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DMD Forumgeddon

Special grilled cheese.

How to Get $10 Million in Funding

Don’t know if this has anything to do with the forums going down, but there it is….

Edit 9am – it sure as f**k does.

Dick’s on the case.

I’ve added the whole letter, removing any names involved.

Dear Registrant:

I write on behalf of Demand Media, Inc. (“Demand Media”), which is a leading online producer, publisher and syndicator of professional content and social media solutions.

Demand Media possesses valuable trademark rights in the Demand Media trademark and holds trademark registrations for Demand Media in numerous jurisdictions across the world.  Demand Media is also the copyright holder of the DemandMedia.com website located at www.demandmedia.com, as well as the copyright holder of all content on Demand Media owned and operated sites, including eHow.com and LiveStrong.com.

It has been brought to our attention that you have wrongfully created and maintain a forum in which users can, and do, post and misuse Demand Media’s trademark, copyrighted material, including confidential and proprietary copy editing tests, as well as other confidential and proprietary Demand Media information (specifically, in the form of an internal presentation regarding the company’s business plans.)

For your reference, the content at issue can be located at the following links:  http://www.demandstudiossucks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2923 and http://www.demandstudiossucks.com/2011/01/demand-media-on-quality/.

Demand Media has not granted you any license to use the Demand Media trademark, to publish or copy Demand Media copyrighted content, or to publicize Demand Media’s confidential and proprietary business information.  Accordingly, in addition to violating Demand Media’s intellectual property rights in the referenced materials, the postings are disruptive, damaging and harmful to our business practices and reputation.

Please respond to this letter no later than July 22, 2011 to confirm that you will comply with these demands to (1) remove from your website any copies, or portions, of any Demand Media copy editing tests, including cheat sheets, answer keys, or samples; and (2) remove all information that is confidential and proprietary to Demand Media, including, but not limited to, presentations, business plans or other operational documents, particularly to the extent they incorporate the Demand Media trademark, before July 27, 2011.  Absent such response and subsequent action from you, Demand Media may elect to pursue any and all remedies available to it, including but not limited to, filing a civil lawsuit in federal court seeking statutory damages against you for copyright infringement, trademark infringement or any other cause of action that Demand Media deems is appropriate to protect its rights and its business.

This letter is not a complete recitation of the facts and legal arguments related to this matter and nothing contained herein shall be deemed a waiver of any rights or remedies which Demand Media may have in connection with this matter, all of which are expressly reserved.

We look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Demand Media, Inc.
Legal Department
1333 2nd Street, Suite 100
Santa Monica, CA 90401

36 comments to DMD Forumgeddon

  • [...] Forbes blogger Jeff Bercovici reports, earlier this week Demand Media sent a cease-and-desist letter to a blog started by disgruntled former employees of its freelance division, Demand [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Ken

    Don’t let Demand Media bully you. Tell them where to stick it because a use of trademarks etc is not only fair use but PROTECTED by the 1st amendment. Send them a letter in return reminding them that the same 1st amendment that protects their right to free speech also protects your right to criticize them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • 16blue

    Oh gawd. Dumb zombies think this is actually gonna work. Good luck with that.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  • fruys

    Demand Studios Sucks legal department should get Demand to stop spamming contractors with Demand Deals with no means of unsubscribing.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  • [...] the letter, which DSS posted in its entirely, Demand’s legal team writes, It has been brought to our attention that you have wrongfully [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Page1News

    Hahaha! I never noticed before, but I just saw that there is a poster on here that likes to use my real name. Go right ahead, fool. Makes no difference to me. Send me an e-mail if you’d like to talk it out. :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • Abaddon

    Your host sucks.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Page1News

    Welcome back, gang! Nice work! :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  • Metallion. Nice to see you still have a hard on for Lysis.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  • The Batman

    Oh Hai, Metallion!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  • Page1News

    Just for the record: I maintain all DMS CE information from February 2008 to June 2011. If anything needs to be re-created, specifically CE tests and work desk screen shots, I’m more than happy to oblige. :-)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

  • Patrick

    I reposted the letter. If anyone cares to look (AHEM Tick Tock AHEM), there were two specific things that DMS was pissed about.

    Our (ex)-provider took down the offending content without even consulting with us.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  • TickTock

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 14

    • Gotta Lawyer?

      I don’t think you can argue that a forum to which you give 10,000 outside contractors access is private. Just as courts have repeatedly ruled that an e-mail sent to one person, intended only for only one other person, is an “insecure form of communication,” the DMS forums are probably not going to be considered private.

      Internal company documents? Maybe. Documents (e.g., CE editing test) sent to 2,000 contract editors and many more who don’t make the cut? Probably not.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  • WTF

    On the bright side, are they just asking you to take down the test info and a PowerPoint presentation? If so, maybe do it.

    I have an account here, but I don’t post, just lurk. This won’t make me real popular, but I think they have a right to protect certain aspects of their business. Just like you want to protect your user’s identities. I’m all for whistle blowing on loud mouth CEs and free speech blah blah. Posting stuff like a CE test damages their business. Maybe it is going too far. I make money from this company and don’t want to see them tank.

    Find a new host because this one is going to fold every time someone farts in its direction. Just my opinion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • i hear you, WTF.

      We ALL make money from DMS. But the whole thing is a pack of cards and everyone needs to have other irons in the fire. Could Ponzi scheme apply? Maybe.

      Anyway, major difference between here and DMS forums is that you can say what you think. Thanks for your opinion.

      But yeah – bottom line – our provider sucks ass. We’ll be finding a new one elsewhere.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      • Me

        ” major difference between here and DMS forums is that you can say what you think. Thanks for your opinion.”

        Yet you still censor and ban if you don’t agree with what someone thinks. How is this different??

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  • Gotta Lawyer?

    I think the DMS lawyers are hoping they scare someone who doesn’t know the law with a bluff (and it’s temporarily worked). To punish them, just have folks post the copyediting test to 30 forums, chat rooms and websites around the Internet. Post them on foreign sites, especially. This takes away DMS’ claim that the information is not public.

    Also, you’re now protected because it’s news.

    This will make them think twice about this type of bluff again, and probably get the tool lawyer who suggested this spanked.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  • Ducky

    “Internal presentation regarding the company’s business plans” eh? I must have missed something good. Damn it all. I always miss out on the good stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • secreto

      Probably refers to posting of all the stickies and staff announcements, or possibly the recent threads on title droughts.

      DM has only itself to blame if it doesn’t like its sensitive info leaked. Either keep everyone fully in the loop or keep everyone out of the loop without leaking a drop of info. DM keeps its contractors and employees half in and half out of the loop, no wonder they have to go off-site and discuss among themselves what’s going on.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • Devil_youknow

    Whoa.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Patrick

    hey guys –

    yeah, i edited out some of the letter. strange stuff. suffice to say, our host s**ks ass. Dick is looking into this as soon as he rouses.

    Meanwhile – spread the word!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  • Gotta Lawyer?

    All of the DMS info they are referring to is public record, once it appears in the DMS forum.

    If you were hacking into their computers and publishing internal documents, they’d have an argument. Even then, once you posted it (publicly), other websites could then publish it on their sites without penalty.

    See if Daniel Ellsberg is around to explain it to you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

    • Okay

      Did it appear on the DMS forums? I don’t follow this stuff that closely, but did the CE test and a PowerPoint presentation appear on the DMS forums?

      I don’t know about posting the test all over the place. It doesn’t seem like they are asking that much. I’m a fan of free speech and all that, but they right to protect their business.

      You need a new host though. One that will have your back a little better.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  • Truthy

    Well what the shit? Why would a host tear down the forums but not the entire site, if they got scared by a little letter? This makes no fucking sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • Jekhyl

    This letter is incomplete. The last paragraph says:

    “It has been brought to our attention that you have wrongfully created and maintain a forum in which users can, and do, post and misuse Demand Media’s trademark, copyrighted material, including confidential and proprietary copy editing tests, as well as other confidential and proprietary Demand Media information (specifically, in the form of an internal presentation regarding the company’s business plans.)”

    But it doesn’t say what DMS wants Patrick to do and what they are going to do about it if he doesn’t.

    Man, their legal department is as bad at communicating as the rest of the company.

    And what fucking “internal presentation regarding the company’s business plans?”

    They truly suck.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  • I got my forum up and running. I am not here to compete, just supplement while DSS is down. I will lock it again once DSS reopens and we can continue conversations there. It’s at

    http://www.demandstudioserrors.com/forum

    Hope you guys don’t mind!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  • Patrick

    Dick is pretty well acquainted with ISPs and the law. He’ll give ‘em a what for.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  • IloveCEs

    Fucking DMS.

    Patrick, just choose a non-North American host. It will be more difficult for the Rosenblatt cronies to have it taken down.

    So much for free speech.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  • Rebellious

    Guess the forums over at DS will have new/old visitors again

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  • fuckermcfucksticks

    Oh yeah, I meant to say, fucking pussies is right!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • fuckermcfucksticks

    I have a forum idle on my site. If needed, I can open it up until this gets fixed up. Once you’re up and running, I can lock it up again. Again, only if needed, so ppl can continue bitching lol.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Patrick

    Aaah. Yeah, makes sense now. Hahaha. We switched hosts because we thought these guys were better. What a bunch of pussies.

    Dick is on it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  • fuckermcfucksticks

    Yup, looks like your host tore down the forums… That sucks. Hope you get it fixed up.

    Signed
    Fucker

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

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