Hi, I need some advice in terms of a copyright infringement
"Our company is legally allowed to seek compensation of all monies made by sales from your advertisement and damages. However, we are not in the business of treating our customers badly, even if they make a small mistake. So I will need to collect some details from you before we can all move on from this." which comes across as though they will let this innocent mistake slip, only to be then sent an email requesting $1556 to be paid to the company!!!!
5 attorney answers
You committed copyright infringement, and you owe the publisher money for the 14 copies of the book you sold. "Copyright" means the right to make copies, and you made 14 unauthorized copies of a book, thereby depriving the copyright owner of the revenues associated with the unauthorized sales. There is no "first sale doctrine" when it comes to digital media. 14 x $120 = $1,680, so the number they quoted is right on par with expected damages. If you don't pay, they could sue you in federal court, which means you could end up paying a LOT more in damages under the law, plus you'll have to pay thousands of dollars in attorney fees to represent you, and you may even have to pay the attorney fees of the publisher for forcing them to come after you. You screwed up big time, plain and simple. Pay up or lawyer up, but you can't ignore this problem. The publisher is trying to cut you some slack so neither of you have to risk settling this in court, but that kindness usually only lasts for one demand letter, then they get serious.
You engaged in illegal copyright infringement when you sold copies of this e-book to other people. This is a very serious matter. You could be liable for statutory damages of no less than Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars up to Thirty Five Thousand Dollars for copyright infringement, and up to 1one hundred fifty thousand dollars if your infringement is deemed willful (which it probably is---you should know better)
Don't compound your mistake by responding to this inquiry from the company on your own. You have a big problem on your hands. You need to retain IP litigation counsel immediately to defend you in this matter. Only your lawyer should contact this company and determine how best to respond in the circumstances of your case. You need to take this very seriously--do not pay what this company demands and do not try to settle this on your own. Get a lawyer now.
I am not your lawyer and this is not intended to be legal advice on which you rely. My answer is merely intended to assist you in understanding some of the issues that you face so that you can make an intelligent choice when you hire legal counsel.
The odds that they will actually file a federal law suit, which is what they would have to do here, are so slim to none that ignoring them is a very viable option, although it requires a thick skin to do so.
Your other option is to hire counsel to step in front of you. This has one advantage which is that now and assuming they are represented by counsel, that lawyer can no longer contact you directly. Of course you have to pay the lawyer something. You can try to settle for less and I bet you could do that, but if this is a contingency based lawyer they will not do so without acquiring all the information their client needs to feel comfortable. And remember, they will ONLY settle for those acts of infringement that are known to them. If they discover that you omitted other sales, for example, they are free to go after you again for those. This is one reason why many in your situation will not want to give so much info.
At a minimum, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your options in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
Damages as an innocent infringer could be small; however, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. There must have been a copyright notice. Didn't you think you might be doing something wrong. If everyone did that, how do you think authors could eat? You have a real problem and it will grow if you do not solve it fast.
The ebook should have a copyright on it. Even if you are innocent (you claim you did not know), you would be liable for the 14 copies. Take a look at the damages available for copyright infringement, and you could be liable for alot more. What they are seeking is the profit they would have made had they sold it less the cost to make it. That is what they would be entitled to if they won a lawsuit. I suggest you work out a smaller settlement amount without admitting anything and make sure that they give you a written release.