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Copyright infringment letter. how to handle?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by MiLiTARYiV, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. MiLiTARYiV

    MiLiTARYiV Senior Member

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    Ok A friend of mine sells a unique decorative product. Her competitor sent a letter from lawyer stating it was copyright infringement and gave a copy right number.

    Question now is how do I check the copyright number to see if its valid.. iS there a website to check it on?

    and advice? i truly think the competitor is pulling some legs
     
  2. bhnoobz

    bhnoobz BANNED BANNED

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    There's no such thing as a copyright number. Perhaps she's infringing on a patent or registered trademark. I would talk to an intellectual property attorney.
     
  3. seenthelight

    seenthelight Newbie

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    Yes, if the other party has their lawyer involved, your friend had better get one too. She will likely be very sorry if she tries to deal with it without having her own attorney involved.
     
  4. zuh_cam

    zuh_cam Newbie

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    Because of the internet, copyrights are automatic once it appears somewhere. You no longer have to file a copyright, you only have to prove that you had your (content) first.

    Trademarks are a way of saying, "use this and get fuc%ed, we're going to sue you." That little "tm" is just a "sue happy" reminder.

    The 1st move anyone makes is to "send a letter." Letters don't mean shit. I get one everyday, it gives me an opportunity to legally harass an attorney. Btw, copyright attorneys are big bucks and most attorneys aren't one, but will send the letter anything so you say "oh shit, I got a letter from her attorney."

    Does she have a case, i.e. did your friend "steal" her idea/product/content? Aside from intent, does is it the same?

    Lawsuits suck and no body wins but the attorneys. The second thing to remember is that lawsuits take time and money (a lot of both) making them only worth it is there's really something to go after. Real lawsuits, copyright stuff, won't every be on the People Court, unless they did a People's Court-Wheel-of-Fortune special. If your friend doesn't have money they may be going after the product. Consider all of this before you get an attorney. If they going after the product and it's worth keeping (to your friend), only then get an attorney.

    Until then, make paper airplanes with their letters. Better yet, make me a s'more.

    And there are ways moving forward to completely keep her product away from her marketing, operations, etc. That way they have to find the product before they can try to sue or it. Also, other marketers concerned about legal issues, use multiple LLCs and managing Delaware LLC to remain 100% anon, even in court; only criminal issues/tax issues would breach that wall.

    Later.

    Cam
     
  5. newmanhia

    newmanhia Junior Member

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    Is your friend stealing someone elses' idea? I suppose that would be the obvious question.
     
  6. booman

    booman Regular Member

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    What kind of product? Personally if the two products are not identical then it means nothing as everyday a product is released, followed by competitors releasing very similar products. If it's a name issue then just have your friend change the name of the product.

    If in doubt, always contact a lawyer.
     
  7. Thug Media

    Thug Media Regular Member

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    Good reply ive had a similar issue before.
     
  8. blackrainbow

    blackrainbow Newbie

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    You can search the registered copyright records here :-
    http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First
     
  9. seenthelight

    seenthelight Newbie

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    Your friend can consult with an attorney before deciding whether it is necessary to actually put an attorney on retainer. The attorney will be able to tell your friend whether it's a bluff or if it's for real. I've had similar experiences and often the situation will just go away if your attorney writes a response letter threatening to countersue. This is *not* an expensive thing to do (especially when you consider the alternative - ending up in court)!

    Consulting with an attorney is absolutely the intelligent thing to do in an uncertain situation. If your friend makes paper airplanes with the threatening letter, she could wake up in a few weeks with a huge lawsuit on her hands and be completely unprepared to defend herself. There goes the product, there goes the business, there goes her income, etc.

    Your friend needs to decide whether she wants to cover her a$$, or stick her head in the sand.
     
  10. themagician

    themagician Regular Member

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    '...If you are in the United States, you can search the United States Patent and Trademark office here. It contains more than 4 million pending, registered and dead federal trademarks:

    Code:
    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=20qf7h.1.1
    Instructions on how to search are here:

    Code:
    http://www.uspto.gov/main/profiles/acadres.htm
    Homepage is here:

    Code:
    http://www.uspto.gov/
    themagician
     
  11. polymorphs

    polymorphs Newbie

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    One thing about copyright is it is VERY hard to prove unless your friend has ripped them off lock, stock and barrel. Just being similar doesn't matter all that much - otherwise every book about trolls or whatever would be paying off the tolkien estate.

    Also with Copyright law the plaintiff has to prove you are somehow ripping them off, and haven't just accidently come up with something similar (thus infringing) that's what sets copyright law up to be very different from tm or patent law - where all you have to do is impinge - often even by accident (which is why S0ny, n1ntendo are always have to buy off smal ass little companies who patented an idea even if they never got it to work, or even did much R&D on it).

    Generally copyright suits go nowhere. At least that is what my friend the IP lawyer told me
     
  12. polymorphs

    polymorphs Newbie

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    I'm old and been around for a long time - both online and off. And unless I am mistaken the original question related to 'Ok A friend of mine sells a unique decorative product.' - in other words and actual physical product seems to be indicated and not necessarily just something that exists online - so most people answered in the generality, rather than assuming that it would be a simple matter of a host pulling a website because it breached copyright (in which case my advice would be to move it to Panama and then tell the plaintiff to fuck off and let them try and get it pulled down).
     
  13. invinceable

    invinceable Regular Member

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    I would get a lawyer and see what he says. But I would say you are fine as long as you are not caught doing hte same thing twice, normally they have a "warning" policy for first time offenders.
     
  14. transam7410

    transam7410 Power Member

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    she definately needs to talk to a attorney