Due to some technical difficulties with the documentation and delivery of evidence from Imageline at the end of last week, we are extending the deadline for you to respond to our most recent ‘settlement and release’
proposal until 5:30 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, February 3. 2009.
Unfortunately, we have been forced to protect and defend our copyrights due to Internet-based piracy for the past fifteen (15) years almost without stop, and at enormous cost to Imageline, as a company, and to many of the over 350 artists, designers, digitizers, programmers, and illustrators we have employed and contracted with along the way.
The Imageline Compliance Committee accepted the recommendation of some very influential, kind, and experienced people from within the embroidery industry and tried our best to structure settlement arrangements that were both workable and fair under these difficult circumstances. Some of you recognized our sincere attempts and have resolved our disputes. We are appreciative of these efforts.
Never before have we set settlement standards such as these with the amount of cash that is due at settlement at the absolute minimum, under any interpretation of fairness, leniency in granting the infringer all arguments in the analysis of reasonable doubt and intentions, and sincerity in our desire to get these disputes behind us and move on in a more productive, and sometimes even cooperative, fashion.
If you choose not to settle, please let us know as soon before the above-stated deadline as possible. From there, we will turn over this case to our outside legal team, and begin the process of filing suit. In this kind of lawsuit, we will seek damages of between $15,000.00 and $150,000.00 per infringed embroidery design, all legal cost and expenses (which we are eligible for here due to the fact that all of the infringed designs are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and have been for quite some time before the actual infringing activities first occurred, and all copyright identification and misrepresentation penalties available to us under Section 12 (see Sections 1201 and 1202) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) which range from $2,500.00 to $25,000.00 in fines per design, over and above any copyright infringement claims available to Imageline under law.
We will also instruct our lawyers to look into filing personal lawsuits against you, others who own and/or operate your embroidery design business, as well as Stitchery Mall and other distributors we can identify. Your customers will also face liability as we identify them through discovery, as well.
Just to insure that any technical issues from last week are resolved, I have attached examples of the infringing artwork and designs found by our investigators on your web site (or the web sites of your authorized distribution partners, who we will also file suit against for these infringements), along with all copyright registration information you will need to provide to your lawyer once we file suit.
Finally, if you choose not to cooperate with Imageline and settle these claims, please provide us with the complete name, address (physical and e-mail), and other contact information for your attorney as quickly as possible. This will help us move the legal requirements and procedures along more rapidly as well.
This is not the resolution we here at Imageline were hoping for, even though we almost always make 5-20 times more money by letting the legal system run its course.
Good luck in your future and please make sure no other hard-working artists and designers are harmed by copyright violations based on your efforts.
P.S. If you have agreed to settle, and therefore release all of your business partners and end user customers from further copyright infringement claims as well, I applaud the wisdom of that decision and appreciate those efforts. In these cases, we will work with you and your attorneys (if desired) to research and bring claims on your behalf against anyone who may have defrauded you concerning Imageline’s exclusive property rights, and in any other way we can to help you recover from this unfortunate incident and move forward.