Instances of Copyright Infringement
We encountered the first instance of copyright infringement in January 1987, when a domestic wholesaler was found to be offering a poor copy of one of our designs for sale. Since that year, TierraCast has had to investigate numerous instances of copyright infringement each and every year, reaching a peak of activity in 2006 when we had to confront thirty-four different companies. Many of the instances from that year involved illegal copies our Angel Wing Bead that were appearing across South Texas.
Since 1987, we have successfully suppressed the copyright infringement of a wide range of our designs by over one hundred companies. Unfortunately a few of that number have either been unwilling to cooperate or have been repeat offenders so that we had to file suit in federal court four times since 2003 to protect our rights under the law.
In the last five years the number of illegal copies being produced overseas has notably increased. Some of the sources have proven to be small shops with limited abilities, while one of the companies we challenged had offices in New York City and a modern well equipped production facility in China.
Our own constant vigilance, aided by helpful tips from our loyal customers, frequently alert us to potential copyright infringement of our designs. Recently we have implemented regular reviews of products offered on eBay and Etsy to insure that the items available from those sources are legitimate TierraCast products, thereby helping to protect the businesses of our customers who use those sales outlets.