Has your membership in a listserv been disabled due to “excessive bounces”?

(Updated November 25, 2023 to recognize that if your email service provider is bouncing the normal listserv postings, your email service provider may also have bounced the warning message that was sent to you about your email service provider bouncing the normal listserv postings.)

In recent days, dozens of members of our intellectual property listservs have received (or at least have been sent) email warnings that start like this:

Your membership in the mailing list <blah> has been disabled due to excessive bounces.  The last bounce received from you was dated <recent date>. You will not get any more messages from this list until you re-enable your membership. You will receive 2 more reminders like this before your membership in the list is deleted.

If you received such an email warning, this is because (a) you belong to one or more of our listservs, and (b) you selected Microsoft (outlook) to be your email service provider.   But of course another possibility is that you did not receive this warning email message, because your email service provider bounced the warning email message too.  What should you do next? Continue reading “Has your membership in a listserv been disabled due to “excessive bounces”?”

Listervs have been migrated to a new server

(Update:  Microsoft is behaving badly about this.  See blog article.)

Hello to the members of the various listservs hosted by Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC.   Yesterday I migrated the listservs to a new server.  For many members of the listservs, hopefully this will go largely unnoticed after a few test postings of yesterday and today.  But for some members, this will be extra work and trouble.  I am sorry about this.

Here are details.

Whitelisting.  Previously the listservs were on a server at IP address  Now the listservs are on a server at IP address  Maybe you had previously set up a whitelisting entry in your email system to allow messages from to reach you.  If so, you may find that now you need to set up a whitelisting entry in your email system to allow messages from to reach you.  (Update:  Microsoft is behaving badly about this.  See blog article.)

Member password.  This migration caused a reset of your password for your subscription to the listserv.   To get your password figured out again, you might find it necessary to go to one of the eleven links below (for the listserv that you need to reset the password in) and click on the link, and follow the process for resetting your password.

Digest numbering.  If you are a digest subscriber, you will see that this migration has reset the digest numbering to volume 1.

I am sorry about the extra work and trouble.

Links to user information pages for the listservs.  The listservs affected by this server migration include:

Brilliant deconstructions of popular songs

Let’s suppose you spent your formative years listening to music from the 1970’s and 1980’s with Koss Pro-4AA headphones, picking out and memorizing each vocal line, each guitar lick, each drum fill.  Let’s suppose that even now, decades later, you can tap out each drum fill, and you can scat-sing each vocal part, from memory.  And now in 2021 suppose there were somebody who somehow has gained access to lots of original studio multitrack tapes, and who has recorded incredibly perceptive Youtube programs in which he works though dozens of the great songs from that era, highlighting the bridges, the choruses, the verses, and every hook and chord change and suspension that made the song great.  

Yes for those who savor recorded popular music, the person to listen to is a fellow in Atlanta who records brilliant Youtube programs in his basement.  The guy is named Rick Beato.  And if you love well-performed and well-produced popular music, you need to click away from this blog article and click over to his programs. 

For an intellectual property lawyer, one of the interesting background questions is why his programs don’t instantly get taken down as copyright violations.  And I think I know exactly why they don’t get taken down, and it has nothing to do with copyright law.  I think it has to do with human feelings, as I will explain.

Continue reading “Brilliant deconstructions of popular songs”

What to do if your email service provider is blocking our listserv postings

Back on about November 17 we migrated our listserv server from a shared-hosting server to a dedicated server.  This means that our listserv postings are coming from a different IP address now than they used to.

It seems that some email service providers have hair-trigger spam fighting systems that react in a very strong way to email traffic emanating from a new IP address.  Some of the members of our listservs have have found that some or even all of our listserv messages are failing to reach them.

if this has happened to you, there are several things that you can do to help. Continue reading “What to do if your email service provider is blocking our listserv postings”

Listserv update redux

click to enlarge

(Update:  See a followup message here about a step that you might take to try to get the listservs working for you again.)

(See also I turned on munging.)

(Updated to describe shipment of digital multimeters.)

Readers may recall my recent blog article about woes with outbound emails from our listserv server.

Alert listserv member Diane L. Gardner of Mastermind IP Law P.C. posted this comment to that blog article:

From my IT provider:

They do not have a spf record.

And her IT provider was absolutely right.  I had not attended to setting up an SPF record on our new dedicated server.  I ought to have done that sooner.  Prompted by her posting, we added the SPF record.  Here is the record:

v=spf1 +mx +a +ip4: ~all

We have sent two of our digital multimeters to Diane — one for her and one for her IT provider.  Thanks to both of you!

We also corrected a PTR (reverse DNS lookup) record.  The PTR record is “” pointing to “server1.oppedahl-lists.com.”.

There’s a chance these two changes might help a little.

We already had and still have a DKIM record.  The DKIM record is “server1.oppedahl-lists.com.” pointing to “v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=[public key]”.

Thanks again to the nice commenter.

If you have stopped receiving listserv postings

(Update:  See a followup message here about a step that you might take to try to get the listservs working for you again.)

(Here is an update.)

(See also “I turned on munging“.)

Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC sponsors a dozen listservs (email discussion communities) free of charge for the intellectual property community.   If you are a subscriber to one or more of the listservs, and if you have stopped receiving the postings, read on.

You can see many of the listservs here.  The email discussion communities sponsored free of charge by OPLF include:

On about November 17, we migrated the listservs from “shared hosting” at our hosting provider to “dedicated hosting”.   In the old system, our outbound listserv traffic was commingled with that of the many other customers of our hosting provider who were also being hosted on the particular server that was our “shared server”.  (In case it is of interest to you, our traffic came out from IP address  But starting on about November 17, our outbound listserv traffic came out all by itself, not commingled with anybody else’s traffic, from our dedicated server.  (In case it is of interest, our traffic now comes out from IP address

The volume of our outbound email traffic is no greater than before, and the nature and type of our traffic is unchanged from what it was before.  But instead of being commingled with outbound email traffic from other entities unrelated to OPLF, it now comes out from an IP address that is not the source of email from anybody other than OPLF.

And starting on about November 18, several email service providers, among them Google, have been randomly blocking lots of our email traffic. 

As best I can see, the service providers use some poorly designed AI algorithm.  The algorithm notices that email traffic is arriving from a new IP address, and the algorithm notices that multiple email messages from this new IP address have identical content, and then the algorithm in a very mindless way decides to block random messages that arrives from that IP address.  

If the decision whether or not to block randomly selected emails were made by an actual human being, things would be different.  The human being would see the multiple identical email messages being a very dry discussion of some obscure aspect of the Patent Cooperation Treaty or the Madrid Protocol or the Hague Agreement and would realize that this is not a sales pitch for a cream for dissolving skin moles or a proposal of a way to spirit ten million dollars out of a bank in Nigeria.  The human being would notice that each of the listserv messages has an “unsubscribe” link and is emitted from a “Mailman” software system that ensures that email postings only get sent to people who have actually subscribed to the listserv.

But it is clear that these decisions, at Google and at other email service providers, are being made by poorly designed algorithms that do not exercise any such judgment.  

I have attempted to contact several of the poorly behaved email service providers, including Google, but I have not been able to reach an actual human being at any of them.  And I have not gotten any of them to pay any attention to this problem.

As far as I can see, the only chance of straightening this out is for you, the paying customer of the email service provider, to instruct your email service provider to be smarter.  As I describe here, this might be a matter of whitelisting emails that are “From:” particular email addresses in our listserv system.  Or it might be a matter of whitelisting emails where the “envelope sender” is “server1.oppedahl-lists.com”.  Or it might be a matter of whitelisting emails where the sender is IP address  It might be as simple as instructing them to read this blog article.  

Your email service provider probably won’t do this because I ask.  Probably if they do the right thing it will only be because you ask it to do so.

If you do contact your email service provider and give them instructions, please post a comment below for the benefit of other readers and listserv members.  Indeed the accumulated comments might help a decisionmaker at a company like Google to better appreciate what is the right thing to do about this.

Who doesn’t know the difference between a copyright and a trademark? The New York Times

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Who doesn’t know the difference between a copyright and a trademark?

The New York Times.  In an article dated September 4, 2019, entitled LeBron James, a Fan of Tacos, Seeks to Trademark “Taco Tuesday”, the newspaper says:

On August 15, a company called LBJ Trademarks LLC filed a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on behalf of Mr. James to copyright “Taco Tuesday.” 

The reporter’s sloppiness can be seen in the jump from “trademark” in the headline to “copyright” in the quoted sentence.  But even with just a mouse click or two, the reporter could have fact-checked that if someone seeks to “copyright” something, the application does not get filed at the USPTO at all but instead gets filed at the Copyright Office.

This follows in the footsteps of newspapers that did not know the difference between a patent and a trademark, namely USA Today and The National Review.  

Copyrights, attorneys fees, and a fascinating autobiography of a rock star

click to buy for $8.15 on Amazon

This book came out in 2016, and somehow I missed it.  By accident I stumbled upon it a few days ago, and I could not put it down.  I found it a fascinating autobiography by John Fogerty, the singer, songwriter, and guitar player for Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Here are some of the songs that made CCR famous:

  • Suzie Q (1968)
  • Born on the Bayou (1969)
  • Proud Mary (1969)
  • Green River (1969)
  • Bad Moon Rising (1969)
  • Down on the Corner (1969)
  • Fortunate Son (1969)
  • Lookin’ out my Back Door (1970)
  • Up Around the Bend (1970)
  • Have you Ever Seen the Rain? (1970)

Fogerty wrote all but the first.

The members of Creedence, four sixteen-year-olds, signed a contract with Fantasy Records, which until then had made very little money.  You know where this is going.  The contract was stunningly favorable to the record company and gut-wrenchingly unfavorable to the sixteen-year-olds who signed it.  Continue reading “Copyrights, attorneys fees, and a fascinating autobiography of a rock star”