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My copyrights are being violated!

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by F0XPAWS, Jun 18, 2001.

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  1. F0XPAWS

    F0XPAWS Law Topic Starter New Member

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    :eek: :mad: :( :confused:

    My copyrights are being violated (mostly online)!

    Is it possible to sue the violator myself?

    The problem is further complicated by the fact that the violator is in Europe...
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Did you try to settle the dispute first?If you own a copyright I'm not sure why you think that you would be prevented from pursuing a lawsuit against the infringer.

    Some people have posted some suggestions of what to do with international disputes but this becomes part of the impossible challenge. Some good suggestions are (1) send a cease and desist letter by email and by regular mail. (2) If that doesn't settle the dispute or get a response, you may want to send a letter to the ISP notifying them that they are hosting infringing material and provide the relevant information. What is the problem?
     
  3. F0XPAWS

    F0XPAWS Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks, anyway

    Thanks, Michael,

    Oh, yes! I have made my position very clear! I have written letters. My attorney has written letters. This dispute has been going on for five years, and by now, I really don't expect there to ever be any satisfactory conclusion to it.

    My original suit was filed in Texas, and named two parties as "defendants (?)". The second party opted to drop use of the material, and my attorney then told me that, since the first party was evidently destitute, and had a history of nonresponse to court judgments, that we were probably spinning our proverbial wheels.

    He felt that a judgment in my favor was pretty much a foregone conclusion, but since we could not expect any financial return on the suit, it wasn't worth pursuing. (I was being represented "pro bono" by Texas Attorneys and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA)

    Then Party Two left the state; making it even more expensive to prosecute. Since he has skipped the country, it has become an international matter. I can only imagine how difficult it might be to go after this.

    NOW, the party in question appears to be making a rather tidy profit on the body of MY work. Some of it has been chopped up and restructured, but is still obviously the same document. The perpetrator (or his "organization") owns the domain. Is that the same as ISP?

    As I said, I really don't expect anything to be resolved with this. I don't care about receiving any monies, although there has been a very nasty covert campaign of defamation about me, and my right to refuse publication of this material on that particular website.

    I can't really afford to pour sand down a rat hole, either.
    What I was asking, I think, was, whether it is at all practical to try to handle this myself; without legal counsel?

    Thanks for your time!
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    His provider is the company that is hosting his site. Does he host it himself? For example, while you can dial up to the Internet using AT&T, you can have a free web site on certain companies, such as Trellix. If his web site were hosted at Trellix, you would contact Trellix that this person is knowingly violating the law and using their web site to do it. You would tell them that if they continue to host this site, they may be liable for contributory infringement and will bring them into the lawsuit. That sometimes works as hosting companies don't want to be dragged into these kinds of messes.... Hope it helps. :D
     
  5. F0XPAWS

    F0XPAWS Law Topic Starter New Member

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    A Family Matter

    My cousin, a master jeweler, designed and cast a unique piece of jewelry (a huge pendant) for someone, in exchange for a service.

    She did NOT grant him an exclusive release for use of the design, and this is substantiated by the fact that she did not provide him with the MOLD for the jewelry.

    My cousin died last August.

    Now, the :mad: man is using a photographic image of her design as his logo / trademark! I KNOW this isn't legal.

    I also realize that, technically, it is probably none of my business. I am not an heir to her estate.... but, is there some way to rectify this? Is it possible to acquire a copyright on someone else's work, post mortem? (I'm almost positive he has not legally registered this officially, as his TM)

    BTW: I know it's irrelevant, but --- the thief is the same party that ripped off my literary work -- I'm beginning to think this is a family matter :mad: :rolleyes:

    Thanks!
     
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: A Family Matter

    You have a couple of different legal terms mixed up:

    (1) The design is a patent (which if unique should be registered) as it is a process.
    (2) The picture is protected under copyright protection.
    (3) The use of the picture for a logo is a trademark which is infringing on the copyright of your cousin.

    Under current copyright law, if memory serves correct, is life of the author plus 70 years so that isn't an issue. The copyright does not have to be registered although it does help with a number of things. What should be done is sending a cease and desist letter -- that the man has no right to use the photo as a logo and trademark. You should state that the man knows that this logo is actually a picture taken by this man, which is a fact known by the infringer. Continued use without authorization constitutes a willful infringement of the man's copyright in this picture and may subject the infringer to damages, including attorneys fees. Then wait and see what happens.... if there is money and the case is easy to prove, it is possible that a European attorney may take the case on some type of contingency basis.
     
  7. F0XPAWS

    F0XPAWS Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you!

    Wow. Michael! Thank you for your very quick response!

    And I'm sorry; I thought I was starting a new thread. Oh well, I guess we may as well stick with this one, since we're here. :D

    I am certain that the design was NOT patented. Diane never did "official" things like that, and was much too prolific an artist to ever go through that much paperwork. ;)

    Are you saying, then, that who(m)ever took the photo, owns the copyright? That's not good (or fair!) ...
    :p-head probably did that himself, or had someone else do it for him...

    And then ... on whose behalf would the suit be filed? I don't think she left any kind of will, and she had no children, or legal spouse --depending on the state, I presume.

    In the event of a financial settlement, who would be the beneficiary, besides the European attorney? ;)
    Well, actually that doesn't matter.

    Thanks very much! You have been most helpful!!
     
  8. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Thank you!

    Of course not! :) I believe that the photo would be owned by the artisist's estate.
    One has to have standing to file suit in court. The executor of the artist's estate might be able to file suit in court on behalf of the estate.
    No problem and..... very funny! (they do say there is some truth to every joke!) :) I believe that the beneficiary would be determined by state law. There is a hierarchy regarding next of kin. It sounds like there might be a good deal of money involved here and worthwhile looking into with an attorney regarding the specifics and handling the estate matters.
     
  9. F0XPAWS

    F0XPAWS Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks, again

    Dear Michael,

    I have been in contact with Diane's immediate family, and they seem interested in pursuing this matter. Still some questions about the "estate", but we will discover who we each are, I suppose. :)

    I have located the addresses for the "administrative contact", and the webmaster for two of the sites. Turns out, there are several pages on freebie servers, as well.

    We think there may be considerable printed material with this symbol on it, as well; handbooks, pamphlets, and certificates. I am in touch with someone who has attended a workshop, so hopefully, they will have some physical "evidence" to share, as well. I will keep you posted.

    Again, thanks for your insight!
     
  10. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Great... I hope that it all works out well for you!!! :) Keep us posted!!
     
  11. Michael_Newman

    Michael_Newman New Member

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    Hosting companies can be very cooperative in bringing down a jerk's website.

    I've worked with a few (without having to use a lawsuit as a hammer). By contacting the host company, all that is needed is to "reasonably" prove your claim and the site is gone. That quick.

    Michael Newman
     

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