Mastercard Email (Re:Nader lawsuit (fwd)

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Fri Aug 18 06:11:52 PDT 2000

Got this response from Mastercard on my complaint about the MasterCard lawsuit against Nader.

Note the direct email customerservice at

-- Nathan Newman

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 21:10:41 -0500 From: customerservice at

MasterCard has reluctantly filed a lawsuit against Ralph Nader and his presidential campaign committee, seeking to stop them from running a promotional ad misappropriating MasterCard?s award-winning 'Priceless' campaign. The lawsuit was filed only after repeated requests to the campaign committee to stop running the ads proved unsatisfactory

The ad, which has been running on national television, clearly violated MasterCard?s copyrights and trademarks, and may mislead viewers into believing that MasterCard is endorsing Mr. Nader?s campaign. MasterCard does not endorse political candidates.

The success of the ?Priceless? campaign demands that we protect it from those who attempt to use it for their own promotional purposes, without our permission. This is not a commentary on Mr. Nader?s candidacy and we fully appreciate Mr. Nader?s desire to promote his views.

It?s important to note the difference between spoofing an advertising campaign and copying one. Spoofs are non-promotional and non-commercial, such as those that have been done on Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. We have never objected to these spoofs since they are not done for promotional purposes, but for the sake of humor.


MasterCard International Customer Service Center


Your Original Message Was:

Dear Mastercard,

I am appalled at your attempt to squash fair use rights of parody by the Nader campaign through your litigation.

I intend to tear up my Mastercards and stick with Visa from now on if you don't end this litigation.


Nathan Newman

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