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Card publishers celebrate copyright theft victory

GCA teams with IP law firm Briffa to remove offending items from US website, GearPassio.

The power of a collective effort from the Greeting Cards Association and IP law firm Briffa came to the fore as US website, GearPassio – which had been using card publishers’ imagery without their consent on products – removed many offending items from its site including those featuring licensed work.

Among the publishers who have taken GearPassio to task over this are Wrendale Designs, Ohh Deer, Bug Art and Natural Partners.

Images were taken down from the GearPassio website as a direct result of a strong official ‘cease and desist’ letter being sent by Briffa, accompanied by substantiating evidence at the end of last week.

It was Berni Parker, founder of Berni Parker Designs who first alerted the industry to GearPassio’s online site, outraged to discover it was littered with products, many of which featured designs from artists and card publishers, including hers.

In addition, Gemma Correll – whose work features on Ohh Deer under licence – and Lesley Anne Ivory – whose work is licensed by Karen Addison and published on cards by Natural Partners – were also affected.

Karen told The Source: “Lesley Anne Ivory is delighted that Sharon [Little from the GCA] and the Briffa team were so successful in taking this action,a great advert for collective power of the industry.

“It’s good to know that in the face of adversity, we all stick together against such blatant IP theft.”

Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA, worked closely with Joshua Schuermann, solicitor of IP legal experts Briffa (an associate member of the GCA) on the submission, which included the specific examples of counterfeit products that were featured on the site.

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