Seems like the legal department over at Netflix had some time on their hands. The streaming giant sent a very cutely worded cease and desist letter to a Stranger Things themed bar but is it even effective?
A Chicago bar known as “Emporium” opened up a pop-up bar called “The Upside Down” that is right from Stranger Things. You can see more of the bar below and they even play video of the show behind the dj. One little itsy bitsy thing, the bar never got permission from Netflix to completely misappropriate its intellectual property.
Not surprising the bar’s owners received a cease and desist letter. What is surprising is the letter which completely makes light of the whole situation. Seems the letter became more of a promotional tool for the bar and television show than anything. You can read it in full below.
That is cute and I’m sure a lot of time went into it but is it effective? The purpose of a cease and desist letter is to put someone on notice of claims of infringement. The purpose is twofold; first, it is an attempt to get the alleged infringer to stop what they are doing. Second, if an infringer continues to infringe after being put on notice it creates the presumption of willful infringement which may lead to a greater damage award in the future. So with the above, there is no specific notice of alleged acts of copyright and trademark infringement. In fact, those two words are not even used. Its more of a please stop letter. While its sometimes good to see such a “nice” approach taken with people who are fans of the show, if you asked the bar what they did wrong, they may not even know.
So should all cease and desist letters look like this? Heck no. They should plainly state the alleged acts of infringement, the harm it is causing, and how it should be rectified. The bar will not continue after its limited run so the letter is successful. And the skeptical part of me still believes that this was one big promotion but I digress.