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Author Topic: My case could not be solved, even after trying Oscar Defensive Letter Program  (Read 7405 times)

luong

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I have been fighting with Getty for 2 years with a lot of email back and forth. But they keep going after us. I even paid Oscar with Defensive Letter but it does not work. Oscar told me that Getty has targeted our case as a potential lawsuit defendant and suggested me to pay $4000. This year they filed 10 lawsuits in courts. What should I do ?. Any help and suggestion is appreciated

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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If you use Oscar he would be more aware of your case than anyone here.  I would say your choices are to listen to Oscar, have him try and negotiate a settlement, try and negotiate  one yourself or try and ignore it and hope they don't file anything in the year you have left on your SOL.
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.

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Matthew Chan

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Oscar's program is a legal representation program. It "works" just fine however he cannot perform miracles if the underlying facts of your case are not favorable which is what it sounds like.  There is something much more to your story if Oscar is telling you to settle for $4K. Much more that you are not telling us.

If someone has allegedly infringed on 10 or more images and then DON'T take them down, no one on ELI can easily support you. It is just plain stupidity when people get notices and DON'T take them down immediately.  ELI doesn't support intentional, willing, or egregious infringements. 

If you can make it to the 3-year mark, you will be home free. Also, if you have few assets or hard to find, then filing a lawsuit will become a huge expense to them.

FYI, the fact that Getty "comes after you" for the entire 3 years means very little because they are in it for the money and they hope to wear you down through threats.  Many people get "threatened" for much of the 3 years. That doesn't tell us anything.

As Greg said, without knowing more about your case, it is hard to comment more.  The few lawsuits that were filed by Getty all settled. They were the unlucky ones.

Also, Getty could also be lying to Oscar as well.  Getty has a huge track record of lying and bluffing. I am not saying they are necessarily doing that with your case but it is a possibility.

I have been fighting with Getty for 2 years with a lot of email back and forth. But they keep going after us. I even paid Oscar with Defensive Letter but it does not work. Oscar told me that Getty has targeted our case as a potential lawsuit defendant and suggested me to pay $4000. This year they filed 10 lawsuits in courts. What should I do ?. Any help and suggestion is appreciated
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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Furthermore, if you hired Oscar, then Getty has NO business contacting you directly, any contact should go through Oscar's office, which I also suspect is the case. Oscar has dealt with literally 100's, probably closer to 1000 of these and Getty has never filed a lawsuit where he was involved, not did the letter "not work" for all of those.. Apparently your case is not a single infringement, and there is more to this story. Where the images removed immediately upon  getting the letter? how many images are we talking here?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 09:44:12 PM by Matthew Chan »
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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rock

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I have been fighting with Getty for 2 years with a lot of email back and forth.
For new  readers:do not engage Getty by email, not even one email, use regular mail. You may volunteer some information that put you at a higher risk of being sued, and that is what Getty hopes for.

Jerry Witt (mcfilms)

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At this stage, Oscar cannot publicly comment on this. But here is a lay person's opinion:

If the images were not really large and not featured on the home page, $4000 is high. It the images accompanied a blog post and were not major design elements or used for marketing, $4000 is high. If you can find dozens of similar images from iStock or Pond5 for $5 or $10, $4000 is high.

That said, if they DO pull the trigger on filing a suit, defending against it will probably cost more than $4000. And the judgement may also be higher.

If it were me, I would research each image they claim to represent. I would find out if that image is available elsewhere. I would find out what that image costs to license from Getty. I would see if the image has been registered with the copyright office. I would find out what similar images cost from micro-stock companies. Once I have all of that data, I would figure out what I consider fair price. I would round up, because of using the image without a prior license. Ultimately I'm guessing my number would be closer to $2000. Whatever that number is, I would present it to Oscar and share how I arrived at that number.

From there I would instruct him to present this amount to Getty Images as my offer. If he had additional information I would heed his advice. But I would also be prepared to represent myself (pro se) in court and present the research I had as evidence. I would also be sure to tell Oscar that if Getty DOES pull the trigger on any suit, I look forward to inspecting the sales history for the images and deposing the Getty CEO.

If this task seems really daunting and highly risky to you, it is probably best that you just pay the $4000.
Although I may be a super-genius, I am not a lawyer. So take my scribblings for what they are worth and get a real lawyer for real legal advice. But if you want media and design advice, please visit Motion City at http://motioncity.com.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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I think what you are overlooking here is the fact that your case differs from most cases we see.Most cases we see are for single/double infringements, naturally in a case with 6 images the chance of getting served is slightly higher. To make make a blanket statement that the letter program does not work is in-accurate, it does indeed work in most cases. Even iwth single image cases, there is always the chance that a suit may be filed, the defense letter is by no means a silver bullet guaranteed to make the issue at hand go away.

What you do at this point is completely up to you, clearly your attorney ( Oscar) has suggested settling the matter, I am quite sure there are underlying circumstances for him to suggest this, so your options are to either heed his advice, or ignore his advice and see what happens.

Being that this case involves 6 images, I'm concerned that you may have used other images from other companies in the same manner, I hope you took proactive steps to insure that any and ALL images you are using, have a valid license.
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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Jerry offers very sound advice, if you're willing to do the foot work.
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..

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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I concur with Robert, Jerry's advice is spot on.
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

Lettered

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luong,
were you reselling the images (or a derivative of the images) or were you just using them to decorate a website?
 Were they "run of the mill" stock photography or something more "special" from a well known artist?
do you know if they were registered before the alleged infringement began?

Matthew Chan

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Personally, I wouldn't pay the $4K.  I would probably follow the Advernet road and get some basic level of defense filed and maybe pursue discovery.  But once you get a few defense pleadings on the record, I would then just let it go and let them spend money pursue it.  Judgments are not that easy to collect on especially if they are corporate ones.  Even a personal judgment would be very difficult to collect on if you know what you are doing.

$4K might be worth paying or not.  People's scale of money is different.  $4K means something to me. It wouldn't break me but I wouldn't be so quick to part with it either.

There is the ultimate get out of jail card, Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  I certainly wouldn't execute on that just to not pay Getty but if you already had a ton of personal and business debt, getting rid of Getty's judgment would be the cherry on the top.
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.

UJB

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Well Luong, I feel for you and apparently you have some tough choices ahead of you.

I do find this thread odd.   

First, Luong has only three posts, all in this thread.   This means that Luong received the original infringement letter, Luong didn't post on here and continued to follow the site until engaging Oscar.

Second, since you have engaged Oscar, he cannot make any comment on the case.   It strikes me odd that given the situation you are apparently in, you would choose to come public with all of the potential settlement details now.   I have no direct knowledge, but posting here given your circumstances and admitting guilt (when you have never done so on this forum before) and making public Oscar's advice strikes me as the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I would guess Oscar would advise you to do.   

I don't think Oscar wouldn't advise this either, but if you were truly looking to discuss your options, I would advise getting an hour consult with Matthew about your situation.  That way, you don't make Oscar's advice public and you get the benefit of anything Matthew might be able to add from a non-lawyer perspective.

Again, why the heck would you publish Oscar's advice to you if his advice was to settle, but then come on here and try to find different negotiating tactics that everyone here knows McCormack would immediately see.

A lot of strange things are happening in copyright troll land right now as the trolls adjust to the ELI effect and I don't think it is out of the question that certain Getty retained Xerox Machine operators would start posting on here that Oscar's program doesn't work.

Just smells a bit like a false flag tactic.

But, I may be wrong.  And if I am Luong, I suggest either listening to all of the advice Oscar is giving you or if you really want to talk about what is happening, spring for an hour with Matthew.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 11:32:37 PM by UJB »

Matthew Chan

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I actually was going to recommend that he take this offline and get on the ELI Phone Support program, but I thought it would come off as a bit self-promotional. Hence, I just posted my thoughts out here along with his.

As a matter of public disclosure, UJB has gotten to know me beyond the ELI Forums and he knows that I absolutely subscribe to (and practice to great effect) a creative and "crazy", "dirty street-fighter" non-lawyer mindset to any conflict... legal or otherwise.

I recently wrote a paper pointing out to those within the legal community that ELI (with very few exceptions) is a community of underdog, underfunded, under-trained non-lawyers whom engage in LEGAL (vs. illegal) non-legal tactics and discussions, facing off against much larger, superior-funded, legally-trained adversaries that are heavily reliant on non-lawyers' legal ignorance and lack of legal education.

Oscar brings in the legal tactics and strategies.  We then take Oscar's information and advice repurpose that to include LEGAL non-legal options.  Remember, non-legal tactics options such as avoidance, going dark, asset protection, and judgment-proofing are NOT illegal. They may be "vexatious" to your legal opponents but no one goes to jail for being "vexatious" in civil matters which is exactly what copyright infringement is in most situations.

As a side note, it is my intention in the near future to take to pen (or keyboard) and publish all the LEGAL non-legal tactics that are available to any non-lawyers facing legal situations and have it widely disseminated. It is also my intention to help alleviate the rampant issue of legal ignorance (lack of legal education). I cannot save the world but I can certain educate ELI readers and visitors.

I don't think Oscar wouldn't advise this either, but if you were truly looking to discuss your options, I would advise getting an hour consult with Matthew about your situation.  That way, you don't make Oscar's advice public and you get the benefit of anything Matthew might be able to add from a non-lawyer perspective.

A lot of strange things are happening in copyright troll land right now as the trolls adjust to the ELI effect and I don't think it is out of the question that certain Getty retained Xerox Machine operators would start posting on here that Oscar's program doesn't work.

But, I may be wrong.  And if I am Luong, I suggest either listening to all of the advice Oscar is giving you or if you really want to talk about what is happening, spring for an hour with Matthew.
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)

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I recently wrote a paper pointing out to those within the legal community that ELI (with very few exceptions) is a community of underdog, underfunded, under-trained non-lawyers whom engage in LEGAL (vs. illegal) non-legal tactics and discussions, facing off against much larger, superior-funded, legally-trained adversaries that are heavily reliant on non-lawyers' legal ignorance and lack of legal education.

After watching Mr. McCormack's performance in person before the Georgia Supreme court I might want to debate you on this point. :)
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

stinger

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Well said, Greg.

 

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