By Paul Pannone
The response to a new organization promising to protect, defend and uphold the rights of wedding business owners grows stronger with every mention of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association. The concept for the organization originally started because of the rampant abuses experienced in the bridal dress business. But an ongoing eWedNewz investigation shows the mission of the new organization is to bring relief, benefits and services to the entire wedding industry at large.
Camille Thomas, owner of Illusions Bridal Veils, says she’s been trying fight off online pirates on her own for years. Thomas says she welcomes the help that’s on its way.
An eWedNewz story in March, 2012, listed suspected websites that pirate merchandise, images or both, hurting legitimate businesses. Many reports from business owners say they’ve tried to fight off the abusive practices on their own but to no avail.
Camille Thomas, owner of Illusions Bridal Veils in Fruita, Colorado responded to the eWedNewz story saying;
“I own Illusions Bridal Veils and these businesses have stolen my pictures as well as many of the other websites listed above. Very frustrating because this hurts my business and all of my customers business. I have been trying to get all of these types of sites to remove my pictures for almost 2 years. Most of them don’t care so the pictures remain. I went to great expense to take new pictures last year and I am sure it won’t be long until they steal those too,” said Camille.
An ongoing eWedNewz poll shows business owner support an organization that would help them fight off piracy. Steve Lang, the driving force behind the campaign and new organization, told eWedNewz he envisions an organization that would do much more.
“Of course we would fight against piracy; but the industry needs much more than just that. They need valuable information and tools to operate in today’s new business environment.”
According to Lang the bylaws and structure of the organization forms a cohesive way for members and supporters to work together and accomplish what the fragmented wedding business will never achieve on its own. Pooled resources and proper legal guidance are part of the organization, guided by leadership from successful business people like Lang.
Camille Thomas added her support for Lang and what he’s doing for the industry;
“I was so happy to see that Steve Lang has started to fight back against the chinese businesses who are killing our wedding industry. They have absolutely no regard for laws or the fact that they are stealing other people’s images to sell their own merchandise. It is impossible for my customers to compete with these businesses when they are selling the same merchandise for next to nothing. This issue has been the main problem in my business for the past couple years and I will gladly stand behind anyone who has the knowledge and resources to fight this,” Camille told eWedNewz.
The American Bridal and Prom Industry Association has over a half million dollars in cash and media commitments to fund the campaign and organization. According to Lang, the legal team has not accessed any of the money in the coffer; they’ve used their own time and resources and those of Mon Cheri to bootstrap the launch.
The ABPIA meets today to ratify board members, finalize bylaws and other matters including a website to share information with its members.
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