By Paul Pannone
In May eWedNewz told you about a new organization called the American Bridal and Prom Industry association that would replace the ineffective IBMA. In our introduction we outlined plans by which the organization, headed by Steve Lang, is founded.
Could the end of knock off dresses be near? Nearly half of our readers so far say there’s a “good or excellent” chance of that happening.
After months of waiting and some criticism from pundits that have since dropped out of sight, the organization released a statement detailing its accomplishments;
Dear Industry Member,
As you know, we have been fighting the surging imports of counterfeit dresses hitting our shores from China. A legal federally recognized nonprofit organization called the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association was created to formalize the approach and to galvanize the industry to ensure success against these pirates.Why was this action necessary?
There are over 450 counterfeit web sites working daily to steal our businesses. In 2011 500,000 illegal counterfeit garments were shipped into the United States and Canada. We estimate that in 2012 the sites will account for as much as 600,000 illegal units. If we agree that there are 5000 bridal and social stores in North America, these pirate web sites are already stealing 100 to 120 units for each store. Our stores cannot afford to lose any volume, nor can we as an industry. If we do not stop the flood of illegal product, these sites will “Amazon ” us, basically cutting us out of the supply chain. Ask Best Buy and the major book selling chains what Amazon has done to their business model.What have we done so far?
To date we have most major manufacturers, many retailers, many independent sales representatives, all the major apparel markets and all the major publications and web sites as members of ABPIA. We are represented by one of the major intellectual property law firms in New Jersey,Stark & Stark. We have filed a lawsuit against the most egregious of the pirate sites in federal court in New York and we will appear before a judge on August 24, 2012. We are confident that we will receive a win in court and we will then use that victory to begin taking over the illegal web sites. Homeland Security has assured us that with the court victory they will be empowered to begin shutting these websites down. We have also worked with UPS, FedEx, DHL, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and other members of the supply chain that are handling these counterfeit goods. Each have indicated that they will cooperate with the court order.The effect of the lawsuit filed is already being felt. One of the major counterfeiters that is a defendant in the suit has had their counsel contact our lawyer pleading to be let out of the suit. We have refused to allow this.
PayPal has just ended their relationship with DH-Gate, one of the major platforms for counterfeit goods-one which very well may have your pictures up on their site as we speak.
Google has announced that they will begin dropping the rankings of web sites that have been accused of counterfeiting. All these positive changes are occurring simultaneous with the actions we have taken to protect the industry.
What do we need from you?
We need everyone to stand together. We have raised over $239,000 for legal fees and about $250,000 in media support for the public relations campaign that is now starting. All major publications and web portals in the industry will be spreading the word to the ultimate consumer of the dangers of buying counterfeit goods.
WE NEED YOU TO JOIN THE EFFORT.Attached is an application to join the organization. There is a board of directors that represents a great cross section of industry professionals and that board is listed on the application.
Please add your firm to the list of members by completing the application and sending in your dues.
I have also attached a listing of who is currently a member and what they donated to the cause.
We look forward to accepting you into the association. Your Board of Directors has been copied on this email.
Stephen N. Lang
This week eWedNewz asked you, our valued readers, what you thought the wedding industry’s chances are in beating online piracy. So Far 38% of you said “fair” in our ongoing poll. 25% so far responded “excellent”, 23% said “good”. 14% of our readers that took the poll said it will be “impossible” to stop online piracy.
What do you think?
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