3:04PM

Linda Ellis, Author of The Dash still crying "I'm A Victim!"

Linda Ellis has attempted to silence her targets and victims "by any means neccessary" for years and until October of 2011 she had been very successful at keeping The Dash Extortion Scheme under wraps by scaring the bejesus out of anyone who shared The Dash in any form. When I became the first US citizen to strike back - Eugene Calabrese host of Radio Free G in Canada shut her operation down in that country before me and Nicole Olson shut her down in Australia after me - Ellis has tried like hell to get people to believe that she is a victim of cyberstalking, harassment and negative publicity she claims initiated by me. I certainly take credit for outing the poet troll, but she is the sole creator of her own negative publicity. It is Linda Ellis who continues to create enemies every time she sends out an extortion letter. Recently she created hundreds of enemies in the small town of Lenoir, North Carolina after charging a school teacher with the Caldwell County School District of copyright infringement! The teacher posted The Dash on a class assignment website for students and parents and somehow Google picked up that post and it was caught on Linda's Google Alert. I learned about the Caldwell County School District extortion letter after the fact. One need only read Arlene Neal's Open Letter to Linda Ellis  to understand just how hopping mad the teachers, parents and Caldwell County School Board is. The teacher did not infringe and in fact has full protection under the Fair Use law anyway.

Ellis has put up yet another self-designed website, this time omitting John W. Jolin as Operations Manager and including another essay defending her position that she is a victim. Linda needs to look in the mirror and remind herself that it is Linda Ellis who sends out extortion letters. Linda Ellis who stalks her targets. Linda Ellis who lied in court. Linda Ellis who altered evidence. Linda Ellis who was humiliated by the Georgia Supreme Court. And it is Linda Ellis who has been abandoned by Mac Anderson, 3 attorneys and 4 collection agents. If Linda Ellis is innocent, then let her deny the facts in writing, one at a time. I'm sure by now she's read Poetic Justice and she knows just how much I know about what she's done. She also knows there is much more I can report on and have chosen not too at this time.

As long as she keeps sending letters we will continue to report. I won't be satisfied until she is charged with extortion and fraud. Obviously Linda Ellis has learned very little from the past three years. Read her most recent public statement below. To get the whole story, read Poetic Justice.

It is important to know that Linda Ellis sent me and thousands of other bloggers The Dash in an unsolicited email without including a warning not to share it on line. Once the poem is shared she then demands $7500 or more for a Rotractive Licensing Fee. She then expects that person to agree to keep the settlement a secret.

"My name, Linda Ellis, has received negative publicity online about the protection of my work due to the diligent work of  cyberstalkers.  Of course, their hate campaign began when someone was found using my copyrighted work by her business without permission.  She decided instead of admitting fault and liability to begin a cyberstalking campaign against me which escalated into threats, lawyers, Permanent Protective Orders and other completely unnecessary and ugly scenarios.

In this age of cyberspace, we are all prey to those who know how to negatively effect a reputation using their most powerful weapon, their keyboard.  I have learned that it doesn't matter.  I know who I am.  I know what is in my heart.  I am completely open about my copyright enforcement policy.  I urge people to read and understand the laws of copyright.  I work to prevent my creations from falling into public domain, and that is my right, ethically and legally.  My cyberstalkers have created ludicrous images, slander and defamation that only exemplify their lack of professionalism and desperation.  I know why I have to protect my work and I will continue to do so, despite their childish memes, slander and allegations.

GET POETIC JUSTICE

 

9:46PM

Has John W. Jolin Kissed Linda Ellis Good Bye?

Before I share the latest news on Linda Ellis' henchman John W. Jolin, let me repeat the following. If you are one of those people who actually believes the letters and emails you are receiving from Linda and John, then you deserve to be taken to the cleaners. There are literally hundreds of posts written by dozens of people telling you not too engage with these creeps. I'm beginning to lose patience with the targets who don't have 5 minutes to open a handful of blog posts, news articles and videos exposing this plot to rip off good people. With that said, an entire Board of Education just voted to pay her $1650 on the advice of a lazy ass attorney who didn't bother to even look on the Internet for information. Trust me, they all know she made a fool out of them and they are not happy. Still...

Now the reason for this post. It appears that John W. Jolin may have bailed out on Linda Ellis like every other copyright manager she has used as a collection agent over the past 15 years. Unfortunately for John Boy, I was one of his first targets and the exposure I've brought to this scheme sent his extortion career on a downhill slide. The Glory Days of the money flowing like water into Ellis bank account are over. To date, we have advised hundreds not to pay her and I know for a fact that 236 people have not. In 2011, Linda told me herself that 99.99% of all targets paid her.  If she reduced the demand down from $7500 to $3500 per target, she's lost $826,000 since January of 2012. I happen to know she demanded $150,000 from one target and there may be others before I came on the scene that she demanded a hundred thousand dollars from. Fair to say, we may have kept her from extorting over $1,000,000 from preachers, teachers, students, entreprenuers, grieving families and war heroes.

So for the umpteenth time, take my advice. Don't respond. Don't believe the so called facts and threats in the letters. None of what she writes is true. This is a scheme and what she is doing is NOT LEGAL.

Send me all your emails and letters and I will include your letter in our complaint with the Georgia State Attorney General. Then buy my book and share it with others and help us prevent more victims. amazon.com/author/brownaprilpoeticjustice

9:37AM

Linda Ellis Did Not File a Lawsuit Against Caldwell County Schools

Members of the Caldwell County Board of Education were shocked to hear about it, but if the board had rejected the settlement it risked that the school system could lose at trial and be ordered to pay much more, board member Dottie Darsie said.

Click to read more ...

6:40PM

Dash Author Linda Ellis Still Sending Extortion Letters

Linda Ellis and John W. Jolin are still sending out extortion letters. The letter has morphed again to now include an invoice for payment. One can imagine that nobody would be stupid enough to pay off Linda Ellis on the first letter, but Caldwell County Schools settled with Linda on the advice of an attorney for $1650. Of course they are kicking their very educated asses for stupidly failing to investigate the Dash Extortion Scheme and not contacting me BEFORE the "My Cousin Vinnie" (first half of the movie attorney) settled with Jolin. The attorney admitted to having little to no knowlege of the Internet, much like Jolin has little to no knowlege of law. Maybe the two of should open up a practice together. Both are pretty good at convincing people to pay them for practicing copyright law.

Caldwelll County County did not need an attorney to tell them what the Intellectual Property Attorney for the State of New York discovered when he carefully read through the extortion letter and then called me. Linda Ellis and John W. Jolin are operating a very sketchy scheme for collecting money from educators. The Caldwell County Schools attorney believed he had helped the school system dodge a bullet, meaning a Federal lawsuit. Of course, his advice was wrong, wrong, wrong. Read this open letter to Linda Ellis from a Caldwell County School Teacher. She seems to be the only one who knows the teacher committed no wrong when she assigned The Dash as a study in life lessons to her students. Does Fair Use ring a bell with anyone?

I decided to let you all see what a string of Jolin's emails look like so you won't be afraid to ignore them. Although I have permission to print the name of the target, I've chosen not too. I've changed his name to "Imbeingextorted". He posted the Dash poem in a newsletter style blog.

The Caldwell County Schools attorney fell for every single scare tactic like the "time sensitive" nature of each email. I look forward to the day Jolin spends some sensitive time in a jail for extortion, don't you?

Never - I mean never respond to Jolin or Ellis and if you already have, stop right now. In spite of what the ridiculously worded Dash Extortion letter and subsequent emails claim, Linda Ellis has never sued anyone for posting The Dash and she's never won a judgement in Federal Court against anyone who has posted The Dash. You need to buy Poetic Justice and read the truth behind that stupid poem. (www.getpoeticjustice.com) Then send the book to the Attorney General your State.

LINDA’S LYRICS, LLC

1050 E. Piedmont Road, E135 Marietta, GA 30062

T 678-521-6216
F 770-977-0077 thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net

www.lindaellis.net

Sent via: Email & US Mail

April 7, 2015

Ellis Target

Email: Imbeingextorted@dashvictim.net

Re: NOTIFICATION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT OF THE POEM, “THE DASH”

Linda Ellis is the author of the poem, “The Dash” and works derivative of “The Dash” (collectively, the “Poem.”). She owns the copyright for the Poem which is registered in the Library of Congress, Registration Certificate: TXu 858-108, as well as various related trademarks.

Imbeingextoted is currently using Ms. Ellis’ poem below without authorization. Screen Capture: April 7, 2015

Linda’s Lyrics, LLC can find no reference to a license being issued for your use of the poem. Accordingly, federal copyright and trademark law affords copyright and brand owners, such as Linda’s Lyrics, LLC, the exclusive right to reproduce their works and use their brands in any medium. Unauthorized publication of “The Dash” in connection with Imbeingextorted, including its publication http://www. - - -- -(the “Website”) constitutes federal copyright infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 202 and is also a violation of state unfair competition laws. Please note that the Copyright Act provides for individual liability for all those involved in the infringement as well as corporate liability.

Linda Ellis makes her living as an author and inspirational speaker. She has devoted much of her adult life to creating Poem, derivative works of the Poem and delivering the messages embodied in the Poem. She has invested countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in her brand. Ms. Ellis feels incredibly fortunate to make a living by providing inspiration, power and self-determination to the public.

However, the primary means by which she makes her living (enabling her to deliver her mes- sage) is from the sales and licensing of books and products containing and related to her Poem. When others make unauthorized uses of the Poem, Ms. Ellis and her company, Linda’s Lyrics, LLC are damaged especially since each unauthorized posting of her copyrighted work perpetuates its continuing illegal distribution. Rather than pursue legal action for copyright infringement, Linda’s Lyrics, LLC is proposing the following settlement actions:

Linda’s Lyrics, LLC is willing to issue a retroactive license for your unauthorized usage of the poem, provided all requirements below are fulfilled:

• Take the Poem down from the Website and any other website in which you own or have control;

• Destroy any marketing or other literature in your possession, custody or control which contains any material portion of the Poem on the Website or any other website(s) that you own or have control.

• Pay the retroactive license fee noted in the enclosed claim invoice within ten (10) days. (Please see attached claim invoice.)

Subject to payment of the retroactive licensing fee, you are welcome to inquire about continued use of the poem. Please contact Linda’s Lyrics, LLC at the below email or phone number to dis- cuss your licensing needs.

Federal law authorizes copyright owners, like Ms. Ellis, to recover statutory damages of up to $30,000.00 for each copyright violation in addition to the recovery of all attorneys’ and costs involved in pursuing the copyright violation. 17 U.S.C. §§ 504(c)(1) and 505. If a court determines the infringement intentional or “willful,” the law authorizes a court to award statutory damages of up to $150,000.00 per copyright violation. 17 U.S.C. § 504(c)(2).

We do not enjoy lawsuits and hope to not have to resort to the courts; however, Ms. Ellis has proven that she has, and will, protect the value and integrity of her copyrighted works. In the case of Ellis v. Aronson, filed in the Northern District of Georgia, Ms. Ellis received a judgment the amount of $269,000.00.1

This letter is sent as a compromise to resolve our claims of copyright infringement based on the information we have gathered to date. Our offer of settlement is subject to change based off of the scope of the infringement. Please contact Linda’s Lyrics, LLC at the number or email below to resolve and discuss this issue. If the above steps are not taken within the time allotted, Linda Ellis and Linda’s Lyrics, LLC reserve all rights to pursue this matter in the courts to the maxi- mum extent authorized under the law at any time without further notice to you. We would rather not take such action and we hope that a reasonable settlement can be arranged.

Please contact, or have your insurance representative contact Linda’s Lyrics, LLC via email, wthedashmanagement@lindaellis.net, or telephone, 678-521-6216 within ten (10) days to resolve this matter.

We look forward to your timely response. Sincerely,

Linda's Lyrics, LLC
1050 E. Piedmont Road, Suite E-135 Marietta, GA 30062
PHONE: 678-521-6216
FAX: 770-977-0077

This message is intended only for the use of the recipient to whom it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the in- tended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. The contents of this email are copyrighted and cannot be legally published or posted without expressed permission of the author and copyright owner.

Ms. Ellis received a damage award for $150,000.00 plus attorneys’ fees of $119,000.00 for a total award of $269,000.00 against the Defendant, Eric Aronson.

April 8

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 2:01 PM
To: Imbeingextorted
Subject: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted
Importance: High

The attached letter is to serve as notification of copyright infringement of the poem, "The Dash."  "The Dash" is a poem written by Linda Ellis, and she owns the legal copyright to the poem.  This registered, copyrighted work has been published and distributed unauthorized on the web site below.

http://www.imbeingextorted.net

We look forward to hearing from you, your legal counsel, or your insurance company regarding the prompt payment of our claim invoice to resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

 

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

1050 E. Piedmont Road

Suite E-135

 

 

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

Fax: 770-977-0077

NOTICE: This message and accompanying documents are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, and contains information intended for the specified individual(s) only. This electronic mail transmission is for the use of the named individual or entity to which it is directed and may contain information that is privileged or confidential. It is not to be transmitted to or received by anyone other than the named addressee (or a person authorized to deliver it to the named addressee). It is not to be copied or forwarded to any unauthorized persons. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify the sender of the error by replying via email or by calling Linda’s Lyrics at (678) 521-6216, so that our address record can be corrected.

2nd Email

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 5:01 PM
To: Imbeingextorted
Subject: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted  
Importance: High

The attached letter is to serve as notification of copyright infringement of the poem, "The Dash."  "The Dash" is a poem written by Linda Ellis, and she owns the legal copyright to the poem.  This registered, copyrighted work has been published and distributed unauthorized on the web site below.

http://www.Imbeingextorted

We look forward to hearing from you, your legal counsel, or your insurance company regarding the prompt payment of our claim invoice to resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

1050 E. Piedmont Road

Suite E-135

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

Fax: 770-977-0077

NOTICE: This message and accompanying documents are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, and contains information intended for the specified individual(s) only. This electronic mail transmission is for the use of the named individual or entity to which it is directed and may contain information that is privileged or confidential. It is not to be transmitted to or received by anyone other than the named addressee (or a person authorized to deliver it to the named addressee). It is not to be copied or forwarded to any unauthorized persons. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify the sender of the error by replying via email or by calling Linda’s Lyrics at (678) 521-6216, so that our address record can be corrected.

3rd Email

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 8:19 AM
To: Imbeingextorted
Subject: RE: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted  

Thank you for the prompt removal of Ms. Ellis’ poem from your website. Please respond promptly to our offer of settlement to resolve this matter. 

Sincerely,

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

1050 E. Piedmont Road

Suite E-135

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

Fax: 770-977-0077

 

4th Email

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2015 10:23 AM
To: Imbeingextorted
Subject: RE: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted  

Mr. Barberini,

Please respond promptly to our offer settlement to resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

1050 E. Piedmont Road

Suite E-135

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

Fax: 770-977-0077

6th Email

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 2:22 PM
To: Imbeingextorted@dashvictim.net
Subject: RE: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted  
Importance: High

Mr. Imbeingextorted,

Just to be clear our settlement offer is in lieu of filing suit in federal court and pursuing statutory damages. Statutory damages are a damage award in civil law, in which the amount awarded is stipulated within the statute rather than being calculated based on the degree of harm to the plaintiff. Lawmakers will provide for statutory damages for acts in which it is difficult to determine a precise value of the loss suffered by the victim. Because of the ease of infringement, federal law authorizes copyright owners, like Ms. Ellis, to recover statutory damages of up to $30,000.00 for each copyright violation in addition to the recovery of all attorneys’ and costs involved in pursuing the copyright violation. 17 U.S.C. §§ 504(c)(1) and 505.  If a court determines the infringement intentional or “willful,” the law authorizes a court to award statutory damages of up to $150,000.00 per copyright violation.  17 U.S.C. § 504(c)(2).

We do not enjoy lawsuits and hope to not have to resort to the courts; however, Ms. Ellis has proven that she has, and will, protect the value and integrity of her copyrighted works.  In the case of Ellis v. Aronson, filed in the Northern District of Georgia, Ms. Ellis received a judgment the amount of $269,000.00.

Ms. Ellis is prepared to file a lawsuit in Federal Court if we cannot reach a resolution..

We hope that you share our desire to avoid the costs and expenses of litigation and come to a resolution of this matter.  If so, contact us immediately or remit payment to Linda’s Lyrics, LLC to resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

2146 Roswell Rd. NE

STE 108-124

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

 

NOTICE: This message and accompanying documents are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, and contains information intended for the specified individual(s) only. This electronic mail transmission is for the use of the named individual or entity to which it is directed and may contain information that is privileged or confidential. It is not to be transmitted to or received by anyone other than the named addressee (or a person authorized to deliver it to the named addressee). It is not to be copied or forwarded to any unauthorized persons. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify the sender of the error by replying via email or by calling Linda’s Lyrics at (678) 521-6216, so that our address record can be corrected.

5th Email

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 10:05 AM
To: Imbeingextorted
Subject: RE: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted  

Mr. Imbeingextorted,

Please respond so we can finally resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

 

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

2146 Roswell Rd. NE

STE 108-124

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

NOTICE: This message and accompanying documents are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, and contains information intended for the specified individual(s) only. This electronic mail transmission is for the use of the named individual or entity to which it is directed and may contain information that is privileged or confidential. It is not to be transmitted to or received by anyone other than the named addressee (or a person authorized to deliver it to the named addressee). It is not to be copied or forwarded to any unauthorized persons. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify the sender of the error by replying via email or by calling Linda’s Lyrics at (678) 521-6216, so that our address record can be corrected.

6th Email

 

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2015 6:23 AM
To: Imbeingextorted
Subject: RE: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted  

Mr. Imbeingextorted,

Please respond immediately to our offer of settlement to resolve this matter amicably.

Sincerely,

 

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

1050 E. Piedmont Road

Suite E-135

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

Fax: 770-977-0077

 

NOTICE: This message and accompanying documents are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, and contains information intended for the specified individual(s) only. This electronic mail transmission is for the use of the named individual or entity to which it is directed and may contain information that is privileged or confidential. It is not to be transmitted to or received by anyone other than the named addressee (or a person authorized to deliver it to the named addressee). It is not to be copied or forwarded to any unauthorized persons. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify the sender of the error by replying via email or by calling Linda’s Lyrics at (678) 521-6216, so that our address record can be corrected.

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2015 2:02 PM
To: Imbeingextorted
Subject: RE: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted  
Importance: High

Imbeingextorted,

We have been more than patient. We are turning this matter over to our IP attorney in 3 days if we do not hear from you. Please contact me immediately to avoid costly litigation.

Sincerely,

 

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

2146 Roswell Rd. NE

STE 108-124

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

NOTICE: This message and accompanying documents are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, and contains information intended for the specified individual(s) only. This electronic mail transmission is for the use of the named individual or entity to which it is directed and may contain information that is privileged or confidential. It is not to be transmitted to or received by anyone other than the named addressee (or a person authorized to deliver it to the named addressee). It is not to be copied or forwarded to any unauthorized persons. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify the sender of the error by replying via email or by calling Linda’s Lyrics at (678) 521-6216, so that our address record can be corrected.

7th Email

From: The Dash Management [mailto:thedashmanagement@lindaellis.net]
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2015 2:02 PM
To: Imbeingextorted
Subject: RE: Notice of copyright infringement to Imbeingextorted  
Importance: High

Imbeingextorted, 

We have been more than patient. We are turning this matter over to our IP attorney in 3 days if we do not hear from you. Please contact me immediately to avoid costly litigation.

Sincerely,

 

John W. Jolin

Intellectual Property Coordinator

Linda's Lyrics, LLC

2146 Roswell Rd. NE

STE 108-124

Marietta, GA 30062

www.lindaellis.net

Phone:  678-521-6216

NOTICE: This message and accompanying documents are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, and contains information intended for the specified individual(s) only. This electronic mail transmission is for the use of the named individual or entity to which it is directed and may contain information that is privileged or confidential. It is not to be transmitted to or received by anyone other than the named addressee (or a person authorized to deliver it to the named addressee). It is not to be copied or forwarded to any unauthorized persons. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify the sender of the error by replying via email or by calling Linda’s Lyrics at (678) 521-6216, so that our address record can be corrected.

 

(The letter below is the open letter to Linda Ellis from Arlene Neal a Caldwell County School teacher. Lex Menz writer for News-Topic and the teacher both mistakenly wrote that Caldwell County Schools was sued by Linda Ellis. This is not true. Caldwell County Schools received the first letter with the threat of a lawsuite and turned the letter over to Attorney Ed Blair. The rumor circulated that they school was being sued.)

Dear Ms. Ellis:

As you search the Internet for mention of your poem, “The Dash,” perhaps you will find this letter. I do hope so. After your recent lawsuit against the Caldwell County Schools for copyright infringement, you might want feedback about how people now perceive you, and you might find some things to contemplate in light of the message of your popular poem.

The dash we’re concerned with in your poem is that dash on tombstones between the date of birth and the date of death, in essence, the whole mortal life we live. (For obvious reasons, I will not put the text of your poem here in this column. I am not stupid.) You challenge us to make the most of our time on earth because we only have a certain number of years, so what we do with them is a matter of great importance. I get that — I really do; however, your lawsuit has made me wonder if you do.

After learning of the CCS settlement with you, I visited your website to find out a little more about you and your inspirational writing. I don’t mean to alarm you, but I’ve seen that poem online in the past, and no, it wasn’t linked to your website. You’re in good company, though; I’ve also seen the poems of living major poets’ works informally used with credit to the authors without litigation. But then, those poets have more than one famous poem. That might make a difference.

Poetry writing isn’t a lucrative career by any stretch of the imagination. Even with one unusually popular poem like “The Dash,” I doubt that you could retire on it. I understand your needing to maximize the potential earning power of the poem with your online merchandising and the accompanying book. Even so, I think you might actually earn more by threatening lawsuits than from sales of those “The Dash” necklaces.

This local lawsuit is only one of many, I surmise, given the posts I’ve read online. Other school districts in various places appear to have used your poem for educational purposes and subsequently received the ominous letter and paid you significant amounts of money. It’s interesting that you have a pattern of settling out of court, though not surprising in that a judge could possibly rule against you if an educator in good faith thought the usage of the poem to be covered under the "fair use" doctrine. Given the message of your poem, I do find the CCS lawsuit ironic.

You wrote a poem that has circulated widely in the past 19 years because of the clever dash proposition, a concept that plays well at events, like funerals, needing an inspirational touch. You may have felt that you lost control of your poem, “The Dash” becoming familiar to people much the same way as “Footprints,” another marketable inspirational poem few gift shops lack. That being said, I struggle to respect you since, as an educator, I resent your targeting a middle school teacher’s use of your poem (with full credit to you as author) for a homework assignment, not exactly piracy with evil intent.

Educational fair use policies are often confusing, usually interpreted by lawyers in determining “economic effect” in “harm to current or potential market.” Do teachers make mistakes? Of course we do. Do most poets litigate? Certainly not. Instead of sticking it to a cash-strapped school system, could you not have sent an email stating your preference that the poem be removed or that use of your poem be linked to your website, where your merchandise is featured? Even though you might have a legal angle in the lawsuit, you still appear petty and grasping.

Perhaps you could have thanked the teacher for challenging students to consider their “dashes” to become good, honorable people leading meaningful lives. For Pete’s sake, would you not agree that middle school students need that kind of inspiration? Your actions completely contradict your message. I wouldn’t want it said of me that I spent my “dash” taking advantage of well-meaning teachers for ill-gotten gain.

The only dash I’m left to ponder is the one you will be making to the bank when the check arrives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:47PM

Linda Ellis Charges Students and Teachers with Copyright Infringement

Teacher assigns The Dash to middle school students and Gets Snared by Linda's Lyrics Copyright Representative John W. Jolin. Threats of Federal lawsuit and huge settlements scares Board into payoff.

Author Linda Ellis copyright owner of The Dash poem accused Caldwell County Schools, Lenoir, North Carolina of copyright infringement and that accusation admittedly frightened the School Board into paying off the known copyright troll and accused extortionist.

On July 6, 2015 Arlene Neal, a school teacher with the District and columnist for News-Topic.Net wrote an open letter to Linda Ellis calling out the poet for what hundreds of other Ellis targets have said before Neal. “…I struggle to respect you since, as an educator, I resent your targeting a middle school teacher’s use of your poem (with full credit to you as author) for a homework assignment, not exactly piracy with evil intent”.

Ed Blair, the school system’s lawyer, spent the better part of a month talking John W. Jolin and Ellis down from her demand ($7500?) to a mere $1,625. Board member Dottie Darsie was convinced by the inspirational author's threat to sue the school in Federal Court and “lose at trial and be ordered to pay much more”. Apparently neither Darsie or Blair are aware of the trolling operation in spite of hundreds of posts, comments and articles on the Internet exposing the scheme. The money was paid to Ellis from the Parent/Teacher Fund since the school’s insurance policy “does not cover this type of claim” according to Blair. Blair seems to think they learned a much needed lesson, “the experience can serve as an education for school faculty and staff”.

April Brown, a Seattle charity auctioneer and another of Ellis's targets, shared The Dash on a blog in 2011 and wrote a book chronicling the years of harassment and slander she continues to endure from by the Christian author. "The Dash by Linda Ellis is nothing more than bait for the unsuspecting good person who has only one intention – inspiring others", said Brown. She admires Arlene Neal as one of the growing numbers of targets and victims speaking out although Neal's voice was too late to abort the settlement. Victim's and educators worry that Caldwell County School District's willingness to pay off Linda Ellis will create more settlements from more school districts. Along with educators - religious leaders, charities and churches, funeral related businesses and grieving families are common targets of the the Ellis scheme.

Ed Blair lamented in Lex Menz's article for News-topic.net, “it’s a bitter pill to swallow”. Reflecting on Blair's decision to settle with Ellis, Brown said, "Attorney Blair could have given very different advice to the Board. Ignore Linda Ellis. She has never sued anyone and she never will". Brown hopes teachers will expand the assignment to include recent developments. "I'd like to see the teachers empower students to further expose this scheme to the rest of North Carolina and the State Attorney General."

April Brown is the author of "Poetic Justice - the True Story Behind The Dash Poem and One Victim's Mission to End Copyright Extortion and Bullying." Brown wrote the book after being targeted by Ellis for more than 3 years. She has helped 221 people avoid paying off Linda Ellis, including attorneys, preachers, teachers, priests, rabbis, students, small business owners and funeral industry related businesses and grieving families.

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Georgia housewife Linda Ellis is a known copyright troll. The author threatens educators, students, charities, religious leaders, and small business owners with legal action to get huge settlements.