Received a cease and desist letter in the mail...

Mr Walker

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Hi guys!
Long time reader, finally a member and first time poster.

I received a cease and desist letter fro a lawyer representing a European professional football (soccer) club. They claim I am violating their trademark and demands a quite descent sum of money for lawyer costs + an unknown sum of money for damage which they will decide once I confess to the wrongdoing. And if I don't comply they will be forced to take this to court etc and I will be paying even more.

The issue is that I've been selling an image of their stadium, taken by me a few years ago, on Redbubble. I named the image the same as the stadium name (not a sponsor name, just a classic stadium name). The club owns the stadium and they have a trademark for the stadium name in their country and they also have a EU trademark. I live in another EU Country.

I received the letter the very same day they had set for my last day to respond which made me freak out a bit. I contacted a lawyer who just sent them an email saying that He/we/I will get back to them once we have looked at the case.

I don't really know what do think about this. The redbubble servers are in the USA. Is their trademark valid if someone buys a product from an american website even if it prints- and ships in Europe? And oh! I've only sold 6 pieces of the image making me a total of $16...

Does anyone know the trademark laws or where I can learn about this specific issue? I've looked around on the internet a few hours but it's a freaking jungle...

Thanks
 
You should have used an offshore host for selling something you don't own the rights to. So, you've mentioned real details about you on the domain and website? I don't know much about this kind of cease and desist letters, all I get are DMCA takedown notices. Maybe a member from here can help you.
 
You took the photo that you are using ?
 
Hi guys!
I contacted a lawyer who just sent them an email saying that He/we/I will get back to them once we have looked at the case.

Good. Listen to him. Be super careful taking legal advice from a public forum.

Is it your photo of their building or was it their content you were selling as well?

I've been on the receiving end of a few and they're always worded to sound like they're taking your house and your firstborn. They will not want to go to court so they're worded to scare you into just handing them money.

You should have used an offshore host for selling something you don't own the rights to. So, you've mentioned real details about you on the domain and website? I don't know much about this kind of cease and desist letters, all I get are DMCA takedown notices. Maybe a member from here can help you.

It's not just about hosting - RedBubble gives you free buyer traffic. You're not going offshore hosting and payment processing for $16.

you should have ignored the email and deleted it...

This is not good advice. Don't do this.
 
I'm no lawyers so don't take my word for it but my guess is that it's highly unlikely these guys are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars in lawyer fees to go after a guy who made $16 in sales off their trademark photo. I'm calling BS on this, but obviously you had better do your due diligence with your lawyer and just be sure. Please update us and let us know because I asked about these kinds of things before on the forum and it seems like nobody ever really gets pursued unless you are really big fish. I'm probably wrong lol.
 
In my experience, Lawyers, doctors and Policemen are professionals in scaring people. They dont often do any harm until that's the only thing they can..
Whether its that lawyer that sent you this email or the one which is helping you right now, I can bet dollars to donuts, they aren't taking this seriously. Its just another "scare'' tactics to bill either parties with minimal effort and sweat.
If I were you, I would not take it seriously until I receive a hard copy of an official letter from the said guy who is talking about taking action. That actually shows how serious they are. Sending an email is just lazy and effortless way to scare and make money.
AND most important, Did you check if it isnt a CON? A scam or a ruse to eliminate you as a competition, even that's a definite possibility. I can mascaraed Donald Trump and send an email from Whitehouse from dummy email servers which mask their IDs.
Lots of IFs and BUTs are involved here and only way to be sure is to let it GO for a couple of weeks and see how it rolls. There is COVID-19 Scare across the globe, half the population is not functioning and I doubt very much these lawyers are even real which are out sending notices on email.
Anyway, whatever the case may be I wish you luck and hope you come out of the trouble whether real or an elaborate CON.
 
I received a letter like this but from other company back in 2017 and i ignored it but the hosting provider forced me to remove the content or they will ban me.. mind you i was getting huge amount of traffic.
 
This is not good advice. Don't do this.

Do you have any idea of the legal cost if some company initiates a case in court? They have to conclude the case and it takes time and a lot of money to do that. Companies really don't care about it unless someone is making thousands of dollars. Sending emails is a standard practice among lawyers who do it to get leads. One you replied to that email, they will contact the company and then sell their services to that company.

I once received same kind of email from Ray-Ban as i was selling replicas. I didn't do anything and never heard from those "lawyers" again.
 
Do you have any idea of the legal cost if some company initiates a case in court? They have to conclude the case and it takes time and a lot of money to do that. Companies really don't care about it unless someone is making thousands of dollars. Sending emails is a standard practice among lawyers who do it to get leads. One you replied to that email, they will contact the company and then sell their services to that company.

I once received same kind of email from Ray-Ban as i was selling replicas. I didn't do anything and never heard from those "lawyers" again.

I've had a couple myself and just watched a JV partner go through a crazy expensive one. I agree as I said in the original post it's very unlikely they'll want to go to court. I've ignored some of the ones I've been sent but I don't think there's enough information in the OP to suggest that. Everyone has their own risk tolerance but ignoring it might well blow up in your face.
 
I threw so many of those away I couldve started a recycling company... I hate how they try to intimidate people.

on the other hand, my friend did get sued by Disney and lost 100K... so i guess you gotta know who you're f*** with.
 
Just ignore them and delete the image.
Problem solved.
I have friends who have gotten a ton of cease and desists, unless you're making serious money with their property they're not even worth the paper they're printed on.
They just want to scare people to stop doing whatever they don't like.
Since you barely made any money, again, just delete and ignore and don't worry. NO ONE is going to sue you over $16
 
Ok, let me clarify some things.

I received an actual letter in the post and I had to pick it up at the post office with ID. So this is not an e-mail threat. This is from a 100% actual law firm that is specialized in representing sport teams and athletes.

They don't own the photo. The photo is taken by me inside the stadium. They own the stadium and they have trademarked the stadium name.

At this point I'm pretty sure they don't know how few pieces I've sold. They probably think I've sold thousands. But the question is if it matters. With the lockdown going on I guess they wanna squeeze out every penny possible whether if it's right or not.
 
My non-expert advice: stop selling the item and ignore them.

You didn't even use their photo.

They will probably try and harass and bully you into paying them money but won't take you to court. If they do take you to court, go to court and say you're just a fan who took a photo inside the stadium, sold 16 shirts and didn't realise you did anything wrong.
 
My friend is a lawyer. Most of his consults were about debt collectors. He gave me once this tip:

The first thing you gotta ask yourself is: Are you a viable target for these ppl?

How do you know if you are a viable target? Well:

Do you have any asset they can seize in case they take you to a civil case? (A house, a car, a bank account, etc.) If that is the case, is that enough for them to go after you? (They won't expend resources to seize a cheap old motorcycle or 100 dollars a savings acc).

Then, how big is your case? Is it big enough for the lawyers so they might take you to court in order to set a example? Think that they might forfeit their immediate ROI if that means that your case might get enough exposure to detter other offenders.

Lastly, how personal is the case for the other party? Is it enough for the other ppl to go through the hassle of a trial just to screw you?

If the answer to all these is no, I wouldn't mind much.

Yet, make your own due dilligence. Learn about the laws in your country and contact a lawyer.
 
I never received an actual letter, But I do get DMCA, threats for a court case in email. Just Ignore them. Plus does taking a pic in public and selling it is considered a copyright violation? I mean what If all a sudden a coke van pass by and came in my pic, is it a copyright violation?
 
Ok, let me clarify some things.

I received an actual letter in the post and I had to pick it up at the post office with ID. So this is not an e-mail threat. This is from a 100% actual law firm that is specialized in representing sport teams and athletes.

They don't own the photo. The photo is taken by me inside the stadium. They own the stadium and they have trademarked the stadium name.

At this point I'm pretty sure they don't know how few pieces I've sold. They probably think I've sold thousands. But the question is if it matters. With the lockdown going on I guess they wanna squeeze out every penny possible whether if it's right or not.

They cannot trespass your eyes so anything you can see you can photograph.

The stadium name could be the issue with the photo being the same name as the stadium.

Your best bet is to spend a few dollars and get an attorney's opinion but I would think this is not going anywhere if you just pull the photo down or rename it.

Have a chat with a lawyer though.
 
They cannot trespass your eyes so anything you can see you can photograph.

The stadium name could be the issue with the photo being the same name as the stadium.

Your best bet is to spend a few dollars and get an attorney's opinion but I would think this is not going anywhere if you just pull the photo down or rename it.

Have a chat with a lawyer though.

In a few EU countries, architecture is copyrighted and you can't sell photographs of buildings.
 
Yeah man it's unlikely they'll actually come after you. Lawyers often send mails to make a point. Unlikely anything will come if this (assuming what you've told is the full story).
 
I have nothing significant to add, but the worst thing you could do is confess to anything accidentally when communicating with them. Be ultra careful and think twice before speaking or typing mails.
 
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