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Thread: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

  1. #1

    Default Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    We received an inquiry from a member a few weeks back asking us to remove a couple of threads, said he was being threatened for them being on this forum and would we remove them? After a few back and forth emails we said, "this is not your problem so have these folks contact us." And thus the fun began. They sent us what appears below and after a bit of research we responded. Ultimately I found a different email address for the store owner who was supposedly being represented--I heard from him today and this was all news to him, and he said he's no longer in business so this was all an attempt to strong-arm us out of some money it appears. Didn't quite work out, but was a fair amount of fun.

    Thought it worth sharing.

    First, we received this email from a general GMail address with some odd domain names copied that didn't make sense to us and a picture of someone that was supposed to be a lawyer but was actually a picture of a Tibetan lama taken in 2005 in Germany. Hard to make stuff up this good.

    -------------------

    [Name of music store removed]
    Los Angeles, CA

    November 6, 2017

    To whom it may concern,

    This law firm represents [Name of music store removed]. If you are represented by legal counsel, please direct this letter to your attorney immediately and have your attorney notify us of such representation.

    We are writing to notify you that your unlawful copying of [Name of music store and their supposed copyright instrument removed] infringes upon our client’s exclusive copyrights. Accordingly, you are hereby directed to

    CEASE AND DESIST ALL COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

    [Name of music store removed] is the owner of a copyright in various aspects of the trade name Bandola Expandido. Under United States copyright law, [Name of music store removed] copyrights have been in effect since the date that the name Bandola Expandido was created. All copyrightable aspects of [Name of music store removed] Bandola Expandido are copyrighted under United States copyright law.

    It has come to our attention that you have been copying The name Bandola Expandido on MandolinCafe.com. We have copies of your unlawful copies to preserve as evidence. Your actions constitute copyright infringement in violation of United States copyright laws. Under 17 U.S.C. 504, the consequences of copyright infringement include statutory damages of between $750 and $30,000 per work, at the discretion of the court, and damages of up to $150,000 per work for willful infringement. If you continue to engage in copyright infringement after receiving this letter, your actions will be evidence of “willful infringement.”

    We demand that you immediately (A) cease and desist your unlawful copying of the Bandola Expandido trademarked name and (B) provide us with prompt written assurance within ten (10) days that you will cease and desist from further infringement of [CLIENT]’s copyrighted works.

    If you do not comply with this cease and desist demand within this time period, [Name of music store removed] is entitled to use your failure to comply as evidence of “willful infringement” and seek monetary damages and equitable relief for your copyright infringement. In the event you fail to meet this demand, please be advised that [Name of music store removed] has asked us to communicate to you that it will contemplate pursuing all available legal remedies, including seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and an order that you pay court costs and attorney’s fees. Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.

    Before taking these steps, however, my client wished to give you one opportunity to discontinue your illegal conduct by complying with this demand within ten (10) days. Accordingly, please sign and return the attached Agreement within ten (10) days to

    If you or your attorney have any questions, please contact me directly.

    Sincerely,

    [Name removed]

    -----------------------------------

    To which we replied, including a link to the Tibetan lama whose picture appeared on the GMail account:

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    The Mandolin Cafe is protected by and is a member in good standing with the United States government's DMCA copyright protection program which I'm sure you are intimately familiar with. We provide strict enforcement for the content that appears on our site. It's for that reason we provide the following information to assist in making sure your inquiry is a success:

    Please refer to our official DMCA statement at https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/faq.php. You will need to send a certified or registered letter on your law firm's letterhead stating the nature of your concern to our official agent of record as listed with the United States DMCA government office along with printouts and/or URLs (web addresses) of the pages that are of concern to your client. We are not aware of any issues regarding your inquiry and have not been provided such information so cannot further assist.

    We cannot accept email inquiries from generic email addresses that are not representative of a law firm and for the protection of the parties you deem to be representing, we need to ensure you are in fact acting on behalf of those you have named. It's for this reason that all of the information that follows also also be a part of this package.

    In the generic form letter you sent us below stating your client's case, copied verbatim (including formatting) from the following web site - https://jux.law/cease-desist-letter-...e-sample-form/ - please note that web site states important information which should be part of your inquiry:

    -----------------

    The following is a Cease and Desist Letter template for those who are looking for a sample form to use as an example. This Cease and Desist Letter is solely for use with copyright infringement (it could be modified for other purposes), and is from the perspective of a Minneapolis attorney writing on behalf of a client whose copyrighted works were being infringed.

    Warning: You should not use this Cease and Desist Letter without consulting first with an attorney to ensure that it complies with the law in your jurisdiction. Also, Cease and Desist Letters are best sent by attorneys because they carry more weight when a lawyer writes a letter threatening legal action if someone doesn’t cease and desist illegal conduct.
    -----------------

    Since it appears both your law practice and your client are based in California you should research the proper verbiage and dollar amounts that fit with the laws of your state, not those of Minnesota. In addition, the form was not filled out correctly as you omitted some client information. Finally, there was a Copyright Infringement Settlement Agreement sample statement in the information from the web site above you indicated was attached in your initial inquiry. It was not, and will need to be a part of the package mailed to us and should also be on your law firm's letterhead along with a stamped envelope with your law firm's address.

    In your letter please include the copyright number on record from the U.S. government for the term "Bandola Expandido." We did an initial search and could find no such copyright so your assistance in bringing this information to our attention will be appreciated.

    Our attorney has also asked for a detailed written statement outlining the history of the term used, and estimated financial damages your client has suffered as a result of this information appearing on the internet.

    respectfully,

    Scott Tichenor
    Mandolin Cafe
    Since 1995
    http://www.mandolincafe.com

    Addendum: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...a_rinpoche.jpg

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  3. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Wonderful. I only get e-mail from people claiming to be a Nigerian prince.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Wow! All of that over a single post?
    This is all I found on the cafe
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...dola-Expandido
    2016 Franzke A5 Custom w/Rubner tuners & James Tailpiece & McClung Armrest
    2014 JBovier A5T w/Grover 308 tuners & McClung Armrest
    2017 Kentucky KM-272 w/SOliver Armrest
    2015 Blueridge BR-40TCE Tenor to Octave Mandolin conversion
    1960s Harmony H1213 Archtone Guitar to Mandocello conversion

  6. #4

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    What really sucks is you probably had to pay your attorney to respond. Glad you found it amusing !
    Lou

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Ebola bandito what?

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    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    You are our hero Scott. Dont' think we don't appreciate it!
    A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

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    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Wonderful. I only get e-mail from people claiming to be a Nigerian prince.
    http://www.spamscamscam.com/read_letters.php
    2016 Franzke A5 Custom w/Rubner tuners & James Tailpiece & McClung Armrest
    2014 JBovier A5T w/Grover 308 tuners & McClung Armrest
    2017 Kentucky KM-272 w/SOliver Armrest
    2015 Blueridge BR-40TCE Tenor to Octave Mandolin conversion
    1960s Harmony H1213 Archtone Guitar to Mandocello conversion

  11. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    By the way, you can find the same letter here. Only the names have been changed. I'm sure I can find more copies if I look.

    And... Here's where it comes from!
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Thanks for taking care of this obvious scam. Handled with great aplomb.
    Californian - Pacific Music Supply oval hole (Strad-O-Lin genre)
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Awwww, SNAP. You mess with the Tichenor you die a death from a thousand e string pointy end pokes.

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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  16. #11

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    And... Here's where it comes from!
    Glad you clarified that Mike. I would have bet it was modeled after Barney Fife's cease and desist letter to the 'Miracle Salve Company'.
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Now, this is simply beyond....words!
    What a crazy pile of horse excrement, I’m speechless and, you all. Know that doesn’t happen to me very often!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  18. #13

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    So sorry to hear about this.

    There are HUGE intellectual property problems going on and the epicenter appears to be Florida, the world's capital for identity theft. U.S. IP laws are designed to protect slimy law firms, not IP owners, and the issue is only going to get worse going forward.

    I'm in the midst of a battle myself and it is a major PITA. They toss up bogus claims putting the legitimate owner in a spot of having to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees just to hold on to what you already own. Many just roll over because they can't afford to fight it.

    It's crazy!

    Glad yours was good fun. Mine has been anything but.
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    It's hard to lie to an old liar, isn't it?
    David Hopkins

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  20. #15
    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Long story, short....I shouldn't expect a check anytime soon? 🙁. ....how to fund a Gilchrist... 😢

  21. #16

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Loubrava View Post
    What really sucks is you probably had to pay your attorney to respond. Glad you found it amusing !
    Lou
    Well, I did buy him two beers at our favorite brewery late this afternoon after we went for an 8 mile walk so that's as good as he expects to be compensated. He didn't lift a finger on this. Was easy enough to figure out and actually quite a fair amount of fun to craft that reply. He enjoyed hearing about it one our walk. We met at the 1978 Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival when he was in high school and I was in college. We've been friends since, both have 20 something daughters. And he has a horrible secret. Besides being a blood sucking attorney, he plays THE BANJO. He did advise the Cafe on the DMCA stuff. That also cost me two beers. Guy is expensive. I also gave him a ride home tonight because the brewery is closer to my house than his.

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  23. #17

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    That's a lot of daughters.
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    OK, so-o-o-o-o-o-o, ¿como se llama, este lama?
    New here? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.
    Or click "Learn/Listen", then "Social Groups", then find "Newbies".

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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Well done. I love it when intelligent people take on these sorts of nefarious activities.

    For those who like Nigerian scammers, you might appreciate this: http://kasperhauser.com/scammer-letters

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by imstrider View Post
    Well done. I love it when intelligent people take on these sorts of nefarious activities.

    For those who like Nigerian scammers, you might appreciate this: http://kasperhauser.com/scammer-letters
    I've seen, heard and toyed with many of these dastardly idiots over the years; began reading Kasper's exchange with them anyway, and it was worth the read. Hilarious.

    Once I got to this part, I was laughing out loud:
    Phone number: Junkie-Hobbit-Bilbo
    Jumbo-Jumbo-Jumbo-Growler Jumbo-Bilbo-Donkey-Wolfbait
    Swift Code: Donkey-Donkey-Hobbit Junkie-Bilbo
    Pony-Yankee-Jumbo-Donkey
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    And some wonder if it is safe to sell a mandolin here. Scott is way on top of things and I feel safer here than, OK you get the idea.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  32. #22
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Thanks, Scott, for dealing with this and all of the 'cafe back (and front) end!
    Related: apparently someone is using AI to battle scammers: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/08/so...il-bot-to.html
    Don't know if it'll work on a copyright troll, but maybe it can *learn*.
    cheers,
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Well done Scott !. Refering to Mike Edgerton's link,it does seem like a similar Scam e-mail,but unnerving & unpleasant to receive none the less. It seems that you bounced the ball straight back to the server - with 'add-ons' - awesome !!!,
    Ivan
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    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Wonderful. I only get e-mail from people claiming to be a Nigerian prince.
    The Prince contacts you directly! I've only heared from one of his representatives.
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  36. #25
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe threatened with lawsuit

    Well I get the scam with the Nigerian Prince...but whats the angle on hassling the Cafe? Was he expecting to get money for settling the "suit" or just hoping to get kicks from watching you take a thread down? Kudos to you btw. So many weirdos to dodge & taking up time gets to be a drag.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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