Cease and desist

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A cease and desist letter is a document sent to an individual or business to stop allegedly illegal activity. The phrase "cease and desist" is a legal doublet, made up of two near-synonyms. The letter may warn that, if the recipient does not discontinue specified conduct, or take certain actions, by deadlines set in the letter, that party, i.e. the letter's recipient, may be sued. [1] [2] When issued by a public authority, a cease and desist letter, being "a warning of impending judicial enforcement", [3] is most appropriately called a "cease and desist order".

Contents

Usage for intellectual property

Although cease and desist letters are not exclusively used in the area of intellectual property, particularly in regards to copyright infringement, such letters "are frequently utilized in disputes concerning intellectual property and represent an important feature of the intellectual property law landscape". [2] The holder of an intellectual property right such as a copyrighted work, a trademark, or a patent, may send the cease and desist letter to inform a third party "of the right holders' rights, identity, and intentions to enforce the rights". The letter may merely contain a licensing offer or may be an explicit threat of a lawsuit. A cease and desist letter often triggers licensing negotiations, and is a frequent first step towards litigation. [2]

Effects on recipients

Receiving numerous cease and desist letters may be very costly for the recipient. Each claim in the letters must be evaluated, and it should be decided whether to respond to the letters, "whether or not to obtain an attorney's opinion letter, prepare for a lawsuit, and perhaps initiate [in case of letters regarding a potential patent infringement] a search for alternatives and the development of design-around technologies". [2]

Cease and desist letters are sometimes used to intimidate recipients and can be "an effective tool used by corporations to chill the critical speech of gripe sites operators". [4] A company owning a trademark may send such letter to a gripe site operator alleging a trademark infringement, although the actual use of the trademark by the gripe site operator may fall under a fair use exception (in compliance with, in the U.S., the protection of free speech under the First Amendment). [4]

Notable cease and desist letters

2017

In 2017, a cease and desist letter sent by Netflix was noted by news outlets such as Fortune and Quartz for its humorous wording. [5]

The sign-off message broadcast by DWWX-TV (ABS-CBN Manila) before stopping all broadcasts at 7:52 pm (PST) in compliance with the NTC order because of franchise expiry on May 5, 2020. ABS-CBN broadcast sign-off on May 5, 2020.png
The sign-off message broadcast by DWWX-TV (ABS-CBN Manila) before stopping all broadcasts at 7:52 pm( PST ) in compliance with the NTC order because of franchise expiry on May 5, 2020.

2020

The Philippine National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist letter ordering ABS-CBN to stop broadcasting on May 5, 2020 after its franchise expired the day before (May 4, 2020). At 7:52 pm (PHT), ABS-CBN stopped its broadcast in compliance with the NTC's letter, signing off all of its free TV and radio stations (Channel 2, DZMM 630, and MOR 101.9). The said agency also gave ABS-CBN ten days to explain why its assigned frequencies should not be recalled. [6] On June 30, 2020, considering that Channel 43 was also included in the May 5, 2020 shutdown order issued by the NTC against ABS-CBN (although ABS-CBN CEO Carlo Katigbak insisted that it is part of their blocktime agreement with AMCARA Broadcasting Network), the NTC and Solicitor General Jose Calida released two alias shutdown orders against Channel 43 on digital receiver ABS-CBN TV Plus and Sky Cable's nationwide satellite service Sky Direct. [7]

Donald Trump also sent a cease and desist letter to CNN asking them to retract a poll that showed him being 14 percentage points behind his opponent Joe Biden during the presidential election, [8] prompting The Atlantic to warn about attacks on the media. [9]

2021

In 2021, Google's platform YouTube issued a significant number of cease and desist notices to the creators of various music bots on Discord. Some of the most notable bots to be sent this notice were Rythm and Groovy, at the time, the two most popular bots on the platform. These music bots allowed users to request songs and have the bot create a queue. This was done by pulling the audio stream from various streaming and video platforms, including YouTube, and then played that audio on the Discord voice channel. Because such music bots did not play any of the advertisements included on the video-hosting site, the company alleged missing revenue for itself and the content uploaders. A spokesperson for Google told The Verge that Groovy violated YouTube's terms of service for "modifying the service and using it for commercial purposes". [10] The makers of Groovy had decided to comply with Google's request by shutting down the bot on August 30, 2021. According to estimations, the bot had more than 250 million users. [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

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ABS-CBN Commercial media network in the Philippines

ABS-CBN is a Philippine commercial broadcast network and syndication, program distributor, and production company that serves as the flagship property of ABS-CBN Corporation, a company under the Lopez Group. It formerly operated as a free-to-air television network. The network is headquartered at the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Quezon City, with additional offices and production facilities in 25 major cities including Baguio, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, and Davao. ABS-CBN's production and post-production facility is located at the Horizon IT Park in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan which opened in 2018. ABS-CBN was colloquially referred to as the Kapamilya Network; this branding was originally introduced in 1999 and was officially introduced in 2003 during the celebration of its 50th anniversary and was used until its May 5, 2020 shutdown. During its shutdown, ABS-CBN's branding changed to Kapamilya Forever in support for the network's franchise renewal on May 13, 2020. ABS-CBN is the largest media company in the country in terms of assets, manpower, and international coverage. As of 2020, the terrestrial broadcasting operations of the network is indefinitely suspended due to lack of license and franchise, but broadcasting activities continued via online, cable and satellite, streaming platforms, and other free-to-air terrestrial television.

DWWX-TV Philippine television station of ABS-CBN

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<i>News Patrol</i>

News Patrol is an hourly news bulletin of Kapamilya Channel which was aired from September 5, 2005, to May 5, 2020, replacing ABS-CBN News Advisory at the former ABS-CBN. The news bulletin was suspended on May 5, 2020, after ABS-CBN was forced to cease and desist its free TV broadcasting operations given by the order of the NTC. On May 8, 2020, News Patrol continued broadcast on cable channels TeleRadyo, ANC, Cine Mo!, TFC, online via ABS-CBN News' website, Facebook, YouTube and iWantTFC. It also served as the main newscast for Kapamilya Channel until it was replaced by a TV Patrol simulcast.

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Millennium Transmitter

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DWBY-TV Television station in San Miguel, Bulacan

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ABS-CBN TV Plus was a Philippine ISDB-T encrypted digital terrestrial television provider owned and operated by ABS-CBN Convergence, a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corporation. The service distributed digital set-top boxes with freemium and free-to-view digital TV channels, Broadcast Markup Language, Emergency Warning Broadcast system, and pay per view services to selected areas in the Philippines. In order to avail the service, users must buy an ABS-CBN TVplus set-top box and activate it through ABS-CBNmobile SIM card; activation requirements for the digital channels through other mobile networks later became available around the second quarter of 2018. As of February 2020, ABS-CBN TVplus had sold over 9 million units of its set-top boxes.

Sky Direct

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References

  1. Gold, Michael Evan. An Introduction to Labor Law , p. 17 (Cornell University Press, 1998).
  2. 1 2 3 4 Trimble, Marketa (2010). "Setting Foot on Enemy Ground: Cease-and-Desist Letters, DMCA Notifications and Personal Jurisdiction in Declaratory Judgment Actions". IDEA: The Intellectual Property Law Review . 50 (4): 777–830. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  3. Lorch, Robert Stuart (1980). Democratic Process and Administrative Law. Wayne State University Press. p.  158. ISBN   9780814315132.
  4. 1 2 Braswell, Rachael (2007). "Consumer Gripe Sites, Intellectual Property Law, and the Use of Cease-and-Desist Letters to Chill Protected Speech on the Internet". Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 17 (4): 1241–1287. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  5. Pinsker, Joe (September 21, 2017). "Netflix's 'Stranger Things' Cease-and-Desist Letter Wasn't That Cool". The Atlantic.
  6. "ABS-CBN to go off air in compliance with NTC order". ABS-CBN News . May 5, 2020. Archived from the original on October 9, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  7. "NTC to issue alias shutdown order vs ABS-CBN after getting SolGen advice". ABS-CBN News . June 29, 2020. Archived from the original on June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  8. Cummings, William. "Trump campaign sends CNN 'cease and desist' letter, demands it retract poll that found Biden up 14 points". USA TODAY.
  9. Solender, Andrew. "Trump Campaign Demands CNN Apologize And Retract Poll Showing Biden Up 14 Points". Forbes.
  10. Warren, Tom (2021-08-24). "YouTube is forcing the popular Groovy Discord music bot offline". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
  11. tinelund (2021-07-25). "Groovy Bot The Best Music Bot for Discord. Groovy Bot Discord might be among the best bots created in this ten years". Tinelund.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 2021-08-29.