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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old December 15th, 2002, 05:10 PM   #31
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Centreville Va
Posts: 1,828
If you can afford it, hire a PI and get evidence. You can go for much more than 450.00 in claims. Theres all sorts of expenses, plus the possibility of punitive damages, which can cost him everything he owns. If a PI can get evidence, a police raid can be justified too. A ruthless lawyer can take everything this guy has. He has commited 15 felonies, don't forget that. It's up to you how far you want to go.

On the other hand, if he has stopped making copies, well, your SOL. It's his word against yours. Sorry if that sounds harsh. Resist the urge to go over and slash his tires. You would probably get caught anyway.
Joe Carney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2002, 09:36 PM   #32
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,314
Forgot to post a follow up to what happened.
I hired a couple of bikers that I met outside a bar and we got some baseball bats and pipes and......

Actually, I talked to several people in the paintball community about how much damage he had done and made it quite clear that I was going to take legal action against him. Then a week or so after my last post on this thread I heard from someone else that he had stopped making copies and several of the people suspected of having these copies purchased the legal ones.
So looks like there isn't much to be done about it, but at least I gave someone a little scare.
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2002, 08:03 AM   #33
Inner Circle
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Location: San Mateo, CA
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Fear - The universal motivator.

Good to hear the felonious action has ended. OFten times, a nastygram or "putting out the word" is enough to make people understand you are serious.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2003, 07:53 AM   #34
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
Some quick points:

1. My wife is married to an intellectual property lawyer.

2. U.S. law only: Only federal courts have jurisdiction to hear copyright infringement actions. You can not sue for copyright infringement in small claims court.

3. The "mail it to yourself in a sealed envelope" technique is evidence (and admissible as such) of ownership of copyright. However, though it is admissible evidence, it will not be given very much weight for the reasons mentioned by others in this thread. A copyright registration is a prerequisit for filing an infringement action, and also is necessary to be eligible for an award of statutory damages. For infringements such as this, statutory damages are more important than actual damages, since the latter can be difficult to prove. Statutory damages for intentional infringement can be as high as $250,000. Though you can register, then sue, you will not be able to receive statutory damages for acts of infringement which occured before registration.

Registration is cheap, easy and can be done without a lawyer (just download the forms fromt the U.S. Copyright Office website).

4. IP lawyers usually charge by the hour. My rates are pretty high, so I doubt anyone would want me to do a cease-and-desist letter for them -- my clients are moderate-sized corporations. However, a cease-and-desist letter shouldn't take more than an hour or two, max, for a reasonably competent practioner to prepare (this includes the time spent talking with you to find out the details, etc.). Such letters include a demand for an accounting, i.e. a requirement that the recipient provide information on how many illegal copies were made, how much they were sold for, etc. Smart, small-time infringers will generally contact the lawyer and try to come to some arrangement.

5. Since the US joined the Berne Convention in 1979, it is no longer necessary to include a copyright notice on work in order for it to be protected. Video is protected the moment it is recorded to tape or a hard drive (the technical term is "fixed in a tangible medium"). Notice is helpful, though, because it makes it less likely that a defendant can claim innocent infringement.

6. It is virtually impossible to interest the US Justice department in prosecuting as criminal infringement the kind of activity discussed in this thread.
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