Every time I think we have “heard it all” comes a new twist. This time around I have direct evidence and testimonial of the “Hawaiian Art Network / Copyright Services International Settlement Notification Phone Call”
This is how it works. I actually have the emails and spoke to the person who submitted the information to me. At my request, I wanted to see the series of emails a reader received. IN that email chain, I was a bit confused to the “starter” email because it made it sound like I missed something. The person told me what I saw was actually the first email. However, the very first contact was a phone call from out of the blue!
My thinking is, “How does anyone expect anyone to blindly pay any money based on a phone call claiming to be Hawaiian Art Network or Copyright Services International using a phone notification call of an alleged copyright infringement?”
No one with any kind of business sense. Only the lazy, ignorant, or spineless would do something stupid and pay based on a phone call.
Lynne Hubsch, “Account Director” of Hawaiian Art Network, uses the email address firstname.lastname@example.org to send a confirmation email to our reader of their phone call. I have XXXX’d out the identifying names.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday. As I mentioned, I am reaching out to you on behalf of Hawaiian Art Network, llc. Our systems have identified an image on the XXXXX.com website that does not appear to have the proper licensing.
The specific photograph I am referring to is O-06 Hanauma Bay (VA0001696555) and is occurs on multiple pages (in a random fashion) http://XXXXXX.com/
The photo looks great on the site; however please understand that it is our responsibility to protect the rights of our photographers. We would like to resolve this concern in an amicable fashion. Accordingly, we are offering an opportunity provide proof of license or, if necessary, to retroactively license this image and provide documented release from all claims of copyright infringement related to the above stated image.
We understand that XXXXX is a small local business and in appreciation of your willingness to settle the matter without legal means we are willing to drastically discount the retail retroactive licensing to $678. Our standard fee for the site wide retail use of this image as seen on http://XXXXXX.com is $1425; and this discount is provided in the good-faith that we can resolve this concern in an amicable manner.
Simply removing the image will not provide release from the aforementioned copyright violation and only though retroactive licensing can release be given. The retroactive licensing agreement does not provide for future use, however we do offer future use licensing at fair market rates should you be interested.
We would very much prefer to resolve this matter with you in a direct and cordial manner by June 17, 2012. Please contact me to to provide proof of license, or to arrange for payment, which can be processed through PayPal. We will provide an invoice and photographer-signed release agreement for your documentation upon receipt of payment.
Further in the email chains, Lynne uses email@example.com as her reply-to email address. It is clear by this point that Lynne Hubsch works and speaks simultaneously for HAN and Copyright Services International, both owned by Glen Carner.
As polite as Lynne might be, I advised to our reader to not waste time going back and forth anymore by email as that is not recognized official communication in these matters. The email chain I was sent was quite long and an extensive effort was made to explain the alleged infringement situation clearly went nowhere. As we all know, it really doesn’t matter what anyone says, the only thing they want is money.
I told her they will likely escalate this into a letter format. If and when that happened, she should simply contact Oscar Michelen that would put a stop to all communications. She already paid for the official ELI Phone Support and I would remain in the loop if she received any more communications.
Isn’t it curious about using notification phone calls now? These are my ideas of why this is now happening.
- Phone calls are more difficult to document. and less threatening.
- HAN did not have our readers mailing address.
- HAN, Glen Carner, its lawyers, its lawsuits, have been the focus of intense scrutiny and investigations by the ELI community. Using a phone call helps keep them under the radar except for when they get reported to me or the ELI community.
- By avoiding a traditional heavy-handed letter system sent by a collections lawyer, the phone/email system is far less formal and intimidating.
- There is greater potential for information-gathering by this informal kind of communications vs. a traditional business letter or from a collections lawyer HAN typically uses.
It is difficult to say when these settlement notification phone calls began but it is the first I have heard of it being used by anyone of any significance.
Oh, did I mention it is regarding another Vincent K. Tylor image? Vincent even states the following in one of the emails:
I have given full authority to Glen, Lynn, our attorneys and Hawaiian Art Network altogether to take care of any copyright settlements directly. As you probably know, moving into a new place is a very draining and time-consuming event. I just do not have the capability to handle these negotiations directly so hired these professionals who’ve already been in touch with you.
VKT is definitely in bed with Glen Carner as we have long known.