It's bad enough that the Internet has turned into a cesspool of litigation masturbation. With technology comes new issues that make the legal community redefine and re-examine laws and how they relate. Unfortunately, the legal types are way behind the curve which leads them to irrational behavior, namely in the form of hastily written legal threats over issues that were clearly defined before this Internet thingy came around. A great example of this is legally protected parody work which was established before the Internet had an influence. Now that e-mail is cheap and lawyers are too plentiful, companies are finding themselves threatening every little use of their name on any site they can possibly find in a crusade to "protect" their image.
What is more disturbing is when these law firms send threats to the wrong people. Worse, over material that is not a parody, not being used to advertise an alternate product, and runs absolutely zero risk of being mistaken for the original trademark. Case in point, Chick-Fil-A and their "eat mor chicken" advertising campaign that we've all probably seen. If you saw the three cows on attrition.org, would you think we're using the logo to sell chicken products? Of course not, not even a third grader would think that.
Apparently, third graders are smarter than the lawyers over at Troutman Sanders LLP. One of their cluebag retards decided to send a nasty-gram to me claiming that I was infringing upon Chick-Fil-A's trademarked sacred cows. The lawyer apparently doesn't know the first thing about that "internet thingy" or how to user her "browser widget" because the site hosting the image isn't attrition.org even. No matter, threaten them anyway! But hey, what do you expect from people who defend the Tobacco industry?
Initial complaint from Anne Yates of Troutman Sanders
It really is sad when the first sentence of this letter sums it up.
Our client, Chick-fil-A, Inc. ("CFA"), is engaged in the business of providing restaurant services and related goods.
Exactly, and attrition.org is not in the business of providing restaurant services or related goods. Well, we can act like assholes just as their employees can, but I don't think that counts. Since we're not in the restaurant business, there really can be no mistake as to the cows and what they are advertising. Visitors of attrition.org aren't going to see the cows and think "wow, attrition serves chicken nuggets now, lemme get some!" and e-mail us with their order.
The original image in question (which was hosted here a long time ago, and will now be hosted here again as a result of this mail) isn't even a parody. It hasn't been edited, it isn't defaming Chick-fil-A, it isn't advertising an alternate product. In short, this is FREE ADVERTISING for the company. Instead of smiling at the meme propogation they hire lawyers to send pathetic e-mail all day.
As you can guess, my reply to Anne was a little less than hospitable, but damn was it fun.
My polite response to Anne Yates
So far, Anne hasn't had the balls to reply which makes me sad panda with no bamboo. =(
If anyone important from Chick-fil-A is reading this, fire your law firm fast. They hurt your company image far more than the sacred cows appearing on attrition.org does. To celebrate the actions of Troutman Sanders, we've whipped up a new image for Chick-fil-A's next campaign!