A musical instruments retailer claims rivals are copying its product descriptions

January 5, 2015 01:15 PM

Musical instruments retailer Sweetwater Sound Inc. is threatening other music e-retailers with legal action after it says more than 70 competitors used product descriptions created by Sweetwater on their own web sites without permission.

Sweetwater, No. 192 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide,has not filed any lawsuits, but its attorneys have contacted firms about removing copied content, a spokesman says. In some cases when a rival did not respond to Sweetwater’s requests to remove the content, Sweetwater has requested the competitor’s Internet service provider close down the offending site. Those efforts have led to at least one Internet service provider taking down a retailer’s web site, Sweetwater says.

In some cases, Sweetwater says, other e-retailers post content that clearly identifies it as coming from Sweetwater.

“We invest a great deal into creating unique, valuable content for, and to have it blatantly plagiarized and reposted on another retailer's site, often word-for-word, is truly disheartening,” Sweetwater founder Chuck Surack says in a statement. “As much as we dislike having to take action, we simply cannot sit by while our property is taken and misused."

A company spokesman says the Sweetwater, which sells via catalogs and the web, regularly searches the web looking for other sites using its product descriptions.  In 2013, Sweetwater’s online sales totaled $129 million, Internet Retailer estimates.




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