Well, It Finally Happened…

Looks like I’m about to be sued or maybe not…  I need legal advice and quick.

Apparently I used a photo that was copyrighted and under protection in Canada  – the rear view mirror one a while back that fronted an August 19, 2017 piece I did.

Artist Defense” is telling me I owe them $750 for the previous use and if I don’t pay they will sue for up to $150K.  Obviously I took the photo down but this really bothers me.  I just called them and they will accept $300 flat for the month it has been used (actually only 17 days).

Any lawyers out there who may want to give a little free advice?  Obviously I have to worry about this and I have to cut out all previous photos that I or a friend didn’t take  specifically … which I have to do tonight.

370+articles.  Just another pain in the ass with this blog…

So – to all readers and commenters – do not post any photos on here in the comments section… or videos until I can get this straightened out.   Sorry… but has to be done.

Reed

 

44 thoughts on “Well, It Finally Happened…

  1. It’s a blog and not for profit. You didn’t use the photo for monetary gain. When did you stop taking advertisements?

    Is it different than posting the picture on Facebook? Sounds like a scam/scare tactic. It appears you took down the pic too when notified as well.

    I’m curious what a lawyer says but I really don’t think you have much to worry about. Agreed, it’s a giant PIA.

    NOTE speaking as a laymen. Not a lawyer.

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  2. Reed, my immediate advice would be to get legal advice before speaking with anyone from that group again. I don’t believe a word of it. Give it a second and maybe some advice can be shot out to you here and do not speak or send any money.

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  3. So you owe them $750 or they will sue you for $150,000 but they will take $300. That math does not add up for me? and TT could be right. It wasn’t posted for monetary gain.

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  4. I say it’s a possible scam-but I’m not exactly Johnnie Cochran. I posted “the kiss/kick heard round the world” from the Clemson game on my Instagram how is that any different than this blog?

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  5. Had a similar threat poised to me when I contracted with a “message on hold” production company to produce a five minute audio loop with pleasant background music with a professional female doing voice over utilizing MY OWN PERSONALLY WRITTEN SCRIPTING about dental procedures, etc. offered in my office. After final delivery of the digital product the company then subsequently demanded that I continue to pay them an annual licensing fee in order to continue the use of the audio on my office’s phone system, since the background music & the voice over actor that they incorporated into the audio production was considered artistic intellectual property that they owned & was protected by copywriting, or some such nonsense. I checked the original signed contract and there was no mention of any such materials being included into the audio production that required such ongoing fees.

    I told them that I had paid for the product that they had produced for me as agreed upon in the production contract (hundreds of dollars) and that they weren’t seeing any ongoing annual licensing fees coming from me in the future. They countered with,”then cease & desist utilizing the production audio or your business will be sued”. Now realize that this was my dental practice pushing large 6 figures annual production figures at that time. So they had substantial business assets that they could have gone after if they wanted to prove damages in court.

    Maybe I was foolish, but I told them right there to go pound salt since nothing was in the original contract about licensing fees and just said,” I guess I’ll see you in court”. Never heard from them again.

    Good luck on your ambulance chaser blood sucker situation.

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    1. There are a lot of scammers out there and they will say anything to leech money off of you. The other day we got a bill from a supposed “recovery company in Tallahassee FL. They wanted 300 plus dollars for a supposed att “universal” non-payment of a business my wife sold 21 years ago. I told her don’t call them it is a scam. You can’t trust people these days. On a side note if you are 50 or older don’t join up with AARP. We signed up for 1 year about 6 years ago. Almost immediately our phone was inundated with calls for this and that (on the cell phones too”. To this day we still get the calls but never answer them. They are scammers too as they give your info and phone number away to those leeches.

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  6. My greatest education was not at Pitt. It was working with(unbeknown to me) some of the greatest scam artist this side of the Mississippi early on in life. Hence forth my moto always has been that anyone I meet until proven otherwise. Sounds like a he” of a way to ge through life. But believe me it has served me well over the years.—Reed I’m not a lawyer but I’d tell them to shove their offer up their a**. It definitely sounds like a scam to me. I’d be willing to bet these clowns scan the internet and attempt to pull this ruse almost every day.

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  7. …and remember, you can’t get blood out of a rock! Hope you distinguished the POV blog as a separate entity from your personal life. Although it really isn’t an entity although you do own it. That way you can only be sued the POV wealth. Which may not be worth $300?? No offense intended.

    Actually, you listed it for sell this morning for $25 and a hot dog….. and it didn’t have to be hot.. Just trying to help…. ike

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  8. Don’t pay them anything. It is extremely unlikely that they have any recourse. In my business, I deal with photos and sports logos and have been contacted in the past by several entities.. photographers, movie studios and professional sports leagues.. threatening all kind of cease and desist actions and penalties. In each case I’ve completely ignored them.

    Additionally, you are not using the photo for commercial purposes, as you derive no income from the site. I’d assert the “aggrieved” would spend more on actual court costs than he could ever hope to recoup. I wouldn’t even take the effort to tell him to piss off.

    That said, I’m not an attorney. If you truly are concerned, check with one. I’m fairly certain they’ll tell you the same.

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  9. Anyone else hear the rumor that Wirginis was hurt in a water skiing accident? Could he have been skiing behind the good ship lollipop? Something’s wrong with that boy?

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  10. Doc immediately came to his medical aid, fixed his teeth (by the way doc on the Roundtable you have some pearly whites – I need to wear shades).

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  11. Reed, The lawyer advise is a good idea. Probably clear it up in a few minutes. My 2 cents (based on 34 yrs at Kodak when it was a real company) is if you didn’t snatch it from a site that sells royalty images you are probably OK. All other images are the property of the photographer or whoever purchased the rights too but the Canada part of it starts to smell real fishy as others have noted.

    Maybe some legal beagle on here should contact Reed privately as a donation.

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  12. Reed I am an attorney though do not practice this sort of law – Huff may be better. Two good links by Pitt Band 81 and advise from JrPitt. Based only on my prosecution of white collar cases this looks like a scam. I would find out who in Maryland prosecutes internet fraud – probably Attorney General or similar group. Each state has something different – you probably want a state wide prosecutor. IN Pa the counties each have an elected District Attorney where I work, the Pa Attorney General Office (Statewide) and on the federal level the U S Attorney Office of the DOJ. I would call what offices and find out where to file a complaint requesting a criminal investigation of the demand letter. That it is from Canada apparently you probably want to file a complaint on the federal level to the US Attorney for your district and a letter to the FBI to the appropriate division, they can tell you where to address your letter. On the state level I am not sure but a quick search show http://osp.maryland.gov/

    http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/36loc/how/stattorneys/html/msa14989.html (Howard county which i Believe is the county in which you livehttp://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/08conoff/attorney/html/06ag.html Md Attorney General)
    If you have access to a JAG officer in Md you could get him/her to explain Maryland Investigator and Prosecution offices.

    I WOULD NOT PAY, This sounds like a scam where most people would pay the extortion – the possible damages appear to be there to scare you. If the POV is incorporated then all they could get are POV assets, you top one percentor. 🙂

    Once you find out who investigates internet or white collar fraud on the state, county and federa letter then write a letter to them requesting a criminal investigation and cc a copy of the letter to the company that is trying to extort you, that should get their attention.
    Huff what do you think?.

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  13. Reed send me a copy of the letter, contact the JAG officer to learn of Maryland justice system and then we can talk. I pick a jury tomorrow, medical procedure on MOnday, jury Tuesday or wednesday. Do that and we will communicate. We can talk at the OSU tailgate. I cant practice in MD but I can write a nasty letter.
    Now smoke Doc’s weed and chill. 🙂
    I once had a case where opposing defense counsel threatened me with unwarranted ethical and civil action. one of my mentors seeing the shock of me reading the letter said “Take five minutes to panic then sit down and act like an attorney” Later

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  14. I am a lawyer but not an Intellectual Property one so I am quite reluctant to give any professional advice. Question: Is the blog an entity (LLC or corporation). If not it should be. If you want to speak tto me about this send me an email and I will give you my phone number.

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  15. I am a lawyer. And while there does appear to be some potential legal issues entwined here, I am going to give my best non-legal opinion: Phuck Them!!! This is a complete scam. I appreciate why you would have concern, but put your head on your pillow and sleep confortably, Reed. On a separate note, the internet service is down at my house. I was very much looking forward to participating in the round table tonight, but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. Enjoy gentlemen!!!

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  16. I did some hunting, and it does appear that the company that sent you the letter may be a legitimate business organization. However, this does not mean that they have a valid claim. I don’t handle intellectual property cases, but in nearly every case that seeks damages, the moving party has to prove that they suffered actual damages. Plus I would first want proof that there is actually a copyright on the photo in question. I doubt that they would go through the trouble and expense of suing you with such limited damages AND given fact that you took the photo down. But, I have no way of knowing for sure.

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  17. This is a simple one in truth — from one non-law-abiding-citizen to [not another] (in Reed’s case), I tell you for the record this is hilarity. Do NOT PAY THIS. (There will always be a predators and one has decided to circle you momentarily.)
    If we stick with a ‘shark vs man’ scenario it’s a bump-and-run. “law/abiding,” you are, Reed. Beyond a certainty of doubt.
    Do N O T entertain this further.
    And thank you for your service here at POV.

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  18. As a business owner and not a lawyer, this smells Lyke a scam – be careful and hold on to your wallet.

    On to FB – just Lyke in 1988 when the late Curtis Bray dominated psu as a FR to help Pitt get a W in creepy valley, I believe a young star or two will emerge this Saturday from my list below:

    Mo French
    D. Hamlin
    T. Coleman
    K. Carter
    R. Flowers
    A. Mathews
    T. MacVitte
    H. Miller
    M. Smith
    K. Camp
    P. Ford
    J. Pinnock
    D. Mathis
    R. Weaver
    AJ Davis
    M. Henderson
    T. Sibley
    P. Campbell
    B. Garner
    A. McKee
    A. Watts
    C. Pine
    J. Stocker
    E. Reynolds
    J. Twyman
    J. Morrissey
    D. Butler-Jenkins
    T. Sear
    C. Clark
    R. Wheeler
    P. Jones
    A. Kessman

    Now that’s slot of talent, but with it comes very little college game day experience.

    Who will be the next young Pitt stars to claw a W from the nitters?

    HTP!

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    1. No matter the outcome. That “experience factor” that Reed values so much in his analysis of players, well a whole bunch nah of these youngins are going to get a heap of it in creepy Valley in two days. May they all survive the ordeal. H2P!

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  19. I’m having a hard time getting up for the game at Creepy Valley (above other games, that is). Is it me, or has much of the luster gone off of this game? Of course it is a big game because they are #4 and it would be a great win, but after many years of listening to JoePa spew nonsense, and now the gaps in playing them, it is hard to rank this game up with the other important ACC games to come. This rivalry will never be the same given the infrequent opportunities to play them in the future. (By the way, if JoePa had lived, he would be in jail along with the rest of that administration crowd).

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    1. or is it because you give the good guys little chance of winning … and even making it close? Yes, it is likely that Pitt takes it lumps this year but I still maintain that this team will be a good team by the end of the year … and even better, the next 2 or 3

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  20. Reed, I know you have some offers to assist and I can offer some assistance as well. Sorry about missing last night roundtable but Wednesdays are turning into hockey days and nights for kids.

    In my prior life I engaged a company called “Copyright Clearance Center” that covered the corporation for all use of copyrighted information. We had corporate executives that consistently “borrowed” lines, pictures off the internet, in magazines and other media (that were copyrighted). We needed protection and so I bought it. Not sure of their pricing schedules as that was about 10 years ago.

    Damages are so difficult to prove in this space, so the courts sometimes use statutory damages and that sounds like the case here. It is good to tread cautiously going forward and be sure to look for proper markings on the business side of things going forward. Usually starts with injunctive relief/ cease and desist, which you have already handled internally by removing it.

    If you haven’t sent the notice to any of the other folks, you can also forward to my email account. I will look at it and give it to our IP guys for a look. That’s a specialty area. Also your corporate filing status is important too. There are protections that go with each type of entity. That’s another discussion and I don’t want to pry in such an open forum.

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  21. Some guy emailed me from Nigeria….says his name is Jack and wants to sue me for a $ million for using his name if I don’t send him $500. What should I do?

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