GoPetFriendly Fighting Infringement
My name is Amy Burkert, and I founded the pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com in 2009. Over the past eight years, my husband and I have invested our energy and savings into building a free-to-use resource that makes it easy for people to plan trips with their pets.
One of the most popular parts of the site is the blog, where I've authored more than 800 articles providing pet travel advice, safety tips, and our paws-on-the-ground destination guides for the places we visit.
On November 17, 2016, I discovered that a publicly-traded company had scraped 228 of my blog posts, including 863 of my photographs, and re-published them on their website without my permission - infringing on my copyright.
Unfortunately, bloggers have their content stolen all the time. Infringers know that bloggers rarely have the means to sue them - so the chances they'll suffer any consequences for stealing someone's work are minimal. For unethical companies, it's a simple decision to steal content rather than create it.
After unsuccessfully attempting to get the company to remove my articles and compensate me for my work, I hired an attorney to help enforce my rights. Rather than accepting responsibility and complying with our request, the company responded to my attorney's letter by filing a lawsuit against GoPetFriendly.com demanding $5 million.
We need $10,000 pay legal fees to defend GoPetFriendly.com against this lawsuit, and to pursue the copyright infringement claims for my work as soon as possible.
We are confident that we have a solid case. More details and screenshots are provided on my blog: http://blog.gopetfriendly.com/).
The situation we face is imminent and critical. Please help me stand up for all bloggers and send a message to content thieves that there are consequences for copyright infringement!
I cannot begin to tell you how much your support means to me - not only for my situation, but for all bloggers who've gone through something similar.
Thank you very much.
Posted by Amy Burkert
It's been a week since I published the post laying out the evidence of ProActive Pet Products theft of 228 of my blog posts, and the $5 million lawsuit filed by their parent company, GVCL Ventures, against GoPetFriendly.com. The support I've received has been beyond expectations, and I want you to know how much I appreciate all of you. We had a new development in the case today that I want to share:
Yesterday Mr. Gewerter (GVCL's attorney) contacted my attorney and suggested they "discuss the matter." My attorney scheduled a call with Mr. Gewerter for today, and during that call Mr. Gewerter said that his client would be willing to drop the $5 million lawsuit ... if I agreed to sign a statement saying no infringement of my work had taken place.
This is exactly what I predicted! They're trying to use their lawsuit against GoPetFriendly.com to blackmail me into walking away from my claim for infringement. My attorney let Mr. Gewerter know that we weren't interested in his "deal," and that we intend to pursue our case. Thanks to your support, that's possible, and we'll keep you updated with our progress!
I had to laugh at Mr. Gewerter's "offer". Too funny.
Stay strong - you are in the right and they need to know that what they did is wrong.
Good for you Amy.....maybe they will learn to not steal and then try to bully people!