The Killer Whale Copyright Experiment

Experiment: Killer Whale Copyright
Participant(s): Jason Soares
Time Frame: 1998
Location: San Diego / Internet
Submitted By: Jason Soares
Submission Date: 1998-01-27

In January of 1998 I received a cease and desist letter from the law offices of Wienberg Sullivan about offending slide photographs I had posted on The Experiment. The photos were found in a slide projector that fellow experimenter Matt Lorenz had purchased at the local Am Vets thrift store. The slides are of a girl being attacked by a killer whale at a world renouned theme water/sea park We thought that the pictures were pretty amazing and the fact they came randomly in a slide projector added to the find. We decided to scan them in and post them to The Experiment. Nine months later we got the lovely letter in the mail.


letterWeinberg Sullivan, P.C.January 27.1998VIA FACSIMILE

Jason Soares
The Experiment

 PO Box 90711
San Diego, CA 92169-2711

Dear Gentlemen:

Our firm represents The ****** Companies which is the owner of the world famous **** and ***** marks. Our client has recently learned of the website hosted on The Experiment entitled “Girl Being Eaten By ******” It goes without saying that the ***** finds this use of its world famous mark to be offensive. It also violates its rights under the federal Trademark Act and the federal Dilution Act. Accordingly, ****** is demanding through this letter that you end this violation of its rights and the tarnishment of its valuable **** mark immediately by taking down the site (or alternatively, deleting all references to the ****** name) and agreeing that you will not use in the future the **** mark in this or any similar manner which would violate any of ****** rights in that mark.Please confirm to me it writing within (10) days from the date of this letter that you will comply with this request to permanently cease and use of the **** mark which would violate ****** rights in that mark, including the “Girl Being Eaten By ******” use. If we do not receive your written confirmation within the identified time, we will assume you are not interested in amicably resolving this matter at which time **** will take appropriate action.

Steven M. Weinberg

letterFebruary 2, 1998
Dear Weinberg Sullivan, P.C.:

We recently received a letter from you informing us about the use of your clients world famous trade marks hosted on TheExperiment. I would like to inform you that we at The Experiment are sorry for the inconvience and have removed any reference to your ***** mark namely “Girl Being Eaten By ******“. At this time I would like to tell you the source of the photographs. The pages were showing pictures of slides that were found in a slide projector bought at a near by thrift store. Each page shows a slide exactly seen, complete with the original writing on each slide. As you might have seen they were date ’72 and were photographed off the television. I’m glad to see after 9 months that the slides have been up, your the first person to send me any message with any sort of response about them.Thanks for your time

Jason Soares

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