This is the text of the cease-and-desist order I received from Spelling Entertainment's lawyer:
August 19, 1997
Re: MELROSE PLACE
Dear Mr. Hart,
It has come to our attention that you have been operating a web site which includes plot summaries of episodes of MELROSE PLACE.
Please be advised that Spelling Television Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spelling Entertainment Group Inc. (collectively "Spelling"), is the owner of all rights to the MELROSE PLACE television series (the "Property"), including without limitation all rights in the plots and characters of the Property and in the mark MELROSE PLACE. Spelling's rights in the Property are protected inter alia by the laws of copyright, trademark and unfair competition. Your summaries of MELROSE PLACE episodes constitute unauthorized derivative works of the Property. Creating and publishing such derivative works on the Worldwide Web constitutes an infringement of Spelling's copyrights in the Property and a violation of federal law.
We appreciate your interest in our television series and acknowledge that you may not have realized that your actions constitute an infringement of Spelling's rights. However, we must insist that you not include plot summaries of MELROSE PLACE episodes on the Worldwide Web. Accordingly, we request that you immediately cease creating and publishing on the Worldwide Web MELROSE PLACE plot summaries and that no later than August 29, 1997 you confirm to the undersigned your compliance with this request. Spelling will take appropriate action to protect its valuable Property against you or any third party who violates the laws of copyright, trademark and/or unfair competition.
This should not be deemed a full and complete statement of Spelling's rights, claims, or remedies at law, in equity or otherwise, in connection with this matter, all of which are expressly reserved.
Very truly yours,
Greer C. Bosworth
Sheesh! It's obvious that the person has never even seen this site or read any of the recaps. What possible threat do I pose to the Spelling millions? If they're attacking me for my commentary, they might as well as attack Soap Opera Digest or TV Guide. This site clearly falls within the safe boundaries permitted by the "fair use" doctrine.
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