Legal Threats Database Launched

The Citizen Media Law Project has launched what looks like it could be a fantastic new resource: the Legal Threats Database. They plan to chronicle “lawsuits, cease & desist letters, subpoenas, and other legal threats directed at those who engage in online speech” and allow users to “view, search, and comment on entries in the database.” This initiative should build nicely on the work done by the Chilling Effects project (which, like CMLP, was incubated at the Berkman Center). And they have a blog to go with it too! My research on fair use in trademark law indicates that cases resolved by a judge or jury are a very tiny and very unrepresentative sliver of overall disputes about expressive uses of trademarks. The data collected here helps to document the many less visible disputes that end much earlier, with either settlements or surrenders.

[Name of the Citizen Media Law Project corrected from original post.]

7 Responses to “Legal Threats Database Launched”

  1. You haven’t published any of that fair use research yet, have you, Bill?

  2. Luis:

    Are you *trying* to stress me out here?

    No, it isn’t done yet — I’m planning to post an SSRN draft in the next month or so, and then submit it for publication in the spring. I’ll link to the SSRN version here on the blog after it’s up.

  3. Bill,

    Thanks for the great publicity and kind words.

    There’s a small typo “Citizens Media Law Project” should be “Citizen Media Law Project”.

  4. Bill: hah, no, no intent, just madly curious, since I’m shepherding trademark stuff (still) for an open source project that would like to have a very liberal trademark policy.

  5. Sam: Thanks for pointing out the mistake — correction made.

  6. Bill,
    Thanks so much for that heads-up about the new Legal Threats postings on Citizen Media Law Project! I look forward to seeing you at Yale!
    Great blog.
    Best, Danielle Citron

  7. The Legal Threats Database looks like a great new tool.

    I have clients on both sides (sometimes receiving, sometimes needing to send C&D letters). Of course, I think the ones my clients receive are absurd and the ones they send are based on protecting legitimate interests!

    Thanks for pointing out this resource.