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 to raise funds to pay the 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.
It’s been almost two months since I shared the news that 228 of my blog posts had been stolen, and the company that took them was suing me for $5 million.
The support you’ve sent in the form of notes, cards, and contributions to our legal fund, was truly humbling. I can’t thank you enough – it’s because of you that we’re now a step closer to justice!
I filed for and last week received a Certificate of Copyright Registration for the last blog post that was stolen by ProActivePetProducts.com. That may not sound very exciting, but it puts us in a very strong position to pursue the infringement case. You can read all about it in today's blog post >> http://bit.ly/2kK6Dpt
Of course, I also updated the infringing company with this development, and received this response from the owner, "Once again, this is completely irrelevant and not applicable to GVCL but should you pursue this against GVCL, we will respond in an appropriate fashion as previously demonstrated."
I guess he thinks suing me for another $5 million is going to make a difference. =D
I'm forever grateful for your continued notes, and messages. I can't tell you how much your support means to me.
Have a beautiful day,
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!
Stay strong - you are in the right and they need to know that what they did is wrong.