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Chamber Unleashes Lawyers on Yes Men

by Kate Sheppard

After the Yes Men pulled their now-famous prank earlier this week on the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber issued a vague threat of "law-enforcement action." The group doesn't appear to have called the cops on the Yes Men just yet, but on Wednesday it issued a Digital Millennium Copyright Act take-down demand notice for the parody site that the Yes Men set up to publicize their fake event, in which the "Chamber" announced that it would support a sane global warming policy after all.

The Chamber's attorney at the intellectual property law firm Kenyon & Kenyon issued a notice to the Yes Men's internet service provider, Hurricane Electric, asking them to take down the site. "The website infringes the Chamber of Commerce's copyrights by directly copying the images, logos, design, and layout of the Chamber of Commerce's copyright-protected official website, located at www.uschamber.com," they wrote.

They ask Hurricane to "take down all such infringing material" and/or end their business relationship with the Yes Men. "Continuing to be the ISP for this material could subject Hurricane Electric to legal liability," the letter states.

"We are certain you can understand our client's concerns, and its need to protect its intellectual property," it continues.

And now the Electronic Frontiers Foundation is jumping in, telling the Chamber to take a chill pill. The site, they say, fits within the accepted fair use and parody rights.

"We are very disappointed the Chamber of Commerce decided to respond to political criticism with legal threats," said EFF staff attorney Corynne McSherry in a statement. "The site is obviously intended to highlight and parody the Chamber's controversial views, which have sparked political debate and led high-profile members to withdraw their support from the Chamber."

Ars Technica has more.

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