Monday, October 26, 2009

Chirp Express Update

I thought our readers should be aware of this letter:

Dear Chirp Express members,
It saddens us greatly to report that Provo Craft has threatened our company, alleging copyright infringement. Their position is that you (and we) don’t purchase cartridges, we purchase a personal software license to use the content on a cartridge. Their position is that you are licensing software, like an installable computer program, and not that you are buying a product like a book, DVD, or video game. We disagree with the position that they are representing and believe our business practices to be 100% within copyright law. We believe our business operates under the legal principle of “First Sale Doctrine” and believe also that the Computer Software Rental Amendments Act of 1990 supports our position by excluding “computer program[s] which [are] embodied in a machine or product” from being considered software that is not permissible to rent, lease, or lend. Netflix operates entirely under this same legal principle and there are numerous case law precedents in various state and federal courts that uphold this same position. No case has ever been recorded in relation to Cricut© Cartridge rental, thus we only have similar cases to refer to.
Unfortunately, since Chirp Express is a small business, we do not have legal representation on staff. We will be pursuing various legal options, but in the meantime, we’ve decided the best course of action is to suspend service. We realize that this is inconvenient for you, but ask for your patience with the situation. We will be cancelling all of the PayPal subscriptions today, and ask that you return the Chirp Express rental cartridges immediately. Upon receipt of the returned cartridges we will issue a partial-month refund for the portion of your rental month remaining after October 27th, 2009.
We plan to obtain some expert legal advice on this matter and hope to resume service again at a future date. If you know of anyone who works with Intellectual Property law and would like to help address some of the anti-consumer policies that Provo Craft represents, please e-mail us at

Thank you for your patronage; it has been a pleasure serving you.
- The Chirp Express Team


Terry Oulboub said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. :( I wish I could be of some help with this.

Erin said...

so sad it's big guy against little guy...kinda glad I didn't buy a machine from them.

BrendaB said...

What about the fact that people might rent a cartridge to try it out, decide they like it, and then buy it? Doesn't seem like a smart decision for ProvoCraft.

Crystal said...

I agree with seems to be a bad move on their part.
Sorry this is going to be a difficult time for you :(

Christine said...

This whole things makes me sad. They were really wonderful to work with. I think PC is missing the big picture. Very disappointing :(

Nadya 's World!!! said...

This is sad!!!! I hope that they'll pack away or figure out another way to do this. I too agree that PC is missing out big time by doing this.

Gracie said...

They are also not letting stores purchase any additional product from them if the store is currently selling SCAL. They also had my 4shared account frozen because I had cartridge handbooks available there for others to look at & download if they wish. They are going after everyone they think may be losing them a penny.