"PUT ME IN THE STORY" CREATES MORE VICTIMS FOR LINDA ELLIS AND THE DASH EXTORTION LETTER SCHEME
Put Me In The Story, an on-line gift store, announced that The Dash by Linda Ellis, a poem often recited at funerals and posted on blogs, has been added to their list of books that can be personalized by adding a deceased person’s name and photo. The service is affiliated with Source Books. The move is shocking considering that Linda Ellis is a notorious copyright troll who sends letters accusing unwitting fans of copyright infringement. Her most lucrative targets are grieving families and business associated with the funeral industry. When Ellis discovers her poem on a blog or in a remembrance program she demands as much as $100,000 from the family and funeral home for the alleged infringement.
“This new gift idea being launched by putmeinthestory.com just in time for the holiday season is sure to create more victims for Linda Ellis”, lamented April Brown, founder of BEWARE DON’T SHARE, a blog that warns people about The Dash Extortion Letter scheme. I’m shocked that the company didn’t investigate this scheme before licensing this dangerous product. Brown considers The Dash the most financially damaging piece of literature ever copyrighted and many others agree. When questioned about the scheme, Linda Ellis told Brown that she “should pay up since 99.9% of her targets do”. Brown was incredulous. “I’ve been in this fight for three years and I’m confident her settlements have dwindled, although she is clearly earning a lucrative income from the scheme. I advise her victims to refuse to pay and then ignore her threats”, said Brown. Ellis sends as many as seven letters over the course of a year and sometimes asks John Jolin, her web designer, to call her targets and pressure them. “100% of the people who take my advice eventually shake off the harassment and the harassers” Brown boasts. Although Ellis asked Marietta, Georgia attorney, Timothy Lockhart to send a demand letter to Brown, the author operates outside the legal system for the most part. Brown has never paid Ellis a penny.
The Dash poem was copyrighted by Linda Ellis in 1998 and since that time she has sent thousands of letters demanding large sums of money for posting it on the Internet or putting it in any printed form without her permission. Brown is disturbed by this latest marketing scheme and only found out about it when she received an unsolicited email from putmeinthestory.com on Sunday. “This is exactly how I learned about The Dash poem. Linda Ellis sent me an unsolicited email asking me to read and then share her poem and I did. Within weeks she found the poem on my blog and she began sending me legal looking letters demanding that I pay her $7500”, said Brown. Instead of sending Ellis a payoff, Brown decided to expose the scheme.
Brown claims that her grassroots effort has paid off by preventing more victims. One of her more lofty goals is to “unshare” the poem. “I won’t be happy until that poem is wiped clean from the Internet. Nobody is safe from this horrific abuse as long as the poem exists in any form and Linda Ellis stays in the shadows.” Brown started the BEWARE DON’T SHARE campaign hoping that Internet users will assist her in spreading the word about The Dash.
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