Remarkable, really. We at Dozier Internet Law asserted copyright protection on cease and desist lawyer letters. Public Citizen, the Ralph Nader founded organization, and Citizen Media Law Project, straight from the University of California at Berkeley (yes, that Berkeley), come out on the attack, instigating their 100,000 plus members to attack our law firm over our position. We ended up getting hundreds of profane and threatening emails and telephone calls because their lawyers told the blogosphere that they could all post lawyer cease and desist letters and be comfortable that it was legal, pompously asserting that they were right and we were clearly wrong.
Here's a mellow sample of what they had to say: "Don't be bullied by a lawyer threatening you with a copyright infringement suit for republishing the contents of a threatening letter. One way or another, this is an extremely weak legal argument..."
I have sat by patiently for the past month waiting to see a retraction and correction of this erroneous advice to their netizens. You see, for the past month, since at least December 17, they have known that the first decision in the country on the issue vindicated the Dozier Internet Law position. Check it out here.
So, it's been over a month. I don't know of any attempt to correct their bad advice, correct their blogs, or notify all of the hundreds of thousands who believed in, and relied upon, their advice that they were wrong. And this is consumer protection? If a corporation knew it had a harmful product among the public and did not inform them, these groups would be going ballistic. But I guess if the only downside is some poor blogger who believed and did what they said, and is faced with a statutory damages claim of $150,000 plus lawyer fees, then these groups will just chalk that individual's loss up to "the movement".
You can track the events and communications, and our response, right here: Dozier Internet Law Responds. As I said in my initial response to Nader's Public Citizen lawyers, and I'll repeat it here...if you can't give good advice, don't give any at all. Creating a frenzy by misleading your constituency is a shameful way to raise money for your organizations.
And here is the real irony. These organizations are founded upon an almost maniacal belief in expanding notions of free speech, so we can't successfully insist that these young, recent law graduates be reined in and controlled, managed, or censored. There are no quality controls in place. Good businesses institutionalize levels of authority, review and vetting. It leads to higher quality goods and services. These free speech organizations will never implement such oversight since it runs counter to their cultural beliefs of promoting free speech and banishing censorship.
So, they have no means of controlling quality. And no quality means of remediating their mistakes. They give bad legal advice. If you listen to them, learn to live with it. Recalls and retractions are not in their dictionary.