It's time to put out the Popehat Signal on behalf of a threatened web site.
Today, I'm looking for pro bono help (or help at a modest rate) for the proprietor of a fansite for a band. The proprietor of the fansite has been running it for years, promoting the band and its appearances to its fans. Apparently the members of the band knew of this and were cool with it — until recently, when they hired new management, who used a Los Angeles area attorney to send a threatening cease-and-desist issue.
What band? Well, I'll give you a hint — it led to music that I hate. Okay, no seriously, a real hint: one of the members of the band has had trouble with drugs and alcohol and has had run-ins with law enforcement. OK, I can't give you hints.
Anyway, the fansite proprietor is in Boston and the threatening lawyer is in Los Angeles. It looks like a good IP matter with some fair use issues and some potentially interesting laches and waiver arguments. A good lawyer might be able to back the band's new management and new lawyer off.
If you are interested, leave a comment, or drop an email.
Thanks, as always, for those willing to stand up for free expression on the internet.
Edited to add: Attorney Paul Forsyth has stepped up to offer pro bono services to the threatened fansite. Thanks to our broken system, a chance of real justice in situations like these increasingly depends on the willingness of people like Paul to step up. Paul has my sincere thanks and admiration. It would still be great to find appropriate counsel in California and/or Massachusetts as well, in case the matter winds up in litigation.