Here is the background: As part of the core undergraduate introductory class "Information Technology in Business and Society", students have to create a website. To make things more interesting, I ask them to pick a few queries on Google, and try to create a website that will show up on the top of the results for these queries. Essentially it is a mix of technical skills with the ability to understand how pages are ranked and how to analyze the "competition" for these keywords.
So, a student of mine (John Cintolo), created a website about "Hit Club Music Summer 2010", with links to YouTube videos. No copyright infringment or anything illegal.
And one day later, he gets a "cease and desist" letter from HotNewClubSongs. It has so many gems that I will list it here, for your viewing pleasure.
To whom it may concern
It has come to my attention that your website "Hit Club Music Summer 2010" on this URL has potential to threaten my Alexa page ranking. As a consequence, this may cause our website to lose vital income which is generated from ad-space and it will not be tolerated. Due to the nature of your actions I am requesting a formal take-down of your website due to copyright infringement as the music posted on your "http://www.youtube.com" links is not endorsed by the rightful authors, as counseled by my attorney. Considering that you are also going through the New York University server, your actions may cost you and your educational institution unless you cease the aforementioned copyright infringement. If you continue hosting your service I will be forced to file a civil suit in which you will be charged for any lost advertisement revenue, averaging $0.52 per day.
In addition, your html markup shows your ineptitude in online web design, making your website an inefficient option for visitors who truly care about the Club Songs Industry. The listing of the dates on your monthly playlists go in ascending order rather than descending. This is just one of the many flaws of your clearly haphazardly designed website. However, I will give you neither my website URL nor my constructive criticism, for you are clearly trying to make money in an industry which doesn’t have room for your lack of music and website design knowledge. My page viewers have complimented me numerous times on the layout and content of my page.
You may contact me at this e-mail for any further concerns, although it is clear there is not much more to say. Your carelessness, inefficiency, and utter incompetence have gotten you into this hole, and unless you find a way out by October 31st, when my ad-space revenue comes in, further action will be taken. Also, for legal purposes, when and where was this website created? In the chance that it was created before September 30th, 2010, a law suit will be filed for the obvious decrease in revenue from my ads last month, totaling $7.34.
Thank you for your time,
HotNewClubSongs- A Forerunner in the Club Music Industry
Needless to say, I congratulated the student for achieving the goals of the assignment, and offered to cover the damages :-)