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Play Pass the Pigs

I recieved this letter below on August 1st. Basically, it's David Moffat Enterprises asserting their god-given right to take down the Java applet of this game. I had a nice email conversation with one of their haughty, stuck-up lawyers. The funniest part about that conversation was that I took down the Java applet, but she kept on telling me that they'll sue my butt off if I don't. It took about four messages in a row to pound the message into her thick skull (I am both surprised and highly amused that people this dense are able to become lawyers. Imagine what kind of future awaits be in the highly intelligent profession of law!). Strangely, it wasn't Thomas Parkhill I was talking to, but Sheila Parkhill (presumably Thomas's wife).

I asked this female lawyer to clarify several points about the copyright law, but she refused to answer a single one of my questions. If I am going to take down a major part of my website, I should have the right to know what copyrights I was infringing! However, she denied my requests to clarify the terms.

I find this course of action by David Moffat Enterprises to be highly illogical. Through this website alone, I have sold over 1500 copies of Pass the Pigs through Amazon.com (a staggering number if you consider how uncommon Pass the Pigs really is. Amazon must be wondering why this game is so popular :). They happily ignored this fact, and continued to bite the hand that fed them. It's strange, because many people who played the online version went ahead and bought the real thing.

Still, I hold no qualms against David Moffat Enterprises (Ms. Parkhill, on the other hand...) The actions of their lawyers doesn't affect the game. To play this game, you can either search the net for a copy of the Java applet (search for "pass the pigs"), or purchase the game for a mere $9.99 from Amazon.com.


DAVID MOFFAT ENTERPRISES
P.O. BOX 117
LARKSPUR, CO 80118

August 1, 2000

Mr. Freddie Wong
c/o Tripod – A Lycos Network Site
400-2 Totten Pond Road
Waltham, MA 02451
Tel: 781-370-2700
Fax: 781-370-3412


Dear Mr. Wong:


David Moffat Enterprises and Hasbro, Inc. are the owner/licensor and licensee, respectively, of the copyrights and trademarks for the PASS THE PIGS‚ game manufactured and distributed by Hasbro, Inc. under the Milton Bradley trademark.

We are writing because you have created and distributed a computer game that infringes David Moffat Enterprises’ copyrights and trademarks. The game appears on your home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.members.tripod.com/~passpigs/. We have also received information that you have licensed the game to at least one commercial Web site.

Your unauthorized use of the PASS THE PIGS‚ game constitutes copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. §§ 501. Your unauthorized use of the PASS THE PIGS® name also violates the federal trademark laws, including 15 U.S.C. §§ 114(1) and 1125(a), by creating a likelihood of confusion with respect to our authorization or sponsorship of or association with your commercial activities. Even if confusion were not likely, your unauthorized use of the PASS THE PIGS® name is likely to dilute the distinctive quality of the PASS THE PIGS® mark in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c) and the anti-dilution statutes of numerous states.

We demand that you immediately remove from the Web the infringing computer game, cease distributing the game, and destroy all copies of the game. We also demand that you contact the owners of all of the Web sites known to you that offer the game and ensure that they remove from the Web the infringing computer game, cease distributing the game and destroy all copies of the game. Finally, we demand that you provide us with written assurance that you will not make any further use of the PASS THE PIGS® copyright and trademarks.

Please confirm to us as soon as possible, and in any event within ten days of receipt of this letter, your agreement to the above. This letter does not purport to be a complete statement of the facts or the law and is without prejudice to David Moffat Enterprises and Hasbro’s legal and equitable rights. Please direct all correspondence to Mr. Thomas Parkhill III at the address shown on this letterhead.

Sincerely,

DAVID MOFFAT ENTERPRISES


Thomas Parkhill III
Partner DME

 

"Pass the Pigs" and all related terms are registered trademarks of Milton-Bradely.

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