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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sherwin-Williams Stole From Us and then Tried to Bully Us into Silence
Please follow this link (below) to change.org and sign our petition.
http://www.change.org/petitions/sherwin-williams-compensate-the-painter-who-they-stole-from



Hello, my name is Miles Oravetz and I am a professional commercial painter of 38 years located in CT. Approximately 10 years ago, several painting contractors and I invested our money in creating a DIY wallpapering video which we sent to Sherwin-Williams in hopes of selling it; however, as Sherman-Williams offered us only $300, we took our product elsewhere. About two months later, while picking up supplies at a Sherwin-Williams store I came across a DIY wallpapering video and discovered that Sherwin-Williams was, in fact, selling their own version of our video.
While Sherwin-Williams denies this was the case you can watch below, side-by-side, our production alongside Sherwin-Williams version and judge for yourself whether Sherwin-Williams stole our work.

As small business owners, we lack the financial resources to mount a legal challenge against a large, powerful corporation like Sherman-Williams. So, we are asking for help from you, the public, in telling Sherwin-Williams what the right thing to do is.

Please sign our petition and ask Sherman-Williams to compensate the small business owners they stole from.

Please follow this link (below) to change.org and sign our petition.
http://www.change.org/petitions/sherwin-williams-compensate-the-painter-who-they-stole-from
 

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If your case is that strong you should have no problem finding a lawyer to take the case at no cost to you since legal fees would presumably be part of any judgement awarded to you. If no one wants to touch it unless you pay up front that should be a sign that your case is weaker than you think. Unfortunately a petition isn't worth much more than the bandwidth it takes up. Good luck though!
 

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Interesting that you conveniently swap Sherwin Williams for Sherman Williams. Good Luck fighting a multi billion dollar company. Patent's are stolen all the time.
 

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PinheadsUnite
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Miles,


I am a paperhanger and generally against large greedy unscrupulous corrporations, so right off the bat I am sympathetic to you and your claim.

HOWEVER, I looked at the two vids and right away noticed that these were generic wallpaper instructions found on many instructions sheets (the detailed Thibaut "booklet" of a few years back comes to mind) and on vids and books like what David Groff is famous for.

Sure, there are similarities in order and techniques, but those are well known practices that all should follow. I do not see a direct rip off of your video.

I do not believe that you can claim ownership of any "intellectual property" of a wallpapering vid, many have been done and will be done.

Did they realize that it would be a good idea to produce a vid after seeing yours or even Groff's ? Perhaps. But I do not think that would constitute grounds for a law suit.

But what I would be careful of, if I were you, is being slapped with a suit and injunction for slander against S-W. They have MUCH deeper pockets than you and whether justified or not, will most likely wish you to remove your remarks that they stole from you. Do not be surprise if they file suit against you.

Good luck. I wish you well and am posting this as a favor to you with no malice or condemnation intended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did you have them sign anything. If not your at fault imo.
They came from Ohio to CT to meet with me to end this. When we tried to settle, they walked out of the meeting and said, "painters are nobody, and that includes you". So I guess that is what they think of their own customers.
 

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Paint Store Owner
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andrew-kirk painters said:
They came from Ohio to CT to meet with me to end this. When we tried to settle, they walked out of the meeting and said, "painters are nobody, and that includes you". So I guess that is what they think of their own customers.
Did you ask for a gajillion dollars or something that would prvoke them into walking out? For them to go that far, then simply walk out leads me to believe that you were looking for a massive pay day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did you ask for a gajillion dollars or something that would prvoke them into walking out? For them to go that far, then simply walk out leads me to believe that you were looking for a massive pay day.
No, I definitely did not. The price was Very reasonable for the amount of time they had it. They Violated Federal Copyright laws, which alone is a 250K fine and 6 months in jail.
 

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I too agree with Bill. The videos are nothing more than generic hanging instructions that all hangers learn in the first year. Nothing new or ground breaking here. This thread should be shut down, this forum isn't to be used as a soap box for disgruntled people. And is this the same guy that's been posting/persuing this issue for years? If so, give it up and get to work already.
 

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andrew-kirk painters said:
No, I definitely did not. The price was Very reasonable for the amount of time they had it. They Violated Federal Copyright laws, which alone is a 250K fine and 6 months in jail.
So what did you ask for? 250k...125k....100k?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
how would 40 to 50 signatures from this site help your case? Also when you say they tried to bully you into silence what did they do?

Pat
Signatures will help. It's out in the "court of public opinion", exposing their greed from customers like you and I (that pay their salaries). They have tried everything to silence me. They have the largest, most vicious, law-firm in the world (Jones Day). They have violated my Bill of Rights Freedoms by sending me injunctions and "cease-and-desist" letters. They have even used the Trade Association (the PDCA) against me. However, here I am writing you, using my 1st Amendment rights. Please sign my petition and stand up against Corporate Greed.
 

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PinheadsUnite
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Miles,

I fully believe that you should take this out of "the court of public opinion" and into a real legal court.

In this country, if I remember my legal and civil rights lessons correctly, one is assumed innocent until proved guilty.

Without due process, you are declaring them guilty of all sorts of violations of your rights. By asking other trades people to take up your standard, with only your side explained and sign a petition, you are practicing a form of bullying.

Again, I have a tendency to side with you, but your facts and your actions are just not in the spirit of our legal system.

get legal council and SUE. If you need funds to carry out the suit, then by all means, petition other trades people to assist with your legal fees.

But do not ask me, I do not see merit in your case. I wish I did, however you have not proved your case to me. But I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Miles,

I fully believe that you should take this out of "the court of public opinion" and into a real legal court.

In this country, if I remember my legal and civil rights lessons correctly, one is assumed innocent until proved guilty.

Without due process, you are declaring them guilty of all sorts of violations of your rights. By asking other trades people to take up your standard, with only your side explained and sign a petition, you are practicing a form of bullying.

Again, I have a tendency to side with you, but your facts and your actions are just not in the spirit of our legal system.

get legal council and SUE. If you need funds to carry out the suit, then by all means, petition other trades people to assist with your legal fees.

But do not ask me, I do not see merit in your case. I wish I did, however you have not proved your case to me. But I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.

I sent S&W the video and they liked it and went into negotiations to use it in their stores (with minor adjustments). Remember, this is a copyrighted video with federal protection. In an effort to protect themselves, they offered me 300 for the copyright. (Not 300K or 30K, but a mere $300). Many contractors invested into this production, which the owner of the VT School of Wallpapering said, "this is the best DIY Wallpapering Video ever produced". And that it was short and to the point, and segmented, which no other DIY video did at that time, until S&W took mine. Remember this was nearly 15 years ago.
 

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I just watched the video and as was mentioned they seem to be the basics that can be found all over the web for free. Also all that info can be found on many forums as well. So what did they steal? They did not use your video they simply made their own. Honestly they probably offered you the token amount of 300.00 years back because they probably wanted to produce their own video rather than use yours. Not to be a dick here but out of the two videos I preferred the SW one because the guy was a bit more animated while yours was a bit more monotone. Which could be a reason why they went another route. jmo.

As was mentioned of course their are similarities as the techniques being shown are common standard methods If they would of used your actual video it would be a different story. Your case would be strong but you do not own the rights to common hanging practices that are taught all over the country. So I don't see much of a case here but I am not a lawyer. What did the lawyers say that you have spoke with over the last 15 yrs?

Why not just make a website dedicated to the video and see how many units of your own video you can sell?
 

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PinheadsUnite
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Miles.

I ain't saying there is no value to your vid, and at the time it may have been, in Stan's mind (or are you talking about Brad), the best DIY video there was. Certainly better than Groff's. IMO.

In order to succesfully win a suit like this, you must prove theft of original thought or technique or of actual footage, or even similar composition.

My cousin in law is a professional photographer. All too often he finds his pictures being used, without permission, by someone else. Once, another RESHOT his picture and claimed it was original. The objects were the same, lighting similar enough as was the angle. He won.

On the other side of the coin. Out in Calif a small paint company developed a clear coating that would penetrate and seal damaged drywall. It was and still is GREAT stuff. But they had ZERO marketing and distribution skills. A BIG multi national paint company from the east made an offer for the formula. the little guy refused, prolly out of pride and stubbornness. The big company reverse engineered the product, used all the same materials BUT reduced the prime resin by enough so that patent infringement was nullified.

The big guy TOOK the IDEA and the same materials and produced a product different enough so as not to be guilty of theft.

I try my hardest to buy the original, but would have to order 48 gallons to make shipping worth it. So I am forced to buy single gallons from the company that knows how to market and distribute, as does most every painter here.

As Sean (Workaholic) suggested, market it on your own. I will give you my fullest support and I am sure the national wallpaper trade organization would also. well except for the fact that by doing so, it would take bread off our tables. But hell, I think they still promote the Groff video.

Seriously I wish you the best, and would hate to see you waste time and money tilting at windmills.
 
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