Copyright infringement threat letters or copyright infringement letters sent by copyright lawyers are designed to cause a third party to cease and desist use, distribution, copying of copyright protected materials. But some cease and desist threat letters are clearly boilerplate. Stopping copyright infringement typically requires more than a form cease and desist on attorney letterhead.
The client’s goal is almost always to accomplish the cease and desist at the very first copyright infringement threat letter. Boilerplate letters often fail to stop infringement for several reasons. The first is because they fail to anticipate the response of the person accused of copyright infringement. The key to any threat letter program is to create a “first reaction” of “how do I avoid legal liability for copyright infringement.” Once the recipient of an infringement threat letter becomes emotionally invested in find an exit, the rest is easy.
However, the opposite is also true. If the person who receives the copyright infringement letter takes an initial position that they are “in the right”, then they become emotionally invested in that position. All too often, they start down the long-term path of defending their use of the copyright protected materials.
A proper copyright infringement threat letter anticipates the response of the alleged copyright infringer and provides all the reasons why those excuses and defenses will not work. To the extent the parties have a history, the infringement letter details the history and lets the recipient know that the attorney has been fully apprised of the circumstances surrounding the relationship.
In short, sending boilerplate copyright infringement threat letters rarely accomplishes the client’s goal. Attorneys need to obtain all of the background information necessary in order to prepare a detailed cease and desist threat letter which anticipates the possible response and leaves the recipient emotionally invested in finding an exit. In many instances, having a copyright lawyer send the very first letter increases the chance of stopping the infringement. When clients engage in self-help, they often start battles where both sides become invested in a defensive position. Do not underestimate how difficult it is to change someone’s position, once they have made up their mind.Contact a qualified copyright lawyer and make sure you’re threat letter campaign gives you the best chance of stopping the infringement without protracted letter writing or the need for expensive copyright infringement litigation.