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Best Buy Hands Out Cease & Desist Letters for Christmas

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-press-like-bad-press dept.

Censorship 332

arrenlex writes "Improv Everywhere, a NY-based comedy group, was served a Cease & Desist notice by Best Buy for selling 'improv everywhere' shirts modeled after the blue Best Buy uniform. But that's not the interesting part. From the blog post: 'Here's where the story gets interesting. Today, Best Buy sent a C&D to our friend Scott Beale over at laughingsquid.com threatening legal action unless he removes the blog post referencing our shirts! They're threatening to sue someone for just covering the news story of the shirts!'"

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BestBuySux (0, Offtopic)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676247)

I'd point out bestbuysux.com right now but unfortunately it's not around anymore. It was such an awesome resource of testimonials and other crazy things Best Buy was doing.

Re:BestBuySux (3, Interesting)

TheGeneration (228855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676423)

Can you send a C&D regarding C&Ds?

Are they going to go after the T.V. Show "Chuck" ? (5, Interesting)

tmroyster (309750) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676271)

Buy More is such a rip of Best Buy.

Re:Are they going to go after the T.V. Show "Chuck (2, Interesting)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676327)

Don't forget 'Big Mart', a competitor of 'Buy More'.

Re:Are they going to go after the T.V. Show "Chuck (3, Funny)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676549)

... and the "Nerd Herd" is obviously a reference to the "Geek Squad" (other than the Nerd Herd folks are portrayed as being competent).

Cheers,
Dave

Re:Are they going to go after the T.V. Show "Chuck (3, Interesting)

mattcoz (856085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677099)

Other than Chuck, which of the Herd members are portrayed as competent?

Re:Are they going to go after the T.V. Show "Chuck (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676921)

"When you Buy More, you save more, and when you save more you can Buy More. But it all starts with BUY MORE" I love that slogan :D

Fuck Them (5, Insightful)

MistaE (776169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676273)

No court in a million years would honor a C&D sent to a news site covering a news story in good faith. This is what Fair Use is all about, regardless of which Intellectual Property we're talking about.

In fact, this is the kind of shit I want to see taken to court in the hopes that a judge will give punitive damages to the company that abused the C&D.

Re:Fuck Them (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676331)

>> punitive damages to the company

Yeah! I hope the lose their shirts.

Re:Fuck Them (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676343)

In fact, this is the kind of shit I want to see taken to court in the hopes that a judge will give punitive damages to the company that abused the C&D.
Who knows? It might be that Best Buy will send a C&D to Slashdot for covering the website that was covering the shirt. Or even worse, they'll send it for the dupe!

Re:Fuck Them (1, Funny)

sepluv (641107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676397)

...or maybe arrenlex is the codename of a Best Buy employee who submitted it to /. to bring down the site without legal action. Best Buy will now inform the owners that the DOS attack will only be stopped when all mention of their shirts is removed.

There are no Best Buy shirts.

Re:Fuck Them (5, Informative)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676383)

Courts don't honor C&D letters. C&Ds are sent to meet the requirement of giving notice to a party before filing suit against said party. You may be thinking of an injunction.

Re:Fuck Them (1)

MistaE (776169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676553)

Yeah that's what I was thinking. I should have said that I hope that a court would find the C&D lacking proper notice (coupled with the lack of any actual pleading) to such an effect that they would immediately grant summary judgment on an injunction hearing for the defendant.

Re:Fuck Them (2, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676465)

I believe the constitution is quite clear on the whole 'freedom of the press' type thing. Reporting on any current event, even in bad faith is quite legal.

Re:Fuck Them (3, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676559)

I believe the constitution is quite clear on the whole 'freedom of the press' type thing

Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; ...
The First Amendment has nothing to do with individuals or corporations abridging the freedom of the press, just the Government.

Re:Fuck Them (5, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676653)

We've had this argument before:

You host can censor you. While possibly unfair, that is not a breach of the first amendment.
Someone can pay you to remove content. Assuming you consent to the "bribe" that is not a breach of the first amendment.
Someone can *not* sue you for speech, as that uses the courts(a branch of the government) to silence you, and that is prohibited by the first amendment.
-nB

Re:Fuck Them (4, Insightful)

tommertron (640180) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676715)

Yes, but that means that corporations can't go to court to get someone to stop staying something they don't like, because the court is a part of the government, and that would mean the government is abridging someone's free speech. Best Buy is entirely within its rights to kick you off its own property for criticizing them or pretty much saying anything they don't like, but they're not allowed to go knocking on your door and telling you not to say something. Well, I guess they're allowed to, but you don't have to obey them by law.

Re:Fuck Them (5, Funny)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676733)

I believe the constitution is quite clear on the whole 'freedom of the press' type thing.

The Constitution? Is that thing still around?

Re:Fuck Them (1)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676809)

The simplest solution to this outrage is to simply BAN BEST BUY in your life. simple.

Make it a habit to look elsewhere first, such as Newegg.com, compUSA...oh wait...seriously though. The first step to showing an out of control CORPORATE entity that they have stepped out of bounds is to stop shopping there. I no longer shop at Best Buy nor Walmart anymore and at every opportunity inform others. If 1 out 10 people whom I have talked to stops purchasing at these places then I can think of no better way to show contempt than through their pocket books.

Re:Fuck Them (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676889)

I alread recieved a C&D notice form myself to stop the unjustifiwed spending of REAL MONEY at Best Buy. One Bate and Switch experience, and one laserprinter that stopped workign before the first ream. Cheaper web based merchants will now have all my business,. Soon the big boxes right after the blow out, out of business sale, will become the latest paint ball arenas and blue shirts will be in fashion once again.

Re:Fuck Them (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677125)

In fact, this is the kind of shit I want to see taken to court in the hopes that a judge will give punitive damages to the company that abused the C&D.

Yeah, it should be illegal to try to stifle free speech by threatening a SLAPP. Particularly when, as in this case, the SLAPP threatened by the C&D would have absolutely no legal merit

Standard Operating Procedure for BB (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676281)

See I'mma tell you, like you told me, cash rules everything around me. Dollar dollar bill y'all.

They got they mind on they money, money on they mind, they got they finger on the trigger, hand on the nines.
See every day they feel the struggle, but stand on they ground. And Ain't Nobody take it from us, and that's the bottom line.

Where my money at?

That's what matters to Best Buy. Dollar dollar bill, y'all.

Re:Standard Operating Procedure for BB (1)

cez (539085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677081)

See I'mma tell you, like Wu told me, cash rules everything around me. Dollar dollar bill y'all.
There, fixed that for you... word is born!

What is Best Buy thinking? (5, Insightful)

log1385 (1199377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676291)

Honestly, what does Best Buy have to lose if they let someone print shirts that look like their shirts? All they're going to get is bad publicity by asking these guys to C&D. Even worse, they're trying to keep the story off of the internet, which is impossible, as evidenced by the fact that it is here on /.

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676447)

They don't want someone wearing the shirt to enter the store to pretend to be an employee. The customer might think they're getting excellent customer service from an imposter.

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (4, Funny)

GwaihirBW (1155487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676687)

Heh. So true.

However, you don't need the shirt to pull that off . . . I get asked if I'm a manager (or people assume that and launch straight into asking a store question) at virtually every large store in which I shop. I have on several occasions now had *employees* assume I was a manager. It's kinda amusing when the aisle you're in turns into a helpdesk . . . (I do tell people "actually, no, I don't work here" but then do my best to answer their question, as I often can)

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (4, Funny)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677165)

Did you stay at Holiday Express the night before? :)

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (0, Redundant)

Lurker187 (127055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676737)

They don't want someone wearing the shirt to enter the store to pretend to be an employee. The customer might think they're getting excellent customer service from an imposter.
[obvious mode=on] Well, if they're getting excellent customer service at BEST BUY, then it has to be an impostor! [obvious mode=off]

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676755)

The customer might think they're getting excellent customer service from an imposter.
In fact this already happened. They had like 50 people standing around a Best Buy in these shirts and kakhi pants. Please note that if you ever get excellent customer service from Best Buy it is probably from an imposter since Best Buy only employs Frat Boys and Thiefs both of which know only one thing each. That is how to drink a lot and pick up women on shift for the former and how to steal in new and creative ways for the latter. I especially liked the story about how an employee stole a TV but left the box filled with bricks and plywood so it felt the same weight. This box was later sold to somebody at full price. They took it back and were refused a refund.

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (2, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676873)

This box was later sold to somebody at full price. They took it back and were refused a refund.

During the holiday season at Wal-Mart, I see people buy these huge TV sets that can't possibly fit into their little car and discard the boxes in the parking lot. I'm not surprised if someone tried to return the box and the store didn't check the actual contents.

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676965)

No, the store always checks the contents. That is why the refund was refused. This is just another day at Best Buy with their "employee shrink" in effect. Best Buy employs more criminals then most Drug Cartels.

Streisand Effect! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676651)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect [wikipedia.org]

First words out of my mouth would be .... Streisand Effect. Which is directly the result of ignorance or idiocy. Typical of Dilbertized Corporations.

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (1)

thestuckmud (955767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677009)

What does Best Buy have to lose? Their trademark. It is called trademark dilution [wikipedia.org] .

I'm no fan of best buy. Sending scary letters to quash news of this is reprehensible. Still, a trademark that is not actively enforced can be lost. That's how business works in the land of the free.

Re:What is Best Buy thinking? (2, Informative)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677015)

Honestly, what does Best Buy have to lose if they let someone print shirts that look like their shirts?

What they have to lose is their trademark on the "price tag" logo they've been using for years. If a trademark isn't defended, it can become diluted and unenforceable, like "Aspirin." It's the same as Adobe wanting you to say "modified with Adobe Photoshop software" instead of "photoshopped." It's silly, not unlike most of the legal system.

Now, what they have to lose if someone covers the story on their blog is a different question, so we now return you to the main point of this story.

never would have heard of this if best buy did not (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676293)

I never would have heard of this if best buy did not send out C&D letters.
When will big companies learn just to let it go and it will quickly die off by itself?
Never I suppose. Now thousands of us have just one more reason not to shop at best blow.

I cannot get over the price of their DVDs when I was last in there. 20+ dollars for the F4 silver surfer DVD? yikes!
I am so glad I got it from the public library instead because it was a major disappointment.

Slashdot is next (2, Funny)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676305)

So, if this trend continues, \. will get a C&D order for the "broken windows" icon for MS related stories.

Re:Slashdot is next (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676353)

Heck, I'd say the more immediate threat is Best Buy issuing a C&D for Slashdot's coverage of this story.

Re:Slashdot is next (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676373)

Its ok, /. will send out a cease and desist against the obviously fake \. site you are advertising.

Re:Slashdot is next (1)

colinbrash (938368) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676827)

So, if this trend continues, \. will get a C&D order for the "broken windows" icon for MS related stories.
Oh no! And Backslashdot is my favorite news site, too!

Just send a cease and desist letter right back. (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676309)

Tell them to cease and desist from existing.

Anyone can sue anyone for anything, might as well tell sue them right back.

Hmmm.... (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676321)

Wordpress died before there were even 2 comments on the page. Ouch!

Hooray! Let loose the hordes of slashdotties -- no need to RTFA, as you couldn't even if you tried!

What about Chuck? (4, Interesting)

PingXao (153057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676323)

The American TV show, "Chuck", features a young guy who works at "Buy More", which is clearly a ripoff of BB. I don't watch the show but my girlfriend had it on one night and called my attention to "Buy More" and asked if it reminded me of someplace. Change BB's color blue to green and voila! Buy More.

But that's OK for them to do that on national TV and get away with it on a weekly and ongoing basis. The reason is probably that the people who run and work at BB are infinitely more incompetent than the people who work at the fictional Buy More.

Re:What about Chuck? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676557)

Change BB's color blue to green and voila! Buy More.
If you change a certain percentage of a logo it's considered not protected. Also, it may fall under parody. But why fight it if people think their geek squad is secret agents or some such nonsense?

Re:What about Chuck? (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676597)

Fox has big time lawyers who would smack BB down and be able to make a huge deal about it. Normal citizens don't have/can't afford the legal teams that can assure Fox TV that it wouldn't stand up in court so don't worry about it, nor can they easily get their word out the way say, Fox can.

Re:What about Chuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676701)

Well good for Fox. Too bad the show's produced by Warner Brothers and airs on NBC, though.

Re:What about Chuck? (1)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676913)

As the saying goes, same difference. Somewhere along the lines there may be been discussions about product placement (or worries that the real brand name is affiliated with the plot lines), but be sure, WB and NBC legal make sure that fictional trademarks do not infringe or cause confusion with any brands, as the law currently defines it, whether is was about cya or not giving any one free advertising. As was pointed out, they have the money and experienced lawyers on stand by.

Re:What about Chuck? (1)

Sensi (64510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676615)

Yeah but the saving grace is Chuck works for Nerd Herd. If he was a geek then they would be asking for trouble.

Why not? (4, Insightful)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676333)

Best Buy long ago alienated all customers who watch the news and refuse to shop at businesses which regularly practice sleazy business tactics. I doubt this bad PR will affect their business at all. Nobody who cares about stuff like this has shopped at Best Buy for years.

Don't estimate. Litigate! (4, Insightful)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676365)

How can companies run like this? IN my mind I see this as a big waste of effort and money on Best Buy's part. This wasted money would have to translate into Best Buy's bottom line, and thus affect we, the consumers as higher overall prices.

I've worked in the corporate world long enough to know that departments and other corporate entities show amazing survival instincts - but the legal departments of these mammoth companies are certainly the most predatory. Really, they must drum-up this kind of litigation.

I wonder if there was even any kind of financial-impact analysis or at least some kind of brand image analysis presented to the board prior to sending these notices. I would guess that the legal department simply sends them out under the "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission" assumption.

Re:Don't estimate. Litigate! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676677)

This wasted money would have to translate into Best Buy's bottom line, and thus affect we, the consumers as higher overall prices.

Despite its stupidity, a C&D costs very little, particularly the size of Best Buy. Now, it's caught them some negative publicity, but I think that negative publicity is mainly going out to the BB haters anyway.

Re:Don't estimate. Litigate! (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676951)

What you say makes complete sense, and so I must believe you, sadly. I suppose the cost-effectiveness of this strategy is why this kind of behavior can continue.

Off topic here a bit, but I have this personal theory that the laws of any government will eventually break-down, and with them (perhaps at the same time) society. No doubt this breakdown will be highlighted by nonsensical legal actions, such as this Best Buy litigation.

I think that this breakdown is caused by the very nature of law, at least in the western world, which allows additions to be made more easily than retractions. Of course, this is true of many (most) systems, but in law its ramifications are most dire.

I think I will call this speculation the 'idea of informational breakdown' - Follow me here.

I think that law is just information. In fact, I believe it to be one of the first systems to truly formalize information. Of course, it's not perfect. This was in ancient times; today we have formalized information to a degree unimaginable to these ancient peoples.

Our formalization of information has taken on the form of computerization, and I feel that our modern formalization is much wiser, and smarter (after all, within our modern information system we expect certain things to expire - law has seen its realm as constant). We have built a world-wide communication system comprised of enough information to eclipse all the law books of history. We have in fact managed to replace many real-world physical items with this system.

The current collision between classical law and the logical world of modern information is, in my mind, probably caused by the incomplete and flawed method of information formalization used for law, and the current (and changing) method of information formalization used in modern computation.

A fringe idea, but one which I think has at least some element of reality, and thus the truth, within it.

Re:Don't estimate. Litigate! (1, Interesting)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676797)

How can companies run like this? IN my mind I see this as a big waste of effort and money on Best Buy's part.


Once you've gotten to the point of having full time lawyers (and I'm sure a company the size of Best Buy has many), doing shit like this becomes second nature. I mean, if you've got the manpower, presumably salaried, you can have them do whatever you want as long as it fits in their 9 to 5 work day and not "waste" anything. WHo knows, maybe they just had some downtime in legal and the lawyers got a little bored.

They say that idle hands are the devil's playground. And that's just hands in general. What do you think that says about lawyer hands in particular? Best Buy probably tasked them with this frivolous legal activity merely to avoid unleashing the horrific fury of idle lawyer hands! I wouldn't be surprised if the fear of bored/idle lawyers is the source of half the litigation in the US.

-matthew

Re:Don't estimate. Litigate! (1)

Matthaeus (156071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676807)

> How can companies run like this? IN my mind I see this as a big waste of effort and money on Best Buy's part. This wasted money would have to translate into Best Buy's bottom line, and thus affect we, the consumers as higher overall prices.

One minor nitpick here. If BB could charge another $2.50 for a DVD without losing the equivalent sales, they would regardless of their costs. The price any retail store charges has -nothing- to do with what their cost for the item is.

One more time: their cost has no bearing on the final price.

If a widget costs more for them to obtain than they can sell it for, they simply won't sell it. Otherwise, they'll seek to maximize profits any way they can. The shareholders may have a legitimate gripe against this overly litigious policy, but we as consumers (ignoring for the moment that we have souls and empathy and aren't simply consuming machines) see no effects of this at all.

So you're right, in a sense; this does affect their bottom line. But they won't react to that by raising their prices unless they have no understanding whatsowhomever of economics.

Are you sure.. (5, Funny)

rambag (961763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676379)

that the C&D came from a Best Buy lawyer or just someone in Besy Buy lawyer's clothing?

What's next... (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676395)

The Goon Squad will go out to the offender's house to uninstall the HDTV and replace it with an old CRT TV.

Classic Lawyer Spew (1, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676407)

Anyone who's been around a while will recognize this as low-quality legal practice. It's your typical drag net style of litigation.

In better cases, it's simple intimidation. In the worst case scenario, the lawyers actually hope to get something out of everyone. Either way, a polite letter back that says, "Nothing to see here. Move along." will pretty much chase the scum bags away.

Like the RIAA file sharing lawyers, the jokers pulling this stunt should be dragged before their respective bar association and flogged with paper clips. ( or whatever the bar does to punish lawyers)

Re:Classic Lawyer Spew (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676441)

...flogged with paper clips. ( or whatever the bar does to punish lawyers)


No, that's what they do alright.

Re:Classic Lawyer Spew (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676571)

the kicker is though, laughing squid contacted them to ask if it was a mistake. Best Buy's lawyers countered with the "your not reporting on it, your promoting it. Bloggers are not reporters" spiel.

Guess BB hasnt talked to Apple about why you dont pretend bloggers dont have the same rights as reporters.

Re:Classic Lawyer Spew (2, Informative)

GwaihirBW (1155487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676917)

Note that it was Best Buy's *lawyers*, but he then talked to Best Buy Corporate Public Relations Group, and they rapidly figured this one out - he got a quick retraction and apology [laughingsquid.com] .

Re:Classic Lawyer Spew (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677153)

Anyone who's been around a while will recognize this as low-quality legal practice.

Anyone who's been around for a while should recognize sending at least the first C&D as a requirement of maintaining a trademark.

Well, that tears it (1)

yelvington (8169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676413)

CompUSA is shutting down, Best Buy has gone insane ... from now on I'll do my shopping at Buy More. [wikia.com]

NewEgg is a much better option (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676801)

Or Amazon for that matter. Everything electronics related is moving online.

This looks like MY big chance... (4, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676493)

I have not done a lot of things yet in life, and receiving a C&D letter is one of them. What do /.-ers think is my 'best' chance of getting one from BestBuy?

1 - YouTube channel?
2 - BestChance.com website?
3 - changing my middle name to bestbuy?
4 - suing bestbuy for discrimination, on the basis that I didn't get a C&D leter?
5 - Setting up a store in SecondLife called BestBye? Giving away uniforms for other SL stores?
6 - Call the secret whitehouse telephone line, claiming to be the bestbuy ceo?
7 - Getting GreenPeach to name a whale 'best buy'
8 - Setup a reddit account under the name bEsTbUy, and only submit stories on best buy?
9 - Number nine left out because the writers are on strike
10 - buy 300 hours of blimp advertising, with sign that looks like the best buy sign, but done in crayon and written upside down?

What does /. think?

Re:This looks like MY big chance... (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676847)

Number 5 but why change the name. Just call it Best Buy in Second Life.

Re:This looks like MY big chance... (1)

despe666 (802244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676991)

worstsell.com maybe? The antonym of bestbuy! That should give you a fair shot at a C&D!

back story (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676565)

http://www.improveverywhere.com/2006/04/23/best-buy/ [improveverywhere.com]

so they went to the chelsea best buy, hundreds of them, in blue shirts, and pretended to be assistants throughout the store, perhaps more helpful than actual staff in some cases

customers were amused and bemused, management went apeshit, the best part is the the black chick who goes "it's like that movie, 'the thomas crown affair'"!

but seriously: this is all a case of people with too much time on their hands: the best buy "actors" in the original "event", AND the lawyers suing them

and isn't there some sort of legal protection for comedy, jokes, mockery? the law that protects political cartoons for example. would they have a case with that? obviously IANAL, as i can't even remember the legal term for this sort of "mockery" that is protected

Re:back story (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676769)

If that's really the case, then I'm not very sympathetic to the Improveverywhere folk. Comedy, parody - great. Going onto the subjects premises and at least nominally impersonating employees? That's a tougher sell.

On the blogger, though, BB are just being idjits.

Re:back story (4, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677049)

but seriously: this is all a case of people with too much time on their hands: the best buy "actors" in the original "event", AND the lawyers suing them
Dude, litigators charge (a lot) by the hour. For them, there's no such thing as "too much time".

As for the event people: hey it's art. Maybe not to your taste, but no more a waste of time than, say, sports.

New limited edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676575)

Clearly they need to start selling a limited edition of the T-shirt and comes with a certified copy of the C&D that is suitable for framing.

Why they happen. (5, Insightful)

Sneftel (15416) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676607)

Costs vs. Benefits of sending a doubtfully valid cease and desist notice:

Costs:
* Postage.
* Paralegal staffing costs (assume 15 minutes to prepare the boilerplate).
* Small chance some guys on Slashdot get grumpy for a while, until the next time there's a sale on DVD-Rs (whereupon all is forgiven, transactionally speaking).

Benefits:
* Decent chance the guy stops doing whatever it is you feel like stopping him from doing.

It's not even a close call. A C&D is a warning shot, an initial skirmish. It doesn't commit them to anything legally, and the public image repercussions are vanishingly low.

RE: vanishingly low? (1)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676775)

I don't think so, this has brought to my attention as a regular BB visitor (but not necessarily buyer) something I was unaware and now have done due diligence online. My simple mind, and simple findings in google-land have helped me conclude I do not want to visit, shop, or recommend Best Buy for business. That said, I'm in disagreement with your assessment of how meaningless this is to the public. Companies must learn to respond to market demands, and QoS sucking and legal waste of time and money is part of it.

Re: vanishingly low? (5, Funny)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676927)

So you told us you haven't bought much stuff at Best Buy in the past although you visited the store more, and now you are refusing to buy anything in the future. Yep that'll hurt 'em. Hit them where it counts ... in the guy-wanders-around-store-alot-but-now-we-don't-see-him-anymore department!

Legal threats != court win (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676611)

It's more of an intimidation technique.

Will Slashdot get a C&D? (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676623)

Seems like a likely follow up, stupid as it is.

Perhaps I should be a corporate Lawyer. Get paid lots of money to waste time and money....

Nope, Best Buy apologized for the censoring bit. (1)

GwaihirBW (1155487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676757)

Nope, because if you go a level deeper past the article, you find that Best Buy Apologized [laughingsquid.com] for their shoot-from-the-hip legal team. As that blogger stated, they did the right thing there - legal departments screw up, but a lot of damage control can be done by quickly and appropriately reigning them in, taking responsibility, and apologizing.

Another company for the list (0, Redundant)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676627)

Wow, Best Buy is now on my list right next to WalMart (you should know why) and McDonalds (crap-ass disgusting food) for places that I refuse to shop at. Maybe my little contribution won't hurt their bottom line, but I'd rather spend my money someplace that doesn't pull this kind of garbage.

Could This Be a Prank? (2, Informative)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676727)

Could Improv Everywhere being doing this as a gag? If memory serves, there was a fake suit from McDonald's?

Not saying this is a gag, but it is hard to trust pranksters. Also, this is assuming the news site is in on the gag.

My money is on Best Buy having no sense of humor and this is real.

Not just about the shirts (2, Insightful)

MagicM (85041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676739)

I'm sure Best Buy isn't just after them for having blue shirts. This is more likely a form of "payback" for the embarrassment that Improv Everywhere caused Best Buy in 2006 [laughingsquid.com] when 80 people showed up at a NYC Best Buy dressed in blue polo shirts and khakis. (Flickr [flickr.com] and YouTube [youtube.com] coverage.)

Re:Not just about the shirts (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676771)

Of course the slashdotted article mentions that little "prank". Too bad the summary doesn't.

Best Buy apologies for sending C & D letter (5, Informative)

laughingsquid (871087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676791)

Best Buy just sent us an apology letter for sending us a C & D letter just because we blogged about the Improv Everywhere shirts: http://laughingsquid.com/best-buy-apologies-for-sending-cease-desist-letter/ [laughingsquid.com] Here's the original C & D letter: http://laughingsquid.com/best-buy-cease-desist-letter/ [laughingsquid.com]

Re:Best Buy apologies for sending C & D letter (5, Funny)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677019)

Don't mod this guy up! he's probably just an imposter!

Re:Best Buy apologies for sending C & D letter (2, Funny)

laughingsquid (871087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677167)

Wait, are you supposed to be commenting over with your friends on Digg? I think you'll be welcome over there.

Re:Best Buy apologies for sending C & D letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21677031)

Too late!

I haven't bought anything from BurstBuy this holiday season, and
now I see no reason to - EVER.

In short, I've ceased and desisted from all purchasing activity
at their emporia.

OB (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677087)

Congratulations! You passed the test where we pretended we were going to litigate. We are very, very pleased.

Best Buy has already apologized... (5, Informative)

1729 (581437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676811)

I hate to defend Best Buy, but they've already admitted their mistake and apologized for the C&D letter sent to laughingsquid.com:

http://laughingsquid.com/best-buy-apologies-for-sending-cease-desist-letter/ [laughingsquid.com]

Flamebait? (0, Offtopic)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677017)

What's flamebait about the above post?

Geez, Slashdot! (1, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676815)

Would it kill you to make laughingsquid.com [laughingsquid.com] a link instead of plain text?

Lawyers work harder than Marketing (0, Flamebait)

Vicarius (1093097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676821)

Even if that logo is remotely similar to Best Buy's, why would BB pass up on a free advertising, and good one at that. If you look at "improv everywhere" logo/t-shirt and think of Best Buy's logo, Best Buy clearly wins because you are thinking of them.

Update (2, Informative)

cdomigan (833362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676825)

Laughing Squid just received an apology letter [laughingsquid.com] .

Let's see -- threats, spam, and deceit. Anything (1)

Arrogant-Bastard (141720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676859)

We've known for years that Best Buy are spammers; see, for example, http://mainsleazespam.com/companies/bestbuy.html [mainsleazespam.com] and http://groups.google.com/groups?q=best+buy+spam&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wg [google.com] for some background on that.

We also know that their personnel steal private customer data, see for example http://consumerist.com/consumer/insiders/leaks-how-geek-squad-investigated-its-own-porn-thieves-328654.php [consumerist.com] and http://consumerist.com/consumer/the-rollercoaster-ride-of-pride%2C-shame%2C-and-morality/the-10-page-geek-squad-confession-+-stealing-customers-nudie-pics-was-an-easter-egg-hunt-257108.php [consumerist.com] and http://consumerist.com/consumer/investigations/video-consumerist-catches-geek-squad-stealing-porn-from-customers-computer-271963.php [consumerist.com] for background on that.

And now we see that their official corporate policy is to issue threats against comedy troupes and bloggers.

Happily, there is a quick and easy fix for this, known as a "blacklist", so momentarily I'll be adding bestbuy.com, bestbuyinkfinder.com, and myrewardzone.com to it.

Power Corrupts (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676937)

If anyone needs anymore evidence that the modern corporation is the new communist/dictator/monarchy oppresion machine, whose sole purpose is to extort tributes from the pesants, enjoys 100% exclusions for the norms of civilized behavior, and apparently lacking a conscious that would normally make a person sympathetic to the plight of those pesants, this is it. There is no difference between Imelda Marcus enjoying a shopping holiday while the people starve, or Hussien having garages of cars while the Iraqi people have no jobs. Some might say that the difference is that a government has made a promise to care for the people, which is itself is of limited truth, but even if is true it is of no concern. Normal people do not wish inflict pain and suffering without good cause. If we look at our own lives, we see that most of us have started few fights, lawsuits, or other attacks. It is not just cost, but the natural desire for most civilized people to choose the past of least violence. Corporations, OTOH, appeared to be uncivilized entities. Even though they are attacked more often, they often conduct campaigns of violence unprovoked. And, in the best sense of the souless aristocrat, they are more often concerned with controlling the message than actually doing any real work.

The shirts (1)

oftencloudy (1047554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676981)

It doesn't even matter that this group is selling 'look-alike' shirts. I've been mistaken for an employee two times in Best Buy by customers, once I was wearing just a regular blue polo. The other time I had a light blue button up on (perhaps I was a manager?). This shirt claim is a waste of resources unless they plan to eliminate anyone else everywhere from owning or wearing a regular blue polo.

Bring it on (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676983)

Last i heard parody was still legal, so let them sue. Then counter sue them for damages due to them having filed a frivolous suit.

DMCA (5, Informative)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677083)

I'm the sysadmin for improveverywhere's server (currently curled in the corner in the fetal position, sucking its thumb and begging for its mommy), and we got a DMCA takedown notice, in addition to the C&D improveverywhere got.

#####

Subject: Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Dear Sir or Madam:

I represent [OUR ISP]. Attached to this e-mail, or set out below, is a notice [OUR ISP] received alleging that material on your website infringes a copyright. This notice was sent to [OUR ISP] under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). A good summary of the DMCA can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA#DMCA_Title_II:_Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation_Act

The DMCA has three steps. The notice [OUR ISP] received is the first step.

This notice triggers automatic removal or take down provisions under the DMCA. What this means is that the material identified in the DMCA notice must be removed by you, or taken down by [OUR ISP]. This must be done before you can dispute the claims set out in the notice. [OUR ISP] understands that this "guilty until proven innocent" aspect of the DMCA can be unfair, but its required by law.

If you believe the DMCA notice contains errors, you should immediately contact the person who sent the notice. Please let me know by e-mail if they agree to withdraw the notice. I will then contact them to verify the withdrawal.

After you remove the material, you may present [OUR ISP] with a "counter notice." This is the second step.

The elements of the counter notice are identified below, and in more detail in the wikipedia entry. Please make sure you fully understand the DMCA before presenting [OUR ISP] with a DMCA counter notice. It may be helpful for you to consult with your attorney. Unfortunately [OUR ISP] can not provide you with legal advice on this matter.

It is important that you take action immediately. Please let me know, within 5 days of the date of this e-mail that you have taken down the material. If I do not hear from you within this period of time, the DMCA requires [OUR ISP] to take down the material.

On behalf of the staff at [OUR ISP] I thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
[THEIR LAWYER]

here's your holiday CDs, boys! (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677159)

now go sit on a writ.

Awesome (1)

rickward (25813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677171)

I'm going to buy an Improv Everywhere shirt just so I can go to a Best Buy and mess with people now. Charlie Todd, you have only gotten cooler since college, and I salute you!

My BB Blue Shirt Experience. (5, Funny)

mr_resident (222932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677177)

A couple of years ago, I ducked into my local BB completely unaware that I was dressed very much like all the people who work there. I had the khakis and a (Penguin logo) blue shirt, same shade as their official "uniforms". As I'm walking by the laptop display, this harried looking soccer mom stops me and starts asking me a bunch of questions about the laptops in that "Hurry up young man, I've got to pick up my kids in 20 minutes" way. Completely not understanding her insistance, I told her I couldn't help her. So, she says, "Well, if you can't be bothered, I'll just take my business elsewhere!" I replied something like, "Whatever makes you happy sweetheart." and went on with my shopping.

About 2 mins later, I hear her shrill voice and look over. She's got the floor manager out and she's yelling at him about "That rude young man! That one! Right there!" Pointing at me! Okay, now I figured it out and started to walk over to explain while the manager is going, "Ma'am, he doesn't work here. He's a customer too."

Now, I kind of feel bad about the next part, but I honestly couldn't help it. I saw his nametag had "Scott" on it, so as I walked up, ignoring the unconvinced customer, I said, "Hey Scott, sorry, but I've already punched out and I'm in a real hurry. See you in the morning! Bye!"

The poor guy was still trying to talk her down as I was leaving!

Scott, buddy, if you're out there - Sorry, but really, it was kind of funny, right?
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