Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 4:30 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Country: United States
Due to recent events attempting to call into question Ms. Branigan's statements, actions, and intentions regarding various issues of copyright, official website status, etc., we have recalled the Cease and Desist letter sent on June 22, 2004, to Mr. Jason Fiore, who is the owner of the unauthorized website 'laurabranigan.com' and by extension, the web-based bulletin board system (currently hosted by Yuku, formerly EZboard). This letter, sent through her attorney for intellectual property matters, represents the official response directly from Laura Branigan, that absolutely nothing stated, listed, commented, or inferred on either 'laurabranigan.com' or its affiliated discussion board(s), represents any type of endorsement of, inference to, or association with, Laura Branigan.
June 22, 2004
By Certified Mail
Mr. Jason Fiore
P.O. Box 3484
San Dimas, CA 91773
Dear Mr. Fiore:
We represent Ms. Laura Branigan with regard to intellectual property matters. Our client has, over many years, expended considerable time and effort developing strong and valuable rights in her name and trademark "Laura Branigan." Throughout years of continuous use of this name in the entertainment industry, she has developed a tremendous amount of goodwill. Her trademark is protected under federal law, and any use thereof, which is likely to confuse individuals into believing that she sponsors or endorses goods or services, is a violation of that law.
You are currently using our client’s trademark "Laura Branigan" in association with the website "laurabranigan.com." (Exhibit A) This illicit use is entirely without the permission of Ms. Branigan and intentionally misleads visitors to the website into believing that our client in some way sponsors and endorses the site.
Specifically, the site is accessed by using our clients mark "laurabranigan.com." On the home page of the website, the mark "Laura Branigan" it is prominently displayed. The home page also claims that the site is "The Official Website." In addition, there is a contact page which shows a picture of our client and the following address right below:
c/o OneStor P.O.Box 3484
San Dimas, Ca 91773 USA
There is also an invitation to "Email Laura." If clicked, an e-mail page opens and the To: address is firstname.lastname@example.org Erroneous booking information is also provided.
Any one of these elements would confuse a visitor of the website into thinking that our client is involved with, or endorses, the site. Your website is a flagrant violation of Ms. Branigan's rights and has caused considerable confusion and irreparable damage to her goodwill.
The significant actual confusion created by your site is evidenced in the Discussion portion of the site, wherein individuals erroneously believe that Ms. Branigan is in some way associated with this. (Exhibit B) Their comments also hold Ms. Branigan responsible for the quality of the site, as well as the problems associated with ordering the merchandise.
You have been made aware by our client that you are not acting with her permission and you have no authorization to use her intellectual property in a website or in any other manner. Your website, which is used to sell merchandise is a willful attempt to illicitly profit from the goodwill created by Ms. Branigan through years of performing.
The Trademark Act provides for the recovery of monetary damages including attorney's fees for such willful trademark violations.
In addition to the clear violation of Ms. Branigan's trademark rights, you are also violating our client's federal copyright. On the "New Music" page of your site, individuals can listen to portions of Ms. Branigan's music in which she has a copyright. (Exhibit C) By offering this service, you are in serious violation of the federal copyright laws and subject to possible statutory monetary damages and a recovery of attorney fees.
Your use of our clients trademark is also in violation of federal cybersquatting laws which prohibit registering another's mark as a domain name. In particular, registering another individual's name as a domain name is prohibited. Federal cybersquatting laws allow for the same injunctive and monetary relief for cybersquatting that is currently allowed for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and false advertising under the Lanham Act.
In order to prevent further injury to our client's rights, we insist that you immediately take the following action:
1) Deactivate the website "laurabranigan.com;"
2) Cease and desist from using the mark "Laura Branigan" on any website and in any way which would be likely to cause confusion that Ms. Branigan in anyway sponsors or endorses the use;
3) Cease and desist from making any of Ms. Branigan's music, or any portion thereof, available online or otherwise;
4) Transfer the domain name laurabranigan.com and any other domain names which use our client's mark including laurabranigan.org, laurabranigan.net, etc., to their rightful owner, Ms. Branigan; and
5) In addition, it is our understanding that you have made representations to various individuals that you are working on behalf of, or with, the endorsement of our client. This is entirely false, and therefore, we insist that you cease and desist from making any such further representations.
Ms. Branigan wishes to quickly resolve this matter without the need for judicial intervention. However, the website must be deactivated and we must have your written assurances that the other above conditions will be met by July 1, 2004.
We look forward to your reply.
Anthony E. Bennett
_________________Kathy and Vince
Member of The Recording Academy
The Official Laura Branigan Website
I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You`re still here beside me every day
`Cause I know you by heart...