Publisher’s Letter (April 2006)

$1.8 million or $599? Your call


Dear Reader:

“We just love your newsletter! When each edition arrives, I make copies for everyone in the office.”

“The most recent edition of your newsletter was great. I emailed it to all of our branch offices.”

I’ve actually heard comments like that – and more than once. Although we appreciate the kind words, I hope you recognize the problem: copyright infringement. It is a violation of federal copyright law to photocopy, scan or forward an email containing copyrighted content from Healthcare Real Estate Insights.

Routing a single copy of HREI or keeping it in the corporate library is fine. But, making any print or electronic copies of HREI for others in the office, or sending copies to branch offices is against the law. Period.

If you are one of the majority (we hope) of our subscribers who respect our copyrights, let me just say “Thank you” and “Sorry for even bringing this up.” But, for those who think “everybody’s doing it” or “I’ll never get caught,” please consider the following.

In two recent copyright infringement cases brought by newsletter publishers, the courts ruled in favor of the publishers in both instances. In one case, the publisher received a “six-figure” settlement. In the other, the publisher was awarded nearly $20 million.

All HREI content, regardless of delivery method, is protected by U.S. copyright laws and international copyright agreements. Copyright infringement occurs when any portion of any HREI newsletter is redistributed in any form, including hard copies, faxes, the body of emails, email attachments, etc. We forbid the redistribution of any portion of our content – within or outside of a company. That’s any portion redistributed in any form, within or outside of an organization.

Anyone infringing a copyright exposes their employer to enormous legal liability. For registered works – and all HREI content is registered – the U.S. statutory damages alone are a minimum of $750 and a maximum of $30,000 per infringement. So, if someone made just one copy of our newsletter every month, the liability for infringing our copyright could be as much as $360,000. And these penalties apply even to people who do not know about the law.

Worse, if the infringement was committed willfully – if the violator knew the law and did it anyway – statutory damages can be a maximum of $150,000 per offense. So, if someone knew the law but systematically made just one copy of our newsletter each month, the damages could reach $1.8 million per year.

I think you’ll agree that it would be a whole lot cheaper to just sign up for additional subscriptions.

We offer considerable volume discounts on printed copies and site licenses for online access. I invite you to call 1-800-613-8731 for information. And thank you for respecting our copyrights.

Murray W. Wolf, Publisher

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