Christianity and Middle-Earth

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

We Are Not Amused

We once had to endure the sudden shock of having one of our websites shut down, just ahead of Easter weekend, which is when we get most of our traffic for obvious reasons. Parody is protected by fair use copyright laws, but web-hosters are inclined to liquidate sites that engender complaints first and ask questions later - if at all.

Fortunately, we had friends to come to the rescue, and were also greatly assisted by the poor techie in the middle of it all, by virtue of his talking his bosses into letting us get into our site long enough to remove the content, and so were able to get it back up by Easter Sunday.

But happy ending or no, it knocks the wind right out of you to be poleaxed out of nowhere like that, so my sympathies lie very much with Michael Bates of Batesline and so, inspired by Michelle Malkin and Wizbang, I took the time to email his tormentor as enclosed below.


John R. Bair
Tulsa World

Dear Mr. Bair:

I am writing on behalf of, a weblog described as Reflections on the News by Michael D. Bates. We have recently learned that you and/or your secretary have reproduced (in whole or in part) Mr. Bates's name, address and the name of his website and have inappropriately typed said name, address and website name on your letterhead.stationery, and presumably, although I do not have the evidence immediately at hand, also typed it onto a first class envelope which was then sent through the mail, which act may be a further violation of federal statutes.

Mr. Bates copyrights his entire weblog and his name and address, which can be demonstrated as being his personal property to which Tulsa World has no legal right. The reproduction of his name and address (in whole or in part) in your professional correspondence or mentioning the content of his copyrighted weblog in said professional correspondence is without the permission of and constitutes an intentional infringement of Michael Bates's copyright and other rights to the exclusive use and distribution of the copyrighted materials.

Therefore, we hereby demand that you immediately remove any BatesLine material from your files, to include unauthorized URLs for that website, and cease and desist from any further use or dissemination of Mr. Bates’s copyrighted material. If you desire to use (in whole or in part) any of the content of or Mr. Bates’s name and address, you must first obtain written permission before that use. If you fail to comply with these demands, Mr. Bates’s vast network of blog-friends will not be amused and will probably make enough of a bloggy fuss to discourage such imbecility in the future.

We look forward to your immediate response and cooperation in this matter. Please acknowledge your compliance by signing below and returning to me: I graciously grant you single-use permission to click “reply” in order to expedite said response. Unfortunately, I must request that the response itself be delivered in Minoan Linear A as I am not inclined to give you or Tulsa World permission to infringe my copyrighted name, email address or website URL by means of inscribing it in the English language using a typewriter/computer/word processor/ink/crayon or any other medium.

(As a kindly aside, I must mention that your infractions have put you in the running for next month’s Neanderbunny Award. Information on this newly established honor can be found at this URL: However, I must warn you that permission to copy and paste that URL is denied: for you to disregard my warning would, I am afraid, constitute unauthorized use of my personal property.)


C.S. Baillie
Research Associate, Patiche Mucilaginous Confectionaries

Acknowledged by:



I don't like bullies.


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