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Author Topic: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers  (Read 9045 times)

Matthew Chan

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Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« on: September 07, 2012, 10:00:49 PM »
I thank FightCopyrightTrolls.com for feeding ELI an email they felt would be interesting to us. They were correct.

Read this attorney recruiting email from Randy Taylor and Dan B. Levine of Copyright Defense League.


Quote
From: Randy Taylor [mailto:copyrightdefenseleague@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2012 11:05 PM
To: XXXXXXXXX
Subject: Copyright Defense League
 
Dear Members of XXXXXXX:
 
I indirectly represent many rights holders who each want to enforce their registered copyright against multiple infringements on the Internet of their photographic works. These professional photographers and their agents are seeking attorneys who are experts at copyright and who can handle dozens, if not hundreds, of infringement cases, each of which has been fully vetted for its merits and viability.
 
As way of background, the firm that I'm associated with helps these rights holders by locating the online infringements, documenting the evidence and fully vetting the viability of both the infringer and the infringement of their photographs, which are all registered with the US Copyright Office. In fact, the vast majority of infringements that we find are eliminated from consideration because they don't make it through our checklist of 100+ criteria.   As an example of this vetting, we only want copyright infringement cases where:
 
    1) The infringer is viable, meaning it is a business or person for whom we have a valid address in the USA, and that is running a commercial website that is earning money. (We do not go after the perverbial 14 year old blogger, and we're deferring to later our pursuit of foreign entities that have jurisdictional challenges).
 
    2) The infringer has no viable defenses, such as fair use or DMCA safe harbor defenses, etc.
 
In short, we believe that after running all the infringements we find for our clients through our very sophisticated and refined process, we eliminate well over 90% of all the possible infringements cases that we find.  Those that remain after our careful vetting we consider to be virtually ""bullet-proof"" cases that are ready for filing.
 
We now are looking for law firms that have experience with copyright infringement, and that are ready, willing and able to take on lots of these cases on a 33% contingency fee basis.  Appropriate firms should desire to receive a virtually unlimited supply of such cases and would be responsible to immediately file such complaints and then negotiate settlements in most instances.
 
In an effort to save both you and us a great deal of time, I have attached the following item to this email:
 
    1) A typical example of a case file that we would normally send to you for each case.  (Please note this attached file is simply an example of a real case, to give you an example of exactly what you would receive from us, so you can begin to assess the amount of work/time that will be required on your side to file a complaint for such a case. I note that it is not a particularly large case since it is only a single infringement. Many of our cases have multiple infringements. And many are against companies of significant size.)
 
We have an example of a standard retainer agreement that you can also review upon confirming your level of interest.  In any agreement that results, your firm would not only need to be responsible for the time/cost of preparing the complaint and negotiating a settlement, but you would also be responsible for laying out the $350 filing fees and any other out-of-pocket expenses involved including, but not limited to, photocopying and any costs associated with serving the infringer.  However, any out-of-pocket expenses incurred would be reimbursed to you first from any proceeds for the case.  Expense reimbursement would come off the top.
 
Please feel free to call me at (516) 770-3700, or email me at danblevine@gmail.com, if you have any questions and if your firm is capable and interested in pursuing these cases on our client's behalf. Please indicate how many of these cases you would be willing and able to pursue on a monthly basis.  Given the rampant copyright infringement on the Internet today, a virtually endless supply of such cases is available. That said, I would suggest that initially you would start with ten (10) such cases, which would enable you to begin work immediately in a way that we all can independently assess whether to pursue more together later.
 
We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.  Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to consider this unique opportunity.
 
Cordially yours,
 
Dan B. Levine
 
Copyright 2012 Dan B. Levine.

Some brief comments & observations.

1. Dan doesn't know how to spell "proverbial."
2. Why is Dan "copyrighting" this attorney recruiting email?  Who would even want to take credit for what he wrote? LOL.
3.  I love how Dan talks about "bullet-proof" cases. Really?  Let the ELI Community take a stab at "defending" these bullet-proof cases.
4.  Dan wants firms to take on "lots of these cases". Not exactly a wordsmith is he?
5.  What a generous 33% split he is offering.  I guess this will incentivize the extortionists to mark up the alleged infringed photos in question and also reaffirm the commission range I have frequently reported.

Robert informed me he has more research as follow-up to this announcement post.
http://Defiantly.net is Here! Matthew Chan Unleashed! Under the First Amendment, I have the right to share opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, symbolism, snark, sarcasm, epithets, & combative language. Under Section 230 of CDA, I am only responsible for posts I write, not others.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 09:54:10 AM »
Haven't been able to find much on our new found friend Dan Levine, as of right now I'm going on the assumption, that he's just another John W. Jolin..

There website is packed with good information and content: http://copyrightdefenseleague.com/

Domain whois gives us these nuggets:
Registrant:
Dan Levine
16 Evans Drive
Brookville, NY 11545

Tech contact
Randy Taylor
c/o Dagmar Fabricius 1150 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128

It would appear that Copyright troll Randy Taylor works with a photographer by the name of Dagmar Fabricius

whom also has a really outstanding web presence: http://dagmarfabricius.com/

some other info on the newest copyright troll Randy Taylor:
Randy Taylor is president of StockPhotoFinder.com, which is listed below and is also associated with PACA: http://www.pacaoffice.org/membersOnly/updateArchive

As we all know PACA was instrumental in advising the copyright office to accept registrations the way they saw fit...unfortunately "their way" didn't exactly adhere to the law, as was seen in the Chaga case.

Randy Taylor's bio: http://www.blogger.com/profile/10704939321087178676
Randy Taylors blog: http://c-registry-copyright-forum.blogspot.com/2009/06/copyright-orphan-works-focus-at-cepic_207.html

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_PPrg2lZlv28/SjlGA0UzjvI/AAAAAAAAABw/iIlqlIwjy0g/s400/Randy_Taylor_CEPIC_MILE_400pixels.jpg)

CEO Randy Taylor has worked as a contract photographer for the Associated Press, Sygma and Black Star in the 1970's and 80's, before founding International Color Stock with Dagmar Fabriciuswho today directs Stock Media's content representation.  http://www.manta.com/c/mr0n728/international-color-stock-inc.

Interestingly at some point I was led back to http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/ where I found a different email from a different set of people that are also recruiting copytroll  / collection attorneys dealing in the porn industry.
http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2012/09/06/copyright-defenders-trolling-for-copyright-trolls/

For anybody that was hoping or thinking that copyright trolling was going away, it just appears that more unethical ass-hats are jumping on the bandwagon.

Copyright© 2012

 
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

SoylentGreen

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 12:13:30 PM »
Interesting posting indeed.

Note that Levine writes of the 350 dollar filing fee and the costs of serving the alleged infringer.
This seems to indicate that he expects the lawyers working on contingency to be willing to take cases to court.
At their expense.  Therefore, if nothing comes of it, the contingency lawyers take the loss.

There's definitely a multitude of alleged infringements.  I'm still pretty doubtful of how many actual infringements exist that are worth litigating over.
Only a minute fraction of photographers have registered their photographs properly.
Demands are often made for between 1500 to 10,000 dollars on these infringements.
But, I'm doubtful that a court would award that much, unless there's a paper trail to show that the images(s) in question sell for that much.
Failing such evidence, the courts only real option to determine value would be to compare the price of similar images in the marketplace.
The plaintiff might find something for 500 dollars.  The defendant could find an example for less than two dollars.

To me, this is the same old extortion/trolling scheme.  The uneducated pay, the smarter people don't.

S.G.

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 08:34:49 PM »
Copyright Defense League sounds like a Nickelodeon show.

S.G., that's a good point about the fees. The CDL risks nothing and takes the lion's share if it works. Nice business model: Their hands in everyone's pocket.

Their only expense is PicScout. I wonder if PicScout works on contingency or if they have a flat rate for unlimited use. It's someone else's bandwidth anyway!
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stinger

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 10:26:08 AM »
So, I am not a lawyer, but does this mean that I can cut this deal with them and then subcontract my work to lawyers in India, or say Nigeria, for maybe 15%.

That could be a business plan!

Oscar Michelen

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 10:34:05 AM »
Here is a letter I am sending out today on this issue:
====

Quote
September 12, 2012 

Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts
Renaissance Plaza
335 Adams Street, Suite 2400
Brooklyn, NY 11201-3745


Dear Sir or Madam:

   I am an attorney admitted to practice in New York through the First Department since 1986 and I write to complain about possible ethical violations and improper fee-sharing and fee referral from a group called The Copyright Defense League.  I was forwarded the attached email from someone who received it through an unknown source. It appears to be a solicitation to lawyers to do legal work on behalf of the Copyright Defense League from a person identified as Dan B. Levine with a NY phone number of 516 770 -3700.  An internet search does not reveal any further information about any attorney with that phone number. 

   I went onto your Attorney Directory to look for that name and found the following:     

Search Results: 2 Returned

Attorney Name (Click name for details) Registration Number   City   State   Year Admitted   Registration Status
1   DANIEL BARNETT LEVINE     4312963           2005   Delinquent
2   DANIEL BARRETT LEVINE     4581195   New York   NY   2008   Currently registered
 
   I am fairly sure that the Daniel Barrett Levine who works at a prominent NY firm in the area of financial transactions predominantly relating to China is not the drafter of the letter or the Dan B. Levine indicated on the bottom.    
   It is also my understanding that the Disciplinary Rules do not allow practice under a trademark name like Copyright Defense League, but perhaps those rules have changed in today’s legal marketing world. I note that the letter also appears to be discussing referral of legal fees and sharing of legal fees that I know is still strictly regulated. 

   Of course, if Dan B. Levine is not a registered lawyer in NY or if his registration has been suspended this entire communication is improper.  I ask that you look into this communication and determine whether I am correct that it appears to cross several lines.

   Please feel free to give me a call if you have any questions regarding the above.
                     Sincerely,

                     OSCAR MICHELEN

OM:sjk                
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 08:16:56 PM by Matthew Chan »

Mulligan

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 10:59:51 AM »
Oscar, thank you for writing this letter and taking action against a man who certainly needs to be looked at very closely by appropriate authorities.

SoylentGreen

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 11:15:47 AM »
This is great.  Thanks Oscar.

S.G.


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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 04:11:04 PM »
Something that came to mind today...

We're beginning to see what I'd call wide-scale marketing of services offering the production and dissemination of "demand letters" in regard to alleged copyright infringements.
We know for certain that most of these demands and even lawsuits have no basis.

But, I wonder if the people or entities making claims that their content has been infringed upon actually know the risks and possible consequences of simply threatening or even starting litigation?
For example, if a person was simply threatened by a demand letter, that person could file a Declaratory judgment in his/her home state.
He/she may then simply wait for some time, and even "pull the trigger" so to speak, upon which the sender of the demand letter would need to hire legal counsel in the above state, and may even have to travel there for trial.
The alleged infringer in the above scenario would in fact become the plaintiff, controlling the process, with the defendant struggling to prove a dubious claim.

I think that it's just a matter of time before we see somebody get really burned by some bogus legal advice from one of the troll lawyers.
These lawyers are "selling" the trolling/infringement concept as "free money" with no risks.  I do not think that it's risk free at all.

S.G.


Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 07:11:25 PM »
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_PPrg2lZlv28/Sc452-KIxdI/AAAAAAAAABA/ramf7WC9Y5k/S220/Randy_Taylor_image_200x300.jpg)
Randy Taylor is co-founder and co-creator of services that include C-Registry.us, StockPhotoFinder.com, StockMedia.net, Veripixel, Extreme Niche Marketing, Keyword Compiler and SPFFY.com, a portal searching 4+ billion images. Randy also created the numbering system for the PLUS Media Matrix and assembled its licensing parameters. His career started as a photojournalist, covering worldwide events on staff for Associated Press in Paris and for L'Agence Sygma (Corbis) in Miami. Randy then co-founded International Color Stock, and later became Vice President of the Press Division at Liaison Agency (Getty Images).

More info on the newest copyright troll Randy Taylor coming soon!

Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

SoylentGreen

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 07:33:21 PM »
Thanks for confirming our suspicions that he wasted his entire life.

(http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/9517/concentratedscum1347490.jpg)

S.G.


Moe Hacken

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 07:34:21 PM »
Robert, you're a total gumshoe, Man!

S.G., you make a good point. These "extortion letter mills" are starting to get aggressive with their recruiting and marketing and are beginning to oversell the earning potential and undersell the risks involved.

Perhaps they have gotten arrogant and cocky because it's worked to some degree for some companies. We have no way of knowing how much money this scam is earning them from people who settle; we can only imagine it's a lot. HAN claimed it was half of their earnings a couple of years ago.

However, this money was coming from people who settled out of ignorance and/or fear of litigation. I think there's an effect now that more people are competing to troll a demographic that is shrinking because of the efforts of ELI and the other anti-troll websites.

I think ELI in particular is hurting their business because those who choose to use a search engine to research the matter before paying are inevitably finding ELI — and learning how to cope with the trolls without paying them a dime.

Now that the trolls' bluff is being called, they're attempting to go to court to make examples, but even their best attempts are resulting in pyrrhic victories, and in many cases they're setting themselves back.

So now the johnny-come-lately trolls have to spin their trolling more than ever and they are obviously trying to mitigate their own risk at the expense of the copyright owners and even the lawyers who get involved.

What do you expect? They're trolls.
I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2012, 07:40:51 PM »
Robert, you're a total gumshoe, Man!

Just wait to see whats up and coming on several fronts, Matthew and I are currently working on something new, and lets just say the on-going list of copyright trolls is about to get a bit longer...Stay tuned as this has the potential to get very interesting to say the least.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

SoylentGreen

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2012, 12:17:28 AM »
As per the registration info of the Dan B. Levine, as posted by Buddhapi above;

Dan Levine
16 Evans Drive
Brookville, NY 11545

Brookville, NY also appears to be synonymous with "Glen Head, NY 11545".
Google Maps will reveal these to be the same address.
Nice big houses there; Businessweek says that it's the "weathiest town in America", and J-Lo called it "home".
15 Evans drive sold in August 2011 for... wait for it?  Ready?  2,725,000 dollars:
http://www.neighborcity.com/property/15-Evans-Dr-Brookville-NY-11545-2396261-4969573/

http://images.neighborcity.com/images/02/04/98/2a.jpg

I've found references to a Dan B. Levine, and a company called iWire in the same locale:

http://www.corporationwiki.com/New-York/Glen-Head/dan-b-levine-P6405248.aspx

http://www.majon.com/local/business-services-directory/new-york/glen-head/iwire-inc

From linkedin:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-levine/4/624/29

Here's an SEC filing with more info about "iWire":
http://edgar.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/vprr/02/9999999997-02-011169

Helpful, yes?

S.G.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 01:34:34 PM by Matthew Chan »

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Copyright Defense League Recruiting Extortionist Lawyers
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2012, 06:31:14 AM »
Very possibly helpful, we just need to somehow confirm it's the same Levine, there is a boatload of them running around..I'd very much like to see more info on Randy Taylor and his businesses as well, if anyone wants to do some digging..
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

 

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