Running a fowl of copyright law

I sell bird toys – on the face of it it shouldn’t be that hard. Under the hood it’s hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

We’ve had a retail facility burn to the ground. We’ve had another retail facility flood with sewer water because of improper plumbing practices.

We’ve had another facility where the landlord blocked our loading dock with several thousand boxes of documents for months – the loading dock was the only reason we took the space to begin with.

By the middle of the second quarter of 2015 we were out of stock on close to 80 of our top selling SKUs because either the vendors had gone out of business or the food manufacturers couldn’t source the products. That was a 20% revenue hit.

We begin to recover from that when our web host released an operating system that does nothing but damage the website and blocks people from checking out among other things.

I see threads on LinkedIn people talking about selling. I’ve been out in strange neighborhoods knocking on doors till 10 o’clock at night seeking someone that I could pitch my home improvement products to.

I understand headwinds are part of life and must be dealt with to achieve success. Why then am I in receipt of an email and certified letter indicating that I’m about to be sued for using  pictures of birds standing on a piece of rope.

I’ve complied with the attorneys for the vendor weeks ago. The pictures are off our website.

No formal DMCA Take-Down Notice Pursuant to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) enacted in 1998.

Two years ago I did get a formal DMCA Take-Down Notice from Getty images. They found a parakeet on top of an avian scale and the parakeet was part of Getty images stock collection for sale. They demanded $1300.

My first defense was all birds of the same species are identical. Apparently they had heard that before because they said they had some sort of pixel counting matching software thingy so back off.

I had digitally scraped the avian scale image with the parakeet from the vendor’s website a common practice in e-commerce. I forwarded the information to the vendor who admitted that their webmaster had in fact Photoshopped the bird onto the perch (you’ve been warned) and promptly paid the $1300 “fee”.

That is how I benchmark the value of a royalty-free income producing image.

Here’s what we’re going to do now Bonnie Jay. People all over the Internet are going to be sharing your “copyrighted” pictures from Kara’s Facebook page that is selling your nets onto the Facebook fan page (273,000 likes) because we can – that’s how Facebook works.

I’m going to use those shared images to demonstrate the superiority Aronoico nets – your chief rival. Were going to make videos – and we’re going to ask – 273,000 cage bird keepers across the planet how they feel about your company and your products

We will be having our worker bees post ALL the images of your Original products from Kara’s Facebook Fan page with images of me in between each and every one your images onto our Facebook fan page – The only way to get those pictures off of our Facebook fan page is for you to remove them from Kara’s Facebook fan page.

Have a nice day




DeAnna Hicks, RN

Floor RN at Dialysis Care of Franklin County; CEO/Director of Care at Marden’s Ark Avian Refuge

Mitch – I find it very surprising that you are trying to paint yourself as some sort of victim here. There’s much more to this story that stealing pictures from someone’s Facebook page. For at least four months that I know of, you were showing pictures of the beautiful StarBird nets yet shipping Aronico nets to your customers. The one we received was of terrible quality


Bonnie Jay

President of StarBird Parrot, Avian Consultant, Toy Designer, Photographer and Educator, Certified…

Gee, how did you get so vicious and toxic? It’s against the law to use photos of StarBird nets to ship a different product. It’s called FALSE ADVERTISING and BAIT and SWITCH. It’s against the law. It’s also against the law to use someone else’s photo without permission

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