I made this weird little puffball creature with the ‘googly’ eyes when I was about 8 years old. I wrote his name in pencil on a small scrap of newspaper and placed it inside his house: a plastic box covered in red-and-green wool. Since I can now prove prior use, does this mean I can send a cease and desist letter to Google?
It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of my copyrighted work entitled Google (the “Work”) in the preparation of a work derived therefrom. I have reserved all rights in the Work, first published in 1980. Your work entitled Google is essentially identical to the Work and clearly used the Work as its basis. For instance, your work contains a fuzzy brown creature, googley eyes, white puffball ears, and even a red nose. Clearly this is more than a coincidence.
As you neither asked for nor received permission to use the Work as the basis for Google nor to make or distribute copies, including electronic copies, of same, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $1,000,000,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein.
I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the Work, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to me, if applicable, all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future. If I have not received an affirmative response from you by January 1, 2007 indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall take further action against you.
Very truly yours,