American Express threatens me over joke on web site

On my rec.humor.funny web site, I maintain the newsgroup archives, including this 13 year old joke entitled American Expressway.

Today I got one of those bullying "cease and desist" letters from American Express's law firm, ordering me to take down the joke for trademark infringement. Here's the text of the cease and desist

Do these guys know who they are trying to bully? I guess not, here's my response to them:

You can "Screw More" with an American Express Lawyer

Do you know me?

I built a famous company with a famous name, and then satirists made fun of me by taking advantage of the constitutional protections afforded parody when it comes to trademark law?

That's why I retained Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd, the "American Express Lawyers." Should you ever feel your reputation lost or stolen by free speech and satire, just one call gets LVM to write a threatening cease and desist letter -- usually on the same day -- citing all sorts of important sounding laws but ignoring the realities of parody. Most innocent web sites will cave in, not knowing their rights. LVM will pretend it has never read cases like L.L. Bean, Inc. v. High Society and dozens of others. There's no preset limit on the number of people you can threaten, so you can bully as much as you wish.

After all, Being Giant and Intimidating has its Privileges.

American Express Lawyers: Don't leave your home page without them.

For more examples of such games, check out our joint project with the Berkman center to document them: Chilling Effects Clearinghouse. And yes, Mastercard pulled the same stunt several years ago.


What a joke. They state you are covered for lost baggage as long as you pay for your ticket with the amex card. Well, there are loopholes they dont tell you.

Like you have to buy a full fare ticket not offset by any frequent flyer miles in whole or in part. You would not know this until you file a claim. I was told its clearly stated in its policy AX0400.

To date, I still cannot find that policy on the net.

Total Scam.

Now I wonder if I am really covered when I rent a car and waive the insurance at the rental counter.