Chilling Effects
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 Chilling Effects Clearinghouse > Report Receiving a Cease & Desist Notice: Step 1 Printer-friendly version

If you have received a cease and desist notice:

Adding your notice to the database is a 3 step process. Please continue through all the screens to ensure that your notice gets to us and is properly categorized.

This website cannot provide individual legal advice -- we cannot analyze your particular website or activity to assure you it is legal. (This is for your protection and ours -- we do not have the resources to analyze every site individually, and we don't want to give the impression that we have.) What we can do is help present the issues as lawyers think about them and answer general questions: Does the law really say that? What is the scope of copyright, trademark, or defamation law? What defenses exist for a given claim?

If you would like to input a notice that you have sent, please follow this link to the senders' input form.

Triggers: Follow the link that best describes your situation:

Someone is claiming that images or text posted on my website infringe a copyright.

submit C&D in topic Copyright

Someone is complaining about a domain name I registered or use.

submit C&D in topic Domain Names and Trademarks

I've used someone's brand name in my meta tags.

submit C&D in topic Trademark

My website or Internet service lets people trade games, videos and/or music.

submit C&D in topic Piracy or Copyright Infringement

I write or publish stories that involve characters originally developed by someone else, for example, tales about X-Files or Star Trek characters.

submit C&D in topic Fan Fiction

I was told that my ISP had recevied a "DMCA takedown notice."

submit C&D in topic DMCA Safe Harbor

Has someone asked your ISP or the host of an online discussion you participate in to give them your identity or other information about you?

submit C&D in topic John Doe Anonymity

Someone has called me a cybersquatter and is threatening to make a federal case of it under ACPA.

submit C&D in topic ACPA

Someone has filed, or threatened to file, a UDRP proceeding against me to take away my domain name.

submit C&D in topic Documenting Your Domain Defense

I have a website that criticizes/parodies a company or product.

submit C&D in topic Protest, Parody and Criticism Sites

Someone has asked me to remove hyperlinks from my website to another.

submit C&D in topic Linking

I have a "sucks" website, and the trademark owner I am criticizing is threatening to take action against me.

submit C&D in topic Protest, Parody and Criticism Sites

Someone is claiming that I am providing an illegal "circumvention device" on my website.

submit C&D in topic Anticircumvention (DMCA)

I "reverse engineered" a product, and the product owner is threatening to take legal action against me.

submit C&D in topic Reverse Engineering

Someone has accused me of defamation, libel or slander.

submit C&D in topic Protest, Parody and Criticism Sites

Someone has claimed that I am infringing a patent.

submit C&D in topic Patent

I am creating artwork which uses someone else's photographs, characters, etc.

submit C&D in topic Derivative Works

Enter an uncategorized notice if your C&D does not fit any of the activities above.


1 C&D Entry: Step 1

<-Select from the set of "triggers" below and to the left the one that most closely matches the activity you think triggered your cease and desist notice. This helps us to select a topic area for the notice.

Next Steps:

2 Enter the Cease and Desist Notice in our web form. Please take care to choose privacy options. If you choose to add information, we in the clinical programs will see it. If you choose to mark it "private," however, we will not include it in the database that the public can see.

3 Add suggested links to your website or background material that helps to tell your story. You will also get a NoticeID number and the option to send additional information to one of the participating organizations by email, fax, or postal mail.

  • Finished. At the end of the process, you will get a link or links to relevant resource material in the topics you indicated. You may browse the archives for similar notices and read the FAQs in those topics.
    Opt for email notification: If you enter an email address and indicate you'd like to get updates, we will notify you when we add information specific to your letter or category.
  • Follow-up: Law students will begin the work of analyzing the submitted notice. We cannot promise that we will be able to answer your notice specifically.

    When you send us a cease and desist notice, we will categorize it and add it to the "chilling effects" database. The law school clinics will then review the general issues raised and add to the developing set of FAQs on the subject(s). Each letter or incident added to the database also helps describe the scope of the "chilling" problem: How much legitimate activity is being stopped by meritless threats, and who is sending ungrounded claims?

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