Dear Stripes Lawyers
Kevin R. Casey, Esquire
Elizabeth M. O’Donoghue, Esquire
Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan
Bill S. Preston, Esquire
Let me start by stating that I am not a lawyer. I thought about it for a while between ages 9-11, but eventually moved on to Professional Skateboarder. Later, I learned how much reading was involved in legal work and the last of any interest I had in pursuing a career as a court officer dissolved.
You guys recently sent me a 3-page letter explaining that it was unacceptable and possibly illegal for The Vent to use the Stripes logo for our satirical Trump Kups story.
Because The Vent is a comedy and satirical news publication I do believe that our initial use of the logo was within fair-use allowances. However, because fighting a matter like this in court usually comes down to who has the deeper pockets, I have decided to simply replace the Stripes logo with a parody logo of a fictional store called Stripe. The lack of actual justice based outcomes in the system in which you operate is something that saddens me deeply.
So, without admitting any intentional or willful wrongdoing, I have removed the Stripes Logo and Stripes name from the satirical parody story about the Trump Kups from our website and social media sites. Please let me know if it comes to your attention that I have missed anything, and I will take the same steps.
It would be great if you would acknowledge that you and your client understand that The Vent is a satirical publication as clearly stated in our disclaimer, which can be found in every issue of the magazine as well as online at http://ventdaily.com/disclaimer.
That said, there may be times in the future at which your client, Stripes or its owner or officers are the subject of a story for news, comedy, or satirical purposes and we will not hesitate to mention them by name.
I will also say that I am not above being bought, and that I would much rather have a working relationship with Stripes. I have tried in the past to have stripes carry our free paper or to have them advertise with us. This would be a great time for you to explain to your client the benefits of a partnership with all forms of media in the markets in which Stripes operates, even the countercultural media. Vent readers are Stripes customers just like myself and we would love to be informed of all the great things Stripes is offering. (I feel that because you are lawyers, and probably very crafty, high-paid lawyers at that, I have to mention that this is not meant as any kind of threat or quid pro quo, I am simply stating that just like any other media source, I would be less inclined to anger a client with one of our stories.)
$60K Settlement Offer:
If Stripes CEO Mr. Warren has no interest in doing business with The Vent, then for the low sum of $60,000 I will quit doing what I do, and quietly fade away never to poke fun at Stripes or anyone else ever again. I have a couple of books and screenplays I would rather be working on.
$600K Settlement Offer:
My dream has always been to make a living writing, specifically for television, but writing for my own comedy magazine has been an acceptable alternative. For $600,000 I will give up my dream and never write another creative word again for the rest of my life. Yes, your client can essentially destroy my dream for 10% of what he wasted on Rick Perry’s Presidential election.
$6M Settlement Offer
For $6 million I will work for one year as Kelcy Warren’s personal jester/slave and endure humiliations while serving at his beck and call.
From my television-based knowledge of the law, I believe you have an ethical duty to communicate all of this to your client. (I’ve seen every episode of The Good Wife, Franklin & Bash, and at least 85% of all Law and Order incarnations.)
Please let me know if your client would like to settle on one of my offers or if you will be continuing to bother me (Net Value: approx. $37.00 and 0 self-esteem) about the initial logo use even though I have replaced them.
Will ‘Vent’ Henneberger