Advice to Corporations: Don’t Send Cease & Desist Letters to Bloggers

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Note to corporate lawyers: check with Communications before sending a cease-and-desist to a blogger.

Laughing Squid (via Consumerist) has posted a few times about Improv Everywhere’s faux sales clerk flashmobbing of Best Buy back in 2006. When Improv Everywhere made t-shirts with a parody logo (pictured above) to celebrate the stunt, the store sent a letter to the group, and also to Laughing Squid for “promoting” the infringement.

Laughing Squid has been incredibly patient with Best Buy, and has posted a carefully written timeline of how this played out, and the resulting apology.

I get it with the logo but have a sense of humor. The Improv people seem pretty nice. Be glad it wasn’t the Yes Men. You won’t spot them till its too late.

PS: For another example, see Rob Walker’s blog post about Crocs shutting down CrocFans.com. Walker believes his NY Times Consumed column may have precipitated the cease & desist.