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41  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist...what should I do now?!? (EDITED w/ "Resoluti on: February 15, 2007 03:52:11 PM

How about if you give the earrings for free with a $7 donation to your company   Grin

i was totally thinking that--though i think i read someplace that it's still "trademark infringement" if you just give the items away, or make them for yourself/friends. we'll see. Wink

by the way, i totally have that llama in a scarf 8"x10" picture in a nice frame in my kitchen! (from years ago when it was an ad for j crew or banana republic or something--of course i cut off the company name b/c it's just so cute!)
42  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist...what should I do now?!? (EDITED w/ "Resoluti on: February 12, 2007 04:47:07 AM
i actually asked my lawyer about "getting the word" out about the company, and she said, "do you want to kick and anthill?" which i guess is her way of telling me that it might not be a good idea. she also said that they could always come back!

we haven't heard from the major drink company, regarding the letter, and i will definitely let you guys know if we do!
43  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Re: Monkey Hat for my little monkey on: February 11, 2007 04:06:13 PM
that hat is too cute! i want one!
and i love that your daughter calls it an ugly monster hat!' so funny!
wonderful work.
44  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist...what should I do now?!? (EDITED w/ "Resoluti on: February 11, 2007 12:44:24 PM
Thanks!  Grin
45  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Re: everything's gonna be alright on: February 11, 2007 12:42:07 PM
that's so cute! i love it, and i also think tie-dye for kids is awesome, b/c like you said, it doesn't really show the dirt! what a lucky little girlie!
46  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist, what should I do now...???!?! on: February 11, 2007 08:24:39 AM
So, after my lawyer sent the third party company a "very stern" letter, which was also faxed to the Major Corporation (whom my lawyer believes had no idea this firm was doing this on their behalf), someone from the company called my lawyer and said that "as long as I don't do it again, the matter is dropped" to which the lawyer replied, "she told you that from day one!" Apparently the guy who called her (who was General Counsel for the firm, he's the one who signed the C&D) was very sheepish on the phone. (And, we're not sure the Major "Adult Beverage Corporation" will reply).
 hmmm....it's still all very strange, but I did learn alot and I hope that this also helps other people. I will also be asking my lawyer about posting the C&D at www.chillingeffects.org (with personal info/names/etc left out) as there is one on there already that was sent from the same company, which helped my lawyer alot. So, maybe if they send another demand letter to another craftster, it can help them.

So, I will say it again, THANKS SO MUCH for all of your wonderful help, advice, opinions, etc. It means so much, and really did help me get through all of this!
47  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist, what should I do now...???!?! on: February 09, 2007 03:33:35 PM
I was just saying to my husband yesterday, that i was almost unaware that this thread had become a debate over corporations and whatnot, and i've been reading it daily, (maybe b/c I've been busy dealing with my situation....); to which he replied, "yeah, but to keep a thread on topic for 10 pages is pretty good!" (another thing i like about craftster, the ability to stay on topic--for the most part).

I will say that i agree with people on both sides of the issue, as thriftjunnkie said, "each situation is unique;" but am not here to debate either side. basically, as RachOfTheJungle said, i came here seeking help, support, advice and perhaps shared experience. all of which i have gotten. I have also learned alot and sincerely appreciate all the opinions and advice that' have been expressed here.

While the whole issue of "corporations vs. the little guy" is important, it's not necessarily my central issue here.
The issues of trademarks and copyrights are definitely worth discussing though, especially in a forum of artists, and especially those that use recycled/used/thrifted/collaged/reconstructed/deconstructed/slightly altered/etc goods in their art.

For example, say you are at the mall (gasp! Wink )  and there's some sort of promo thing going on in the middle of the mall, sponsored by coke, or pepsi, or beer, or chocolate, or whatever and you get a free t-shirt, you think, "I'll never wear this" and make it into a skirt that you then decide to sell on your website. then, you get a cease and desist letter (that demands thousands of dollars) arrives from a third party company claiming to represent the trademark holder. what do you do? this is sort of my situation....

People need to be aware that there is something that seems very shadey going on, I'll explain: while doing research on the Third Party Company that sent me the letter, i have discovered that this company, and other's I'm sure, are pretty much trolling around looking for things that could be trademark/copyright issues, they then send these demand letters basically to scare you into paying them. They may even go so far as to approach trademark holders to sign up for their investigative service & charge the trademark owner for these investigative reports. So, these big Corporations may not even know what's going on, which i actually believe may be the case in my situation.
Again, it's basically just frivolous and silly legal work (for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Stoller) but if you don't have much money you'll simply pay to make it go away rather than go to court which can cost alot. Which is where i really agree with what RachOfTheJungle had to say:

Moreover, even if we did "owe" them something, that doesn't give them the right to do whatever they want un-policed and unquestioned.

As I said, my lawyer suggested that what was happening to me was a form of extortion (which is illegal).

I suppose I could go on, but, as today was the "deadline" for my reply to the company, i'm hoping it's over. the letter my lawyer composed is fabulous. and she then gave them a deadline of next week to basically file this away under "wishful thinking" or "money grubbing" or "if the actual corporation only knew what we were doing..." (ok, not in those words, but close...)

Thanks again for all the advice and kind words! there were times during these past 2 or 3 weeks that i was really scared and nervous, and thinking, "how many paychecks would it take to pay this off?" or "will i have to quit my job to go to court?" or "will i cry when i talk to the people from this company on the phone?" it's very worrisome.
but it's nice to know i had all these people here who were not only interested about the outcome but concerned and invested. and, the amount of wonderful people who offered me legal help is AWESOME! (who knew that 1/2 the people on craftster work for lawyers!?! Wink ) I will be letting you all know what happens next....
48  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist, what should I do now...???!?! on: February 08, 2007 05:01:41 AM
janer, that's actually what i was thinking, they needed to actually see it. i think what seemed the weirdest was that it wasn't someone that (apparently) works for the this third party firm that bought them, but someone who's address is right down the street from the firm's office.

also, i was able to call the company who's caps they were and talk directly to thier legal department and it turns out that they, in fact, have thier own in-house trademark lawyer. any ideas why then this third party company (who is located 1/2 way across the country) would be involved in this? why would they farm out this type of thing?
49  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist, what should I do now...???!?! on: February 07, 2007 03:03:06 PM
Is your company incorporated?  If its not, then you really should go to court over the damages sum, because they can go beyond your buisness and take your personal assets (house, car, life savings, etc.) to satisfy the amount.

it's not and i totally didn't even think about them trying to sieze my assests!

Also, about the whole fabric (and knitting) thing there seems to be tons of resourses out there about that--using copyrighted patterns or licesnsed fabrics. when i was looking for info on my situation i found alot of stuff about that. if you're really intersted, do a google search, you're bound to find stuff.
50  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist, what should I do now...???!?! on: February 07, 2007 04:57:56 AM
i don't have much time to reply to everything....(b/c i have to go to my "real job") but did want to say that one of the first things my lawyer said when i told her all the cases and things i was researching was, "wait, that's copyright. we're working with trademark. they are totally different and don't confuse them!" i hadn't even realized i was sort of using the 2 terms almost interchangably.
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