Don’t Post This Letter On The Internet!

Don’t Post This Letter On The Internet!

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:46 am

Don’t Post This Letter On The Internet!
by Eric Turkewitz

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Public Citizen wants to be sued. Really. They asked for it.

Some lawyer at an outfit calling itself Dozier Internet Law sent a cease and desist letter on behalf of one of its clients, along with this threat:

Please be aware that this letter is copyrighted by our law firm, and you are not authorized to republish this in any matter. Use of this letter in a posting, in full or in part, will subject you to further legal causes of action.


Right. So Public Citizen, after publishing the entire letter on its website, tossed down the gauntlet on behalf of their client with this response:

By this letter, we are inviting you to test the validity of your theory that the writer of a cease and desist letter can avoid public scrutiny by threatening to file a copyright law suit if his letter is disclosed publicly on the internet.


The writer of the original letter, Donald Morris, seems to have clearly done his client a grave disservice with this stupidity. (I mentioned this the other day in my personal injury law round-up, but thought this chuckleheaded conduct needed its own post.) Perhaps his threats have succeeded before, but the result is that the letter, and the claims against his client, are now being re-broadcast across the internet.

And what was the dispute about? Seems his client is a company called DirectBuy, and it has been the subject of negative reviews from contributors to a couple websites. Whether the claims are true or not I have no way of knowing, but now there are certainly more people discussing whether their client, DirectBuy, is a a scam or a rip-off and wondering if they should stay away from them.

Public Citizen, by the way, isn’t the only one who wants to be sued. The full text of the letter can be found at tdaxp.com, and I hate Linux published this Don’t Forget To Sue Me Too demand:

Well hot damn… I think I just violated their copyright as well… and of course for such threats to be meaningful… they have to be willing to make good on them.

With that said… I hereby demand that you Mr. Morris immediately file a copyright infringement suit against Mr. Leonard in this matter and name me as a co-defendant for my blatant disregard for your copyrights in my reproduction of parts of your letter that is marked as “for negotiation and settlement purposes only,” not to mention hosting a full copy of it here, as well as all other persons and groups who reproduced, hosted, discussed, read or thought about any part of this letter.

This blog post puts you on notice that should you refuse to comply with our demands by October 15, 2007, I will have no choice but to recommend that the blogosphere pursue all legal causes of action, including the further reproductions of your letter, to protect its interests and that of all free people in this country who may wish to express an opinion you or your client may not agree with.


Considering that Dozier Internet Law brags that they are “The Lawyers for Internet Business,” they sure did a great job of tripping over their own feet.

And then there is this boast from their site:

John Dozier was interviewed for the news report below in Silicon Valley in August, 2007 and Youtube recognized it with a “most linked to” honor.


OK, so now they have another link. Though it might not be what they wanted. And I suspect they’ll get a few more.

——————————————————————————-

(Eric Turkewitz is a personal injury attorney in New York)

Links to this post:

infomercialscams.com owner harrased by an attorney from the dozier …
here’s an example of a company and law firm of trying to suppress free speech by using outlandish claims and a variety of threats. if you live in direct buy’s market, you’ve seen their infomercials on your local television station. …
posted by amexsux @ January 07, 2008 2:31 PM

2007 dozier internet law google rankings – week 7
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posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ November 28, 2007 12:00 PM

“scofflaw bloggers:” the dozier taxonomy of wicked netizens
dozier internet law is a “cyber law firm”that specializes in litigation related to the internet. for background, see the cuppy’s coffee and directbuy case studies. however, as “cyber lawyers” the guys at dozier clearly pay a lot of …
posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 23, 2007 11:20 PM

Dozier Internet Law: Toothless Cowards?
It’s now been nearly 2 weeks since I demanded that Dozier Internet Law file suit against me for my alleged copyright infringement in republishing part of the full text of their C&D letter directed to Infomercial Scams. …
posted by Brendan @ October 21, 2007 3:29 PM

dozier: the cybertrolllawyer firm
a magyar “internetjogászokról” szoktam rendszeresen szépeket irogatni ide, de közel sem magyar sajátosságról van szó. külföldön is megjelentek már egy ideje az internetspecialisták, akiknek sokszor lövésük sincs az egészről. …
posted by Caracalla @ October 19, 2007 3:02 PM

dozier internet law: a vector for viruses?
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posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 19, 2007 8:05 AM

how not to write a cease-and-desist letter: comparing the dozier …
do you want to have your reputation ruined, pay a million dollar fine, and in general tick everyone off? if so, dozier internet law is the law firm for you! but if the thought of being in the presence of “super lawyer” john “bull” …
posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 16, 2007 8:26 AM

beyond the gates of bizarro land
if you had any doubt about the good sense of dozier internet law, read this comment. here’s the first paragraph: first, you seem to think that us law will govern this copyright matter. it likely will not. …
posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 15, 2007 3:50 PM

the daily memo – 10/15/07
“does the supreme court still matter?” (time). my, justice scalia, what a large gavel you have! (supreme dicta). a texas personal injury lawyer has started running tv adds questioning the credentials of a competitor pu lawyer. (law.com) …
posted by Seth @ October 15, 2007 2:40 PM

blawg review #130
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posted by Diane Levin @ October 15, 2007 12:01 AM

practical blawgosphere: the dozier demand scam
while this has floated around blawgs as the joke of the week, i wanted to make sure that my amigos in the practical blawgosphere were alerted to the dozier demand scam, as noted by my good buddies, the turk at new york personal injury …
posted by SHG @ October 14, 2007 4:45 AM

Dozier Internet Law: Running an extortion racket?
When thinking about the ongoing dispute over the unprofessional actions of Dozier Internet Law… I think back to an old Monty Python episode and the the army protection racket sketch: Dino: Oh see my brother’s clumsy colonel, …
posted by Brendan @ October 13, 2007 1:49 AM

ars doziera
ars technica, a popular website on the technical arts that includes breaking news, user forums, and other features, prominently features the dozier internet law / directbuy scandal by comparing it to another bizarre lawsuit. …
posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 12, 2007 10:55 AM

nastygram: don’t you dare post this nastygram on the web
ted has briefly mentioned (oct. 8) the recent doings of an outfit called dozier internet law, whose cease and desist letter to a consumer-complaint site not only demanded that the site take down certain statements about dozier’s client, …
posted by @ October 12, 2007 1:06 AM

free speech and copyright
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posted by @ October 11, 2007 3:18 PM

more blog reactions to the directbuy / dozier internet law scandal
aside from my initial post, the blog reactions to directbuy and dozier internet law i have posted have all been before public citizen and slashdot got into the debate. (for the background of the story, check out my preliminary case …
posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 11, 2007 12:54 PM

lawfare and public participation (does dozier know better? should it?)
posted by dan tdaxp. i am confused. what happened at first at least made sense. three blogs (i-blog, i-ratings, i-scams) criticize directbuy. directbuy hires a lawyer, dozier internet law. a lawyer sends a threatening letter (excerpts, …
posted by @ October 11, 2007 12:52 PM

lawfare and public participation (does dozier know better? should it?)
posted by dan tdaxp. i am confused. what happened at first at least made sense. three blogs (i-blog, i-ratings, i-scams) criticize directbuy. directbuy hires a lawyer, dozier internet law. a lawyer sends a threatening letter (excerpts, …
posted by @ October 11, 2007 12:52 PM

how not to handle negative feedback: a preliminary case study of …
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posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 11, 2007 10:05 AM

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posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 10, 2007 7:13 PM

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posted by PrimroseRoad @ October 10, 2007 2:09 PM

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i am not a lawyer. but i am interested in law, and two posts at new york personal injury attorney deserve mention. both relate to dozier internet law, the lawyers for directbuy that sent a copyrighted cease-and-desist letter to a blog …
posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 10, 2007 7:29 AM

what the mainstream media was already saying about directbuy
directbuy, before sicking the hounds (and copyrighted c&d’s) via dozier internet law, was a company that received mixed reviews from the blogosphere. even more interesting, though, is the negative reviews direct buy has earned from the …
posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 09, 2007 1:25 PM

copyrighted cease and desist letters
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posted by noreply@blogspirit.com (Dan tdaxp) @ October 09, 2007 12:42 PM

Comments

2009.11.30 at 07:07

UKHigh Court Decision of Cembrit Blunn Ltd & Dansk Eternit Holdings AS v Apex Roofing Services & Roy Leader [2007] EWHC 111, “it was confirmed that business letters could be protected by the law of copyright and the law of breach of confidence.

The proceedings, which involved a dispute about fibre-cement roof slates, began with a disagreement over intellectual property rights. The dispute was between a roofing manufacturer (Cembrit) and a roofing contractor (Apex). Apex complained that the slates were not of satisfactory quality, but Cembrit argued that this was due to them not being laid properly by Apex. Thus a letter written by Cembrit which considered and discussed the possible settlement of a claim which had by that time been threatened by Apex against Cembrit in relation to the slates was circulated by Apex. The claimants (Cembrit) contended that the circulation by Apex of the Letter constituted an infringement of copyright and misuse of confidential information.

It was held that the letter was intended for internal circulation only and was not intended for circulation outside the Cembrit company. The court confirmed that copyright can subsist in such correspondence and that it can subsist in business correspondence generally. The letter was found to be an original literary work, and it possessed the necessary degree of “skill and labour” in order to be protected by copyright. Furthermore, it was held that Apex had infringed the copyright by copying and circulating the letter.”

Unfortunately, the subject on which you have been blogging is a matter of first impression in the US, but your inappropriate insults demean you and our profession. Accident lawyers should stay out of copyright infringement cases, particularly if one is just trying to generate more business by getting a higher Google ranking to sign up more accident victims. That wouldn’t be your motivation, of course. Feel free to call me to discuss the matter.

John W. Dozier, Jr., Esq.
President and Founder
Dozier Internet Law, PC
# posted by Anonymous John W. Dozier Jr, Esq. : October 10, 2007 8:23 PM

___________________________________

The Dozier firm has just issued a statement in response to Public Citizens’ involvement in defending spam review sites and all these issues being blogged about. Go to http://www.cybertriallawyer.com and there is a link on the homepage.
# posted by Anonymous Dozier Internet Law, PC : October 10, 2007 9:55 PM

___________________________________

Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace…let’s take a stab at a few of your comments…

UKHigh Court Decision of Cembrit Blunn Ltd & Dansk Eternit Holdings AS v Apex Roofing Services & Roy Leader [2007] EWHC 111, “it was confirmed that business letters could be protected by the law of copyright and the law of breach of confidence.

Well then, it’s a good thing we follow American law and have the First Amendment.

your inappropriate insults demean you and our profession.

I speak only for myself, not for our profession. If you feel I have demeaned myself, I can live with that. But trying to prevent publication of your cease and desist letter was dumb, and has likely injured your client by making it a source of commentary and repetition of the claims against it. Your folly even has a name: The Streisand Effect.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

Accident lawyers should stay out of copyright infringement cases, particularly if one is just trying to generate more business by getting a higher Google ranking to sign up more accident victims.

That’s right, I’m trying to drum up medical malpractice cases, which is most of my practice, by writing about copyright. That must be it. Because people always Google “copyright law” when looking for a med mal firm.

You don’t think readers will notice the old change the subject by blaming the messenenger routine? (You planning to run for office?)

The last time I checked, by the way, I hadn’t surrendered my First Amendment right to speak when I was sworn in to practice law.

Feel free to call me to discuss the matter.

Thanks. I’ll pass. I can already see your work.
# posted by Blogger Eric Turkewitz : October 10, 2007 10:05 PM

___________________________________

The entire legal community and many of us in the direct response marketing business are laughing at Dozier and his dummies. Donald Morris is just an incompetent bully and a fool. The Dozier “firm” is a web page firm and now a INTERNET joke courtesy of Morris, a William and Mary Grad. William and Mary are both very embarrassed !
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : October 11, 2007 3:50 AM
___________________________________

Eric,

Over at my blog, Curtis Weeks believes that he caught John plagiarizing — that is, violating another’s copyright — in his above comment. This violates the terms and conditions, if not copyright, of the true author of part of John’s comment.
# posted by Blogger Dan tdaxp : October 11, 2007 12:32 PM

___________________________________

The fact that Mr. Turkewitz, a mere “accident lawyer,” chose to discuss this issue of public importance in his blog, despite being unrelated to his primary practice area, is demonstrative of the highest standards of professional responsibility and the duty of the legal profession to engage in public discourse so as to improve the law. Furthermore, his blog post demonstrated at least as much “skill and labour” than Mr. Dozier’s collection letter.

It is Mr. Dozier, not Mr. Turkewitz, whose conduct is demeaning to the legal profession.
# posted by Blogger Scott J. Kreppein : October 12, 2007 4:12 PM

___________________________________

I found some further information about the UK case cited here. It turns out the situation in that case is different from the present case in what is probably a crucial way. In Cembrit, the letter in question was NOT addressed to the party that published it; rather, it was internal correspondence of which the defendant somehow got hold. Thus, the case concerns the right of a third party to publish confidential business correspondence. This is potentially quite different from publication of a letter by the addressee, who is, of course, entitled to know the contents of the letter and has no duty of confidentiality to the author.
# posted by Blogger billposer : October 13, 2007 1:45 AM

___________________________________

Personally attacking these lawyers is a ridiculous way to voice your objection to their actions. Donald Morris MAY have made a professional mistake but does not deserve to be called an “incompetent bully and a fool.”
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : October 14, 2007 8:02 PM

___________________________________

InventorEd.org is one of a group of organizations which I have created over the last seventeen years. We received one of Dozier Internet Law, P.C. SLAPP demand letters just days after reading about Public Citizen’s response to the outrageous claim that people cannot publish Dozier Internet Law’s letters.

We have a long history of fighting invention promotion fraud. We find that the people behind these companies change names and set up new fronts frequently. So when a new entity pops up a team of investigators jumps in to try and determine who they are, what their qualifications are, and if they have a verifiable track record.

Inventor-Link.com appears and reports start flowing from the UK that they are hawking their services. Attempts to identify who is behind the company turn out to be futile.

There are many other signs that this company might be questionable and a public discussion ensues.

Not long afterwards the President of our Advisory Board receives an outlandish demand letter from .

Our roots are in the commercially successful inventor community. We routinely have to do battle with large patent pirating companies. Frankly I have yet to see an invention promoter or any of their stooges who are especially bright. In this case litigation will expose the owners of Inventor-Link to public scrutiny. It seems unlikely that they have masked their identities without a good reason.

It is InventorEd’s policy to create mini-sections for any promoter who makes threats so that their point of view receives broad dissemination. In the most egregious cases their service providers also get considerable exposure. Other invention promoters have made these kinds of mistakes. Invention Submission Corporation (aka InventHelp.com ) http://www.InventorEd.org/caution/isc/, Invent-Tech http://www.InventorEd.org/invent-tech/, Advent http://www.InventorEd.org/caution/advent and others.

In the absence of a direct attack it would have take us a year or two to have gathered enough complaints to have created Inventor-Link a mini section. Dozier has done their client Inventor-Link an incredible favor :)

http://www.InventorEd.org/caution/inventor-link/ Check back frequently, our people are digging deep and furiously. We will publish all so that inventors, media, and enforcement entities can judge the merits of Inventor-Link and Dozier Internet Law’s arguments. God I love the disinfecting light of media exposure. Now I need to get busy on a press release.

Ronald J. Riley,
President – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://www.PatentPolicy.org – RRiley at PatentPolicy.org
Washington, DC
Direct (202) 318-1595 – 9 am to 9 pm EST.
# posted by Blogger Ronald J Riley : October 15, 2007 9:15 AM

___________________________________

First, you seem to think that US law will govern this copyright matter. It likely will not.

Second, the decision says exactly what I said. Here are the exact findings of the court. I suggest you read the decision in its entirety. Lawyer letters are protectable, and fair use will not be a successful defense.

“The defendants referred to the decision of the Court of Appeal in Musical Fidelity Ltd v Vickers [2002] EWCA Civ 1989; [2003] FSR 50. I do not detect in this decision any reason to doubt the conclusion I have reached. The court was clearly concerned by the submission that when a person receives a solicitor’s letter and shows it to another person or copies it to another person in order to complain about the acts and attitudes of the solicitor’s client, he thereby commits an actionable breach of either the solicitor’s or the client’s copyright. It was in this context that the court expressed some surprise that copyright attached to solicitors’ correspondence. Nevertheless I do not understand the court ultimately to have doubted the proposition that copyright can subsist in such correspondence and, still less, that it can subsist in business correspondence generally.”

“Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism of another work does not infringe copyright, provided that it is accompanied by sufficient acknowledgment. The defendants say that this defence is available because their objective in copying the Letter and providing it to Crest and Countryside was to criticise the statements made by the claimants in the solicitors’ letter of 25 November 2004. For the reasons I have already given, I do not accept that the purpose of copying the Letter was to criticise the letter of 25 November 2004 at all. In my judgment the defendants used the Letter as they did as a tactic to attempt to force the claimants to capitulate to their demands. For the reasons which I have already given, I do not believe that they were justified in so doing.”

And there is plenty of US case law consistent with these principles.
# posted by Anonymous John W Dozier Jr, Esq. : October 15, 2007 1:32 PM

___________________________________

Ronald,

Thanks for the info! I will feature your case on my blog, http://www.tdaxp.com.

John,

either

(a) you are not Mr. Dozier, or

(b) you are, and are providing disinformation on your case, or

(c) you are, the information you provide is accurate, and you are harming your client by telegraphing your legal strategy, or

(d) I have no idea what is going on!

# posted by Blogger Dan tdaxp : October 15, 2007 3:35 PM

___________________________________

Addendum:

My first reaction to John’s comment is that he means his suit will be extra-legal in the sense that he will try to sue in Canada.

Then I remembered the Franchise Times article that mentioned one victim of a Dozier suit was mysteriously hit by a virus:

Hibbings next move turned his short problem into a grande one. “We felt we were being libeled and slandered on the Internet”, Hibbing said, “and we wanted to know what our legal rights were. We did a Web search and found John Dozier, (managing partner of Internet Law, P.C., in Glen Allen, Virginia).”

What happened next is something of a mystery. According to Kelly, “almost overnight,” negative posts about Cuppy’s started disappearing from other franchise Web sites. When the anti-Cuppy’s authors asked me to delete their comments from my site, I said, “No. Our policy is not to take down postings, but you can retract them.” So in the next few days I received several e-mails, including one from the picket lady, saying “We were wrong. The people who run Cuppy’s are great guys,” Kelly said. Even Ben Scoble sent in a new posting, saying he’d been mistaken about Cuppy’s.

No one asked that anti-Cuppy’s postings be removed from Blue Mau Mau, said Don Sniegowski, who started the franchise blogsite Blue Mau Mau in Salt Lake City in November, 2005. But at about the same time, “someone inserted a malicious piece of software into our program, which took down our entire Web site for a 12-hour period and kept it going on and off for a few days,” he said. Sniegowski told Franchise Times this summer that he still doesn’t know who planted the software.

Kelly wrote about the Blue Mau Mau hacking episode on his Franchise Picks Web site and pondered the reasons behind the suddenly missing postings. Were the disgruntled licensees threatened with cease and desist letters? Or were they told if they posted a follow-up retraction, they’d get some of their money back? he questioned.

(The author of the article, Julie Bennett, appears to be respectable. A google search of her name brings up multiple articles in the Wall Street Journal)
# posted by Blogger Dan tdaxp : October 15, 2007 3:42 PM
___________________________________

Companies trying to quash complaints by consumers on the Internet often send bullying letters like this, demanding that criticism be taken offline. These threats are often effective against small website operators who can’t afford the cost of a legal battle, especially one filed in a distant forum or another country.
Craftsmennetwork
# posted by Anonymous contract : August 07, 2008 10:30 AM

___________________________________

Being a representative of a law firm, reading an article and blogging and commenting on legal issues has always proved to be useful. To some extent, information given on such blogs and the comments and articles has benefited the victims facing complexities in term of legal issues and helps us also update our knowledge of what is happening around and what all complexities we should expect from our future cases.. It provides a great platform to discuss experiences and share knowledge.
# posted by Anonymous law firm : November 27, 2009 4:21 AM

___________________________________

The last post from “law firm” is comment spam. I’ve elected to leave it in place instead of removing it because I wrote it about it here:
Martindale-Hubbell: Now Sending Comment Spam? (How Does That Rate?)
# posted by Blogger Eric Turkewitz : November 30, 2009 7:07 AM
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