Bigfoot Letter

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Synonyms:
See also: cease and desist
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Bigfoot Letter is a term some fans use to describe a legal letter they have received from TPTB regarding their fanworks and perceived legal infringements.

It is is a "shot across the bow," a preliminary warning to fans, but not a cease and desist letter.

The vast majority of fans who receive a Bigfoot Letter do not have the legal knowledge or context to discern how much of a threat said letter is, and they likely comply.

The term itself is not specifically a fannish one.

Some Examples of Use

  • "... they also use lawyers and something referred to as 'Bigfoot Letters' to shut down unauthorized fans. These letters tend to be very brash and threatening, warning of dire consequences. It's like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer. [1]
  • "Just received a bigfoot letter claiming a trademark infringement of my domain name. Typical boiler plate threats, i.e., you are a bad person, this will siphon business away from us and cause confusion in the buying public etc. My question is, are their threats real? Basically they want the domain transferred to them or it's a $100K fine for me." [2]
  • "Whether you engage an attorney at this point to send a letter on your behalf depends on your degree of outrage and your budget. Often, these questionable websites are operated by people who think anything on the Internet is theirs for the taking. These folks simply don’t know any better and often will respond appropriately to a “bigfoot” letter from you or your attorney." [3]

Some Fannish Examples

Meta/Further Reading

References

  1. from Burned for Fandom
  2. How to respond to bigfoot letter, December 8, 2010
  3. Aggregation Aggravation