So how does it feel,
baby, how does it feel?
To be on your own,
with no direction home?

Your writeups belong to you, dear noders. Nobody else is going to protect you from copyright infringement: you have to do it yourself (or hire someone). For infringement on the Internet you start by complaining to the ISP.

NB: The following portion of my writeup was shamelessly copied from (

Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects online service providers (OSPs) from liability for information posted or transmitted by subscribers if they quickly remove or disable access to material identified in a copyright holder's complaint.

In order to qualify for safe harbor protection, an OSP must:

  • have no knowledge of, or financial benefit from, the infringing activity
  • provide proper notification of its policies to its subscribers
  • set up an agent to deal with copyright complaints

While the safe harbor provisions provide a way for individuals to object to the removal of their materials once taken down, they do not require service providers to notify those individuals before their allegedly infringing materials are removed. If the material on your site does not infringe the intellectual property rights of a copyright owner and it has been improperly removed from the Web, you can file a counter-notice with the service provider, who must transmit it to the person who made the complaint. If the copyright owner does not notify the service provider within 14 business days that it has filed a claim against you in court, your materials can be restored to the Internet.

Other good stuff from Chilling Effects:

Some good advice on how NOT to write a cease-and-desist letter:


Groucho Marx's reply to a rather stupid cease-and-desist:


Some Real Letters from Real Noders, with Analysis by Yours Truly

Don't-Bee: Rancid_Pickle

You have stolen work that I had posted on For you information:

(quoted from

Statutory Damages. -


Except as provided by clause (2) of this subsection, the copyright owner may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover, instead of actual damages and profits, an award of statutory damages for all infringements involved in the action, with respect to any one work, for which any one infringer is liable individually, or for which any two or more infringers are liable jointly and severally, in a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court considers just. For the purposes of this subsection, all the parts of a compilation or derivative work constitute one work.


In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000. In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200.


Minimum: $750 * 2 = $1500 so far



A copyright owner or a person authorized to act on the owner's behalf may request the clerk of any United States district court to issue a subpoena to a service provider for identification of an alleged infringer in accordance with this subsection.

...allows me to get your information from XO Communications, whom I have already notified concerning your illegal activities.


Additionally, these are criminal offenses:

Any person who, with fraudulent intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or words of the same purport that such person knows to be false, or who, with fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for public distribution any article bearing such notice or words that such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500.

(d) Fraudulent Removal of Copyright Notice. -

Any person who, with fraudulent intent, removes or alters any notice of copyright appearing on a copy of a copyrighted work shall be fined not more than $2,500.


Well, now, that's a minimum of $7500 plus all court fees, plus lawyer fees. It is now worth my while to file in District 10 Federal Court out of Denver. You broke the law, Marty, and you will be receiving registered mail with my complaint. Additionally, since some of your actions were criminal, I will also be filing a complaint with the California District Attorney for your locale.

Analysis: Rancid_Pickle questions my use of him as a *bad* example, pointing out that his letter achieved the desired result of scaring the shit out of Marty and making him reform his evil ways. Well, maybe so. But (1) You can't mix criminal fines and civil damages in the same case, so RP's damages calculation is totally bogus, and (2) the 10th Circuit Court in Denver is an appeals court, he can't file any lawsuits there (those would go to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado).

Minor points, maybe, but enough to let a pro know that RP is an amateur. A really, really angry... amateur. So maybe this time the miscreant didn't realize that the assault rifle you were pointing at them was a museum piece with the firing mechanism removed and welded shut. Next time someone might call your bluff. Stick to point: the writeup is yours, and you want it taken down. Leave the threats to the professionals.

R_P sez: Tee hee, he's right, so next time I'll have to do more E2 research. Read and learn, fellow kiddies.

Do-Bee: Team Jet-Poop

As you've no doubt noticed, many of our E2 compatriots are quite upset about this topic. We on the Team weren't quite as up-in-arms, though perhaps we should've been.

We do appreciate your prompt action on removing the plagiarized writeups, and we hope you understand why everyone was upset. It wasn't just the bot-assisted cut-and-paste aspect, but the re-attribution of credit, and the use of the content for profit. As you've no doubt been told multiple times in the past few hours, writers take this sort of thing very, very seriously.

At any rate, thank you for removing the writeups, and we apologize for swamping your servers while venting some of our anger. We can assure you that, any other time, Everythingians would be perfect guests (or hosts, if you ever visited E2).

Now go and sin no more.

Jack, Edward, Todd, Phillip, Oscar, Olivia, and Patrick

Analysis: see how many damning accusations you can slip into a nice letter? And the ex cathedra tone is priceless: "Oh, sorry about the damage, but any time you're in Rome, do come visit us in the Vatican, won't you? That's a good villain. Toodles!"

Don't-Bee Squared: RalphyK

Hey! Get my copyrighted writeups ("Robbie Williams", and "Five")off your cheesy, ripoff website, you degenerate swine! It's people like you that cause unrest. While we're here, it's a bit rich your forum rules stating that "You also agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or you have consent from the owner of the copyrighted material" - when your very existence is to profit from other people's work.

I mean, you didn't even copy them properly, you just raided everything2, and stuck up everything you found, like a monkey with its hand up another monkey's ass, you neither knew what the squishy substance was, nor cared. So a writeup about Kansas the band is, confusingly, followed by Kansas the state, Kansas the graphic novel, Kansas the Webster definition - you can't even plagiarise properly, you plagiarising dog molester! I hate you! I hate you! You idiot! You IDIOT! I hope you catch monkeypox and DIE! And if you do, I will LAUGH! LAUGH! AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!

Now get my writeups off your "website", you toilet.

Lots of love,

Analysis: Pro: RalphyK has at least grasped the point of a cease-and-desist letter: he identifies his writeups and asks that they be removed. Con: Courtesy will not kill you. RalphyK forgot to say the magic words: "Please" and "Thank You."

Legal Disclaimer: IANYL (I am not your lawyer). Definitely not RalphyK's or Rancid_Pickle's lawyer. And I'm probably not enough lawyers for Team Jet-Poop.