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Author Topic: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image  (Read 9239 times)

amelsor0

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Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« on: October 04, 2016, 12:46:31 AM »
i have posted this as a reply in the topic above but i wanted to shed more attention to Adlife Marketing & Communications and the scam that is showing up everywhere in the past month or so.

i have just received a letter as well asking for 8,000. is this a real concern or not? please help folks im new to this area and have no where else to turn. i attached the notice.


1- how can they prove its their own image in the first place....? i tineeyed it and it seems the links to original stock images are being removed so im guessing this scam agency is now buying rights to some images and making everyone who use them a target.

2- how likely is it for them to file suit in another state?

3- they are saying if you dont pay in 10 days we will press charges, should i just ignore it? i have received scam notices before but this seems a little scary to be honest.

please help me, i have no where else to turn to or ask about these things. a lawyer is too expensive and i dont want to make the matter big.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 01:15:01 PM by amelsor0 »

Cam Winston

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 04:00:05 PM »
Thanks for sharing the letters. Did they send any others prior to this? The wording makes it sound like you had a conversation with them or they are just making a lot of assumptions.

Quote
1- how can they prove its their own image in the first place....? i tineeyed it and it seems the links to original stock images are being removed so im guessing this scam agency is now buying rights to some images and making everyone who use them a target.

Demand proof of copyright, copyright registration number, transfer history, etc. I can see where the photo was listed on istock and getty, but they probably removed it at some point. If you licensed the image through them or others, I would login and find out if the download is still there and any receipts of purchase, license info, etc. Someone else mentioned they licensed the photo at some point. This leads me to think it's a setup, which is why I now refuse to use stock images. 

Quote
2- how likely is it for them to file suit in another state?

From my research, I don't think that has much bearing if they actually want to take you to court. I imagine a lot of IP cases take place outside the copyright holder's state. I find it interesting that their current suits are in Massachusetts, yet the defendants were from Texas, South Carolina, etc. Maybe someone can shed light on that, which I would be interested in hearing.

Quote
3- they are saying if you dont pay in 10 days we will press charges, should i just ignore it? i have received scam notices before but this seems a little scary to be honest.

All these extortion letters work on fear, so I would try not to let it get to you. The current business model is to cast a wide net, send threatening letters and wait for a payday. That works very well when done in volume. Ad life appears to be running a similar operation, you're definitely not alone. The wording of their letter is textbook extortion letter style. One thing worth noting, it's possible Ad Life took the photo in question. If that's the case, they know the copyright status, have proof of ownership, etc and that makes for a much tidier situation if they do decided to file. Being that they are not as volume oriented as the typical copyright trolls, they might be more aggressive, but that is just speculation.

Here is a couple things worth noting:
1. The $150,000 infringement penalty is only in cases where the image is registered and the defendant was clearly in the wrong (sorry, forgot the proper legal term for this). If accidental or minor infringement, the statute suggests an alternative penalty of $200. That might be one reason to correspond with them, it might look favorable to a judge in the event they do take this case to court.

2. If they didn't register the image, they can only collect actual damages. I am betting the actual damages are a lot less than 8k, but I am also betting the image is registered. In my opinion, the targeted nature of the cases suggests they would have done their due diligence.

3. Taking anyone to court is expensive. They currently have 8 active suits, one with them as a defendant.  I don't see how an outfit like this could possible handle this many lawsuits. With yours being most likely a de minimis case, it seems like bad business to pursue you. This is a huge assumption, just an observation based on the size of the company.

4. They have three years from the date of that letter to make a move, unless you can prove they discovered it sooner.


amelsor0

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 05:03:14 PM »
Dear Sholtz,

Thank you for the amount of information you have provided. I am truly appreciative of the amount of knowledge you have provided. its people like who give forums the actual purpose.

Quote
I would login and find out if the download is still there and any receipts of purchase

the issue is this: i never knew such legal action could be taken from taking pictures off of google. i guess i was naive to the fact that there are predictor agencies like Adlife who prey on people like me. I simply googled "calzone" on google and found a picture and saved it. it had no "copyright" strips on it, nor did i download it from a site of stock photos. i took it from pinterest.... i never knew i could face legal action taking pictures from pinterest...


i have read online in many topics regarding companies like Adlife trying to scam people that the best thing to do is ignore them. keep on ignoring them until they indeed file suit. is this a good advice? should i really ignore them and not fall prey to their fear and scam games? someone said "Do not ever try to contact them"

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Did they send any others prior to this?

i have never heard from them. arent they supposed to send me notice to take down the image before doing this scam move? i was reading online that they are supposed to send you a notice and warning to remove the image. how come they just send me a bill?

my question is this: what do you suggest i do please? should i ignore it like some are saying? should i contact them and try to settle? should i hire a lawyer?

please note that our pizza shop is a small mom and pops business. we are barely paying for expenses and affording a decent living. we cant afford to hire a lawyer.


THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE REPLYING YOU AND EVERY MEMBER ON THIS FORUM.

Cam Winston

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 07:49:11 PM »
Quote
i was reading online that they are supposed to send you a notice and warning to remove the image. how come they just send me a bill?

They usually do, but that is just the first letter. Later they send the bill. It makes no difference really, as you're still liable for the use of the image, unless you're a registered DMCA agent.

Quote
my question is this: what do you suggest i do please? should i ignore it like some are saying? should i contact them and try to settle? should i hire a lawyer?

Ignoring them would not be my choice. I would probably schedule a chat with Mr. Chan, he is a wealth of knowledge and in your case, it might be useful while deciding a course of action. There are so many nuances in cases like these, experience makes a big difference.

I have not read anything about Ad Life, other than the recent cases mentioned in this forum. Without knowing how they usually behave, it's hard to say what a good option is. You can't really compare them with the usual suspects, not until there is more history. From my understanding, there are very few infringement cases brought on by a single image. If they did decide to take legal action, I would hope this community would offer you it's support. Most likely, it would result in a settlement less than what they are asking for currently.

I think a letter asking for proof of copyright ownership would be a good plan for the time being. I would not admit anything, no sense giving them more evidence to build a case on. They do have active cases, but most of them appear to be large companies like Charbroil.

Definitely review your website and make sure you have licenses for all it's images, or use your own imagery.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 07:50:56 PM by sholtz »

Matthew Chan

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2016, 03:51:47 PM »
Amelsor,

You seem to be coming in cold turkey.  If you want some general information on how this all works, start reading about how people handle LCS and Getty Images cases.  No way anyone can start from Ground Zero. I intend to write an ebook one day which people can inexpensive pay for and read but it hasn't been written yet.  So absent that, you have to do more work and self-education.

I also offer the ELI Phone Support Call but it is not free. However, it is much less expensive than hiring some random lawyer to educate you on how all this works. And believe it or not, I spend more time consoling people than providing hard-core information than one might think. Every person is different in what they seek.

http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/eli-phone-support-call-with-matthew-chan/

EVERYONE PAYS in one way, shape, or form either in time, energy, work, stress, or money. Every person gets to choose which combination of payment they make. Some who are able choose to financially pay us for assistance, others prefer to do the work and self-education by reading these forums extensively.  No matter which path you choose, if you don't settle, there is uncertainty and you have to live with it.  It won't kill anyone and it won't send anyone into bankruptcy, ruin your credit, or most other dramatic things people think of.

I provided some general insights on the other Adlife discussion thread. I have taken an excerpt here.

There are common strategies every copyright extortionist uses:

1. They depend on people's ignorance of the legal system. Most people are legally illiterate.  They cannot "press charges" because this is a civil matter, not a criminal matter.

2. Most people are unaccustomed to legal conflict and go to the natural tendency of fear.  Some degree of fear is okay but some people are irrationally fearful.

3. A lawsuit is certainly inconvenient. An out of state lawsuit is even more inconvenient.  A copyright infringement lawsuit requires it to be filed in a federal court.  However, the people who have the least are often the least likely to receive a lawsuit.  Also, a "win" generally means a "paper win" not general a practical win in that they actually get money.  That is why lawsuits in smaller cases never go "all the way".

4. Persistence is their best weapon to psychologically wear down victims.  It is an inexpensive strategy to send periodic letters and emails.

5. Filing lawsuits are expensive and require real money. It is also fraught with uncertainty. As such, it is a last resort. Time is on the accused side upon receiving the initial letter.

There is no one definitive recommendation because people have different resources, capabilities, and risk tolerances.  However, the cheapest way if money is an issue is to ignore it for 3 years. It isn't necessarily what I would personally do because it has pros and cons but it is a legit strategy.  You can't go to jail by not responding. There are additional things that can be done but I have given some broad strokes.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2016, 10:31:09 AM »

From my research, I don't think that has much bearing if they actually want to take you to court. I imagine a lot of IP cases take place outside the copyright holder's state. I find it interesting that their current suits are in Massachusetts, yet the defendants were from Texas, South Carolina, etc. Maybe someone can shed light on that, which I would be interested in hearing.


If the defendants are outside of Mass., they should file for dismissal, as the court venue is not correct..the plaintiff MUST file in the federal court where the defendant resides/does business..
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

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Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2016, 04:47:14 PM »
I can see where the photo was listed on istock and getty, but they probably removed it at some point. If you licensed the image through them or others, I would login and find out if the download is still there and any receipts of purchase, license info, etc. Someone else mentioned they licensed the photo at some point. This leads me to think it's a setup, which is why I now refuse to use stock images.

if the image was available on istock, getty or elsewhere, it is up to them to prove you infringed...You don't have to supply them with anything, the burden..100% of it is on them. A screen capture is NOT proof of infringment, it's only proof that the image appeared on the site...
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..

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 04:54:30 PM »
That douche-bag Joel Albrizio has alot of nerve sending an "invoice" for somethingthat is clearly a "claim" at this point..I foresee a scathing post upcoming over at copyright-trolls.com...
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..

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2016, 09:47:16 PM »
yeah I felt this asshat needed a lil extra exposure and search engine juice...comments are open....as always

http://copyright-trolls.com/site/we-can-add-joel-abrizio-to-list-of-douche-bag-copyright-trolls/


seems I ruffled some feathers, and Jerk-off Joel has responded to my post...Personally I love the fact that he called me a thief several times, and that I stole from his company...i'm awaiting a formal apology and retraction of those statements.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 10:41:58 AM by Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi) »
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..

Mojo88

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 09:55:32 AM »
yeah I felt this asshat needed a lil extra exposure and search engine juice...comments are open....as always

http://copyright-trolls.com/site/we-can-add-joel-abrizio-to-list-of-douche-bag-copyright-trolls/


seems I ruffled some feathers, and Jerk-off Joel has responded to my post...Personally I love the fact that he called me a thief several times, and that I stole from his company...i'm awaiting a formal apology and retraction of those statements.


Oh man, that blog is an interesting and entertaining read. It is truly WONDERFUL that there are some folks out there who are ready, willing and able to take on these extortion letter bandits. My company is a recipient of extortion letters from Getty Images. Even though my company didn't even create the web site containing the 'offending' images, the Getty letters made me feel like a cheat and a criminal. I was waiting for the SWAT team to smash in my door, shoot my dog and then haul me to jail for something I didn't even do.

Please let me extend a very heartfelt THANK YOU to Robert Krausankas and Matthew Chan for helping folks like me to fight back.   :)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 09:57:24 AM by Mojo88 »

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2016, 10:58:46 AM »
You're Welcome!! It has been pointed out several times, that I have a unique writing style...to say the least.. I realize some people don't really appreciate the colorful language, but it does succeed in getting under the trolls skin.
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..

justaguyinthesky

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2016, 06:49:11 PM »
I got one of these letter from these scamming opportunistic pieces of shit. Here's what you do:

1) Ignore it and do not engage them. They cannot sue you for this as you legally licensed the image via iStock.
-or-
2) Contact iStock photo with your demand letter. they will walk you through how to get them to go away & provide you with language from their legal team if you would like to send it to AdLife.

AdLife was an iStock contributor and pulled all their content a while back. They are searching the internet for these images so they can falsely send demand letters and scare people into paying.

SCAM!!!!

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2016, 07:34:17 PM »
Adlife is very consistent about their $8K letters. Read what this blogger/writer has to say about her experience.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-emotions-expect-when-accused-image-copyright-even-chicken-krause
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

mfriedman421

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2016, 05:49:03 PM »
I have a client that received one of these $8000 invoices.

I setup the website several years ago. We freelanced some of the graphic work to someone that we found on a forum. All I have for the person that did the work is a screenname. Because of that, I cannot get a confirmation from iStockPhoto that the image was obtained legally. I know that is where they said they got the image, but without a individual's name or their business name, iStockPhoto will not release any information to me.

Given that we cannot obtain the proper licensing information, what is our best course of action? Money is tight. The business is just a tiny pizza joint in a small town.

A representative from AdLife suggested that they would settle for $750. Would we be best served to pay the $750 and be done with it? How do they prove damages in a situation like this? $750 seems high for a small picture of lasagna.

Thank you for your time.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Adlife Marketing & Communications ASKING $8,000 for an image
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2016, 10:20:56 PM »
Is this in regards to the pizzaria in California by chance? I, lf so I personally called them, and offered a way out, which they kindly denied stating they had it "under control" I doubt my offer to assit would be worth anything at this point, since Joel Albrizio at Adlife Marketing is pretty pissed at me at the moment..

Adlife Marketing has been getting hammered over on copyright-trolls.com almost on a daily basis. I would not give them one red cent, and I would keep trying to contact the person that obtained the image.
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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