George Riddick of Imageline “Introduction Letter”

From: “George Riddick” <griddick@imageline2.com>
To: <XXXXXXXX@XXXXXXXXXX.com>
Subject: Copyright issues – URGENT
Date: Sat, 21 XXX 2009 XX:25:48 -0500

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

Dear XXXXXXXX,

According to public records, the web site www.XXXXXX.com is owned and operated by you.

I have some very bad news to share with you this afternoon.

My name is George Riddick. I am the Chairman/CEO of Imageline, Inc. in Ashland, Virginia.  Imageline owns one of the largest archives of vector-based digital illustrations, designs, and animations in the world, and has led the electronic clip art industry here in the Untied States for over 20 years. We also lead our industry in the enforcement of the copyright laws here in the U.S. and abroad.

On weekends, I often review the lists of official notices of copyright infringement that are scheduled to go out the following week. If a company peeks my interest, I will take a look around its web site(s) before I authorize the official notices to be delivered.

Your company, primarily due to its devotion to the small business and creative markets, got my attention. I have supported small business and creative, family-run enterprises, ever since I left IBM back in 1980.

So, here is the bad news:

Your company and its web sites, XXXXXXXX, are infringing a significant number of designs owned exclusively by Imageline. All of these designs are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and have been so since 1996 and 1997. We have never authorized anyone to have the rights to convert our proprietary designs into embroidery designs for re-sale. Consequently, your companies are engaging in widespread infringement of our properties, and are liable for sizable penalties and other remedies under our laws. I will give you an example.

When we turn these cases over to our outside attorneys, we file copyright infringement claims of anywhere from $15,000.00 to $150,000.00 per design, depending on the degree of willfulness and the extent of the distribution. We are  also able to recover all legal fees since the infringements occurred after our designs were registered. In addition, we have independent claims of up to $25,000.00 per design based on DMCA Section 1202 violations.

We do not prefer litigation, however. We try to resolve all disputes with a standard settlement and release arrangement we have fine-tuned throughout the years, These terms, too, however, have remained consistent. Consistency is the only way to effectively deal with the problem of digital piracy these days. We know. We have worked with Washington for over a decade now and have contributed significantly to most of the copyright laws that are currently in force or pending.

Our settlement rate is consistent with what we charge for an annual license for unlimited distribution in other markets – $7,500.00 per design. We have, on occasion, agreed to the trade-off of goods and/or services against a significant percentage of these fees, however, with design and digitizing services, or even design acquisitions, when appropriate, leading the way. We only offer this degree of flexibility to those we feel made an honest mistake (which does not impact liability under our copyright laws), and are not likely to continue their infringing activities once these issues with Imageline are put to rest. I have made the hunch that your organization falls into that classification.

If you would like to consider an amicable settlement of these claims before the lawyers get involved, please contact me directly as soon as possible. I will then send you a complete list of all of the infringing designs we have identified on your web sites, and in your products, thus far, with the appropriate reference to their copyright registrations.

I hate to deliver this bad news to you over the weekend, but time is of the essence as we try to eliminate digital piracy from the embroidery industry the best that we can. We have significant experience at doing just that, but I must admit, your industry presents far more challenges than most.

I look forward to hearing from you within the next few days.

George P. Riddick, III
Chairman/CEO
Imageline, Inc.

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