Kurt is posting a new bit of flash fiction (600 words or less) every Friday until his brain falls out from the effort. This week, something light...
Second Letter From The MCHPAA
Word Count: 564
Dear Mrs. McTierney:
Thank you for your correspondence of August 3rd. We at the Music Copyright Holders Protection Agency of America (MCHPAA) do appreciate your prompt reply, however we feel that you are not taking our legal action very seriously. The tone of your letter was terse and even jovial, which I do not believe is appropriate given the possible legal, financial, and criminal implications of the matter.
Nevertheless, allow me to address your suggestions individually.
Item 1: The damages we have claimed are entirely reasonable. This is the aggregated performance royalty for the songs listed in the claim, however large it appears to be. I assure you that this is, in fact, a real number that was arrived at by serious calculations. It was not pulled out of any of our orifices.
Item 2a: The amount of the action may seem excessive when compared to the GDP’s of impoverished nations, as you demonstrated in the useful chart you enclosed, but my colleagues and I consider this comparison to be both unfair and inflammatory.
Item 2b: Per your request, we have double-checked the data in the aforementioned chart. Your figures are accurate.
Item 3: Regarding my credentials, I do have a real law degree. It was not purchased at any of the big box retailers you mentioned. It was not printed on toilet paper. Passing the bar does not involve the human rectum in any way.
Item 4: The substance of the claim is not “preposterous”. Whether or not transmission over a baby monitor constitutes “broadcast” is a matter for the courts to decide, but I believe that we have good standing. Furthermore, that this was a monitor with video means that synchronization rights are also in scope. That you installed the monitor yourself is evidence that you knew you were being broadcast. Again, this is a matter for the courts to decide, not for you to dismiss out of hand.
Item 5: It is not relevant why any employee of the MCHPAA might have accidentally witnessed the broadcast from your monitor. What’s important is that he or she took note of what songs you were singing to your infant.
Item 6: No one at the MCHPAA has those sort of feelings about infants. Any such accusation is inflammatory and unfounded.
Item 7: My mother has been dead for thirteen years and is therefore incapable of the act you suggest she perform on me.
Item 8: While our legal claims are matters of public record, we feel that posting the brief on your—or any—blog or website is in poor taste.
All of this aside, we had not anticipated the reaction to your website and how it might affect our business, our website, our employees, their families, the restaurants near our office, our email servers, our phone system, availability of dental services, the possible withholding of marital favors from our spouses, etc.
I still feel that our claim is justified, but we are willing to drop it on two conditions. First, please take down your post and encourage any of your friends or blog followers to leave us alone.
Second, in the future, when Timmy wakes up in the middle of the night, please make an effort to turn off the baby monitor, or at the very least sing something to him that is in the public domain.
Reese Delgadillo, esq.