Click Official ELI Links
Get Help With Your Extortion Letter | ELI Phone Support | ELI Legal Representation Program
Show your support of the ELI website & ELI Forums through a PayPal Contribution. Thank you for supporting the ongoing fight and reporting of Extortion Settlement Demand Letters.

Author Topic: Cabinet Bouchara Avocats/Vanessa Bouchara / Getty Images Censorship-Gag Letters  (Read 5405 times)

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
Okay, it seems the Cabinet Bounchara Avocats / Vanessa Bouchara / Getty Images Censorship & Gag Letters have become a thing. I thought I was alone but there are people who are coming out on this.

So far,

1. Yours truly, has received two letters for two websites, this one (ELI), and TurnKeyPublisher.com.
http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/getty-images-letter-forum/getty-images-(cabinet-bouchara-avocats)-attempts-to-intimidate-eli-to-kill-links/

2. Blogger & Expert Copywriter Ryan Healy (Great guy and very smart!) of RyanHealy.com

3. Dr. Neal Krawetz of HackerFactor.com
http://www.hackerfactor.com/blog/index.php?url=archives/747-Cease-and-Desist-from-Getty-Images-in-France.html

4. Zyra.info http://www.zyra.info/getstu.htm He has already removed his content.

If there are any other bloggers or website owners who have received these letters, I want to know about it. I want to find out how many of these letters are being sent out and who is being sent the letters. I will honor all requests for confidentiality but I think you are stronger if you are part of a visible united group especially if you are a blogger or website owner in the U.S.

You should know I will be contacting other bloggers and media websites that cover stories such as this one. If you are willing to be interviewed, let me know that as well so I can direct reporters/bloggers to contact you directly should they be interested in doing so.

My guess is there might be 20 to 30 of these letters sent out to the most prominent critics listed in Google search engines, and not the hundreds in the case of typical Getty Images extortion letters.

Right now, I think there is just a small group of us but it is hard to gauge at this early juncture. So, anyone that wants to help sniff this out by Googling or Binging, please do so.

There is something very sleazy and dirty about trying to censor and gag bloggers and commenters for criticizing and offering suggestions regarding Getty Images extortion letters.  Yes, I am using the colloquial term, extortion letters, as we have done for the last 8.5 years and will continue to do so.

Vanessa Bouchara, no way you are going to gag and silence everyone who wants to call Getty Images Demand Letters "extortion letters". You can't forbid people from saying negative things and stop people from suggesting they shouldn't pay or ignore the letters. Most of us are in the U.S. and we are allowed to say these things.  French lawyers might not understand this but we have two important things:  First Amendment and Section 230 CDA.  Start reading up on it.


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.

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
Kind of amusing.  When someone does a Google search on "Cabinet Bouchara Avocats letter", it points to ELI, Hacker Factor, and Zyra as the leading sources referring to it.

It is ELI vs. Hacker Factor to fight for the higher spot on Google. :-)

Anyone who gets of these obnoxious French letters will get the low-down pretty quickly.
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.

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
This is my response letter to French lawyer, Vanessa Bouchara.

https://www.scribd.com/document/336153842/Response-to-Cabinet-Bouchara-Avocats-Getty-Images-Vanessa-Bouchara-Censorship-Gag-Letter

Anyone may borrow or use the content of my letter if they feel it will help them in their own situations. No ELI Support Call required!  :-)

Special thanks to Oscar Michelen who read over my letter and made some good suggestions.
===============

January 10, 2017

Ms. Vanessa Bouchara
Cabinet Bouchara Avocats
17 rue du Colisée - 75008 PARIS

Email Address: vb@cabinetbouchara.com, info@cabinetbouchara.com

I am in receipt of your two letters where you attempt to convince me that I should remove specific blog posts from my websites where I have reported demonstrably accurate facts and expressed informed opinions about your purported client, Getty Images.

It is unclear to me whether you represent Getty Images in the U.S. or Getty Images in France. Which specific entity do you represent here? I request to see proof of who you claim to represent as this is unprecedented for me to receive any letters from France regarding any matter.

Regardless of which corporate entity you represent in France, I inform you of the following:

1.   I am a U.S. Citizen who lives and work in the U.S.
2.   I do not have any business interests in or solicit any business from France.
3.   My websites are hosted in the U.S., written in English, and primarily targets American readers.

As such, any content you or your client may object to on my website all firmly within the realm of U.S. laws and the First Amendment. I do not see how you can threaten me with a lawsuit being brought in a country in which I have no contact, connections, or involvement.

Am I to blindly accept and believe that French law somehow has jurisdiction over me, my posts, or my websites based on your form letter? What about the U.S. First Amendment? Are you asserting that French law somehow has superior jurisdiction here?

French law might have jurisdiction over you, your law firm, and your client operating in France. But I cannot see any way whatsoever how French law applies to me or my websites.

Until you provide me some important answers to my questions regarding your purported client's status and standing as well as a convincing explanation why French law has any bearing or relevance to me or websites, I have no intention whatsoever in removing any posts that I or anyone else have written and posted on my websites.

Respectfully,
 
Matthew Chan (on behalf of ExtortionLetterInfo.com & TurnKeyPublisher.com)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 03:50:59 AM by Matthew Chan »
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.

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
I am fairly certain Getty Images has issued no apologies or retraction letters to the victims.

Read Getty Images' official bullshit response to these letters from a French lawyer:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/01/10/american-bloggers-criticizing-american-company-threatened-by-french-lawyer-citing-french-law/

Typical.
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.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1859
    • View Profile
    • Yeah, We Do That.
I have received one of these letters today and am working on my response as I type this.  Good thing I saved my "Unleash Hell" folder for when/if I ever heard from Getty again.  I really never thought I would, I thought they had enough of me last time.

So much as we can thank Timmy for bringing Matthew back to us after the Linda Ellis events I guess we should Send Ms. Bouchara a thank you letter for bringing me back into action.  I had kind of drifted away but I'm back and gearing up for another fight.  Make no mistake I am not worried about this letter in the least and actually chuckled while I was reading it. 

I also don't by for a minute that Getty Images did not know about what Ms. Bouchara was doing. I seriously doubt any law firm/ lawyer will send out all these letters demanding that blogs, websites and articles be taken down or face law suits all on their own.  No money is asked for in the letters, just an implied threat if the articles are not removed, they are not going to do all this and pay for signature proof letters out of their own pockets, they are billing Getty for their services, you know it, I know it and Getty damn well knows it.

What is the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Why would Getty think they can try and harass and intimidate me (ooops, I used those bad words Getty doesn't like again).  So stay tuned as I'm more than certain the results will be the same as last time....a hugely disproportionate response.

I'm back ..... (mike drop)  ;)
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

--Greg Troy

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
Thank you, Vanessa Bouchara!

Greg Troy is ticked off now.
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.

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
These are comments Oscar Michelen made on Eugene Volokh's Washington Post piece:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/01/10/american-bloggers-criticizing-american-company-threatened-by-french-lawyer-citing-french-law/

"I have to agree with some of the commenters here Eugene that I find it hard to believe that Getty US was wholly unaware of Ms. Bouchard's campaign. For something this extensive to have been contrived on her own without Getty's knowledge seems like a leap. I told Matthew the same thing when he contacted me about this and I told him about the Speech Act. Getty's response to you strikes me as the same thing as the French police chief in Casablanca being "shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here"
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.

RyanHealy

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
I'm honored to be included on this list, Matthew. And thank you for your kind words. :-)

Peeved

  • Guest
These are comments Oscar Michelen made on Eugene Volokh's Washington Post piece:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/01/10/american-bloggers-criticizing-american-company-threatened-by-french-lawyer-citing-french-law/

"I have to agree with some of the commenters here Eugene that I find it hard to believe that Getty US was wholly unaware of Ms. Bouchard's campaign. For something this extensive to have been contrived on her own without Getty's knowledge seems like a leap. I told Matthew the same thing when he contacted me about this and I told him about the Speech Act. Getty's response to you strikes me as the same thing as the French police chief in Casablanca being "shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here"


Eugene is so funny. Their half assed apology "spoiled/ruined" his fun! LOL!!!

Ya...'twas funny that the "disregard" and "sincerest apologies" went to EUGENE first WTF??!
Glad to hear that actual  "LETTER RECIPIENTS" of this bullshit got an apology as well for what that is worth anyway.

 

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1859
    • View Profile
    • Yeah, We Do That.
These are comments Oscar Michelen made on Eugene Volokh's Washington Post piece:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/01/10/american-bloggers-criticizing-american-company-threatened-by-french-lawyer-citing-french-law/

"I have to agree with some of the commenters here Eugene that I find it hard to believe that Getty US was wholly unaware of Ms. Bouchard's campaign. For something this extensive to have been contrived on her own without Getty's knowledge seems like a leap. I told Matthew the same thing when he contacted me about this and I told him about the Speech Act. Getty's response to you strikes me as the same thing as the French police chief in Casablanca being "shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here"


Eugene is so funny. Their half assed apology "spoiled/ruined" his fun! LOL!!!

Ya...'twas funny that the "disregard" and "sincerest apologies" went to EUGENE first WTF??!
Glad to hear that actual  "LETTER RECIPIENTS" of this bullshit got an apology as well for what that is worth anyway.


I've not got my apology yet and I am dead serious about starting up again if I don't.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

--Greg Troy

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
Hello Ryan,

I debated being nice given you are "competition" in Google search for "Getty Images extortion letter".  *wink*

But I am glad you came to ELI to post your story along with Neal's response. It was helpful to me in assessing the situation and coming up with a plan and also contacting a "special friend" to help get the word out.

It is never easy being the first one to get these types of bogus letters.  I benefited from not getting the letter right away.

There is power in communicating with an established community as you can see. This one got nipped in the bud pretty quickly. Faster than I expected.

I'm honored to be included on this list, Matthew. And thank you for your kind words. :-)
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.

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
I think Eugene was prepared to gear up for a big fight and then we would have to have a legal reunion.

However, Greg still hasn't gotten his apology yet so it isn't quite over yet.

Eugene is so funny. Their half assed apology "spoiled/ruined" his fun! LOL!!!

Ya...'twas funny that the "disregard" and "sincerest apologies" went to EUGENE first WTF??!
Glad to hear that actual  "LETTER RECIPIENTS" of this bullshit got an apology as well for what that is worth anyway.
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.

Peeved

  • Guest
I've not got my apology yet and I am dead serious about starting up again if I don't.

My bad Greg, I just assumed that since Matthew got an apology that you did as well.
I'm thinking that Zyra.info should get an apology as well so that they may feel inclined to put back up their content. I'm sure that will happen right? lol...

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1859
    • View Profile
    • Yeah, We Do That.
I think Eugene was prepared to gear up for a big fight and then we would have to have a legal reunion.

However, Greg still hasn't gotten his apology yet so it isn't quite over yet.

Eugene is so funny. Their half assed apology "spoiled/ruined" his fun! LOL!!!

Ya...'twas funny that the "disregard" and "sincerest apologies" went to EUGENE first WTF??!
Glad to hear that actual  "LETTER RECIPIENTS" of this bullshit got an apology as well for what that is worth anyway.

Not over by a long shot.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

--Greg Troy

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
Apparently, Techdirt agrees with Greg Troy's sentiments.  Techdirt felt it was worthwhile to cover the story and call out Getty Images and the French lawyer for their latest censorship shenanigans:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170111/11203336464/gettys-french-office-sends-out-letters-to-us-websites-demanding-they-take-down-anything-linking-it-to-legalized-extortion.shtml
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.

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
Official ELI Help Options
Get Help With Your Extortion Letter | ELI Phone Support Call | ELI Defense Letter Program
Show your support of the ELI website & ELI Forums through a PayPal Contribution. Thank you for supporting the ongoing fight and reporting of Extortion Settlement Demand Letters.