Most business owners do not know much about copyright infringement laws, especially if they are immigrants. It is simply an issue that is not at the top of their list.
This lack of unfamiliarity can be a costly mistake that unscrupulous lawyers can take advantage of.
One of our clients came with a court order to respond to a $100K lawsuit for copyright infringement that allegedly took place in the little restaurant our client owns.
It did not take attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta long to realize this client has been a victim of a scheme orchestrated by a California attorney Thomas P. Riley and Innovative Sports Management Inc. which make money taking advantage of minority and immigrant-owned restaurant and bar owners.
In the News
This team and their unethical actions have been in the news. Click here for a news report on this scheme.
Intellectual Property Entrapment
The entrapment works like this:
A person hired by the attorney and the Sports Company calls unsuspected business owners, encouraging them to set their TVs on the latest soccer game, boxing match, etc. that may attract customers to their places.
The sports event in questions just happens to be copyrighted the rights controlled by the Sports Management Company. The person calling the business owner suggests the restaurant-bar owner set the TV on a YouTube illegal transmission of the sporting event, since cable or satellite companies may have the event blocked for pay-pay-view audiences.
While the business owner tunes in to the broadcast, the person visits the restaurant to collect evidence of the illegal transmission.
In no time, there is a lawsuit in the hundreds of thousands of dollars against the small restaurant-bar.
This type of actions may bankrupt the owner, putting people in our community out business and work.
Taking Advantage of Veteran Groups
Not only the immigrant community may fall prey of this unethical team, but they also target American Legion posts and veteran’s groups. Read this article by the LA Times.
Entrapment can be illegal if it involves the commission of a crime. Most copyright and Intellectual Property infringement cases are civil cases, so the bar is much lower in the eyes of the court.
Restaurant and business owners, beware. This team of lawyer and Sports Management has been working in California take advantage of people but is moving its operations to Arizona and possibly other states.
Legal Business Global
Marcos E. Garciaacosta is a business and intellectual property attorney in Arizona. You can contact him for an appointment at (480) 324-6378. Our offices are located at 659 E. Main St. Mesa, Arizona 85203.