not, could someone please say why?

Oh, maybe he means bills, as in dollaz. Meaning, he can afford the law suit?

Either way...

Re:B*lls?? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859301)

Think bells, as in "tinker".

Re:B*lls?? (1, Funny)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859351)

Crap, I thought he was saying bulls. Here I was thinking he was a rancher of some sort.

Re:B*lls?? (1)

caino59 (313096) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859320)

Oh, maybe he means bills, as in dollaz. Meaning, he can afford the law suit?


No....meaning can he afford the bandwidth b*lls....?

Re:B*lls?? (1)

pangloss (25315) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859354)

This is /. grasshopper. It's a wildcard, not self-censoring ;) Although if you really took the long view, it's a wildcard that even includes self-censorship.

Re:B*lls?? (5, Funny)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859408)

This guy has more b*lls than I.

What, can people not say balls now? If not, could someone please say why?

It looks to me like he was just saying that the guy has more lls, blls, bblls, or bbbbbbbbbblls than himself.

Re:B*lls?? (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859422)

Hey, watch it! A lot of ducks (sorry, waddling-challenged flight-enhanced avians) are quite sensitive about their facial features! They prefer the term "facial extension".

Re:B*lls?? (1)

carnivore302 (708545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859439)

This guy has more b*lls than I.

Why do you think he has more bills than you?

Re:B*lls?? (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859455)

What, can people not say balls now? If not, could someone please say why?
Of course you can't! You can't mention anything covered by a swim-suit. That'd be like, like, admitting genitals exist! It's only a short step from that to admitting that sex occurs! We can't have that in our media.

Re:B*lls?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859495)

It's only a short step from that to admitting that sex occurs!

Damn. I suspected as much.

Re:B*lls?? (4, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859488)

What, can people not say balls now?

I think he wanted to avoid offending people. He must have heard that there are a lot of people into eunuchs here.

Re:B*lls?? (1)

Eric Savage (28245) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859505)

Silly me, I thought he meant bolls, "The seed-bearing capsule of certain plants, especially cotton and flax", and was using it as a subtle reference to testicles.

Free Speech Is One Thing (0, Troll)

Czernobog (588687) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859539)

Decency is another.

Google Groups mirror of the post (hopefully) (2, Informative)

lintux (125434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859266)

Can't check the link in the article, but I guess it's about this post [google.com] . (Message-ID: )

Kerry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859270)

A vote for Kerry is a vote against strong America!

Vote George W Bush and help America to remain strong [georgebush.com] .

Hell Yeah! (3, Interesting)

kwpulliam (691406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859273)

Let's here it for Simple and To the point legal arguments. Both the Amex and the MC responses are great (Though the MC Response was better)

Re:Hell Yeah! (2, Funny)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859324)

The MC response wasn't just better, it was, dare I say, "priceless".

huh? what? who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859275)

Brad templeton who? humerous reply? what? Huh?

Looks like we're actually going to have to read the article on this one

April Fool's Day? (0, Troll)

CerealSam (642129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859281)

Is that 01 Apr in the url the date? Is there any substance to this other than it's a good joke?

you're right! (5, Funny)

arpy (587497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859295)

"This guy has more b*lls than I."

Judging from his tendencey to get sued, he certainly would seem to have more bills than you.

Re:you're right! (3, Informative)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859357)

I think the point is he has not been sued yet, only threatened. There is no basis for a case.

Finkployd

Re:you're right! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859446)


"I think the point is he has not been sued yet, only threatened. There is no basis for a case."

The current climate leads people to assume the threats alone are sufficient cause to take action, and many people do, out of fear of the legal process itself.

This translates of course, to "might makes right" and it threatens to alter our society in fundamental ways.

Re:you're right! (1)

Nplugd (662449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859468)

There is no basis for a case.

Well, it doesn't seem to be a problem for some people [sco.com] ...

Posting a funny parody... (5, Funny)

Frennzy (730093) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859298)

Posting a funny parody...free.

Getting a C&D letter from MC/AmEx...free.

Having /. do more to take away your free speech than MC or AmEx could ever dream of....priceless.

Deja vu? (-1, Offtopic)

FartingTowels (553440) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859302)

Either I have deja vu or I've seen this stuff on Boing Boing yesterday... To editors: I guess most people here glance through BB once I day, so there is no need to repost!

Re:Deja vu? (1)

MrBlackBand (715820) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859379)

I guess most people here glance through BB once I (sic) day...

You've guessed wrong.
I've never even heard of Boing Boing so this is no repeat for me.

How about some music? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859306)

trollin', trollin', trollin'
trollin', trollin', trollin'
trollin', trollin', trollin'
trollin', trollin', trollin'
Rawhide!

trollin', trollin', trollin'
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them dogies trollin'
Rawhide!
Rain and wind and weather
Hell-bent for leather
Wishin' my gal was by my side.
All the things I'm missin',
Good vittles, love, and kissin',
Are waiting at the end of my ride

CHORUS
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Rawhide
Count 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, count 'em out,
Count 'em out, ride 'em in
Rawhide!

Keep movin', movin', movin'
Though they're disapprovin'
Keep them dogies movin'
Rawhide!
Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope, throw, and brand 'em
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
My hearts calculatin'
My true love will be waitin',
Be waitin' at the end of my ride.

Rawhide!
Rawhide!

What to do? What to do? (3, Interesting)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859309)

Are there any site that give advice on how to react to a situation like this? Most that I have seen basically say IANAL and to consult a professional . . . it seems if you don't have money, its hard to get good advice . . .

Re:What to do? What to do? (1)

tsg (262138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859443)

That's precisely why there isn't any fair use anymore. Yes, it's protected and well documented in the law, but if the deep pockets file a suit anyway, you now have to hire a lawyer to defend your rights and convince a judge that it is fair use. You can be totally in the right and still have it cost you a bunch of money. The threat of litigation is usually enough to stifle most fair uses.

Larry Flynt (5, Insightful)

Mazzie (672533) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859314)

Billion dollar companies still struggling to overcome protections championed by a pornographer: priceless

obligatory (5, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859319)

10/month hosting at a craptastic company: $10
Writing an article about trouble with the law: $0
Bandwidth overage charges from being slashdotted: $260
Being parodied in a slashdot posting because your lawsuit stems from the fact that you made a parody of a commercial: Priceless

There are some rights money can't buy. For everything else, there's google cache. [google.com]

Fighting authority and moral decency (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859325)

balls.

Paying the lawsuit penalties (5, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859335)

What if the guy loses the suit and pays for it with his American Express card?

Re:Paying the lawsuit penalties (1)

H8X55 (650339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859414)

What if the guy loses the suit and pays for it with his American Express card?

It'd be even funnier if he was paying his webhost bills with his MC.

Good, another meaningless trial (1)

Nplugd (662449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859342)

...thank God common sense will make those litigious bastards stop pretty quick. Because you know, when a case's built on bullshit, the whole thing is taken care of in no time. Right ? Right ?

The Joke (3, Informative)

Manip (656104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859346)

200 rounds of ammo: $70 Two ski masks: $24 Two black trench coats: $260 Seeing the expression on your classmates' faces right before you blow their heads off -- priceless. There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's MasterCard.

Re:The Joke (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859487)

200 rounds of ammo: $70 Two ski masks: $24 Two black trench coats: $260 Seeing the expression on your classmates' faces right before you blow their heads off -- priceless.

Wow... truly a work of art. Of course, I've always been of the opinion that "Priceless" joke modders should get a C&D Order for complete lack of originality.

Lawyers email address public (3, Informative)

swingheim (771227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859353)

Not to say what you should do with it... *cough* just noted that it was at the bottom of his letter.

Black Friday? (3, Interesting)

chendo (678767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859359)

Accordingly, we demand that you confirm immediately and no later than
Friday, April 13, 2001, that you will remove the Infringing Material from the web site www.netfunny.com and that there will be no further publication of the Infringing Material or any other material which infringes MasterCard's rights as set forth above.
Is it just me, or is it just a coincidence that day is a Black Friday? ;o

Frivolous McDonald's coffee lawsuit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859363)

This guy needs to walk into the Mastercard office, find the coffee station, spill the coffee on himself, and scream bloody murder and sue all the way to the bank. It worked against McDonalds, maybe it will work here.

He's an inspiration to us all (1)

mjm (15357) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859372)

Here's the addition to my .Sig.d rotation the Master Card brouhaha inspired:

--
Threaten not the comic with your lawyers' bluster,
all toothless to suppress parody and satire;
for you will not amuse him, but you may inspire him.

Original MasterCard Joke (2, Informative)

shamir_k (222154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859394)

Google Cache of original mastercard joke [216.239.57.104] . I can't believe MasterCard sent a C&D over a scik joke.

Speaking of American Express and humor... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859397)

...and totally off topic, but these little bits with Jerry Seinfeld and an animated Superman are pretty good:

The Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman [americanexpress.com]

Trademark for "Priceless" (5, Informative)

tiny69 (34486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859399)

Word Mark PRICELESS
Goods and Services IC 036. US 100 101 102. G & S: Financial services, namely, providing credit card, debit card, charge card and stored value smart card services, prepaid telephone calling card services, cash disbursement, and transaction authorization and settlement services. FIRST USE: 19980200. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19980200
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75658792
Filing Date March 11, 1999
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition November 30, 1999
Registration Number 2370508
Registration Date July 25, 2000
Owner (REGISTRANT) MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED CORPORATION DELAWARE 2000 Purchase Street Purchase NEW YORK 105772509
Attorney of Record COLM J DOBBYN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Re:Trademark for "Priceless" (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859530)

Ahh, excellent.

Please note the form of the mark. First, not a trademark, but a service mark. Second, it only applies to the use of the word "priceless" in conjunction with "Financial services, namely, providing credit card, debit card, charge card and stored value smart card services, prepaid telephone calling card services, cash disbursement, and transaction authorization and settlement services. "

There is a point to trademark - it is to keep competitors in your line of business from reaping the fruits of your advertising. Yes, people and companies try to abuse it, but the reason for its existence is still valid.

Looks like they're on a suing tour... (3, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859426)

- Humorless lawyers suing attrition.org [google.com] (includes reply to their letter)
- Humorless lawyers suing Ralph Nader... and losing [salon.com]

Should you laugh or cry at this?
TESS Info for trademark #2370508 [uspto.gov]

Re:Looks like they're on a suing tour... (3, Informative)

Jetifi (188285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859542)

For the Attrition case, this page [attrition.org] tells the whole story. Put simply, Mastercard ends up looking stupid.

Did the lawyers actually look at the website? (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859427)

Your unauthorized use of AMERICAN EXPRESSWAY ... is likely to cause consumers to be confused, mistaken, or deceived as to the source of origin of your services.

...In addition, your continued use of these marks constitutes a deceptive business practice and unfair competition in violation of state law.


Considering that he's not running a business, claiming to run a business, or using these terms for advertising a business, these statements seem rather curious. Did they just use a search engine and automatically send out a nastigram based on the results? Would my writing "American expression, Membership has its Privileges" in this post result in Slashdot getting a letter? (If so, sorry guys)

A great MasterCard parody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859445)

Check out this link,
http://www.yjd40.dial.pipex.com/mastercard. html, or google for "indecent proposal" + mastercard if you like mastercard parodies. ;-)

Isn't this old news? (0, Informative)

Cooper_007 (688308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859467)

Come on folks. This was a usenet post from 2001.
What is it exactly about this message that makes it relevant now?

Cooper
--
This truth probably doesn't come as shocking news to any of you,
and if it does then you're stupid and I hate you.
- Everything Can Be Beaten -

Wow, AE is clueless! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8859477)

Even though the page includes words like 'joke', 'chuckle', 'funny', and 'humor', the Amex letter still implies that Brad has posted an advertisement -- as if the "American Expressway" was a real thing being advertised! How could these people have been so blind as to not even bother reading the damn thing before sending the mail?

aQazaQa

This guy has more b*lls than I. (3, Funny)

DougMackensie (79440) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859486)

I'll say Mr. "anonymous reader"

I really hate self-censorship. (4, Insightful)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8859547)

This guy has more b*lls than I.

Either have the balls to use the word balls or pick a different word. Writing b*lls is just stupid. Allow me to demonstrate:

On slashdot I can say: I thought that anonymous coward was a fucktard.

Relaying the same information to my mother in an email I would say: I thought that anonymous coward was an idiot. Not I thought that anonymous coward was a f*cktard.


-Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
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