Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

Book cover subject of 'world's most polite cease and desist letter'

26th July 2012

Author Patrick Wensink has received what he believes is the world's most polite cease and desist letter from Jack Daniel's, after his latest novel was published with a cover suspiciously similar to the label of the whisky maker.

The cover of Wensink's new book Broken Piano for President is stylised with white writing on a black background and features the same elaborate borders and central emblem as a Jack Daniel's label, down to the '40% ALC. BY VOL' standard, though '80 PROOF' is replaced with 'A NOVEL'.

The author's name and book title also replace the traditional Jack Daniel's logo and content information, in what Wensink believed was an effective parody of the label, before the possible legal ramifications were brought to his attention.

A caution was sent by lawyers representing the Tennessee-based distillery to Wensink, who resides just a couple of miles away from the manufacturer's Lynchburg headquarters in Louisville.

However, rather than adopting a hard-nosed approach, the correspondence was - in the author's opinion - 'the world's most polite cease and desist letter'.

It begins by thanking Wensink for bringing attention to the brand and acknowledging his affection for the tipple, before highlighting that the company's intellectual property had, in this case, been infringed.

The letter continues: 'Because you are a Louisville neighbour and a fan of the brand, we simply request that you change the cover design when the book is reprinted.

'If you would be willing to change the design sooner than that (including on the digital version) we would be willing to contribute a reasonable amount towards the cost of doing so.'

Wensink said he was taken aback by the 'warm and kind' tone of the letter and revealed he will be changing the cover of future editions of the book - but will not take up the company's offer of paying for the costs associated with doing so.

'We thought this was a parody of their logo and never realised that it was copyright infringement and never intended for something like this to happen,' the author explained.

'We wrote back and said we would absolutely change the cover and told them please not to bother giving us any money.'

David Gooder, chief trademark counsel at Jack Daniel's Properties Inc, said a gentler approach is often favoured in such circumstances as 'there is no point using a sledgehammer to crack a nut'.

Latest Blog
The Lost City of Z and other Explorers' Tales
23/03/2017

As the film is released of The Lost City of Z, we take a look at other Explorers' Tales. Plus, see some footage from the film intercut with readings by Charlie Hunnam from The Lost City of Z.

Sally Emerson Relives Her Life
21/03/2017

Are the novels Fire Child and Heat still shocking? They certainly are, says their author Sally Emerson, six of whose novels are being republished this year.

How Eating Well can lead to Living Better
20/03/2017

Myles Hopper describes how and why the pair became preoccupied with healthy eating.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd