Best Buy Sends Cease and Desist Letter to blogger for writing about a t-shirt

This is hysterical, Improv Everywhere set up a “happening” a while ago where they a showed up in droves at Best Buy stores around the country wearing blue “improv everywhere” polos which happened to look a lot like the Best Buy polos. The stunt was a lot of fun and successful but they also started up a sideline of selling the T-Shirts as well. San Francisco blogger Scott Beale at Laughing Squid wrote about these t-shirts in November and has now just recieved a cease and desist letter from Best Buy.

improv everywhere
best buy shirt

These t-shirts were being sold through Neighborhoodies but I can’t find them any more, according to Improv Everywhere both Neighborhoodies and themselves got C&D letters and Neighborhoodies just couldn’t afford the risk of being shut down. I think it’s a very clear case of fair use but Best Buy has the deeper pockets in this case. I think it’s outrageous that Scott Beale got a C&D in this case, that’s like a newspaper getting a C&D for reporting a story about a parody, ridiculous.

Here’s the Improv Everywhere video from the Best Buy “event”

via BoingBoing

6 Responses to “Best Buy Sends Cease and Desist Letter to blogger for writing about a t-shirt”

  1. [...] parody” (Boing Boing) “Greatest Best Buy prank ever!…” (Matt Johnson) “best buy sends cease and desist letter to blogger for writing about a t-shirt” [...]

  2. Aric McKeown says:

    ImprovE is totally not how you spell improv.

  3. karl says:

    Aric, you are correct, I wrote the article very fast and every time I wrote improv I was automatically putting an E on the end

  4. Nathaniel says:

    Me personally, I don’t see the point of the shirt. Nor do I see how it parodies best buy at all. They obviously went in the stores with the intention of passing off as employees… which is kind of funny. Especially when it causes confusion among the real employees but doesn’t really negatively impact the customers.

    That being said, I don’t think we can limit fair use through parody with the stipulation “only if it’s funny”. Still, I don’t see how a blogger could get a C&D letter just from talking about it. That’s freedom of speech right there. You’re right, it’s silly. There is no legal action that can be taken by any company against someone writing an article about a parody. I think they’re just trying to scare people with their deep pockets into getting this to go away and not to spread it around that Best Buy is not against quashing freedom of expression when it serves their interests.

  5. Actually, they went in wearing normal, generic blue polos. The ‘improv everywhere’ branded polos came *after* the event, no one was actually wearing them for the original happening.

  6. Dan says:

    Karl, just wanted to update you on this situation:
    http://consumerist.com/consumer/followups/best-buy-apologizes-for-sending-cease-and-desist-letter-to-blogger-for-reporting-factual-information-333254.php
    It seems that Best Buy has come out and apologized…

    When will they realize that it’s just best to let funny and indie and internet people do what they want. The power of the internet totally trumps any ole’ Cease and Desist letter!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.