Sweetwater Alleges Copyright Infringement
Sweetwater Sound has gone on the attack against more than 70 retailers who the company claims have plagiarized copy from sweetwater.com. The alleged violations range from a few pages of content to as much as hundreds and even thousands of pages, according to Sweetwater. In response to these infringing acts, Sweetwater has increased its efforts to defend itself and its intellectual property rights.

"It's shameful that, in this industry I love, there are so many unscrupulous individuals and companies," said Chuck Surack, Sweetwater's founder and president. "We hear constantly how musicians, companies, and our industry are damaged by music piracy and illegal software and plug-in downloads, yet there seems to be no hesitation on the part of many retailers in our industry to take proprietary Web content. At Sweetwater, we invest a great deal into creating unique, valuable content for sweetwater.com, and to have it blatantly plagiarized and reposted on another retailer's site, often word-for-word, is truly disheartening. As much as we dislike having to take action, we simply cannot sit by while our property is taken and misused."

"It's amazing to me," said Mike Clem, vice president of e-commerce at Sweetwater. "In many cases they don't even bother to remove references to 'Sweetwater' or to 'Sales Engineers,' which obviously come straight from our site. We've even found examples where they've left in 'Contact your Sweetwater Sales Engineer for more information or to make your purchase!'"

Sweetwater claims if an infringing company ignores Sweetwater's initial requests to have the infringing content removed, it will contact the retailer's Internet service provider (ISP) who could shut down a website for engaging in copyright infringement. Some companies so far have responded to Sweetwater's requests.

If the notices are ignored or reasonable settlement terms are not met, Sweetwater said no recourse exists except legal action.