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Copyright Blog

Educational Group Sued for Website Content

On October 11, 2019, International Education Management Group, Inc. (“IEM”) filed a complaint against Abroad and Future, Inc. and Wei Bao a/k/a Bevan Bao (collectively “BAO”) for, among other things, copyright infringement.

IEM is in the business of promoting global education placement for international students. The company facilitates its business via its website, (the “ Website”). In its complaint, IEM claims to be the owner of all copyright in and to the Website.

According to IEM, BAO was a former employee of IEM. On or about December 25, 2015, BAO and IEM entered into a written agreement that prohibited BAO from using IEM’s intellectual property, documents, materials and other information for his own benefit or the benefit of a third party.

IEM contends that BAO copied text from approximately eight pages from the Website and incorporated it verbatim on the Abroad and Future, Inc. Website (the “ BAO Website”). IEM asserts that the copying of this material was not for informational purposes, but for commercial purposes, in an attempt to compete with IEM.

BAO purportedly copied, distributed, and publicly displayed copyrighted material on the BAO Website which was substantially similar to the Website in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 501. IEM claims the infringement was willful and deliberate, and entitles IEM to actual and/or statutory damages.