July 26, 2004
Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Attention: Kimberly B. Herman
This letter is in response to the cease and desist letter you've sent I and other website operators regarding "Operation LoJack." I am the author of Operation LoJack, the material with which your client takes issue.
I would like to start by clearing up a few misconceptions you may have about what Operation LoJack is and isn't, and about the nature of the website/domain toadlife.net.
Toadlife.net is my personal website, which I launched in 2002 to host my personal projects and share them with others. Toadlife.net does not serve, nor has it ever served as a platform for any type of commerce.
Contrary to what your letter claims, Operation LoJack is not a "tactical computer game." It is an add-on to the PC game, Operation Flashpoint, which is a military simulator. The file available from my site is useless without this game. Operation LoJack is nothing more than an interactive fictional story which is driven by scripts, where the player of the game is the lead character in the story. Players of the game refer to these add-ons as "missions."
Operation LoJack is about a soldier who is taken hostage while carrying an "experimental tracking device." The player of the game must find the hostage using this device.
The full text from inside the mission's "briefing" is located on my website at the following link:
The relevant parts of from this briefing are printed on the next page:
Summary of the story (taken directly from the mission's briefing):
"Sergeant Richard Moore disappeared three nights ago
from one of the last outposts in
Reconnaissance teams have reported picking up his signal on the Southern end of the island, but they were too far away to get a precise location.
We need your squad to find him and bring him back. You will be inserted via Helicopter . Intelligence reports light or no activity in the vicinity of the landing zone, though you will be flying over the only known militant on the island."
Section of Briefing that pertains to the "tracking device":
Regarding the use of the
tracking device to locate your hostage: The device is very easy to use. Use the radio interface
to turn the device on and off. The device should emit a beeping sound. The pace
of the beep will increase as you point more towards the target and the pitch of
the beep will increase as you get closer to the target. When pointing directly
at the target, the beep should sound almost constant.
Good luck sir."
Using the game's internal programing language the mission emulates the aforementioned "tracking device," which allows the player to find the hostage and complete the mission.
In the game this briefing appears in a book form for the player before he/she begins the mission.
I would like to make a few observations regarding Operation LoJack and your assertion that I am violating your client's trademark.
At this time, I am not compelled to comply with your demand
to remove Operation LoJack from my website. Your
letter is based upon a false assumption about what the disputed content is, and
given the true nature of the content, I do not see any
compelling evidence that Operation LoJack violates
If you or your client can offer any further reason for me to remove the content, or if you or your client can offer any other remedies to this situation, please let me know.