Assignment #3 -- Form of Response
Ms. Laura Lawyer, Esq.
Dear Ms. Lawyer:
I have been retained as counsel by Clint Billton, the Chairman of the Philadelphia City
Council, regarding a matter in which your company is directly involved.
It appears that one of your subscribers -- identified by the online name "Monster" -- has
been utilizing your service to publish false and defamatory comments about Mr. Billton over the
Internet. [More detail here -- describe Usenet and Web postings -- attach copies of Monster's
These comments constitute defamation of the most scurrilous variety, and Mr. Billton has
retained me to investigate the possibility of legal action. While we have not determined our
ultimate course of action, we do request, by this letter, that Bignet immediately take the following
steps: (1) terminate the account of "Monster"; (2) delete all of "Monster's" web pages hosted on
the Bignet system that contain any references to Mr. Billton; and (3) provide us with "Monster's"
name and address in order that we may proceed to contact him/her.
In our opinion, these steps are the least one would expect of a responsible Internet Service
Provider, and all are, we believe, well within your rights. [Something on contractual obligations of
Bignet to Monster? ECPA and the obligation to maintain some records in confidence?]
Indeed, we believe that you may be legally obligated to take these steps. [How far can we
push this argument? Whether or not you were aware of any of "Monster's" activity prior to
receipt of this letter, having notice of these unlawful acts requires you to act promptly and
expeditiously to purge your system of these postings. [Does defamation law require them to do
this? Any way to get around Zeran? Can we argue that their liability will be reduced, at least, if
they do what we ask them to do?]
As you can certainly understand, time is of the essence. Please call me as soon as possible so that we may discuss this matter.