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If You Infringe Copyright or Trademark

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You may inadvertently infringe someone else's intellectual property, as we did here. If you receive a cease and desist letter, it's a simple matter to correct things. Copyright and trademark holders are required to attack infringement, because if they don't their copyrights and trademarks may become null and void.

Every few months or so I search the Internet for anyone infringing our intellectual property and the CareerLab® brand. I contact my attorney who sends infringers a letter, and most cases disappear easily. 

In the letter below, SEARCH SELECT was a CD that contained a database of executive recruiters. I was extracting the list and selling it to a few clients. Kennedy Publications asked me to stop. Here is my reply. This resolved the matter, and I still use Kennedy products today.

September 12, 20-

Mr. Terrence McCommon
Attorney and Counselor at Law
722 Lexington Avenue, #3530
New York, New York 10022

One page sent via facsimile.  No original to follow.

Dear Mr. McCommon,

This is a response to your fax to me dated September 6, 20-.  You are correct in assuming that our actions regarding the use of the SEARCH SELECT database were oversights, and not premeditated violations of any of the publisher's rights.

We advertised the lists on our Internet website, which became operational in June, 1996.  The purposes were to attract visitors to the site and to repay the investment in purchasing the database ($476.00/year).  I assumed that if the lists sold, we would need to arrange a licensing agreement with Kennedy.  We do have licensing agreements with vendors of other product lines:  career testing and software training, for example.

As you requested, here are our sales to date, totaling $49.75

    07/30/- D. Stortz $9.95
    07/31/- D. Brookstone $9.95
    08/28/- A. Jalai $9.95
    09/05/- M. Freed $9.95
    09/05/- G. Potelli $9.95
Per your instructions, we have ceased all sales of recruiter lists derived from SEARCH SELECT or any of Kennedy's publications.  We plan to continue using SEARCH SELECT only as our in-house database.

In the future if we elect to sell lists of executive recruiters to the public, we will contract with other list compilers to provide the data.  Over the years we've had a good relationship with the Kennedy organization, and it's our intention to continue that productive relationship.

Very truly yours,
William S. Frank

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.