An eBay email from ALF: Cease and Desist!


By Justin Rybinski
10/29/02


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Many of you know that I sell stuff on eBay to make money. It sure beats having a real job. Sure, I don't really make enough to buy Porsches and Southern villas, but it's enough to pay rent, eat and keep my crack addiction under wraps.

One of the items I have been selling recently is ALF VCDs. For those who don't know, a VCD is like a DVD, only smaller. Actually, it's nothing like that. Explaining VCDs is hard, so if you're curious, and I know you are, check out vcdhelp.com. Basically, if you download MPEG files from a file-sharing program, you can create your own VCDs with the help of any modern CD-burning software kit. I personally use NTI Easy CD Creator.

Anyways, a few months ago, I downloaded a few ALF episodes from iMesh and created a VCD out of them. Since I'm already selling other VCD sets (Tenacious D, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Invader Zim, etc...), i felt that ALF would be an excellent addition to my legion of money-making VCDs.

It worked out great for about a month. I sold them for around $10, which is fair for a one-disc set. I figure I made around $300 or so total selling ALF. Then, just a few minutes ago, an ALF agent sent me an email.

Subj: Question for seller -- Item #1575850103 
Date: 10/30/02 3:11:44 AM !!!First Boot!!!
From: alienprod@cs.com
To: zapzapzapx@aol.com
Sent from the Internet


Subj: ALF Videos on Ebay
Date: 10/29/02
From: alienprod@CS.com (Paul Fusco)

LAW OFFICES
THOMAS PATRICK ROWAN
A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
11777 SAN VICENTE BOULEVARD, SUITE 880
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90049
TELEPHONE (310) 820-7717
FAX (310) 442-0204


Re:    Unauthorized Duplication and Offering for Sale of ALF Episodes

Dear Ebay Seller

  This firm represents Alien Productions, Tom Patchett, and Paul Fusco, the owners of the ALF property and copyrights. Our clients understand that you have been making unauthorized sales of ALF episodes which have been duplicated without our clients' authorization. Accordingly, please be advised that our clients, the copyright owners of the material, have not authorized your activities in connection with the proposed sale of these duplicate tapes or any other ALF material. Your activities constitute a substantial infringement of our clients' intellectual property rights, including a violation of their copyright and trademarks in the episodes and the underlying ALF property, as well as unfair competition and a violation of the Lanham Act, and may subject you to civil liability and criminal prosecution.

  Our clients deem your unauthorized attempt to offer these duplicate tapes for sale to constitute a commercial venture which violates our clients' exclusive right to exploit ALF commercially. Accordingly, we demand that you immediately cease and desist from any attempt to sell these materials and that you return to me immediately any materials which you own or control or which are in your possession relating to the ALF property. Should you disregard this request, we are prepared to take further steps to prevent your unauthorized attempt to sell our clients' trademarked and copyrighted materials.

  This letter is not intended to constitute a full statement of all facts, rights or claims relating to this matter. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed or construed as a waiver, release or relinquishment of any of our clients' rights, remedies, or defenses, at law or in equity, with respect to this matter, and all such rights, remedies and defenses are expressly reserved.

If you have any questions please call me at the phone number listed above.

           Sincerely,

                    
THOMAS PATRICK ROWAN

TPR/ba
--------------------


Question from:           alienprod
Title of item:           ALF episodes VCD/DVD pilot, Christmas special
Seller:                  ryborg
Starts:                  Oct-28-02 21:19:03 PST
Ends:                    Oct-31-02 21:19:03 PST
Price:                   Starts at $8.99
To view the item, go to: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1575850103



    Visit eBay, The World's Online Marketplace TM at http://www.ebay.com

Damn, this one looks real. It appears my days of selling ALF are over, at least on eBay. Thank god for Yahoo Auctions, where one can sell slaves, body parts and souls without worries of Yahoo shutting down auctions. I'd rather not get sued and have ALF, in all his furry glory, prosecute me. He'd win in a heartbeat, even if he had no evidence and the judge was my mom. How can you say no to ALF? You can't, my friend, you can't.

I wonder if I'll get an email from Batman ordering me to stop selling Birds of Prey episodes or Jhonen Vasquez doing the same for Zim. Maybe I should start posting items I know are illegal, just so I can get celebrity emails coming in constantly. I'm going to post some Mr. Belvedere VCDs just so I can get some email from Bob Uecker. What? Did you think I was going to ask for emails from Mr. B himself (christopher Hewett)? He's dead, and I'm embarrassed for both of us. Uecker is alive and well, however, and seems like the kind of guy who would like to send his fans angry cease-and-desist emails.

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