As of the date of this letter, the homepage of Fightlinker.com has been styled “Shitdog” and designed to exactly resemble the homepage of Sherdog.com, all in violation of the Sherdog Marks. The mark SHITDOG is spelled and pronounced confusingly similarly to the mark SHERDOG. This confusion is compounded by the use of a dog logo that is virtually identical to the dog logo that is a part of the Sherdog Marks. Finally, the page layout and color scheme of Fightlinker.com is virtually identical to Sherdog.com. Taken in their totality, these and other features demonstrate clearly that Fightlinker.com was designed by you to intentionally trade on the goodwill of Sherdog.com by using marks that are confusingly similar to the Sherdog Marks.
We put a decent amount of work into our Shitdog parody, but Sherdog took it several steps further: they PAID a lawyer to put together this prank! For them to put that much time and effort into this makes us here at Fightlinker feel truly appreciated – we pranked Sherdog good, and they pranked us right back in epic fashion. Well done!
The basis of any good prank or parody is that you try to make the joke as realistic as possible, and Sherdog achieved this with a full 3 page letter from their legal counsel at Crave. We’ve already seen what one of these looks like before, and it appears pretty legitimate to the untrained eye. Fortunately for us, we have a pretty intimate understanding of the legal concepts known as fair use and parody so by the end of page one we realized that our leg was being pulled.
Again, my hat is off to Sherdog for putting so much effort into this. I’m glad their lawyer had enough of a sense of humor to play along too. Most decent legal eagles would not be willing to attach their name to such a frivolous and baseless document – I mean what would happen if people actually thought this was real???
*UPDATE* April 16th, 2009: The peeps at Sherdog were in touch earlier today and we sorted out the entire April Fool’s prank thing. No one shall be getting sued, everyone walked away feeling much better about eachother, and this will be the last time we bring up that whole situation. We’ve also taken down the cease and desist, but don’t be too sad. It will live on forever in our hearts.