ZillionTV sent me what wouldn’t qualify as a cease and desist, but more like a “please leave my client alone they have enough self esteem issues with out you disparaging them” letter.
I should disclose that for a brief period of time I worked at ZillionTV. I was lured there by false promises of their technology, the state of their contracts with the studios, and the pedigree of the “Managerial Staff.”
Having your lawyer send a note to someone who has said less than flattering things about you is roughly the equivalent of taking the kick me sign off of your back and pinning it to your teeth instead. I’ll demonstrate why.
Step One: The party you sent the note to posts it to his or her website. (see below)
Step Two: The party then makes fun of you, and your law firm. ShawValenza didn’t even care enough about the tone, and accuracy of this letter to grab a template of LexusNexus so that they wouldn’t sound like idiots.
If you are going to send a letter to a party who has said something untrue about you, as opposed to simply pointed out publicly documented facts about your goings on, you are not looking for defamation, but libel. I can defame you all I want as long as the statements are true. It is only false defamatory statements that are illegal. The absolute defense to defamation is truth.
While many of my blog posts may not be of the highest standard of eloquence, because I am a firm believer in the first amendment I do my best to verify, and fact check anything I publish.
Step Three: The party then tells the world about the injustice of being sent a certified letter telling you to stop “prattling on the internet”. See the nice thing about having a site in the top 100k of Alexa, and having the ear of several rags in the IPTV and Hollywood space is that even things I casually post to my blog, are news. Which is why I don’t “Casually post” things to my blog.
Which brings me to the rules about using C&D for SEO.
Rule 1: Don’t.
Rule 2: Don’t.
Rule 3: If rule 1 and 2 have to be broken, don’t send a warning letter, send a court order, include in it that the party you are serving is given a gag order so that they can’t talk about you or post the court order.
Rule 4: Know your enemy. Don’t send a C&D letter to someone who has a bigger hammer than you. The general rule is don’t send a C&D to anyone with a better Alexa rank than you, or someone with more press mentions in the past year than you.
Rule 5: Be right. The last thing you want is to stick your foot in your mouth, a recent prospect sent a C&D to a competitor only to have the competitor serve them an even bigger C&D.