Hello from Downunder...

I run a small business in Sydney, Australia, providing funeral support services - namely funeral stationery & Memorial DVD's. I had on my website a link of suitable poems that could be recited at funerals, The Dash being one of them. The poem was passed to me from someone else, and at no time did it occur to me that it was the subject of exclusive copyright.  Millions of other poems aren't so why would I think this one was different?

On 30th June 2012, I received a copyright infringement letter from Linda's Lyrics, stating that I had violated copyright by including this poem on my website.  It also insinuated that I "profited by using something for free that costs money" & "causing harm to the value and integrity of Ms Ellis' work".  What nonsense!    I have not sold this poem to any of my clients, nor used it to promote my work/website.  So I did the right thing, removed the poems link on my website, replied to the email (maybe in hindsight I shouldn't have) stating I had done that, offered my apologies and informed them that the poem was passed to me and posted on my website as an "innocent infringer" but was however not paying $7500. A decent and fair lawyer would ask to "remove the poem, and failure to do so would THEN incur a penalty".

I got a reply saying that Ms Ellis agreed to "cut our offer of settlement in half and to settle this matter in the amount of $3,750.00 due to the size of your organization".  Oh.....ok.  So let me get this right, Ms Ellis, your work that you say is worth $7500 is now only worth half that?  And you are presumptious about the size of my business to boot!  How arrogant.

At the end of the day, I am in the business of helping people with grief and bereavement, and am appalled that I and others in the funeral industry in Australia are being targeted with this letter. 

Many thanks to April Brown and her fight against copyright trolling and your website for bringing this practice to attention.

Keep up the good work!!