Are you trying to get some help finding out whether your 7 For All Mankind are authentic? Well 7FAM doesn't want you to! Rather than focus their efforts on actually REMOVING FAKES from ebay, 7FAM and their current management would apparently instead prefer to concentrate on REMOVING GUIDES DESIGNED TO HELP PEOPLE AVOID THEM. I received the following threatening letter from them:
"Re: Notice of Claimed Infringement
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is [removed] and I am the Director of Special Projects for 7 For All Mankind, LLC. 7 For All Mankind, LLC is the owner of several federally registered trademarks.
Recently we learned that you, also known as “idalis62,” have created and published an “authenticity guide” on eBay. Please see file attached.
Not only is such a guide misleading but also inaccurate. You, “idalis62”are not an expert in these matters. Furthermore, it gives the false impression that your site on eBay is authorized and approved of by 7 For All Mankind which it is not.
We demand that the published page attached in this email be removed in its entirety from your eBay account within 3 business days. If it is not removed within this period of time we will contact eBay and suspend your account for copyright infringement. We do not wish to escalate this issue to that level; however, we cannot allow you to infringe on our rights."
I urge you all to never purchase from this company again. Purchase 2nd hand, or from ebay sellers, etc, but do not contribute to these jokers' bottom line. They clearly do not understand what copyright infringement even IS (7fam does not even OWN any copyrights), or the concept of FAIR USE, and apparently don't care about educating consumers or those who are trying to help protect and promote their brand FOR FREE. If you would like more information or tips on spotting counterfeits, please send me an email through ebay or visit Authenticforum. Updates on this saga will be posted here. As of yet, 7FAM will not reply to my email proving they are legally wrong. Shocker.Here was my reply them:
Your assessment of the background and abilities of “idalis62” is not relevant nor is it accurate. While you make the claim that the guide is inaccurate, you fail to state any examples. As for the guide being misleading, if you read the eBay instructions, the guides and reviews are made available by eBay for the purpose of helping prospective eBay consumers, and additionally there is no statement, hint, or implication of any sort in the guide that I am affiliated with 7 For All Mankind , nor would anyone reasonably conclude this.
Guides and reviews do not require the authorization or approval from the subject matter companies. Both are considered protected speech by the federal courts , and unless you can point to some glaring mistake or some defamatory material, you would be laughed out of court.
Your concern about your federally registered trademarks is misguided. Please read the Lanham Act or have a first year law student explain it to you. Federal trademark law refers to using the trademark of another “in commerce” to sell, or to offer to sell, a product. A freely distributed information guide that is not selling anything is not infringing upon your trademarks.
As for copyrights/copyright infringement, 7 For All Mankind has no federally registered copyrights. Even if it did, the First Amendment would preclude any copyright protection afforded because the “guide” is informative and any use of copyrighted material would be considered “fair use” under copyright law. However, I have not used any copyrighted material as product descriptions are not copyrightable, and the pictures used are self-created and do not show any copyrighted material, only trademarked material, which use of is not infringing.
As such, there is no trademark infringement nor is there any copyright infringement . And since the eBay Guide Pages are promoted by eBay, hosted by eBay and authorized by eBay, any attempts by you and/or your company to restrict or otherwise defame my eBay account will be frivolous and will be actionable under federal and state law against you personally and your company.
As I am under the assumption you are NOT in any way employed within the legal department of your company, please immediately forward me the contact email, phone number, and address of your legal department, as well as that of your supervisor."
Aug. 16 - FINALLY, a reply! If you can call it that, since they seem to have NO retort to my clear legal points (wonder why). Also wow, yes, great job 7fam "experts", you have really handled counterfeits well. I can't find a single fake on ebay or iOffer (allow me to roll my eyes). See email below:
Thank you for taking down the page. Please do not concern yourself with authentication of our brand. We have a team of experts that handle counterfeits on ebay, iOffer and other websites. Every item we sell comes with security labels that have sequential numbering and a micron thread running through it. This is the only clear and definitive way to confirm a counterfeit.
The "guide" you had put together only promotes better counterfeiting, if it falls in the wrong hands.
Please take down our conversation from ebay.
Oh yes, let me get right on that. About as fast as you got on replying to me. Or giving me the contact information for someone else at your company so I can discuss your behavior with them. Still waiting on that. Don't worry, I'll handle that myself, please do not concern yourself with it.
UPDATE AGAIN!!! So my friend was poking through old emails looking for contact info, etc, for an unrelated issue with a True Religion item. Here's his story: "In May TR pulled down a denim jacket I was selling. I sent them a strongly worded letter and they reinstated my listing. I was doing a search in my old e-mails since I wanted to include a copy of this e-mail to True Religions lawyers and also get the Fax # and mailing address where I sent my previous letters etc. What do I find when I searched for the previous case? OH HAI! PAYAM was the one who incorrectly pulled down my listing!!!! This guy is just a 3rd party hired by designer companies to police their brand!"
THAT'S RIGHT FOLKS. Payam works for neither 7FAM nor True Religion. He is employed by some vigilante company that brands can hire out to "police their trademarks," apparently without requiring any knowledge of the products whatsoever, nor of the law.
So while 7FAM may not be directly involved in these absurd emails and idiotic concepts of copyright law, maybe they should actually pay attention to who the hell they are delegating this responsibility to outside their company and do the damn work themself.