Mr Zhao Lijian
Foreign Ministry Spokesman
People’s Republic of China
Dear Mr Zhao
We represent Mr John Birmingham, international super author. It has come to our attention that you, in your role as spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the People's Republic, have recently published via the microblogging service hereinafter referred to as ‘Twitter’, numerous works of fiction, hereinafter referred to as ‘tweets’ suggesting the US military might have deliberately infected the People’s Republic with the novel coronavirus.
This is an unauthorised use of Mr Birmingham’s copyrighted works, ZERO DAY CODE and FAIL STATE published exclusively in audiobook form and available for purchase right now at all good audiobook retailers as long as they are Audible.
You neither asked for nor received permission from our client to use his tremendously exciting and strangely prescient novel as the basis for your tweets. The People’s Republic of China has infringed our client’s copyright under numerous international statutes and could be liable for statutory damages and a most ferocious snubbing at the next meeting of the Author’s Guild.
We demand that the People’s Republic immediately cease the use and distribution of all exciting end-of-the-world narratives which were sourced from Mr Birmingham’s well reviewed audiobook about a desperate and collapsing US military deploying weaponised viruses to the Chinese mainland. The consequences for non-compliance could be grave, not just for the People’s Republic, but for you personally, Mr Zhao. Many, many book reviewers who have displeased our client have come to regret their precipitate actions when they found themselves coming to a sticky end in later volumes of Mr Birmingham’s works.
If we have not received an apology indicating that you intend to meet our requirements by close of business today, we shall immediately commence proceedings to recover damages or at the very least a couple of five star reviews from you.
On a personal note, our client advises us that your story as published, while serviceable for a first draft, could benefit from some structural work and a more personalised antagonist than something as vague as ‘the US army’. He is wiling to offer you a ten percent discount on his fiction writing masterclass upon production of this letter and the offer code COVID-19.
Mr Birmingham’s very expensive lawyer.