A fan club Web site can be said to have been "foxed" when it has received a letter of warning about copyright violations from the owners of images or other copyrighted material it is using. The term originated in October, 1996 when Twentieth-Century Fox Film Corporation, owners of the popular television programs, The Simpson Family and Millennium , had their lawyers send letters to the owners of some fan club sites that were carrying cartoons or photo images from the TV programs. Fox threatened legal action unless all images were removed.
Fox argued that they had a right and need, as a result of various contractual obligations, to control all material. As a result, the fan clubs have removed most of the images. (Initially, they also bombarded the film studio with e-mail, bringing the studio's e-mail server to its knees.) Subsequently, Fox outlined a policy of carefully controlled use with permission that has generally failed to satisfy the fan club sites.