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Author Topic: Masterfile's Copyright Registration Method Held Invalid by California Court  (Read 38749 times)

DavidVGoliath

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We are all artists in our own right. Graphic design, web design, photography, drawing, writing, cooking, sewing, music, etc. We put our heart and soul into what we do and, for the most part, it brings us joy and fulfillment. And, if we choose, it can bring in some money.

I understand the above and agree.. but the above also frames the following.

But to bastardize it by mercilessly fleecing people with outrageous fees for unintended mishaps ... well, as you said, goodbye to the "rights managed" sector.

Now this is where you and I are likely going to have a difference of opinion.

When I find my work being used by another creative - especially if that person has had a college or university education in their field and earns (or is attempting to earn) a living from their creativity, then I approach those infringements with a far more firm tone than I would an "inadvertent" use on a small scale blog that has no advertising and/or doesn't solicit income of any kind.

As creatives, we all pour our heart and soul into what we do, so we should all have way more respect for the work of other creatives... which means we should stop and think as to whether we have the permission - never mind the right - to use or include the work of others with our own.

Believe me, I've had other creatives say that they didn't realise that they were doing anything wrong and, worse still, I've had a select few point-blank insist that they were in the right.

It frustrates me no end as, really, the last thing I want to do is go through the courts but I'm often left with no other alternative. At the time of typing this message, I have about a dozen cases in which I'm on the brink of filing suit over. That's going to be $4,800 in filing fees alone, and perhaps a few hundred dollars more if I wind up needing a process server for any of those instances. Having that sort of money fly out the door is not something I do lightly.

To me, copyrights are about respect and common decency. If a person has that creative spark within then that drives them to write, cook, sew, knit, design or whatever - then they should damn well be respectful of the efforts as others, since they are no less valid.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 12:21:46 AM by DavidVGoliath »

SoylentGreen

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Bro, if I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I'd be at home with a cigar and a length of hose.
"Fraud" is covered under criminal statutes.  De minimis infringements are a matter of the civil courts.
However, please feel free to post sections of US law that deal with such infringements in terms of criminal fraud, if you feel that they exist.

I don't see people as being of a "black and white" nature.
However, upon reading some of your latest posts, I found them astonishingly misleading.
If even 5 percent of what you wrote was correct, you may have gotten some leeway.
So, you got lumped in with the trolls.

Hell, Getty couldn't even get actual damages in one of its recent big court losses because their filing system was so flawed.
Not 200 dollars, not 10 dollars, nothing.  Makes me wonder if it was intentionally flawed.

You make it sound as if you're experienced in pursuing infringements.
However, you seem to know very little (if anything) of the laws that govern such dealings.
You're either "blowing smoke", or you're intentionally misleading people in the hopes that they'll take your bad advice and you'll gain from that.

S.G.


« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 12:13:12 AM by SoylentGreen »

DavidVGoliath

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However, please feel free to post sections of US law that deal with such infringements in terms of criminal fraud, if you feel that they exist.

Here you go

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/506#a_1_B

And here are the potential penalties

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2319

If anyone uploads my own works to a photo library in an attempt to profit from them... like I said, I'd look at all legal measures.

SoylentGreen

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The piece of law that you listed doesn't apply to de minimis infringements such as we deal with here.
It's intended to deal only with large, sophisticated businesses whose main source of revenue is mass infringement of copyrights.
That is, you've listed statutes that focus on entities such as Megaupload or Demonoid, and as such they don't apply to individual infringements of images.

Criminal fraud doesn't apply at all in your case.
That's why YOU have to sue in regard to infringements of YOUR content.
You already admitted that you will have to pay "over $4800 in filing fees alone".
If it was a criminal matter, you could simply phone the police as you suggested, and you'd file a report, and the police would lead the investigation.
But, you can't do that.  YOU have to pay for the civil trial... AND you eat all the costs if you lose. 

So, stop trying to mislead our audience by lying.
You're one step away from losing all credibility by saying that somebody's going to jail for "stealing" your photo.

S.G.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 01:25:17 AM by SoylentGreen »

RosebudTiger

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Holy smokes, I posted a question, was away for a few days, and this thread blew up and went completely off the rails... and off topic.  Anyone care to comment on the question below or point me to resources so that I can find an answer?  Thank you!

I was hoping someone (Oscar?) could provide an update in regard to MF's recent actions (if any) involving these types of cases.  Have they initiated any litigation where the allegedly infringed image was part of a bulk registration since the Chaga decision?  Have they been initiating more/less litigation in general since the Chaga ruling?

Just curious if their strategy and/or tactics have changed recently.

Thanks!

shelly808

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CONGRATULATIONS!!!   

Ok, my little case is nothing in comparison...
But I hope your victory is a sign for lay people like me to stop having sleepless nights over the demands of settling for an exorbitant amount of money or risk owing upwards to the tune of $30,000.

After receiving an infringement letter and finding out that using neato images I find on google is not cool because they might be someones work, I took it off my site immediately along with every other image I had up. 

Regarding the one I am being threatened over, I found one much much nicer and paid less than $2 for it!  Soooooo annoying!   I am an independent massage therapist, the image was for my "Energy Work" tab....Thing is I have never in my 20 years of practice booked an energy treatment!  Ugh.  I can see if I printed it and sold stuff with the image on it...ya, maybe a case...But I made zero dollars from the use of that stupid out of focus photo! 

This trolling / extortion etc. is disgusting!!


Oscar Michelen

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Hey RoseBud: Sorry for the delay in responding to your question. MF has not changed its program at all in  light of Chaga.  They just say the case is on appeal and we are confident that it will be overturned. I spoke with the court recently and they expect a decision on the Alaska Stock case (which is essentially identical to the Chaga case) by the end of the year.

RosebudTiger

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Thank you Oscar!  I really appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge and expertise.

Oscar Michelen

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BTW as I learned on this forum, a new decision has come down from the Fourth Circuit that says the exact opposite of Alaska Stock and Chaga. So the decision from the Ninth becomes even more important.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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What is this case Oscar?  I would like to look at it.

BTW as I learned on this forum, a new decision has come down from the Fourth Circuit that says the exact opposite of Alaska Stock and Chaga. So the decision from the Ninth becomes even more important.
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

DrSAddison

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Any update on this?  I'd like to find out whether it's relevant to the lawsuit Masterfile has just threatened me with, since I'm in California.

 

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