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Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC)
Hall Of Shame Members
Page Added July 11, 2008


Embroidery Companies United In Fraud

Last Updated - June 19, 2010


The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition is a non-profit group of predatory embroidery software and design manufacturers whose purpose is to extort monies from unsuspecting persons by promoting phony copyright compliance through lies and threats.


To this, let us add that we consider the ESPC to be a collective of liars. We consider Carole A. Faulkner, their in-house counsel, a liar, and the same for Martin Favre and Donna McCaulry and anyone else who promotes and repeats the lies of The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition. Their typical victims are Work At Home Moms (WAHM), aunts and grandmothers on social security.

By the way, who is Martin Favre? He's the Director of the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition but he's been the President of Bernina USA since 1994. Can you say, "conflict of interest"? And this isn't just a conflict of interest. It is nothing more than copyright extortion. We wonder if he shares his "loot" with the home company?


UPDATE - March 9, 2009 - We have added what we would send to the ESPC in response to their copyright extortion demands. We have the letter as HTML and as a word document if you wish to download it. Bear in mind that they have no legal standing to demand money from anyone just because that person purchased a counterfeit CD because there is no federal statute that says unknowingly purchasing a counterfeit CD is infringement. And their claims of large damages being awarded are bogus. Statutory damages in large amounts are awarded for willful infringement for making and selling, not for innocently purchasing. The ESPC does not have standing to sue you; it must be the manufacturer of whatever CD was copied. The ESPC is lying to you; Carole A. Faulkner is lying to you; Martin Favre is lying to you.

If you sign their settlement agreement we think you are admitting that you have committed a criminal act of sorts. Their demand for $300.00 is extortion, nothing more. The money is also an admission of criminal guilt. They keep the amount low enough to get as many signed letters of compliance as possible so they can show their members what good little boys and girls they are by finding the multitude of WAHM criminals and those legions of dastardly aunts and grandmothers who are destroying the moral fiber of America. Our problem with the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition is their tactics. We agree that no one should counterfeit the copyrighted designs of others. However, lying and using extortion to fleece innocent purchasers of this software is not ethical and we believe it is also unlawful.

And, bear in mind, one federal court has ruled that embroidery disks are not software as defined under the copyright act but rather they are machine instructions and therefore they are not entitled to copyright protections. See Action Tapes vs Kelly Mattson 462 F.3d. 1010 (8th. Cir. 2006). The District Court Judge dismissed the lawsuit by Action Tapes where Action Tapes claimed Kelly Mattson was infringing on its copyright. The District Court Judge found that embroidery CDs were not computer programs but only sets of computer instructions. The Court of Appeals upheld the summary judgment but on the grounds that Action Tapes had not shown a valid registration of the alleged computer program and therefore Action Tapes could not file a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement. The original court ruling still hangs out there, waiting to be tried again. Software requires interaction; machine instructions do not.


UPDATE - May 23, 2009 - The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition claims they are located at 1220G Airport Freeway, Suite 422, Bedford, TX 76022. Guess what? This is a mail drop. It is a rent-a-box. This is not their physical address. It is no wonder that they want you to call the telephone number and leave a message. They don't have a staff. So besides Martin Favre, director of this fraud, Carole A. Faulkner, in-house counsel for this fraud, and Donna McCaulry, in-house ?pimp? for this fraud, do they really have any employees? And, according to the United States government, the use of a drop box is a sure indication of an unlawful scheme.



Did you know that
using illegal embroidery
designs is punishable
by law?
The little gem to the left came off the ESPC web site February 11, 2009. It is a lie, a false statement, a falsehood, an untruth, a canard, a fib, standard fare for ESPC. It is just one of many lies to escape their lips on a daily basis. This web page will enlighten you to those lies.


To this, let us repeat that we consider the ESPC to be a collective of liars. We consider Carole A. Faulkner, their in-house counsel, a liar, and the same for Martin Favre and Donna McCaulry and anyone else who promotes and repeats the lies of The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition. Their typical victims are Work At Home Moms (WAHM), aunts and grandmothers on social security.



Embroidery Companies United In Fraud


There is a major problem today with illegal embroidery designs. Modern technology makes it possible for people to digitalize any image they want and then use it, or sell it. If they use it for personal use, that is a fuzzy area because it still could be infringing because of subsequent confusion should the item ever be sold. If they sell it, it is obviously and unquestioningly infringement if the design qualifies for copyright protection. In today's internet marketplace it has become increasingly more difficult to determine what images are protected by copyright. In it's infinite wisdom and superior knowledge, the United States Congress stupidly decided not only to extend copyrights beyond reasonable limits and to eliminate the requirement that a "©" be published with a registered copyright, but it decided to pattern US laws after the overly liberal copyright laws of Europe which broadly states that once a work is fixed in some way is has copyright protection. Far too many people believe this last part gives them personal power to wield over others.

When today's copyright laws were passed they did not fully comprehend the scope and effect of the internet and the potential consequences of the global economy. A great majority of the public cannot accurately state copyright law or trademark law. Why? Because it isn't taught in school unless you are in law school and not sleeping through the courses on intellectual property. What the public knows about intellectual property law is based upon snippets they get from television, radio, print and their friends. The problem with these "snippets" is twofold. Many times the snippet source doesn't understand IP law and is passing on flawed information. And many times the person only absorbs that parts of the "snippet" with which they agree. That's how they form opinions and select political candidates. Not an accurate method but employed by many.


What is unequally disturbing is the number of people who begin small at-home internet businesses with little or no concept of intellectual property and how it relates to them. Most rely on their "snippets", which, as we have pointed out, are flawed. Many of these people become innocent infringers and not knowing it until they are ferreted out by some cyber cop. They are not ignorant people, just misinformed or uninformed. And the law is not written to be understood by the majority of the people. Abe Lincoln was fundamentally wrong: You can fool most of the people most of the time when it comes to interpreting the law.

Cyber Cops and "Protection Coalitions", designated guardians of the Intellectual Property ("IP") Owners, troll the internet looking for infringers. And there are many. However, innocent embroiders are too often caught in the far-flung nets cast by these guardians. And the guardians, and their employers, appear not to care. Their bottom line is enhanced by what we call "copyright extortion" and that's what we believe the ESPC does as their primary function.

In the US, there is a "phenomena" called Driving While Black ("DWB"), especially in an predominately white neighborhood, whereby the police would stop a black man and question him simply because he was in a white neighborhood. DWB stops are now prohibited by law and court decisions for good reason: a lack of justification. These IP guardians are not restricted by law or court decision and they know it. They don't appear to care who gets harmed just as long as they can show their employers what good little policemen they are. In doing so they weave a web of convincing lies to use on their victims and the press who seem to believe every word they say.


The ESPC has a web site at http://www.embroideryprotection.org/. They are located at 1220G Airport Freeway, Suite 422, Bedford, TX 76022. 682-503-6513. On this web site, as of June 30, 2008, they claimed on their Piracy web page that :

"With pirated and counterfeit designs, both the seller and purchasers of the designs have violated U.S. Copyright laws upon completion of the transaction for the counterfeit designs."

The way we read the copyright laws, a person purchasing what they reasonably believe to be a genuine product not guilty of infringement. The only possible claims of infringement would be according to 106(1) and 106(21), the right to make copies and/or derivatives. But since the final product, the embroidered output, is not covered by the copyright, unless the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) can show someone bought the designs knowing when they purchased it that it was infringing, their claim is not only outrageous but criminal extortion at the very least. So why does the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) claim otherwise? Because they want the world to believe it. Notice a lack of documentation for their claim? They also claim under their FAQs web page that the purchaser "must take steps to insure that they are legitimate original embroidery designs or software, not pirated copies." But, the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) didn't give you a clue as to what steps someone might conceivably take to "insure" they are not violating "the law according to the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC)". (note - as of February 11, 2009 they have included what a potential buyer should look for, we think, as a defense for the charges made on these pages.) Why not? They make money from this scam of theirs. That's what it is: a scam. To this, let us add that we consider the ESPC to be a collective of liars. We consider Carole A. Faulkner, their in-house counsel, a liar, and the same for Martin Favre and Donna McCaulry and anyone else who promotes and repeats the lies of The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition.

The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) also appears to send emails and letters to people whom they claim are selling pirated software or, it appears, people who are selling items made from this embroidery software. These letters are what we describe as "extortion letters". The seller is told they have broken the law, in very general and vague terms, and if they pay the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) the sum of $300.00, sometimes more, the almighty and omnipotent Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) will forgive them trespass and grant them absolution if they promise not to sin ever again. Amen. If the intended target of the extortion attempt does not respond to the first threats, The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) sends a second threatening letter that makes more unfounded and vague threats.

But, the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) is lying about someone breaking the law simple because the user innocently bought something they believed to be legitimate. Gasp, you say? They lie? Certainly we jest? We kid you not, as Jack Paar would say. These letters never state when the alleged software was purchased, or what designs, if any, were pirated, if they actually were. They do accuse the recipient of copyright infringement without stating a single specific that one would expect in a genuine cease and desist letter. What a scam.

Obviously, we do not agree with their very flawed interpretation of copyright law as it applies to the use of the embroidery designs to sell the items made from the CDs. Embroidery software isn't a computer program as much as it is a set of instructions to a machine to make something. Computer software by its nature is interactive. That is, it requires some sort of action or input from a human or outside source. Embroidery CDs are not software by definition.

When you purchase the embroidery CD you are purchasing the instructions that tell the machine what to make. The alleged copyright does not cover the item made. Copyrights do not cover physical objects but rather ideas and the expression of those ideas. Even though the design may be copyrighted, the physical object, regardless of source, is not. In this case it is doubtful the embroidery CDs are even covered by copyrights.


In our opinion, the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) is nothing more than a gang of thugs trolling the internet looking for victims. Counsel to the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC), according to one letter we have dated July 11, 2008, is one Carole A. Faulkner. Based upon her address, she's in-house counsel. What's the matter, Carole? Couldn't get a real job as an attorney with a real law firm? Tired of chasing ambulances? So you get a job telling grandmothers they're criminals and extorting their meager savings? What are you going to tell your kids (assuming you can find someone that stupid to have children with you), if you have any, that you did for a living? A grave robber? You're pathetic. And in our opinion, you should be disbarred for criminal activity and for being an unethical creep.

Some jerk weed named Martin Favre signs these letters as Director, as in "Lights! Camera! Start The Scam!" The cast of yo-yos includes a Donna McCaulry who is a member of the oft-maligned and seriously ethically deficient ESPC Legal Department. In this politically correct world we are no longer "allowed" to use the word "retard" when describing a person with diminished capacities. However, we don't see any "restrictions" using the word to describe the staff at the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) who are involved in the scam. Their typical victims are Work At Home Moms (WAHM), aunts and grandmothers on social security.

Brenina and Great Notions appear to be leading members of the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC). Bernina of America acquired Great Notions products. Bernina also owns Oklahoma Embroidery Supply & Design (OESD). Other member appear to be Cactus Punch, VSM Group (branded Pfaff, Viking, White), Tacony (branded Amazing Designs, Baby Lock, Elna, Origins), and Pulse Microsystems. All partners in crime? We think so. There's so much cross ownership in the embroidery business it's hard to tell who owns whom. But they all belong to this sleazy Embroidery Software Protection Coalition, which in our mind, makes them all corrupt and unethical.



Embroidery Companies United In Fraud


The Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF") filed a motion to block a brazen attempt by ESPC to unmask the identities of anonymous members of an online discussion group for embroidery fans. The online group was created to share information about a long-running campaign to threaten purchasers of embroidery designs and software with copyright infringement lawsuits. The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC), a purported coalition of embroidery pattern design companies, is behind the heavy-handed campaign. ESPC filed defamation claims against some members of the group and then issued a subpoena for detailed personal information about every single person who joined the discussion group-whether or not they had ever posted a single message. The ESPC won't have to look long for our information as we openly post it on the web site. But they haven't threatened us. Maybe we're being too nice when we talk about them?

ESPC dropped its attempt to unmask the anonymous users after the EEF got involved. Want to guess who represented them? Ding-dong, the wicked witch of the pin cushion, Carole A. Faulkner. That's Carole "Ah Can't Git A Real Lawyer Job" Faulkner.

The former Soviet Union was a master at "disinformation", or the art of disseminating false facts to confuse the issues. Their former masters must have been recruited by the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) because the ESPC is doing the same this so artfully few question them.

Further, we have found only ONE federal lawsuit in which the ESPC was a party. GREAT NOTIONS, INC. v. Ebert, Dist. Court, ED Missouri 2006. There is little on the record concerning that case. It did not go to trial. For all the chest beating and wild claims, the ESPC is very quiet when it comes to filing kaw suits.

Articles about and concerning The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC):
  • Anonymity Preserved for Online Embroidery Fans, press release by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) who blocked ESPC's attempt to learn the identities of bloggers who dared to criticize the almighty ESPC. September 14th, 2006.
  • Embroidering On a Copyright Shakedown Theme, by Ed Foster on his GripLog, a highly critical analysis of the tactics of the ESPC and their claims. September 11, 2006.
  • Embroidery Copyright ~ Buyer's . . . liable or not?, from a FreeAdvice.com discussion board. The original question is accompanied with excerpts from the first, and most comprehensive, reply. It reiterates the facts about which the ESPC commonly lies. September 24, 2005.
  • The No Electronic Theft ("NET") Act, from the Department of Justice web site, http://www.usdoj.gov. This page is referenced and linked to by the ESPC on its web site as explaining copyrights. The DOJ page is unreadable. It is readable here but the question still remains: what does this have to do with someone innocently buying software? Disinformation.
  • Woman Threatened With Lawsuit Over...Embroidery?, by WIBW reporter Brian Quick. Short piece about a typical ESPC victim. March 13, 2008
  • Embroidery software buyer under investigation, PDF format article by WDNU in Mishawaka, Indiana, September 6, 2005. Investigative story about ESPC after a local woman. WDNU dropped the ball on this one. They had a major clue from a copyright attorney who told WDNU "copyright laws make it illegal to distribute copies, not to buy them". Some investigative team they have there. A big story about copyright extortion and they bought the line the ESPC fed them. No Emmy for them.
  • New Group Forms To Protect Software Copyrights, from October 19, 1999, which appears to be a press release from ESPC. It forgot to mention that the ESPC would be engaged in copyright extortion.


                               

We are pleased to announce that Embroidery Software Protection Coalition, is our Fourth Award Winner of The Putrid Plecostomus Award to those corporate firms that go above and beyond the call of duty. They can thank their General Counsel, Carole A. Faulkner for this honor, with an unhonorable mention going to Martin Favre, the Director of the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition and the President of Bernina USA since 1994.

                               


 

 

Rebuttals

In an effort to provide a balanced view, we make the following offer to anyone who feels they have been wrongly accused on this web site.

If you, or your company, have been referenced on these pages, and you would like the chance to post a rebuttal, we will post your rebuttal (provided it is in good taste) so others can read it. The rebuttal must be submitted in a format that can easily be converted into HTML. We reserve the right to alter the rebuttal to make it more readable. However, we will not alter the content (unless there is offensive material to be removed). We also reserve the right to comment on any rebuttal received. Emails protesting the content of this web site may be treated as rebuttals by us at our discretion.

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