June 10, 2002
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
Ms. Anneliese Garrison
15 Linden Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Dear Ms. Garrison:
Please be advised that we represent the National Council of State Boards of Nursing ("National Council") of Chicago, Illinois.
As you are well aware, our client has continuously administered the National Council Licensure Examinations ("NCLEX-RN and PN") for registered and licensed practical nurse candidates since 1977. The National Council takes great precautions at considerable expense to ensure the security and confidentiality of the examinations. In fact, the National Council has never published any examination or any old examination questions. In addition, a candidate for the licensure is required to commit, on his or her application to take the examination, not to attempt to reproduce or replicate examination questions. Only by preserving the integrity of the examinations can they achieve their vital public safety purpose.
Moreover, our client's claim of exclusive rights in and to its copyrighted works have been established in the records of the U.S. Copyright office at the Library of Congress. Our client is the own of numerous U.S. Copyright Registrations with respect to NCLEX examination questions.
As a result of the exclusive ownership of this copyright and as a result of administering the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN licensure examinations over the years, our client has come to regard its copyright as an exceptionally valuable asset of the organization.
Consequently, the confidentiality and National Council's copyright interests in the examinations must, at all costs, be respected by the public. National Council will not hesitate to enforce its rights in and to its copyright against unauthorized uses of its examinations by third parties.
We have recently become aware of the fact that you own and operate the "Ultimate NCLEX Study Guide" web site located at www.caring4you.net. In one section of the web site you post and solicit others to post on an open, interactive forum message board actual NCLEX examination questions. To be specific, you invite readers to "post your actual NCLEX questions ..... If 300 people shared just 10 actual questions, we would have the NCLEX beat." It also is our understanding that you sell certain questions. It is our further understand that you took the NCLEX-RN licesure examination. A. copy of your web site home page listing the infringing activities is enclosed.
Your conduct is a blatant disregard of the public safety interests as well as the National Council's copyright interests. It is clear from the www. caring4you.net web site that you and your contributors have had access to the NCLEX-RN licensure examination by your postings of substantially identical examination questions. It is also clear that your distribution of the extent that your posting of examination items on the web site requires National Council to remove such questions from its examinations. National Council will incur substantial costs in preparing replacement questions. Please be advised that the National Council will take whatever measures are necessary to protect and enforce its proprietary rights.
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Therefore, we must insist , on behalf of our client, that you immediately cease and desist from all further posting of examination questions and soliciting other third parties to post substantially identical examination questions, and providing a forum where examination questions are bought and sold.
Please provide us with written assurances no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of this letter that you have ceased infringing activities discussed above and modified, amended and reviewed your web site to prohibit others from engaging in infringement of the National Council's exclusive copyright rights.
In addition, there are many states in which attempts, such as yours, to compromise the integrity and to cheat on licensure examinations is a criminal offense. Be assured that, absent your prompt discontinuation of all offending aspects of the web site, we will alert all states with such laws of your activities.
If you agree to immediately cease the infringing activities, take the above demanded remedial actions and cooperate in National Council's investigation, our client will consider waiving its claim for damages, attorneys' fees and foregoing formal legal proceedings. Otherwise, we will not hesitate to take legal action to enforce our client's rights. Attached please find a Complaint we have prepared to file on behalf of our client.
I look forward to your immediate written response.
Very truly yours,
Thomas G. Abram
CC: Kathy Apple
New Jersey Board of Nursing