Quantcast

Mock Queens CB1 Website Back Up After City Threatens Legal Action

ASTORIA — They got the last laugh.

A parody website that took jabs at members of Queens Community Board 1 is back up online after pulling its content last week, following threats from the city over use of the official seal.

The new version of CB1Queens.org contains many of the same biting remarks about the local board, but shows other changes, including a disclaimer on its homepage that it's a "parody" and "not part of Queens Community Board 1."

The city's Law Department had notified the site that it was in possible violation of copyright laws for using the city seal on the page, and for copying other elements from the actual CB1 website.

"The City of New York is the exclusive owner of all rights in the City seal and the City possesses common law trademark rights in the seal," a Law Department staffer wrote in an e-mail to the site's anonymous creator.

"You have created a website that looks substantially similar to the official Community Board 1 Queens website. The layout and design of the official CB1 Queens website, as well as its contents, are protected by federal copyright law," the e-mail reads.

CB1's district manager Lucille Hartmann said there was concern that web visitors might have mistook the phony site for the actual board's.

"They copied ours, put their interpretation on it, and tried to pass it off as somebody else's," she said.

The fake page takes several shots at the board, painting its members as elitist, out of touch and only looking out for itself.

"Queens Community Board 1 should be proud that there are almost never any close votes. Many votes are unanimous," the site reads. "Even the most contentious and divisive issues are decided by voting margins of 3:1."

Hartmann said she thinks the website's anonymous owner should join the board rather than making critiques online.

"You can't make everyone happy," she said.

The Law Department did not immediately respond to an email for comment.