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Civil summons copyright uk based business filed from Florida court

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by Angela1804, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. Angela1804

    Angela1804 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Florida
    I have received a summons from a corporation re copyright infringement and am one of 200 people listed in this summons. albeit not in my band but that of our eBay shop name but delivered to our email address associated with this.

    The listings were put on for our limited company in the uk and there were only 4 and only ever 13 sales totaling less than £280 (380 dollars) and all sales were in Europe and none in the USA and none in Florida. They shouldn’t have been on eBay but were believed to be free from copyright by the staff member (no longer with us) that designed these 4 printable items.

    I have responded to the lawyer representing the plaintiff as clearly they have evidence though only from my email they sent summons to and without any further contact information.

    I have stated the above re sales and amount and location as would like to sort this issue.

    I am running out of time to submit an answer to the court.

    I understand that the plaintiff frequently raises these types of civil litigations for their brand Masha and the Bear and from what I’ve read (unverified) it is a type of shake down and not sure it anything ever goes to court.

    this having been said I don’t know if they could go after us again if it didn’t go to court this time or what sort of find we would get if we didn’t answer.

    I have prepare an answer for the court refuting parts of their allegations and admitting to others but worried incase it would be dismissed if wrong format or if wise to even submit when though figures and profit so low.

    Tried reaching out to various lawyers but response is slow and it is difficult to tell who is any good :(

    Is it possible or likely the court would throw it out due to low value and minimal items ?
     
  2. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused about this. You say that you received the summons (by email apparently, and I assume you also received a copy of a complaint) and that you are one of 200 named defendants, but then I'm not sure what "albeit not in my band" means. Let's say your name is "Angela Landsbury." Is "Angela Landsbury" named as a defendant? Or is some other entity (e.g., your "band" or your "eBay shop" or the limited company that you mentioned later in the post) named? Also, I'm not sure what a band (i.e., a musical group) might have to do with a children's story/cartoon character.

    Maybe. Maybe not. Just because you received a summons and complaint by email doesn't necessarily mean you were properly served.

    "Shake down" is in the eye of the beholder. A copyright owner vigorously enforcing its rights against infringers isn't doing a "shake down."

    If a defendant does not answer, it risks having a default judgment entered against it. Based on the numbers you mentioned, the judgment would probably be for something less than $10,000 and would likely include an injunction. A federal court judgment is initially enforceable only in the state where the court sits. In order to make the judgment enforceable in the UK, the plaintiff would have to initiate proceedings in the UK. Given the amounts in question, my guess is that's unlikely to happen.

    No.

    If I were you, I'd pick up the phone and call the plaintiff's lawyer. Emails are easily ignored. I'd also suggest that you educate yourself about the consequences of trying to profit off of someone else's intellectual property.
     
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  3. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Well-Known Member

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    The brand referred to has licensed partners in the UK (Lisle Licensing).

    As they have licensing, they likely to also have legal representation in the UK to help protect their brand.

    So that makes it less unlikely.
     
    justblue likes this.
  4. Angela1804

    Angela1804 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am just not sure as stressed if I can take the lawyer being nasty or unhelpful or trying to belittle me or even worse frighten me
     
  5. Angela1804

    Angela1804 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have responded via email to the plaintiffs lawyer so I guess that has confirmed I am served …and they did have court order to allow alternate methods to serve so
     
  6. Angela1804

    Angela1804 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    They did however only name it is as eBay shop name not my personal name
     
  7. Angela1804

    Angela1804 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Is there anyone I can pay to read and correct if necessary my answer to a civil litigation case re copyright … I can’t afford to have someone represent me but do want to check the answer I submit won’t be rejected and is correct
     
  8. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Yes. You could hire an attorney to do this for you.

    The Florida Bar
     
    zddoodah likes this.
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I'd do it for you pro Bono, as in no charge.

    But, copyright law is a very specialized practice.

    Have you approached a legal clinic at a law school?

    I suspect a bright 3L, maybe even a promising 2L, with the assistance of a law professor could do it for you.

    If they accept you, they'd do it pro bono, too.
     
  10. Angela1804

    Angela1804 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The trouble is I need to get the answer to them by 30thb this month .. if I sent it all across I would happily go forward with this suggestion :) thank you so much
     
  11. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    The first thing that your hired attorney will do is file for whatever extension he needs to have time to properly prepare a case. This happens all the time.
     
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  12. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Well-Known Member

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    The second thing that might be considered is the venue. The alleged violations occurred in Europe, and the entity has licensing agreements in OP's country.

    In fact, it might be worthwhile for OP to contact the Lisle Licensing, who handles the licensing of Masha the Bear in the UK - but only after consulting a [whatever they call lawyers in the UK], as OP comes across as a little frantic here, and potentially self incriminating.
     
  13. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    In England, when you seek legal advice on a matter, you see a solicitor. If you are going to litigate something, if the solicitor cannot do it himself/herself then the solicitor will arrange for a barrister to do it. Only barristers can appear in most courts of the UK. The US very early in our history ditched this two tier legal system for one in which lawyers are able to do both roles — providing legal advice and services (like drafting contracts, etc) as well doing litigation.
     
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  14. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I knew their system worked differently from ours. In any case, I think OP should consult a legal professional in UK in addition to one in FL.

    I do not think FL is the right venue, but OP is stuck with it for sure if OP does nothing to contest it. I also have no idea whether there might or might not be an advantage in having FL as a venue... There is also the possibility that this is a scam. Either way, a member of the FL bar should be able to enlighten OP.
     

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