Sample Imageline Cease & Desist Email Letter

This email was submitted to me by the original recipient to report on and openly share.

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From: George Riddick [mailto:griddick@imageline2.com]
Sent: XXXsday, XXXXuary XX, 2009 XX:XX PM
To: XXXX@XXXX.com
Cc: ggray528@yahoo.com; gpaine3@yahoo.com
Subject: URGENT – Copyright Infringement Notification – Cease and Desist
CONFIDENTIAL – Copyrights: Code (Red) – Embroidery Industry

Just like the ships off of the coast of Somalia, your industry is under siege. Digital pirates have infiltrated practically every channel of distribution we have been able to investigate in the embroidery design industry.

Unfortunately, we have witnessed other industries that have been totally destroyed by this exact same kind digital piracy over the past 10-12 years. The Internet has changed all of the rules of what we used to consider our “normal” distribution models – ones with the appropriate business ethics and checks and balances solidly in play. The unlawful activity we have discovered in our recent detailed and extensive investigation of embroidery companies has both severe civil and criminal consequences under the laws of this country. Please ask your own attorneys to explain these to you thoroughly.

Official Notice of Copyright Infringement

Imageline has uncovered massive and flagrant copyright infringement of our proprietary and copyright-registered electronic graphic arts content (clip art illustrations, design templates, embroidery designs, and/or animations) within the distribution channels of the embroidery industry. We have identified our exclusive digital artwork on the above web site(s) owned and/or operated by you and your company.

We highly recommend that you consult a competent intellectual property attorney and get back to us immediately.

Massive amounts of research and documentation still required

We are unable to handle the massive amount of research, investigation, and documentation that will be required to quantity all of these infringements in any short period of time. We have discovered over a million embroidery designs in the market thus far, and we have only researched a fraction of the web sites, retail stores, and other related locations where our hard-earned property may be improperly utilized in the stream of commerce.

Yet, as each day goes on, the damages suffered by this small graphics arts development company grows exponentially. Therefore, we need your help and cooperation to identify each and every embroidery design in your possession that was not originally drawn by your own in-house artists, artists under written “work-for-hire” agreements, or licensed to you with full indemnification by a reputable design/production company you can trust. We intend to continue our extensive identification and “finger-printing” efforts as well.

In the print and Internet web page worlds (where we have been an industry leader for 25 years), this research process is far easier, as we embed certain copyright identification and recognition codes and technology into our standard design files. But when your industry changes the file formats of our work to embroidery image files, much of these identification tools are removed. Those image alterations, alone, subject the violator to penalties of between $2,500 to $25,000 per image file under Section 1202 of our current copyright laws (over and above any copyright infringement claims that are made). In fact, in most cases we have discovered, you, or another company such as yourself, claims copyright ownership of the new embroidery design files, and misrepresents such exclusive ownership to your suppliers, business associates, investors, and customers.

The entire image discovery and documentation project is very time-consuming and precise in its implementation with the quality controls we demand. We have never misrepresented our exclusive ownership once in our 25 years of operation. We have also never lost a case we were forced to bring to trial or arbitration to protect our property.

We’ve reached out for your industry’s cooperation and assistance

As you can clearly see from the urgent e-mail we sent to the Embroidery Trade Association last week (copied below), Imageline has attempted to reach out to your industry in order to evaluate some sort of global resolution to this massive problem. Irreparable damage has already been caused to Imageline, the leading designer and developer of vector-based original designs and other digital artwork in the PC industry for the past 25 years.

Once we verify the correct detailed contact information for you and your company, we will begin sending you copies of our documentation. We will also send you all of the materials we have prepared to support these claims, including copyright registration numbers associated with the image files. You should, however, note that you are being officially notified by this e-mail correspondence to immediately cease and desist all displaying and/or downloading of any Imageline digitized graphic arts content or designs that you have not properly contracted for, licensed, and verified the legitimate copyright owner from your written records.

By continuing to display and download these proprietary Imageline images without authorization, you are also placing your clients (and their customers) at risk of further copyright infringement liabilities, as well.

Logistics and other required information

Please verify receipt of this e-mail and send us the required contact information (executive officers, owners, corporate counsel, copyright agent, facsimile numbers, e-mail addresses telephone numbers, and physical mailing address – no P.O. boxes) immediately so that we can provide you further information. It will be most beneficial for your organization (at the highest level) to attend our proposed “Alternative Dispute Resolution” conference discussions in Dallas in mid-January, as much of our confidential information will be disclosed there for the first time if we can continue on our current identification and documentation pace.

If you own or are associated with any other web sites, or physical locations, where the Imageline graphic arts content (now converted into embroidery files) may be displayed or used, please identify such sites in your response so that our research and investigative units can do further analysis into these serious copyright violations.

If you choose to get your attorney involved with this issue at this point in time, please have he/she contact me immediately directly at griddick@imageline2.com. I will then decide to what degree our attorneys need to be involved. At this point in time, we are still gathering facts, researching catalogs and web pages, and trying to determine whether you and your company intend to cooperate with us in this investigation and are prepared to negotiate the appropriate resolution (including compensation for damages already sustained) of this extremely serious matter.

Retention of files. Written communications required to manage this amount of information in the short term

Since there is strong likelihood that these disputes could end up in litigation, we also request that you retain all original documentation and files (written or electronic) pertaining to any Imageline images, embroidery designs obtained or produced from those image files, and all distribution, sales, and customer records pertaining the digital files, as well as any CDs, DVDs. Disks, Memory or Media cards, USBs, or other electronic combinations of embroidery design files, in your possession, and do not destroy any records.

At this point in time, we would appreciate all further communications to be in written form and be documented via e-mail and/or facsimile (804-525-6943). You can verify our Imageline, Inc. copyright registrations at www.copyright.gov, and you can gauge our seriousness in this matter by the company we keep, and have kept of the past 25 years. We are executive members of the Copyright Alliance (www.copyrightalliance.org) and the Software and Information Industry Association (www.SIIA.net) in Washington D.C., and are very involved with copyright legislation and enforcement here in the U.S. and abroad.

Faster resolution possibilities for a limited number of companies

We are willing to entertain the possibility of a quick (prior to the industry-wide ADR meetings we have requested) settlement and full release with any company who shows an interest, acts in good faith, and responds to us immediately regarding these serious claims. If you are sincerely interested in pursuing such a settlement and release arrangement quickly, please contact me directly this week, as we do not have very much available time or resources that can be distracted from our primary missions under this kind of pressure.

This is a very URGENT situation, so please respond to us promptly and professionally. Time is of the essence in the resolution of this industry wide matter.

Thank you.

George Riddick
Chairman/CEO
Imageline, Inc.
P.O. Box 6275
Ashland, Virginia 23005

804-525-6941 Voice
804-525-6943 Fax

griddick@imageline2.com

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