This is one standard settlement letter Mr. Riddick sends out. More than once person has forwarded variations of this letter. Please read the attack language he uses.
George Riddick wrote:
*PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL – FOR THE PURPOSE OF SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS ONLY UNDER F.R.E. 408*
XXXXXXXXXX and XXXX and XXXXXX, personally,
We have been working diligently down here for well over three months now and have not even come close to finishing “Phase One” of our standard three-phase audit into the infringement activities and related business practices within the embroidery design industry,
We have answered all your questions, and provided many more answers, as well, in the detailed documentation report and case studies we are now preparing for the courts, generally civil, but criminal in several select cases, as well.
We mean business. We hate digital pirates. We hate hypocrites even more. We never walk away from a case until a resolution in agreed to, or forced through curt order, in writing. We never will.
Every infringement incident we discover, regardless of the unique set of circumstances or the historical reputation of the infringers, will be resolved by negotiated written ‘settlement and release agreement or through expensive and time consuming litigation. We have agreed to binding arbitration here in Virginia in two cases, but those circumstances were both quite unusual.
Your company, as well as its officers and directors, will be included in the federal lawsuits that we file. Only then can we really discover who did what to whom. We’ve only seen the end results a small fraction of the ultimate marketplace damages. All we know is that Imageline suffered all of these damages in the marketplace, not Stitchery Mall, or its principles.
This thorough research and investigative process takes a substantial amount of time and expense on our side of the equation. What did you do this past weekend to cease further infringing activities?
We will recover all of these costs, all legal fees, either actual or statutory damages penalties (our choice, not yours), and DMCA Section 1202 penalties (which are substantial in this case), as well, if you force us into litigation. We will not lose a dime.
As part of our ongoing evaluation of intent, we also watch closely to see what those who are infringing have done, and are doing “as we speak” to stop further damage from occurring with and by their end user customers (long after notice). We cannot see that you are doing anything at all in this regard. If that is not serious willful infringement, then what is, XXXXXXXX? In our view, each of these customers should have substantial claims against you as well.
We have settled dozens of cases in your industry and related industries over the past few months, so we at least feel we are making some progress to rid the industry of digital piracy, and digital pirates. All of these settlements were/are based on our fair-minded and well-balanced standard settlement and release agreement (a draft of which can be sent your way under certain conditions).
All settlements are based on the base settlement rate value of $7,500.00 per infringed design, or far, far, less than we will likely be awarded in court. For those people/companies who we feel are not likely to knowingly continue infringing activities going forward, we have even agreed to reasonable time payments, the exchange of products and services, including actual proprietary embroidery designs themselves in some instances, as well as digitizing and production services Imageline will need as we enter this dynamic new industry in a very big way this spring/summer. These trades are treated as ‘off-sets’ to reduce the financial burden of this kind of settlement on a small businesses and/or individuals in most cases.
Not many people, once they are convinced of our exclusive ownership rights to the well-documented infringing designs we show them, or are fully and truthfully made aware of the serious consequences they will likely face regarding their unlawful actions, choose to give all of their money away to high priced copyright defense lawyers, instead. Some fools do, but usually only for very short periods of time. Looking at a steady stream of $5-15K per month legal bills can get very old very quickly. Why do you think she shifted exclusively to contingency law firms some time back?
The choice is yours, XXXXXXXX. Please let me know today what you decide to do.