Please read the following article from one of the nation’s top law firms:
To summarize the article:
(1) buying, selling, displaying, or even PROMOTING counterfeits of copyrighted goods in the US is illegal,
(2) in the US, you AUTOMATICALLY own your copyright at the moment of creation— it is YOUR property,
(3) having your goods manufactured in China does NOT cause you to lose your US property rights,
(4) there is no “get out of jail free card” because the goods you buy or promote are made in China, and
(5) those who buy, sell, display, or promote counterfeit copyrighted works face serious legal liability and damages.
Brian Platt is one of the authors of the article. He is a top attorney from a top law firm that specializes in Intellectual Property (IP) protection— they are, in my opinion, the best in the nation in their area.
From the article:
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§ Myth 1: If you use a Chinese manufacturer, you lose your intellectual property rights;
§ Myth 2: Foreign manufacturers can make copies of your copyrighted artwork and distribute it worldwide; and
§ Myth 3: Counterfeit goods sold on Amazon do not violate U.S. law, and are okay to purchase and re-sell.
…these statements are incorrect and the conduct is unlawful… those who sell or display counterfeit copyrighted works face serious legal liability and damages.
Foreign Manufacturers Do Not Have the Right to Steal your Work. When copyrighted artwork is displayed, sold, or distributed in the United States without authorization of the copyright holder, those actions are unlawful. Where such goods are distributed in the United States—whether on Amazon or elsewhere—the artist has legal remedies available in U.S. courts. These remedies include money damages (against both the infringers and promoters of counterfeit goods) and an injunction against the sale of such goods.
Counterfeit Goods are Illegal… There is no “get out of jail free card” because the goods are made in China.
…Just because an item is listed for sale on Amazon does not mean it is not counterfeit; rather, it likely means that the counterfeiter is selling such goods without Amazon’s knowledge of the infringement. When we buy goods on Amazon, we must use care to avoid counterfeits; and of course, the willful purchase of counterfeit goods on Amazon is illegal. Willful Counterfeiting is a Crime.
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Over the past several months, Bountiful Baby has been successfully taking action to protect Bountiful Baby IP. Unfortunately most of the infringement we have seen is not our IP, and we have no legal standing on most of it. Because of that, Brian Platt will be announcing at the Rose Doll Show a framework that will provide the legal standing to fight for the rights of ALL participating artists. This is a must see event for all artists with IP to protect. If you are such an artist and cannot come to see Brian’s presentation, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to get you included.
Most of what we have already done has not yet been made public. Much of that will be made public at the Rose Doll Show.
You don’t want to miss what’s coming. I believe it is going to shake up the entire industry.
EDITED TO ADD: We have been filing law suits against counterfeiters that dispute our valid DMCA takedown notices. Below are 4 paragraphs from one of our law suits. Notice that their filing of counter-notices makes our claim against them rise to the level of WILLFUL INFRINGEMENT, which is a whole new level against them, with a whole new set of potential damages:
Defendant has made and used unauthorized reproductions of Bountiful Baby’s original works, which are the subject of the Asserted Copyrights.
Defendant has produced, reproduced, and/or prepared reproductions of Bountiful Baby’s protected works without Bountiful Baby’s consent. Defendants’ acts violate Bountiful Baby’s exclusive rights under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 106 and 501, including its exclusive rights to produce, reproduce, and distribute copies of its work, to create derivative works, and to publicly display its work.
Defendant’s infringement has been undertaken willfully with the intent to financially gain from Bountiful Baby’s copyrighted work, and with full knowledge of Bountiful Baby’s copyrighted works.
Defendant submitted false counter-notifications for the purpose of maintaining its infringing listings. See Exhibit E. Such actions demonstrate willfulness.