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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 111568
Experience:  Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
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I am the editor/owner of an annual boating publication

Customer Question

I am the editor/owner of an annual boating publication called the PowerBoat Guide (powerboatguide.com). Ours is a small home-based business operated by my wife and me. It has recently come to my attention that our content has been regularly reproduced without authorization on several major boating-industry websites, most notably YachtWorld (yachtworld.com), a worldwide listing service for yacht brokers and dealers. The violations run into the hundreds or thousands going back many years and continuing today. Specifically, YachtWorld reproduces descriptive text copied directly from the PowerBoat Guide and highlights the text in many of their boat listings. In each case, the text is first copied by yacht brokers who then uploaded the material to YachtWorld as part of their listing. The brokers are at fault, but so is YachtWorld for accepting and publishing the listing.We are semi-retired and lack the resources to sue YachtWorld to get them to stop this practice. (Too bad because I think we would have a pretty strong case.) Just curious to see if its possible to find legal help on a contingency basis. Thanks.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: ?
JA: What confuses you?
Customer: I'm in Phoenix but not sure how that comes into play.
JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
First off, generally attorneys do not take these cases on a contingency. The attorneys generally want a minimum of $2000 retainer because of the need to cover their costs for filing any action and then from there they will take a percentage of any award you receive for the infringement.
You need to send the magazine, Yacht World, a DMCA take down notice, which is a legal notice to remove infringing content from their site. If the brokers who are liable object to the removal you have to file a copyright infringement suit against the broker who infringed on your copyright.
Here is a sample DMCA notice: http://icaadocs.mfah.org/icaadocs/Portals/0/Copyright/SAMPLE%20DMCA%20TAKEDOWN%20NOTICE.pdf
If the brokers refuse to cease and want to object to your take down notice, your next step is I am afraid you have to get a local IP attorney and file suit against each of the brokers who are posting as part of their listing and seek damages from them.
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