In desperation at the growing crisis, not wanting to consider stepping aside, unwilling to explain
the growing number of allegations, wishing to silence any and all opposition, and resistant to the idea of
apologizing for his many alleged lies, Danny Shelton secured a cease and desist letter from a Minneapolis law
firm. This letter was sent to Gailon Arthur Joy on January 30, 2007.
Why a Minneapolis law firm when D. Michael Riva of West Frankfort is usually the one who handles such things?
Perhaps Gailon Joy is not quite as bumbling and fumbling as Danny Shelton would have us believe, and thus Danny
has to resort to a firm with greater expertise.
Yet the fact that the law firm was out of Minneapolis and has been used in the past by Garwin McNeilus,
a long-time supporter of 3ABN, is troubling. We trust that McNeilus is not involved in any way in the
cover up of the various allegations of the Danny Shelton Corruption Scandal.
One thing that is definitely certain is that the cease and desist
letter below makes no threat whatsoever of litigation, suggesting that there
probably is no legal basis for its demands.
Comments will follow.
"Cease & Desist!"
SIEGEL, BRILL, GREUPNER, DUFFY & FOSTER, P.A.
1300 WASHINGTON SQUARE
100 WASHINGTON AVENUE SOUTH
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA 55401
JOSIAH E BRILL, JR
JAMES R GREUPNER
GERALD S DUFFY
WOOD R FOSTER, JR
THOMAS H GOODMAN
JOHN S WATSON
WM CHRISTOPHER PENWELL
ANTHONY J GLEEKEL
SHERRI L ROHLF
JORDAN M LEWIS*
BRIAN E WEISBERG
STEVEN J WEINTRAUT
M GREGORY SIMPSON
JAMES A YAROSH
MICHAEL J VIOLA
JERRIE M HAYES
KRISTIN L KINGSBURY
Gailon Arthur Joy 3 Clinton Road Box 1425 Sterling, MA 01564
VIA E-MAIL -
Gabbjoy@comcast.net and CERTIFIED / RETURN RECEIPT U.S. MAIL
Gailon Arthur Joy 24 Clinton Road Sterling, MA 01564
CERTIFIED / RETURN RECEIPT U.S. MAIL
NOTICE: This letter Constitutes a
confidential legal communication, which is not for publication. The
contents of this communication are subject to common law copyright and
may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or media,
without the express, written permission of the author.
Gailon Arthur Joy:
This law firm represents Mr. Danny Shelton and the Three Angels
Broadcasting Network, Inc. ("3ABN"), which has informed us that you are
involved in the use and exploitation of 3ABN's trademarked, copyrighted
name in your website, "www.save3abn.com." Use of 3ABN's
our client's license or other authorization to do so constitutes an
illegal misappropriation of the same, in violation of state and federal
copyright and trademark laws. Additionally, use of the phrase "3ABN" in
your domain name is likely to cause confusion among the public as to
sponsorship or affiliation of your website, resulting in dilution of
3ABN's trademark, which is a separate and additional violation of
It has also come to our attention that you have inappropriately copied
and posted a lengthy excerpt from a 3ABN broadcast on the website
referred to above. This action constitutes a violation of 3ABN's
exclusive copyright on all audio and video productions created by the
Network and on all television transmissions of the same, and is a
blatant violation of federal law. Moreover, the presence of this
excerpted broadcast serves to heighten the likelihood that the public
will be confused into believing that your website is somehow sponsored
by or affiliated with 3ABN, which only furthers 3ABN's claim of
Finally, we have been informed that you have maliciously published
outrageous, highly damaging and defamatory statements about both Danny
Shelton and 3ABN on this same website. These despicable statements
include, but are not limited to:
3ABN, through its board chairman has "admitted in writing that Danny [Shelton] had been involved in a cover up" of criminal conduct
Danny Shelton knowingly lied regarding a feud between Tommy Shelton and Glenn Dryden
3ABN directed an attorney to use "intimidation tactics to cover up allegations of child molestation"
Danny Shelton attempted to cover up and silence child molestation allegations
Danny Shelton "abuses his power" and "steam roll[s] over alleged victims of his brother Tommy's sexual misconduct."
(hereinafter the "Statements").
The obvious meaning of these horrendous falsehoods is that Danny
Shelton and 3ABN participated in an orchestrated effort to cover up
alleged criminal conduct. The actions you falsely attribute to our
clients would be a crime and, as I am sure you are aware, false
accusations of criminal conduct constitute defamation per se by
Therefore, on behalf of Three Angels Broadcasting Network and Mr. Danny
Shelton, we hereby demand that you immediately cease and desist from
the use of the domain name "save3ABN.com" and that you voluntarily
surrender and transfer registration of the domain to 3ABN. You are also
informed and hereby notified that you are not authorized to use and
are, in fact, expressly prohibited from using, Three Angel [sic.]
Broadcasting Network's name, or its trademarked nominer "3ABN" in any
future website domain name or URL.
We hereby also demand that you immediately remove, from any and all
websites to which you have author access, including "www.save3abn.com,"
any recorded excerpts of any 3ABN broadcasts.
We also hereby demand that you immediately cease and desist from the
publication of false statements concerning Danny Shelton and 3ABN and
that you immediately remove such statements from the "www.save3abn.com"
website. In the event that you receive any inquiries from any person or
entity about the Statements, we demand you notify the inquiring party
that you have been put on notice by Danny Shelton and 3ABN that the
statements are false and defamatory.
While 3ABN is in no manner whatsoever beholden to explain itself to
you, we proudly withstand the ongoing judgment of God and the
continuing examination by our supporters and viewers. As evidenced both
by the continued paths of ministry that God has opened at our feet and
by the unwavering financial support and testimonials we receive from
our supporters and viewers, we believe our ministry has more than
satisfied the surveillance of both. Though it is a private enterprise,
3ABN has, for over 22 years, proudly engaged itself as a thoroughly
transparent ministry, both in its message and administration. 3ABN has
always invited the theological, operational, and financial scrutiny of
its loyal and generous supporters and viewers. Unless constrained by
legal obligations otherwise, 3ABN has provided financial and
administrative information to inquiring parties and has opened its
doors and offered access to independent auditors and investigative
reporters. More than ever, we stand behind the legal propriety, moral
correctness, intellectual honesty, financial soundness, and operational
appropriateness of each and every business decision 3ABN has ever made.
As part of its commitment to passionately and effectively spread the
Gospel and Good News of the Lord, 3ABN has always welcomed honest
feedback, constructive criticism, and suggestions for improvement of
the ministry. But its Christian commitment to the Truth will not allow
3ABN to tolerate factually unfounded allegations of impropriety,
baseless and prurient gossip, inflammatory innuendo, and unjustified
attacks on the organization. 3ABN does not approach such assaults as an
objective effort to unmask "truth," but as the divisive and destructive
work of the Enemy designed to hinder and frustrate God's work. 3ABN
will not quietly resign itself to any effort to obstruct God's
Your reckless, willful and malicious activity must cease immediately;
you proceed at your own peril. Moreover, your compliance with the
demands contained in this letter does not constitute a waiver,
relinquishment or abandonment of any right to remedy or enforcement,
either legal or equitable, to which our clients are otherwise entitled.
Yours very truly,
Gerald S. Duffy
Common Law Copyright
Duffy seeks to prohibit the publication of his letter through the invoking of "common law copyright."
Besides giving credence to the accusation that there is a cover up going on, his invoking of
common law copyright is really the invoking of a "legal doctrine" that was "repudiated" by the United States in
Common law copyright is the legal doctrine which contends that
copyright is a natural right and creators are therefore entitled
to the same protections anyone would be in regard to tangible
and real property. The doctrine was repudiated by the courts
in the United Kingdom (Donaldson v. Beckett, 1784) and the United
States (Wheaton v. Peters, 1834). ("Common
3ABN's Trademarked Name Used in Domain Name
"Confusion ... As to the Source, Sponsorship or Affiliation of Your Website"
On February 7, 2003, a rather famous case as far as the internet is concerned was decided by the U.S. Sixth
Circuit Court of Appeals, The Taubman
Company v. Webfeats, et al. Here is a quote from that Appeals Court decision which directly addresses
one of Duffy's stated concerns:
"Under Lanham Act jurisprudence, it is irrelevant whether customers
would be confused as to the origin of the websites, unless there
is confusion as to the origin of the respective products."
The questions is, which holds sway? First Amendment free speech rights or the Lanham Act
which governs trademark issues in the U.S.? The Court quoted the following from the Lanham Act:
Any person who shall, without the consent of the registrant
a) use in commerce any reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable
imitation of a registered mark in connection with the sale, offering
for sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or services
on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion,
or to cause mistake, or to deceive . . . .
The court then noted:
If the use of the trademark is not commercial speech, then the Lanham Act does not apply.
The Lanham Act has jurisdiction if there is advertising
on the site, such as links that go to commercial sites.
The Lanham Act applies if there has been a habit of reselling
at high prices domain names that contain trademarks.
The presence of a disclaimer and the use of "sucks" in the domain name
reduces the likelihood of confusion.
Even if a website is intended to cause economic harm, it
must also create confusion as to the origin of respective goods.
The defendant in the case was not peddling competing goods.
There is no advertising on this website, and we are not selling anything.
We do not buy such domain names and sell them at a high profit margin.
There is a disclaimer on our home page, and the domain name is prefixed
by the word "Save."
This site is not intended to cause economic harm, and everyone can plainly see that we are not 3ABN.
Is the "Save" Really Necessary in Save3ABN.com?
On April 4, 2005, a decision by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of
Bosley Medical v. Michael Steven Kremer was filed. We quote from that opinion:
Defendant Michael Kremer was dissatisfied with the hair
restoration services provided to him by the Bosley Medical
Institute, Inc. In a bald-faced effort to get even, Kremer
started a website at www.BosleyMedical.com, which, to put
it mildly, was uncomplimentary of the Bosley Medical Institute.
The problem is that "Bosley Medical" is the registered
trademark of the Bosley Medical Institute, Inc., which
brought suit against Kremer for trademark infringement and
like claims. Kremer argues that noncommercial use of the
mark is not actionable as infringement under the Lanham Act.
Bosley responds that Kremer is splitting hairs.
Like the district court, we agree with Kremer. We hold
today that the noncommercial use of a trademark as the
domain name of a website — the subject of which is consumer
commentary about the products and services represented
by the mark — does not constitute infringement under
the Lanham Act. (Bosley
Medical v. Michael Steven Kremer)
Perhaps, our domain name wouldn't even have to be prefixed
with the word "Save," and it would still be all right.
Excerpts of Broadcasts Posted on Website
Duffy's assertions conflict with 3ABN's own, posted copyright notice:
Copyright Statement and Acceptable Use Policy
Except where otherwise noted, all content within the domain
of www.3abn.org is owned by and under the copyright of Three
Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc. (3ABN).
Use of any content on this site — including use of online
media, logos, graphics, names, or information — to impersonate
3ABN or act as an unauthorized representative of 3ABN is prohibited.
Use of the 3ABN logo without express permission from 3ABN is
prohibited. Any slanderous, obscene, or immoral use of any content
on this site is prohibited.
3ABN permits the not-for-profit recording and distribution
of television and radio programs produced by 3ABN, provided such
distribution meets the criteria specified in the preceding paragraph.
(However, not all programs aired on 3ABN are produced by 3ABN;
some programs produced by other organizations may be protected
by additional copyright restrictions.)
(http://www.3abn.org/copyright.cfm, accessed Feb. 4, 2007)
The only possibility for problems appears to be if the
posted video itself
is "slanderous." But then, why would 3ABN broadcast programs that are slanderous?
The Judgment of God
Duffy wrote, "... we proudly withstand the ongoing judgment of God
and the continuing examination by our supporters and viewers." Doesn't "withstand" mean to
"defy" or "resist"? Did Duffy really want to say a thing like that?