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Inside Mortgage Finance Publications sues Credit Suisse for copyright infringement.

"If at first you don't succeed ..."

Inside Mortgage Finance Publications, the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, earlier this month filed a lawsuit against Credit Suisse in New York, accusing the Wall Street firm of copyright infringement. In the filing, IMF Publications also charged Credit Suisse with breach of an earlier contract not to redistribute copies of its newsletter and for fraud related to past assurances that the company had ceased all copying.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland, alleges that Credit Suisse systematically infringed IMF Publications' registered copyrights by making unauthorized copies of Inside Mortgage Finance, Inside MBS & ABS, Insider B&C Lending, and Inside The GSEs. The case marks only the second time in the Bethesda, Maryland-based newsletter publisher's 22-year history that it has sued a subscriber for copyright infringement under the U.S. Copyright Act.

"Despite multiple prominent copyright notices and repeated specific warnings, and despite previous assurances denying infringement and assuring IMF that steps had been taken to confirm no infringement was taking place, Credit Suisse made multiple copies [of the newsletters in question] on a regular basis [and] over a substantial period of time," the complaint reads.

Awards up to $150,000 for each infringement

The lawsuit accuses Credit Suisse of "willful copyright infringement," a charge that provides for awards up to $150,000 under federal copyright law for each infringed issue of the newsletters in question. IMF Publications is seeking these enhanced statutory damages, treble damages, and punitive damages "to the extent permitted by law."

Guy Cecala, president of IMF, pointed out that it was significant that his company's lawsuit "has been filed in the same federal court in Maryland that in October 2003 produced a landmark $20 million jury verdict against investment firm Legg Mason for copyright violations. In that case, a small financial newsletter publisher based in Florida, Lowry's Reports, sued Legg Mason for allegedly making unauthorized copies of a financial newsletter.

Credit Suisse apparently not interested in a settlement

Guy told NL/NL, "We contacted Credit Suisse back in 2001 with credible info on their regular copying of our newsletters. They denied most of the allegations but assured us in writing that they would take steps to prevent any copyright violations in the future.

"Obviously, we would have preferred not having to go to court to protect our copyrights this time around, but Credit Suisse was not interested in talking settlement despite hard evidence showing copyright violations are continuing to go on at the company."

Asked about any anticipated timeline for the proceedings, Guy replied, "I am told this case may take two years or more to go to trial. In the meantime, we are actively preparing for interrogatives and the discovery phase. Unfortunately, we have seen little indication to date that Credit Suisse is interested in settling this matter out of court."

IMF Publications, founded in 1984, is a small, privately held company that publishes 11 financial newsletters. Ten of the publications involve some aspect of the mortgage industry.

Credit Suisse is a publicly traded company with more than 60,000 employees, operating in 50 countries around the world. With a market capitalization of more than $60 billion, Credit Suisse reported $4.7 billion in net income for all of 2005.

"The subscription revenue we receive from our newsletters is our financial lifeline. When someone tries to restrict that lifeline by making unauthorized copies of our publications, we must take action to protect ourselves--our survival depends on it," Guy Cecala said.

IMF Publications, 7910 Woodmont Ave., #1010, Bethesda, MD 20614, 301-951-1240, fax 301-656-1709, www.imfpubs.com
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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Geographic Code:4EXSI
Date:Jul 25, 2006
Words:599
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