Well, guess what... it turns out that I have been warning people to follow the law for good reason.
For those of you who enjoy making cakes of protected property, please read the attached article:
The courts handed down a fine to an individual who not only did not sell the property, but also had only thirty individual violations, much less than some of the portfolios on CC. This case involved a man who illegally downloaded 30 songs and shared them.
Evidently, the fine is from $750.00 to $150,000 per violation. He was charged $22,000 for each violation, grand totalling $675,000. Several courts have upheld the amount.
How many times have I quoted that the Feds put the number of violations at 10 to convert the charge into a federal criminal charge? It had a purpose.
If I were a decorator with published protected material, I would take it down now. Even though many of the photos will be cached, I would think that a voluntary cease and desist would help.
While you are at it, be sure to check your kids' iPod accounts for music downloaded by other than proper channels.
When members like me, Jason, and others warn you all about this, we aren't trying to be disagreeable, but professional. For businesses operating outside the law, beware that the internet will not be on your side. It has allowed us to share, find answers to everything, and grow our businesses virtually (pun) for free. But with that comes a trail right back to you for copyright/trademark infringements, evidence of selling for the IRS and state tax depts (example: I sold this cake for $$ in a post on CC). The IRS only needs evidence of one item to search your books and household income from "the day you were born" or to asses you with taxes and penalties for what you may have sold.
Again, not an "I told you so", but a message that will hopefully reinforce two things:
1) Please make sure you fully understand the penalties for working outside the law.
2) If you choose to work outside the law, do not publish it on the web.