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Defamation Cease and Desist letter

Defamation Cease and Desist letter

How effective should a defamation cease and desist letter be when your aim is to have online defamation removed from a web page, a blog or a forum?

Clearly, if the recipient of the cease and desist letter is based in the UK, chances are that a strongly worded solicitor’s letter would be highly effective in facilitating the removal of online defamation. But would you naturally expect the same result if the recipient of your letter was located in the USA or anywhere else outside the jurisdiction of the English courts? Probably not. 

Interestingly, as the majority of the cease and desist letters that our clients instruct us to send are addressed to individuals and organisations that are located in the USA, we have recently noticed that positive results for our clients often relate to the type of language and the style of the cease and desist letter. Of course, if the sole purpose of the cease and desist letter is to notify the recipient of your intention to commence legal proceedings, then a straightforward, dry letter will probably do, provided it complies with all the pre-action protocol requirements.

However, if your real intention is to persuade an individual outside the UK to remove defamatory comments about you from a website, you will probably have a better opportunity to achieve your goal with a writing style that is designed to achieve compliance with the removal of the defamatory web page through action driving emotions other than fear. The most successful cease and desist letters that our lawyers at the Internet Law Centre write to recipients outside the UK, are focused on telling a story rather than on making threats.

The real story of a victim of internet defamation is often touching, sad and emotionally charged so when we set it out in a cease and desist letter our clients tend to receive a sympathetic response, which often follows by positive action. So what does this teach us? Perhaps that to come closer to achieving your goal, to remove defamation from a website that is located in an unfamiliar, foreign jurisdiction you would want first to pay attention to the local laws and to the culture and personal convictions of the individuals that you are addressing.

The reality is that threatening legal letters from overseas lawyers do not normally go down very well in the USA and their authors are often perceived as arrogant. At the same time, requests for the removal of defamatory web pages that are based on the true, personal story of the “little man” tend to receive a great deal of sympathy which will often be followed by positive action.

Our responsible approach to online defamation matters helps you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. You can call us FREE today on 0800 612 7211 for the best advice on writing a cease and desist letter.

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Chilling Effects and Cease and Desist letters


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