Richmastery – Copyright infringement and Breaches of the Fair Trading Act

UPDATE: September 2010

This month, more than two years after the out of court settlement detailed below, Philip Ronald Jones (Phil Jones) published a number of untrue and misleading statements about this litigation.

In these statements, Phil Jones attacked the character and motivations of the plaintiffs; he misrepresented aspects of the legal proceedings; he breached a confidentiality agreement relating to pre-trial mediation and misrepresented events at that mediation; he made false claims about the costs of the litigation; and he made several serious and unsubstantiated allegations of supposedly ‘illegal’ actions by the plaintiffs and their lawyers, and [alleged] ‘copyright breaches’ by Empower Leaders Publishing.

His allegations are untrue. If you have any query about any matters connected with this, please contact us through this Contact form.

Here is a link to a statement by Peter Aranyi in response published on his personal weblog

Note: The company Richmastery Limited was re-named Ralph Trading Limited on 20 May 2009 immediately prior to being placed in voluntary liquidation on 19 June 2009. Public records available at the Companies Office website (search ‘Ralph Trading’ or Co. # 1207353 in the Companies Register) show that the company and Phil Jones were, at the time of liquidation, defendants in litigation against them by Gilligan Rowe & Associates and Matthew Kevin Gilligan; and that Phil Jones has left NZ and re-located to the United States.
Legal advice to the plaintiffs in the Empower case in 2007-2008 had raised the possibility of these actions (company liquidation and emigration before a court hearing) and this was a real factor in the plaintiffs’ decision to accept the Richmastery/Jones $65,000 offer accompanied by the admissions and High Court-filed defendants’ undertaking detailed below to settle the litigation.


UPDATE: June 2008
Empower Leaders Publishing and the plaintiffs advise that a settlement was reached in their copyright lawsuit (CIV 2007-404-5516) against Richmastery Limited, Philip Ronald Jones (Phil Jones) and John Bedggood.

This followed the formal acknowledgement of copyright infringement by Richmastery Ltd (sole director: Phil Jones) and John Bedggood in their use of the Empower authors’ material; the filing in the Auckland High Court of a defendants’ undertaking not to infringe the plaintiffs’ copyright in future; and the payment of $65,000 in damages.

A summary of the terms of settlement:
1. Richmastery Ltd and John Bedggood acknowledge the use of materials from the underlying works pleaded in the Statement of Claim, and that there has been a breach of copyright in using those materials,

2. Each of the defendants: Richmastery Ltd, Phil Jones, and John Bedggood undertakes not to copy, sell or distribute any material that may infringe the copyright in the underlying works pleaded in the Statement of Claim. This defendants’ undertaking (below) was filed in the Auckland High Court. (Available here as a PDF 170k.)

3. The sum of $65,000 was paid by the defendants Richmastery Ltd, Phil Jones and John Bedggood to the plaintiffs Empower Leaders Publishing Ltd, its authors Olly Newland, Mark Withers and Peter Aranyi, and Empower Education.

4. The settlement relates only to the allegations of infringement of the plaintiffs’ works pleaded in the Statement of Claim, that is, in relation to the 19 August 2006 Richmastery seminar.

[note: pages cropped and reduced for display – full images (PDF) here]

UPDATE: February 2008
At the first case management conference 6 November 2007 Judge Robinson set out a timetable for the parties to provide discovery of documents relevant to the issues of the case. More evidence is now being collated in preparation for trial. If you have further information relevant to the actions of Richmastery, its employees or agents, please contact Empower Leaders Publishing or solicitors Simpson Grierson (contact details here.)

UPDATE: September 2007
Legal proceedings are underway. Empower Leaders Publishing Ltd and the authors/owners of the intellectual property at the heart of this case have filed a claim against Richmastery Limited, Philip Ronald Jones (Phil Jones) and John Bedggood in the High Court in Auckland.

Seeking information
(click here

If you have any further information on this matter, or similar matters, please contact Empower Leaders Publishing Ltd or seek advice from your solicitor. Use the Contact form to email us. Correspondence will be treated in confidence.

The evidence documentation is more than 70 pages. Available by request to concerned parties only.

Evidence: Example 1Example 2Example 3Letter as PDF


Evidence: Example 1 | Example 2 | Example 3 | Letter as PDF

Copyright © 2007 Empower Leaders Publishing Ltd    All Rights Reserved

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