About this Author
Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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April 01, 2005

Cory Doctorow Issues DMCA Notice and Takedown to BoingBoing Parody Site

Posted by Ernest Miller

He can dish it out, but he can't take it.

Well-known "copyfighter" and sci-fi novelist Cory Doctorow can sure complain when the MPAA and RIAA try to enforce their members' copyrights, but the instant someone infringes on Cory's copyrights and trademarks - watch out! - the threatening legal letters and lawsuits start flying. Case in point, the BoingBoing parody site BoringBoring:

Sender Information:
Fred von Lohmann
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Recipient Information:

Sent via: email
Re: BoingBoing Property Rights - Notice and Takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 512(c)(3)

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am legal counsel for and write on behalf of celebrated science fiction author Cory Doctorow and the award-winning website BoingBoing. We have recently learned that your organization, BoringBoring, is violating Mr. Doctorow and BoingBoing's copyrights by posting on your site,, certain copyrighted content from

Our copyrighted material can be found here:

The copyrighted work that we believe has been infringed upon can be found here:

Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), we are writing to provide you notice of your illegal activities and copyright infringement. Acting as an agent on behalf of Mr. Doctorow and BoingBoing, I have a good faith belief that the use of Mr. Doctorow and BoingBoing’s copyrighted material in this manner is not authorized by us, our agent, or the law.

Your organization's conduct constitutes willful copyright infringement and unfair competition and is damaging Mr. Doctorow, BoingBoing, our customers and our advertisers.

Mr. Doctorow and BoingBoing hereby ask that you remove all content and materials from your web site that was copied from We insist that you confirm you have ceased all acts of infringement and destroyed all infringing materials within 5 days’ of your receipt of this letter.

Furthermore, Mr. Doctorow and BoingBoing own all rights in and to the registered mark BoingBoing (the "Mark"), which has been in continuous use in interstate commerce since the world-renowned website entitled "BoingBoing" was first published in 2000. BoingBoing is the exclusive licensee of the publishing and merchandising rights to the Mark in connection with the internet and all related collateral products and services (collectively, the "BoingBoing Properties"). As I am sure you are aware, BoingBoing is quite probably the most famous website ever published. Indeed, millions of pageviews of the various posts on the website have taken place since first publication. As a result of this enormous number of pageviews and the attendant publicity, the public associates the Mark and its distinctive logo solely with Cory Doctorow and BoingBoing.

It has come to our attention that you registered the domain name “”. We continue to be very concerned about your use of BoringBoring and stylized logo as it constitutes an improper association, which trades on the goodwill and reputation of BoingBoing and is likely to cause confusion with those Properties and applicable federal and local laws. As it is our obligation to protect our intellectual property rights, we must request that you cease all use of BoringBoring or any confusingly similar properties in connection with your website or otherwise, and that you refrain from registering any confusingly similar domains in the future.

We trust that you understand Mr. Doctorow and BoingBoing's concern over the infringement of their rights and that you will fully cooperate with us and confirm your compliance with our requests within 5 days’ of your receipt of this letter.

The foregoing is without waiver of any and all rights of Cory Doctorow or BoingBoing, all of which are expressly reserved herein.

I declare, under penalty of perjury, that the above is accurate, that Mr. Doctorow and BoingBoing are the intellectual property (copyright) owners of our material and that I am authorized to act on behalf of Mr. Doctorow and BoingBoing.

Very truly yours,

Fred von Lohmann
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Read on for analysis of this threat letter.

April Fools. Geez.

Comments (7) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Copyright


1. Me on April 1, 2005 10:03 AM writes...

Oh, this is SO april-fools

Permalink to Comment

2. Joe Banks on April 1, 2005 10:06 AM writes...

Aprils Fools man. you fell for that? Sheesh.

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3. Elizabeth D on April 1, 2005 11:31 AM writes...

:-D Hurrah Cory and EFF! Sic those infringers! Love it.

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4. Randy Charles Morin on April 1, 2005 11:32 AM writes...


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5. Jim Richardson on April 1, 2005 12:18 PM writes...

You had me going there for several minutes. OK, OK, I know I am a slow reader. Cut me some slack will ya? Perfect joke that made me do a double, double take. Good on Ya! From a loyal fan in Victoria BC. Eh!

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6. Cynthia on April 1, 2005 12:25 PM writes...

HOORAY! Best April Fool. Ever.

Permalink to Comment

7. quasi on April 1, 2005 03:54 PM writes...

Haha, best April Fools prank ever. Thumbs up! :D

(Another loyal fan from Victoria, BC! Small world.)

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