An East St. Louis woman filed suit in U.S. District Court Feb. 12, against Cahokia-based Gillan Graphics and Awards, Inc., alleging it sold copies of a copyrighted poem she wrote for her mother.
Represented by Paul M. Storment, III of Belleville, Felicia Gayden claims she owns a copyright on a piece of original poetry, entitled “Dearest Mother” which was registered on April 11, 2006 to her by the United States Register of Copyrights.
“This poem was taken to Gillan for framing by the Plaintiff for presentment to her mother,” the complaint states.
Gayden claims subsequent to taking the poem to Gillan, she became aware that copies of her poem were being printed and framed for public sale.
She claims Gillan was using variations of this poem by changing the name of the dedicated person, and then selling them to the public.
“At no time did Plaintiff give authorization to Gillan to use this poem except for Plaintiff’s own use,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff made Gillan aware of her copyright and her objection to Gillan’s use of it for its own profit.”
Gayden claims Gillian made a profit from the sales of her poem and seeks a judgment that enjoins Gillian from using her poem.
She also is seeking monetary damages pursuant to 17 USC section 504(c)(1).
The case has been assigned to District Judge J. Phil Gilbert in Benton.