By Paul Pannone
Since announcing a campaign against website pirates in March a new organization, the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association, held meetings in major cities including New York to carefully map out the most efficient way to fight online piracy of dress designs and manufacturer images.
After months of work Steve Lang gives his legal team the go-ahead to file a lawsuit to protect participating manufacturers.
Despite minor setbacks from opposition that were not able to gain any real industry support Steve Lang managed to rally the largest manufacturers, retail stores, the markets, the magazines, sales reps and informational websites for brides and prom girls together to create a meaningful organization that now says it’s ready to deploy some of its resources. The organization has also been working with other organizations to gain further traction to help fight the endless battle against new websites that pop up and poach American consumers.
After weeks of updates and newZ the organization fell silent to plan the next move which includes filing a lawsuit to protect participating manufacturers, retailers and their websites against further damage. Details of the suit were not disclosed but here’s what we did find out:
In an eWedNewz exclusive, we asked Steve Lang how the latest board meeting went.
“It went great. We authorized counsel to proceed with the lawsuit. This should happen early next week in federal court in New York. Atlanta market will give me audience with all manufacturers and retailers next month so we can offer more people the opportunity to join ABPIA. We will have a morning meeting either Saturday or Sunday of market in Atlanta.
I have also reached out to all media sources and asked them to crank up the media machines with the advertising that was committed to educate the ultimate consumer on the dangers of buying counterfeit goods.
We formed sub committees that are working on membership, advertising, public relations and litigation.
Once we are beyond this first obstacle fighting the counterfeiters, we will move on to other lofty goals.
We have been in contact with United States Customs, Homeland Security and the Trademark Office and we have commitments for help from these entities. This is a great accomplishment because once we are armed with the win from the courts we will be able to begin shuttering these counterfeit sites with the help of government agencies.
We will also use the win to go after Google, the credit cards, the freight companies and anyone else in the supply chain that helps get these counterfeit goods into the United States.
I think it’s a great day for the industry. They may have hit us as if it was Pearl Harbor, but we all know the end of that story. Get ready for a repeat. They have awakened the sleeping giant,” according to Lang.
According to sources near the story the quiet over the past few months was to not tip-off the lawsuit and to wait for a better timing when wedding industry events and shows enable the better use of time and resources.
Discussions with Steve Lang say he’s committed to creating a national organization to give value and benefits to the wedding industry. Fragmented and loosely supported organizations give some options but, according to Lang, there is a better way to organize the business.
In an ongoing eWedNewz poll 19% of respondents say they will support the organization if it is properly run. 10% replied they would support it if it offers good benefits and value. 8% said they would support the organization if it isn’t too expensive to join. 59% said they would support the organization if it met “all the above”. Only 5% said they would not support a wedding industry organization.
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