Facebook Pre-Emptively Sued by Lamebook

Lamebook pre-emptively suing Facebook first as a response to standard "cease and desist" letter sent a couple of months ago may be the funniest thing about the parody site.

Remember how Harvard University dormitories had used the word “Facebook” to refer to their collections of residents’ profiles and photos – and other schools similarly used the word to describe student directories — long before Mark Zuckerberg copyrighted the word? I think of this whenever I read about Facebook’s legal moves related to its name.

So Lamebook pre-emptively suing Facebook first as a response to standard “cease and desist” letter sent a couple of months ago has to be the funniest thing about the parody site. Hopefully the creators will include the contents of the lawsuit and related correspondence in the coffee-table book that Urban Outfitters is supposedly planning to release based on the Lamebook site.

Let’s see if that ever goes to press, however. Facebook has made a habit of at least threatening to sue any website with a title ending in “book,” the most recent example being FacePorn. The best proof of the social networking giant’s legal prowess appears on the infringer’s home page:

Faceporn will be back!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, faceporn is down until further notice. We are doing our best to come back better than ever. We’re currently working to launch a completely new version of the site, and it will be the best porn site the world has ever seen.

Similarly, Faceporn‘s Twitter page hasn’t had any updates since the October 20 post:

Forced to close down for a while, due to unforeseen circumstances. We’ll be back though. Better than ever!
With previous examples of Facebook’s legal maneuverings readily available online, it appears that Lamebook creators have done their homework. Lamebook’s pre-emptive lawsuit asks for a judgment that would bar Facebook from suing Lamebook in the future, invoking First Amendment freedom of speech. The suit says the site is clearly a parody rather than an attempt to copy Facebook. Touche!

Meanwhile, I just noticed another potential battlefront for Facebook to direct its legal resources, assuming that hasn’t occurred already. The appears to be a placeholder site occupying the domain name PornBook.com — the tell-tale sign is the deck says “what you want, when you want it,” and a page populated with affiliate links related to the URL’s keywords. I went to WhoIs to find out what company owns the address and learned that CyberLine Enterprises, LLC, in Garland, Texas, owns it but it’s up for renewal next month. A subsequent search for a CyberLine-branded home page turned up nothing. Nonetheless, WhoIs has enough publicly accessible information about the owner of the PornBook.com domain to make it easy for a lawyer to serve the company. So let’s see which company Facebook tries to sue first.