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Author Topic: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit  (Read 16902 times)

Matthew Chan

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Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« on: August 27, 2014, 08:05:54 PM »
ELI will be tracking the Schneider Rotham vs. Getty Images Lawsuit here and bring the latest development and reporting.  We will be using both Justia and Pacer to track the progress of this very newsworthy case.

This docket listing is current as of Aug. 27, 2014: 
http://www.scribd.com/doc/237940732/Schneider-Rothman-vs-Getty-Images

On a side note, IB Times has started covering this case by writing its first article on it.
http://www.ibtimes.com/getty-images-sued-over-settlement-demand-letter-unfair-deceptive-scheme-copyright-lawyers-1670294


« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 08:16:10 PM 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.

stinger

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 08:29:25 PM »
Attorney Rothman says,

Quote
“If I had sent a letter like the one they sent to me, the bar would have my license.”

If that is true, why haven't we been able to get the Washington State Bar Association to pull Timmy McCormack and Lauren Kingston's licenses?

If Rothman can clue us in on how to properly make the request of the WSBA, maybe we can save a lot of people some big headaches henceforth.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 09:21:57 PM »
He might have been engaged in hyperbole.

Attorney Rothman says,

Quote
“If I had sent a letter like the one they sent to me, the bar would have my license.”

If that is true, why haven't we been able to get the Washington State Bar Association to pull Timmy McCormack and Lauren Kingston's licenses?

If Rothman can clue us in on how to properly make the request of the WSBA, maybe we can save a lot of people some big headaches henceforth.
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.

stinger

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 09:30:37 PM »
If he is not, I would sure like to know how to craft the message to get those licenses pulled.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2014, 08:31:26 AM »
Stinger,

I thought the same thing myself when I read this, then I started thinking if it were actually the case I'm sure Oscar would have chimed in on the subject by now.

If we think about it when there have been occasions when Oscar has spoken up about settlement letters. A good example is the couple of times since I have been on ELI where Oscar has graciously given Mr. McCormack a heads up that he may wish to rethink the wording of his letters before it causes him problems. Interestingly enough each time Oscar made the suggestion Mr. McCormack made the changes.

I think everyone here on Eli will be following this case closely. Hopefully they will not back down and through the process of discovery we can get solid facts about Getty's business model.

Attorney Rothman says,

Quote
“If I had sent a letter like the one they sent to me, the bar would have my license.”

If that is true, why haven't we been able to get the Washington State Bar Association to pull Timmy McCormack and Lauren Kingston's licenses?

If Rothman can clue us in on how to properly make the request of the WSBA, maybe we can save a lot of people some big headaches henceforth.
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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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2014, 08:50:38 AM »
Greg,

After seeing this article, I went back and re-read my original letter from McCormack's firm.  It says next to nothing, is full of innuendo, and makes it sound like the sky will fall in if I don't pay them gobs of money immediately.

I couldn't find anything that I thought was actionable.  He doesn't cite any cases specifically, but seems to make up case stories to make his point.  I guess I can't make the case that he is lying, because nothing substantive is said.  Makes me ill.

But it did remind me of why I originally thought that the letter came from Nigeria.  In fact, I believe that the attorneys working for the McCormack law firm would make excellent lawyers in Nigeria.  They should just be banned from practicing anywhere else.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2014, 09:40:28 PM »
I couldn't find anything that I thought was actionable.  He doesn't cite any cases specifically, but seems to make up case stories to make his point.  I guess I can't make the case that he is lying, because nothing substantive is said.  Makes me ill.

Sounds like he could be a politician then if the trolling thing doesn't work out ;)
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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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2014, 01:50:13 PM »
There has been a significant docket update:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/239559043/Schneider-Rothman-v-Getty-Images-Docket

Schneider Rothman IP Law Group has filed a Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice for our very own Oscar Michelen to join them in this high profile case.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/239558480/Schneider-Rothman-v-Getty-Images-Motion-to-Appear-Pro-Hac-Vice-for-Oscar-Michelen

We assume that Oscar's appearance will likely be approved next week. If and when that happens, it is going to get way more interesting for the rest of us here at ELI!  It is going to be time to break out the soda and popcorn and find a front-row seat.  There is no question that I will be following this docket closely in light of this recent motion.

The folks at Schneider Rothman are no dummies and this move is no accident. This move is quite brilliant and was unexpected even for me. Thinking they were their own law firm, I thought Schneider Rothman would soldier on alone but I was apparently wrong.  Schneider Rothman deliberately chose the legal arch-nemesis of Getty Images as their co-counsel. If there is anyone that can legally break open the secrets of the Getty copyright enforcement operations vault, it will be Oscar.  I foresee a formidable team effort between the joint efforts and Schneider Rothman and Oscar Michelen.

However, I also foresee that Oscar's admission will galvanize Getty Images in a way that few can which might provide a stiff challenge to the Schneider Rothman legal team. This could get expensive for them. We do not yet know who will represent Getty Images.  My first guess is it will be $500/hour Scottie "Towels" Wilsdon of Yarmuth Wilsdon. If so, this could get very expensive for Getty Images to Scottie's glee and delight. It would not surprise me if Scottie Wilsdon (or any other lawyer who works this case on behalf of Getty Images) uses this as a pretext to try and milk some billable hours out of Getty Images. (Maybe he should contact Timmy McCormack for some of his legal "help".)

There are bound to be a few people within Getty Images who will NOT like this development.  This is going to be another unhappy weekend for the enemies of ELI. 

Last weekend, I announced that EFF & legal scholars Eugene Volokh and Aaron H. Caplan joined me in supporting my position to overturn the obnoxious, overbearing, and overbroad protective order issued against me.

http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/eli-responses-to-media-coverage-of-matthew-chan-ppo/legal-scholars-eugene-volokh-aaron-h-caplan-support-eli-with-eff-amicus-brief/

I must say after weeks of silence, it was a delicious moment to savor.

I foresee press coverage in the Schneider Rothman vs. Getty Images case stepping up in the weeks and months to come.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 03:03:53 PM 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.

stinger

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2014, 04:04:03 PM »
Looks like life is getting interesting for Oscar.  I hope he knows he has my full support in this effort.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2014, 03:23:38 AM »
I think it is safe to say that Oscar has support from many people beyond the ELI Community. I wonder what kind of backroom shenanigans they might try to pull with so many eyes on the case.
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.

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2014, 10:24:24 AM »
I think it is safe to say that Oscar has support from many people beyond the ELI Community. I wonder what kind of backroom shenanigans they might try to pull with so many eyes on the case.

I suspect Getty will do its best to negotiate a lucrative financial settlement, a settlement that requires signing a confidentiality agreement that'll make all this simply disappear and go away.

If I'm right with this prediction, I hope Oscar and the Schneider Rothman IP Law Group will stand firm and instead of accepting the money and savoring a legal victory, do what needs to be done to publicly expose Getty Images' settlement demand scheme once and for all.

Of course, it's easy for me to straddle my high horse and write the above since I don't have to ante up to get in this game.

And, honestly, I'm not sure what I'd do if I had the chance to be on the receiving end of a lucrative settlement from a huge corporation like Getty Images in exchange for a confidentiality agreement.

I like to think principle still matters in this world.

Somehow, I like to think principle occasionally even triumphs.

Unfortunately, however, objective reality has confirmed for me far too often that expediency usually takes the prize, especially when the prize involves pots of gold.

In any event, this whole deal will be interesting to watch, and I wish Oscar and Schneider Rothman IP Law Group all success.

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2014, 11:54:55 AM »
I agree with you Mulligan.  And I too hope the attorneys at Schneider Rothman IP Law do not allow themselves to be bought off.  This case could provide a huge service to people around the globe.

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2014, 03:39:58 PM »
He might have been engaged in hyperbole.

Attorney Rothman says,

Quote
“If I had sent a letter like the one they sent to me, the bar would have my license.”



You asked for it, and you got it.  Here's how it goes:

The Florida Bar RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT Provide:

RULE 4-4.1 TRUTHFULNESS IN STATEMENTS TO OTHERS

In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:

(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or

(b) fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client, unless disclosure is prohibited by rule 4-1.6.

The ABA has a very good paper on ethics in the settlement negotiation context here: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/2011_build/dispute_resolution/settlementnegotiations.authcheckdam.pdf

Section 4 discusses the rule that a lawyer negotiating a settlement (such as by sending a settlement demand letter) may not "knowingly make a false statement of material fact (or law) to a third person."  It goes on to say that "The Model Rules define “knowledge” as “actual knowledge of the fact in question,” but such knowledge “may be inferred from circumstances.”

I read these requirements as prohibiting me from sending a settlement demand letter to someone demanding money and falsely accusing them of committing copyright infringement when either I know they did not or the circumstances are such that I should know they did not. 

In my statement that if I did that the Bar would have my license, I was putting myself in Getty's shoes.  In Getty's shoes, Getty's use of the Picscout Bot puts them in the best position to know whether I am committing infringement or not.  In fact, Getty's knowledge is arguably better than that of the average blogger, facebook poster or company owner who has no idea how photos get on the internet or what copyright laws prohibit.

Now, an attorney representing Getty might simply accept his client's facts about the infringement without investigating them further.  That could provide an element of plausible deniability since that means the attorney lacks actual knowledge that the client's facts amount to a false accusation of infringement. 

My answer to that is two fold.  First, if the lawyer knows from past experience that the client's facts have not supported an infringement claim, the lawyer could be guilty of failing to investigate further because he knows, from the circumstances, that the client's facts sometimes do not support a claim.

Second, Federal Court jurisdiction is exclusive for Copyright Infringement.  When an attorney files suit in federal court he is subject to Rule 11 which requires the attorney, prior to filing a complaint, to make "an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances."  If after making such an inquiry, the attorney files a complaint that contains legal contentions that are not warranted by existing law or which contains factual contentions that lack evidentiary support then that lawyer subjects himself and his client to sanctions and his case will be dismissed. See: http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/rule_11

In my view, if you are going to send a letter accusing a person of copyright infringement you must be prepared to make the same claims in the letter in court.  But that is probably just my view.  I have not seen a decision that says that.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 07:45:00 PM by Joel Rothman »

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2014, 07:37:03 PM »
Joel,

Thanks for engaging the ELI Community and sharing what what you have.

The average intelligence of our regular ELI readers are quite high and they will happily devour any advanced insights you might have. They are also very helpful.

I invite you to ask from the ELI Community specific information you would like to see submitted to you so people have the option to help provide evidence in your case. You might be surprised at what you get.

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.

Jerry Witt (mcfilms)

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Re: Schneider Rothman IP Law v. Getty Images & Zemanta Lawsuit
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2014, 01:51:14 PM »
I can't wait for the day that Joel or Oscar get to turn to the attorney representing Getty and say the magic words:

"I look forward to deposing your client"
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.

 

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