June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
When retainer attorneys employed by Big Deals send out scary cease and desist letters to nobodies on behalf of their Super Important clients, it’s typically a pro forma matter.
That is to say, they don’t expect to hear back.
And they certainly don’t expect the Small Fry recipient to lawyer up and send out a takedown letter of his own.
But that’s exactly what happened in Jake Freivald v. West Orange.
Freivald, a resident of the northeastern New Jersey township, had been running the practically nonexistent website westorange.info as a place to provide anyone who happens to get lost while looking for porn with a no-frills way of finding information on the place where Thomas Edison once lived.
“It doesn’t look like a site that’s sponsored by West Orange in any way, shape, or form — unless the town hired middle schoolers to create its online presence,” writes Staci Zaretsky at Above the Law.
Nevertheless, the township still saw fit to sic its attorney, Richard D. Trenk, on Freivald, claiming his “use of the Township’s name…is likely to cause confustion [sic], mistake or to deceive the public and may be a violation of the Township’s federally protected rights.”
Trenk’s cease and desist demanded that Freivald shut down his site, and “that you cease all current and future use of the Info Domain, or anything else confusingly similar thereto.”
In response, Freivald hired Stephen B. Kaplitt, who in turn responded to Trenk’s letter with the following work of art, which will no doubt be submitted to NASA for inclusion in the next Voyager Golden Record… read more
ART: Edward Hopper