DID YOU GET A LETTER FROM TIMOTHY LOCKHART OF Wilcox and Savage?
I got a letter from Timothy Lockhart too. I chose to ignore the guy. Notice that Lockhart hoped to negotiate a settlement of $2500. There is no law that says anyone has to respond to a letter from an attorney. If you get a letter from Lockhart, it's because Ellis thinks you are insured and that your insurer will pay her off. Don't fall for it.
Read my letter below.
Reply to Norfolk Office
Timothy J. Lockhart (757) 628-5582 firstname.lastname@example.org 25459.001
March 14, 2012
Via E-Mail (email@example.com)
Ms. April Brown April Brown Auction Service 1620 N. 183rd Street Shoreline, Washington 98133
Re: “The Dash” by Linda M. Ellis Dear Ms. Brown:
This firm represents Linda M. Ellis, doing business as Linda’s Lyrics, with respect to intellectual property matters. Ms. Ellis is the author and copyright owner of an inspirational poem entitled “The Dash.” In 1998 Ms. Ellis registered her copyright in the poem with the U.S. Copyright Office. We attach for your reference a copy of Ms. Ellis’s copyright registration certificate.
We understand that you recently posted “The Dash” online despite knowing that Ms. Ellis is the author and copyright owner of the poem. Because you did not seek, and Ms. Ellis did not give to you, permission to reproduce and distribute “The Dash” online, your doing so infringed Ms. Ellis’s rights under Section 106, “Exclusive rights in copyrighted works,” of Title 17 of the U.S. Code.
We also understand that when Ms. Ellis sought redress for your copyright infringement, you claimed on your website aprilbrown.com that by posting “The Dash” without her permission you somehow intended “to support Ms. Ellis.” We fail to see how your knowingly infringing
her copyright supported Ms. Ellis. Moreover, although you claimed that “at no time did [you] benefit” from posting the poem, you admitted that you posted it expressly “to inspire people to volunteer and support [your organization] Whisker City and the many non-profits [you work] with.” Thus, by your own admission you posted “The Dash” in the hope that doing so would benefit you both directly and indirectly.
We further understand that you have claimed “Ms. Ellis benefitted from [your] endorse- ment and promotion of her website.” Again, we fail to see how endorsement and promotion by an admitted copyright infringer benefitted Ms. Ellis. In any case, Ms. Ellis, as the copyright
Willcox & Savage
Ms. April Brown March 14, 2012 Page 2
owner of “The Dash,” has the exclusive right to choose how, when, where, and by whom her poem will be used, regardless of whether or not any such use benefits her. In other words, it is not up to you or anyone else to “benefit” Ms. Ellis by using “The Dash” without her permission.
Other entities that have infringed Ms. Ellis’s copyright in “The Dash” have acknow- ledged their mistake, apologized, and compensated Ms. Ellis for their unauthorized use of her famous and valuable poem. You, however, seem unwilling to do what is clearly the right thing. When Ms. Ellis confronted you with the fact of your infringement, instead of attempting to negotiate a mutually satisfactory resolution of the matter, you resorted to ridiculing Ms. Ellis on your website and even on her own Facebook page. Is that how a self-described “strong advocate for women in business” should act toward another businesswoman with a legitimate legal claim?
Given your statement that, as an author yourself, you understand “the importance of protecting intellectual property,” your apparent unwillingness to make things right with Ms. Ellis is an ironic position for you to take but one with which you strangely seem comfortable.
Under the circumstances, Ms. Ellis is willing to settle the matter for a payment to her
of $2,500. That figure represents the lowest amount ($750) of statutory damages for copyright infringement provided by Section 504(c)(1), “Remedies for Infringement; Damages and profits,” of Title 17 of the U.S. Code plus compensation for the damage done to Ms. Ellis’s professional reputation and for the legal fees Ms. Ellis has been forced to incur in this matter. Ms. Ellis also requires that you delete all references to her that you have posted on the Internet. Ms. Ellis will reciprocate by refraining from posting any references to you or this matter.
Please let me know, either directly or through your attorney, by Friday, March 23, 2012, whether you are willing to settle the matter on the foregoing basis. If you are, Ms. Ellis will bear the expense of preparing a short-form settlement agreement for execution by each party.
Also, please note that this letter is offered without prejudice to any of Ms. Ellis’s substantive rights under Rule 408 of the Federal Rules of Evidence and corresponding state rules.
Very truly yours,
Timothy J. Lockhart
cc: Linda M. Ellis (w/o attach.)
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