Intellectual Property Law
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Let me review the question. I will need to log off in the process, so please bear with me.
Thank you. I will be patient and will be on and off my computer myself, but will provide additional information if needed. My biggest hope is that there is a way I can negotiate down the 15,000 requested or at least make payments on it. I am not sure what I will do if I have to make this payment in the next few days.
To answer in short: yes you should and can negotiate. But let me compose a more meaningful answer.
Question: approximately how much in profit did you make off the sales?
Approximately $2420 in profit $3300 in total sales over almost 3 months. I have to go back through my records for the exact amount (in process of doing so), but this is a pretty close estimate. I had stopped selling them completely and had no intention of selling more about 2 weeks prior to the notice I received, but obviously that does not excuse the past sales. Also, do I need a lawyer to negotiate on my behalf, or can I do so on my own.
OK... $3128.16 was the exact total sales, $2171.52 in profit
First, these type of letters and demands are fairly common. The vast majority of them are either settled or abandoned for the most part because the amount of the damages is low and the cost of litigation for plaintifffs is high. Then even if plaintiff wins a judgment it would need to collect a judgment and many of the defendants in such cases are what is known to be 'judgment proof' meaning they don't have any assets to collect against.
So potential litigants are acutely aware of the problem of sinking money in litigation against a defendant that cannot pay.
with that said. You should not provide the other side any information especially not written one.They can and often will use any disclosures against you (these are called admissions)
what you should consider doing is to call up the firm or collection company and negotiate a an amount you can agree to. You can tell them that you don't have any money and you don't have any assets and have nothing of value. This will clue them into the fact that you may be judgment proof.
as part of the negotiations you could agree to a payment plan but that would be up to them to agree.
BTW, it is important to mention that if the DVDs you were selling were legally purchased by you and they are genuine (i.e. not copies or forged) that one is legally to sell those and they should have no claims! If this is the case let them know that you legally purchased the DVDs that they are genuine and that under the "fist sale" doctrine you are permitted to resell them
in conclusion, if the DVD are legit then let them know that they are legit and tell them to leave you alone, otherwise consider negotiating with them. Generally, it is important to do the negotiations by phone and not in writing and not to provide or confirm any information including personal info (last name, address etc.). If they ask to confirm politely decline and note that it is not relevant. What is relevant is the amount in settlement, if any.
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Thank you for your answer. Very helpful. I do know, now, that the copies I sold were not legit so I cannot go that route, and I was sent the information via certified mail so they already have my personal information (they had a secret shopper purchase one copy from me back in April). They do have my old name, but I'm sure that's of no relevance. I will see what I can do to negotiate. Thanks again.
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