From: Declan McCullagh (declan[at]
To: SteelHead (brk[at], politech[at]
Cc:, jericho[at],, staff[at],,
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 13:35:37 -0400
Subject: Re: More on Mastercard lawyers threatening over  satire

 From my weekly Wired column... --Declan,1294,44939,00.html

Mastercard satire ... priceless: Mastercard lawyers are threatening the hacker site for a parody of the company's Priceless campaign.
In e-mail to the site's operators, Mastercard's attorneys complained: "You 
have posted and are distributing, at the Web 
address, material that infringes the MasterCard Priceless Advertisements 
and that further infringes MasterCard's Priceless Mark." They warned of 
unspecified "legal action" in the not-so-distant future.
Turns out hosts a few dozen JPG files that include hilarious 
parodies of the Mastercard advertising campaign. wrote back saying the parodies were protected under the First 
Amendment: "Quit wasting both of our time. Quit harassing our upstream 
provider who has no control over the content of this site. Quit sending us 
vague threats of legal action without clearly documenting what you find 
objection to. Quit demanding immediate replies to mail when you refuse to 
show the same courtesy to me."
Charles Arthur, a well-spoken writer for The Independent newspaper, offered 
this suggestion:
Cost of searching for "priceless" and "image" on Google ... $0.00002
Cost of sending lawyernastysnailmail to nonexistent P.O. Box for ... $1,594.32 (including bathroom break).
Cost of sending lawyernastyemail with snailmail as Word to 
... $0.34 (no bathroom break).
Cost of bugging and its users and getting spread all around 
Politech and interesting-people and who knows where ... PRICELESS.

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