Lawyers representing Wal-Mart have used a cease and desist order (PDF of it) to force a website ran by a Carnegie Mellon University student offline. The website, created by Daniel Papasian, parodied The Wal-Mart Foundation, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart that promotes community development.
The website was a project for a class called “Parasitic Media” that encourages students to participate in political criticism through the tactical use of satire in the media. Other projects created in the class include 700-club, which announces the online sale of indulgences for Catholics.
“The site was a form of ‘identity correction,’ in which I used a parody to highlight real problems with companies like Wal-Mart. My site was designed to get people thinking about the consequences of importing goods from countries with poor labor laws, the environmental effects of big-box stores, and whether Wal-Mart is as benign as some would like us to believe,” the student said.
Papasian plans on documenting his experience and making it available on his site, walmart-foundation.
More in the Press Release (PDF).