What Is a Cease & Desist Letter?

A Cease & Desist Letter is often times the first step to asking an individual, or a business, to stop an illegal activity. The purpose of the letter is to threaten further legal action if the behavior does not stop.

When to Send a Cease & Desist Letter? Specific Cease & Desist Templates

A Cease & Desist Letter may need to be sent in a number of circumstances including:

Minnesota Attorney Aaron Hall on Cease & Desist Letters

Copyright Cease & Desist Letter Template

The following is a Cease and Desist Letter template for those who are looking for a sample form to use as an example. This Cease and Desist Letter is solely for use with copyright infringement (it could be modified for other purposes), and is from the perspective of a Minneapolis attorney writing on behalf of a client whose copyrighted works were being infringed.

Warning: You should not use this Cease and Desist Letter without consulting first with an attorney to ensure that it complies with the law in your jurisdiction. Also, Cease and Desist Letters are best sent by attorneys because they carry more weight when a lawyer writes a letter threatening legal action if someone doesn’t cease and desist illegal conduct.

Note: A cease and desist letter is the first of many consequences that may arise from infringing on someone else’s copyright.

Cease and Desist

Free Download:

→ CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD cease-and-desist-demand.doc

Here is the copyright infringement Cease and Desist Letter sample template form:

Pursuant to Title 17 of the United States Code

February 20, 2011

John Doe
2812 Anthony Lane South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418

Dear Mr. Doe:

This law firm represents [CLIENT NAME]. If you are represented by legal counsel, please direct this letter to your attorney immediately and have your attorney notify us of such representation.

We are writing to notify you that your unlawful copying of [CLIENT’S COPYRIGHTED WORK] infringes upon our client’s exclusive copyrights.  Accordingly, you are hereby directed to


[CLIENT NAME] is the owner of a copyright in various aspects of [CLIENT’S COPYRIGHTED WORK].  Under United States copyright law, [CLIENT NAME]’s copyrights have been in effect since the date that [CLIENT’S COPYRIGHTED WORK] was created.  All copyrightable aspects of [CLIENT’S COPYRIGHTED WORK] are copyrighted under United States copyright law.

It has come to our attention that you have been copying [CLIENT’S COPYRIGHTED WORK].  We have copies of your unlawful copies to preserve as evidence. Your actions constitute copyright infringement in violation of United States copyright laws.  Under 17 U.S.C. 504, the consequences of copyright infringement include statutory damages of between $750 and $30,000 per work, at the discretion of the court, and damages of up to $150,000 per work for willful infringement.  If you continue to engage in copyright infringement after receiving this letter, your actions will be evidence of “willful infringement.”

We demand that you immediately (A) cease and desist your unlawful copying of [CLIENT’S COPYRIGHTED WORK] and (B) provide us with prompt written assurance within ten (10) days that you will cease and desist from further infringement of [CLIENT]’s copyrighted works.

If you do not comply with this cease and desist demand within this time period, [CLIENT] is entitled to use your failure to comply as evidence of “willful infringement” and seek monetary damages and equitable relief for your copyright infringement. In the event you fail to meet this demand, please be advised that [CLIENT] has asked us to communicate to you that it will contemplate pursuing all available legal remedies, including seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and an order that you pay court costs and attorney’s fees.  Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.

Before taking these steps, however, my client wished to give you one opportunity to discontinue your illegal conduct by complying with this demand within ten (10) days.  Accordingly, please sign and return the attached Agreement within ten (10) days to


If you or your attorney have any questions, please contact me directly.



Attached page:

Copyright Infringement Settlement Agreement

I, ___________________, agree to immediately cease and desist copying [CLIENT’S COPYRIGHTED WORK] in exchange for [CLIENT] releasing any and all claims against me for copyright infringement.  In the event this agreement is breached by me, [CLIENT] will be entitled to costs and attorney’s fees in any action brought to enforce this agreement and shall be free to pursue all rights that [CLIENT] had as of the date of this letter as if this letter had never been signed.



Leave a Public Comment

  • barb
    September 10, 2014, 7:48 am

    Recently I had someone download a private sensitive message via fb. They have in turn sent a copy through email and handed out to others. He is trying to slander, discredit, etc… myself and my family. Neither I and the other person gave any sort of permission. They continue trying to do this.

  • free chat
    August 8, 2014, 3:52 pm

    I was recommended this website through my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written through him as nobody else understand such special about my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  • stan
    April 22, 2014, 12:55 am

    I woud appreciate it if you would make suggestions regarding a demand letter I am sending..I have left out the names of who this email is going too. Please be so kind to respond to my email address.


    It has been several weeks now since you promised to get back to me regarding the large loss of investment I incurred auto-trading your stock options/spread trades.

    To summarize, one of the main promises agreed to between myself and Jonathan Roberts was in how my money would be invested, knowing and understanding about the importance of the preservation of these funds due to the fact that the funds would be needed for any future medical costs that will be incurred since the set aside funds were for the purpose of paying for any future medical costs pertaining to specific injuries sustained until all funds are exausted.

    My first call was to name deleted and I informed him as to the reason for my investment and what the money was to be used for. He then said he would first speak to Mr name deleted who would be doing the actual trading to let him know about my situation before agreeing to accept and agree to auto-trade my money.

    During my conversations with name deleted, I was told that the most I could lose would be 800.00 per weekly trade and that he would try to make me a profit of 200.00 per weekly trade, a loss to win ratio of 4 to 1 which I assumed was reasonable in light of his past claimed track record. When I showed concerned at losing 800.00 and for each 800.00 losses it would take me 4 months to get back the money I lost and put me at break even.. he assured me that this rarely happens

    He said he never allows a trade to get out of hand and would rather take a small loss and move on to the next trade.

    When Mr name deleted heard my concern about preservation of capital, he said to me that I should feel confident because he had not had a loss in over 20 trades and only 3 losses in total over a two or three year period. ..He assured me that safeguards were in place to protect against large losses.

    After I questioned Mr name deleted about the first loss of about 1,000.00, he assured me not to worry and to show patience. My account was down from 34,565.00 to 33,366.00 .
    On Sunday I again checked my account balance and I could not believe my eyes since it showed my account balance was now down to 28,622.00..

    In closing, your mismanagement of my money was due to carelessness and recklessness and the claim that you had safeguards in place to protect against large losses were obviously not true.
    You cannot expect me to take this loss without a fight nor do I intend to do so.

    I am now demanding that you refund me all or most of the money that you lost in my auto trade account and If I do not get a satisfactory and immediate response to this email than I will be forced to take the necessary action required to try to get back the money I lost..

    Should you choose to ignore my demand than I will let you know how I intend to proceed..


  • Troy
    April 1, 2014, 5:35 pm

    I do not Get IT.

    Is the art of law just writing letters, filing briefs, and court stuff? Is that kind of like medicine where a doctor makes an educated guess, fuck’s things up, and keeps billing the client until the IRS seizes their assets or they die? Where does money come from?

    Thank you on behalf of my federal treasury agent associates.

  • Anonymous T
    March 14, 2014, 11:56 am

    I recently filed a FLSA / Wrongful termination lawsuit against my former employer. The case has settled but in the last few days I was informed my former employers spouse is telling people that I am harassing my ex employer and laying blame for financial difficulty and health problems due to the stress of the legal implications of their actions on me. I have done no such things that would be considered harassment and stayed within legal channels for a solution to the situation. How can I stop them from ruining my professional name with such lies?

  • Sherre Nightingalr
    January 2, 2014, 5:00 am

    I am currently an auto sales women,
    My former dealership has been sending letters to my clients with regards to lease experiation, well wishes, thank you for your continued business. Etc .
    The letters are being signed with my name In Pen.This is causing confusion for my clients, as most are aware Thea I had moved dealerships, and I wonder how many scheduled to go in, only to be told, I was no longer there. My name is used for their gain.
    How do I. handle this please. I have left 9 months ago and one client just got his and called me to ask if I had gone back? Recommendation please, and thank you.

  • Ian
    December 6, 2013, 10:43 pm


    A friend of mine received Cease & Desist letter from facebook, they demanded to shutdown the sites on which he was selling automation software (bots) and refered as it may violate facebook and computer fruad and abuse act, california comprehensive data access and fruad act and also united states lanham act.

    They demanded to respond in 48 hours, confirming that he

    has preserved and will continue to preserve in the future all information related to Your sale of software related to Facebook or Instagram;

    has stopped and will not in the future sell or offer to sell any software code designed to access or interact with the Facebook and Instagram websites and/or services;

    has shut down all websites You operate that are used to sell Facebook or Instagram related software, and have removed all advertisements or postings on external websites advertising or describing your Facebook or Instagram services;

    has stopped and will not in the future access Facebook’s or Instagram’s website(s) and/or services for any reason whatsoever;

    has stopped and will not in the future sell or offer to sell Facebook fans, likes, tags, subscribers, friends, or accounts, or offer any other services connected to Facebook through any means, including but not limited to http://www.xxx.com, and http://www.yyy.com;

    has stopped and will not in the future sell or offer to sell Instagram followers, comments, likes, or any other services connected to Instagram through any means, including but not limited to http://www.xxx.com, and http://www.yyy.com;

    has removed all references to Facebook and Instagram from any and all websites that you own or have the ability to control, including to http://www.xxx.com, and http://www.yyy.com;

    will account for and disgorge any and all revenue earned from Your unauthorized marketing activities to Facebook and Instagram users; and

    will strictly comply with Facebook’s and Instagram’s terms of service.

    Along with this they also demanded

    A complete list of any and all Facebook and Instagram accounts You have created, developed, maintained or controlled;

    A complete list of domain names that You own, maintain or control;

    A complete accounting of each and every customer who purchased your software, or any other Facebook or Instagram services, including an accounting of all compensation or revenue received by You, and the URLs for each profile and/or Page for which You rendered those services; and

    A copy of each and every version of any software code You have developed or used to interact with the Facebook and Instagram websites and/or services.

    He is a non-US resident, and is willing to comply with this. So could you please give some light on how he should reply to this letter and what steps he should take to comply and get everything sorted without being in trouble?


  • N/A
    August 23, 2013, 4:28 am

    Someone in the family wrote about 20 posts on facebook allslandering me and my character. Very bad. My family could see all the lies this person decided to write about me. They claim it is private but not to all of their friends. Someone sent me copies of them. It is really bad. Can you tell me what are California laws on this? What can i sew them with and how would they put a dollar amount on this. I feel so violated.

  • Thompson Hall
    May 28, 2013, 5:43 pm


    We’ve corrected the download link and apologize for any inconvenience.

  • Larry W. Brown
    May 27, 2013, 6:19 pm

    Hi – I cannot access the copyright-cease-desist-letter.doc, get this page error: You 404’d it. Gnarly, dude.

  • Amber
    May 25, 2013, 4:51 am

    Aaron – I have emailed you about sending a C&D letter. Thanks!

  • Thompson Hall
    March 25, 2013, 5:39 pm
  • Anonymous client
    February 26, 2013, 10:44 pm

    I am now in MN but was in NJ as a public school teacher from 2007 to 2012. I recently found out from an investigation that a law firm conducted that my previous employer was not giving me a good reference for potential employers. Some things on the report speak of my mental and physical health, make purposely untrue statements about me and basically will turn off any potential employers from giving me a job. I want to go further than cease/desist. Can I sue them?

  • Camille
    February 14, 2013, 8:51 pm

    Hi, a company called BMG Music Services claim to have sent to my home address a form to purchase 12 CDs for $2.50 back in 2006. I have no record of doing such and at that time I was 16 years old, a minor. Now a company called Takhar Collection Group is harassing me and calling me, threatening me for this BMG company and I did not order the CD. All Takhar Group can tell me is my first and last name and my home address, which have not lived in for 5 years. My question is this, when I write my Cease and Desist letter to BMG, can I state that I was a minor therefore this should not apply to me? What do I need to state so that these harassing calls can stop and this so called debt that I have no record of be stopped. Thank you!

  • Aaron D. Hall
    February 12, 2013, 1:25 pm

    Jamess, the scenario you presented appears to be a good case of copyright infringement. I recommend you consult with a copyright attorney in your state.

    Aaron Hall

  • jamess stryganek
    February 12, 2013, 1:49 am

    Hello. I hand-drew/created an original logo for a band that they immediately approved( without input or changes) and printed on merchandise, promo items, their website, posters/flyers for shows and social networking sites, drum kit, album artwork, animated version of the logo, and stage props, etc. When I asked about getting paid for it and a cut of the profits or the merchandise that bore my logo, they immediately cut off all ties with me and then asked the graphic designer that turned my drawing into a digital vectored image( for all the applications above) to sign an invoice stating that he signs over all rights to the logo and its usage AND to date the invoice back to Jan 2012, when I had originally drawn the logo. The designer refused to do that as he stated, he did not create the image and owns no rights to it and only I do. Since cutting ties, the band has also started using a rough draft of my logo the designer did for me when turning it into a vectored image. When this digital image was created, the designer only corresponded with me on the look and outcome of it and never paid him to do as he is a friend and did it for free as a favor to me. The band has been changing the color of the image and states that it is now “theirs” since its ” different” than what I did. I still have the original drawing I did as well as emails from the band asking for the deceptive invoice for it.

    Am I crazy or is this a valid case to peruse? Any advice would sure help. I live in Orlando Florida, if it matters. Hope I have given you enough info. Thanks in advance!!!


  • Aaron D. Hall
    February 11, 2013, 6:11 pm


    If you felt it worthwhile, you could sue them for copyright infringement. A copyright infringement lawsuit requires that the copyright be registered. Whether this is worth the time and expense is questionable.

    Aaron Hall

  • Dan from NJ
    February 11, 2013, 4:32 pm

    So here is a question. I sent a C&D to a organization who was using a photo of mine on their website (Realtor Association in NC). they removed the photo, and sent a response. in their response they deny any copyright infringements and then stated in the letter, that they obtained my photo from a county website, of which had requested and received permission to use my photo a year or 2 ago. They also go on to state that their attorney advised them to not sign the “Copyright Infringement Settlement Agreement” because they didn’t infringe on any copyrights. Yet they knowingly admitted in their letter, that they got the photo from the county website (of which clearly has my name on the photo).

    Is there anything I can do further?

  • Bluesman
    January 7, 2013, 3:43 pm

    What about “fair use”?

    Can you explain that please


  • Aaron D. Hall
    December 3, 2012, 2:42 am


    In Minnesota, a cease and desist letter is an appropriate response to people copying website content without permission. You should consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction for the law there.


  • phil
    December 1, 2012, 9:23 am

    Hi there. I regularly have people / companies copying my content on my website.

    Is this copy write temple applicable for that?


  • Teresa
    September 9, 2012, 2:02 pm


    I’d like to know if I can issue a C&D to a co-worker who has been hostile and is a workplace bully. I have reported her to mgmt/owner several times but the owner informed me she never addressed this person because it’s hearsay. She slammed a door in my face a few weeks back which I took as hostile which is only one example of many. I am not the only person who she has bullied. She did something the other day to another co-worker who got really upset over it. This woman is out of control because mgmt doesn’t reprimand her and co-workers are afraid of her. I’m the only who is really persistant. Yesterday, she accidentally txt a co-worker something about me. She meant it for another co-worker/friend but their names are similar and start with the same letter so she clicked on the wrong name in your phone address book. The recipient was upset to receive it for she is a friend of mine. She showed it to me and we took it to mgmt/owner who also didn’t like it. Many times things are hearsay but this is in actual print. Plus it also names the owner in this txt which she did not like. Mgmt is planning on talking to her but I don’t know how lenient she will be on her for this mgr is very passive and relaxed in taking action on bad behavior. She used a curse word in talking about me. I want to know if I can do something about this since it’s in print. I don’t trust mgmt to do the right thing. If I issue a C&D letter, I know mgmt won’t like it and other co-workers will hear about it and I’m afraid of ramifications. Can an employer fire me for this? What do you suggest? The owner also wants the three of us to sit down after she talks to her. I don’t want to. I know it will only get worse, shouting from her, etc. It won’t heal anything and I will not forgive her for this. Help! Thank you!

  • Connie Weber
    August 26, 2012, 10:04 pm

    I am looking for an attorney in the Albany NY area (unless an out of town attorney can) to send a cease and desist letter to a group of people that have already sent a slanderous letter about my son to many residents in our area as well as made verbal false statements and allegations.

  • Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley
    August 13, 2012, 3:37 pm


    We would be happy to help you. As you know, your situation is complex and there are many issues and aspects to discuss. An attorney would be happy to analyze your situation’s circumstances and advise you of your legal rights and options. This can generally be accomplished during a one-hour meeting (which can be by phone). Our fee for a one-hour meeting is $290. Is this in line with your expectations?

  • Bobby
    August 9, 2012, 11:30 pm

    I had a falling out with an old friend. I have tried to disassociate myself with this person in all facets of life, after I found out they were making up malicious rumors about me. I have requested that they take down any photos they have of me on a social network. They agreed, but have yet to do so because they are being spiteful. I have the written agreement of them acknowledging the removal of the photos. I have decided to hire a lawyer and write a cease and desist. Is it worth it? What are my options?

  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    May 19, 2012, 2:05 pm


    Yes, a cease and desist letter is the appropriate next step. Alternatively, you might consider a lawsuit for a violation of the Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act among other things.

    I would be glad to partner with you on this (usual attorney rates apply). In general, the fee for a cease and desist letter is $500, and the fee to begin a lawsuit is $1,000.


  • Deanna
    May 18, 2012, 10:59 pm

    Hi there, thank you for this extremely informative blog!

    I run a small business manufacturing packaged goods. We paid for some boxes to be created a couple of years ago, however the manufacturer could not meet the quality we required so we discontinued the project and they happily refunded our money.

    Now however, we find they are using photos of the ‘discarded’ boxes on their online portfolio (suggesting we use them as our supplier) and to top it off, they’ve created and photographed some brand new artwork we’ve never seen before – using OUR business name, logo and product name!

    Several times we have asked them to remove these items from their portfolio. They mentioned they would do so, eventually, however months have gone by and they’ve not done anything. And as of now, they’re not responding to my follow-up emails either.

    Is it time to send a cease and desist?

    If so, what is the cost involved in doing so?

    Thank you so much,

  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    May 8, 2012, 12:32 pm


    A cease and desist letter is normally the best first step. Whether it will be effective depends on how the recipient decides to respond.

    If you find an experienced copyright litigation attorney at a small law firm located near the company (defendant), you should be able to get a lawsuit started for much less than $10,000.


  • J.A.
    May 8, 2012, 12:15 pm

    A friend of mine is a musician not signed to any record label, and producing & marketing her own albums. Recently she found that a company in Canada is giving away her copywrited work without her permission. So far she has located at least 10 of her songs on the site. She has attempted to call and write to them several times with no response. Attorneys specialized in this field have asked for tens of thousands up front before taking the case, which as an independent artist she does not have. As she is in the US and the offending company is in Canada, what recourse does she have at this point? Will a C&D demand still be appropriate in this case?

  • Jerry Miller
    April 14, 2012, 6:42 pm

    I need to take back my finances from the Veterans Admin. they assigned me a fiduciary without due process

  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    March 27, 2012, 9:14 am


    You are a victim of fraud. I would recommend contacting law enforcement or hiring an attorney (which won’t be cheap).


  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    March 27, 2012, 9:12 am


    Yes, you can send a cease and desist letter. You might also want to include a reference to violating the Minnesota Trade Secrets Act or Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, if applicable.


  • Pattie
    March 25, 2012, 9:56 pm

    Hi there…I was wondering what could be done if a previous sub contractor that quit doing work for our Company because of a dispute is now using our projects that were designed by and paid for by our firm he was just a laborer but is posting our projects on his business cards and also his portfolio…can we send a cease and desist letter. He is portraying these are his projects and they are not…

  • ralph
    March 12, 2012, 4:18 pm

    for example i in another country and I was misled into paying for a greencardlottery, to a company in nevada reno and i later found out that it was a sham and i demanded for a full refund, at first they refiused but when i threatned to sue they obliged to pay some out of the initial sum as refund, please how do i go about this ? i even reported them to the BBB and nothing as been done..how can i get a lawyer to sue them as all efforts have been fraustrating.please reply asap

  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    February 27, 2012, 10:48 am


    Usually, compliance with a cease and desist letter is sufficient. However, if there are damages, some sort of settlement payment may be negotiated between the parties to avoid litigation.


  • Eric
    February 26, 2012, 11:54 pm

    If the addressee of a C&D, complies; is it customary to also expect to request a settlement out of court? Or is the norm to be satisfied the infringement work has been taken off a website?

  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    January 16, 2012, 11:12 am


    You can have an attorney send a cease and desist letter with a demand that the personal information and image be taken down.


  • Andressa
    January 13, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Hi Aaron,

    I’ve recently found out that a website has been posting my information and most importantly my image without my permission. When my peers have asked for their information to be removed, they have complied, but they have failed to do so for me, despite my requesting three times. What further action can I take?

  • Brenda
    January 1, 2012, 7:10 pm

    I would like an attorney to prepare a cease and desist letter for stalking, harassment, slander and libel.

  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    December 31, 2011, 11:09 am


    The purpose of a cease and desist letter is to warn someone to stop illegal conduct. In general, there is nothing illegal about a creditor contacting a debtor about collecting on a debt. If collection efforts qualify as harassment under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), you should log the phone calls, keep the letters, save all evidence of the harassment, and contact a FDCPA lawyer.

    Our firm would be happy to help with FDCPA violations, and for these cases, we work on contingency, so we don’t get paid unless we get money for you.


  • Rachhpaul
    December 29, 2011, 7:05 pm


    Under United Kingdom law, there are two scenarios.

    First, if this person had the intention of depriving you permanently of your property (money) then he/she is guilty of the Theft Act 1968 (in the U.K.). However, it is very difficult to prove the “intention”.

    Second, this is unjust enrichment. You will have to prove that by your work, they have befitted and therefore you are entitled to receive the benefit. Breach of Contract can also play a part,but, you will have to prove that there was a contract to begin with.

  • Rachhpaul
    December 29, 2011, 6:58 pm

    Dear Sir/s

    I live in the UK and I should be most grateful if you could please let me have a template for slander/libel.

    Many thanks

  • Tea
    December 29, 2011, 3:22 pm

    I brought furniture from a furniture store last year, 3 weeks after I brought it, I got laid off from my job and since then, I have been telling the company to come and pick up the merchandise since I don’t have any income, well the company has been telling me per the agreement I will still owe them, which is find but if I’m saying to please come and pick up the merchandise, why yould you try to set up payment arrangmeents if I have no income and is living with someone? I called the company today to schedule a pick up and immdediately the lady raised her voicemail and told me that I shouldn’t have got the furniture if I didn’t have a job and that I needed to pay. Her manager got on the phone and said that I stoled the furniture and I told that I didn’t and people within the company had been emailing me but I’ve been responding to them with new contact information and everything but still, the merchandise was never pick up. I also called them as well. the advise me that collection activity will continue but because of that conversation with the employer and their manager did not go well. I don’t want them contacting me at all. Is sending them a cease and desist letter ok? Thanks

  • joshua garcia
    November 22, 2011, 11:43 pm

    what would be if a person did not pay after a job was done? please respond back right away

  • Brian
    November 11, 2011, 2:12 pm

    Looks like the downloads are on the comments page and not the main page.

  • Brian
    November 11, 2011, 2:09 pm

    Hi Aaron,
    I +1′d this but I don’t see where to download it. Can you provide some instructions on the page as to how this works?

  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    November 4, 2011, 10:11 am


    Yes, a C&D is appropriate for a trademark infringement claim like you have here.


  • Aaron Hall, Minnesota Lawyer
    November 3, 2011, 12:03 pm


    Yes, a cease and desist letter is a good first step in this situation. In fact, a cease and desist letter is simply a written request that someone stop violating the law. So in any case where someone is violating a law (your legal rights), it is appropriate to do a cease and desist letter.