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Hawaiian Art Network LLC's list of Lawyers Used Thus Far

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Matthew Chan:
I did not connect the dots earlier regarding Hawaiian Art Network LLC.  But we can thank Julie Stewart for drawing attention back to Hawaiian Art Network.

I just realized that for a relatively small stock photo company, they certainly use a wide variety of lawyers thus far. In fact, the list of ELI reported lawyers we know thus far include:

Brandon Sand,2043.0.html

Peter T. Holt,2313.msg3534.html#msg3534

Julie Stewart,2303.0.html

Gil Zvulony,2420.msg4135.html#msg4135

Oscar and I believe that young and inexperienced Brandon Sand decided to get out of the business. So we don't believe we will hear from him again. But I have to believe there are more lawyers working for Hawaiian Art Network LLC that we don't yet know of.

It certainly is very interesting how much of a difference each of these lawyers appear to be in both style and substance.

The one thing they all have in common is that they have a very minimal web presence and nearly a non-existent reputation.  They all seem to be relatively inexperienced. If they are, they have certainly kept a very low profile of any work they may have done.

Matthew Chan:
I hope I don't regret this post but I believe in trying to be fair.  It is no secret that my respect level for two of these lawyers are in the toilet.  We have newbie lawyers Brandon Sand & Julie Stewart that are simply pathetic.  Julie is apparently the lead cry-baby who decided to rally Brandon and Peter Holt together to gang up on ELI, me, and Oscar.  The two newbies are paper experts but have no online credibility whatsoever. IN fact, it is practically non-existent.

We all know that Brandon and especially Julie went ape-shit on the bogus DMCA complaints on my hosting provider and Scribd forcing me to engage in numerous counter-notification letters. What was a little blip has become a giant drama driving readership and traffic to these forums.  (I like increased readership and traffic but I don't like the drama especially when it makes me work too much.)

However, regarding Peter Holt.  I have a different view of him.  I actually have some respect for him.  He does not appear to be a newbie lawyer like the other two.  Upon further reflection, I can admit out of of all the settlement demand letters, his was the mildest and the most reasonable. It didn't have all the super-heavy, overwhelming, and outrageous statements most of the other demand letters had.

Another thing I give credit to Peter Holt for (unless he changes his behavior) is that he appears to have a more steadier head.  He did not recklessly issue bogus DMCA complaints against ELI in any way.  He also did not try to engage in a childish "wack-a-mole" game with us.

Peter's biggest beef with us (from what I can tell so far) is our liberal use of the word "extortion" throughout our website and the website name. To that, we have explained our position that we don't directly personalize it towards anyone in particular.  I am certain he will disagree but that is ok.  We can agree to disagree and just move on.  I believe he also dislikes his name being associated with this website. Well, if it means anything, I started this crazy website and I have mixed feelings about attaching MY OWN NAME to this website!  I only did it years ago because it seemed to be an important move to make if I wanted to make ELI credible.  There are many of my own friends who don't know of my involvement of ELI and I don't go out of my way to tell them.  It isn't a secret per se.  But you have to admit, the topics we discuss is very nichey and very few people can relate to it UNTIL that day a letter arrives for them! Then, all of a sudden, we get LOTS of love and attention.  :D

Peter now knows we exist and we now know he exists.  I don't trust Hawaiian Art Network.  Something doesn't smell right to me. As far as I am concerned, give me Getty Images any day.  That is really saying something when I give Getty Images higher respect than another party or organization. In any case, we observe and collect information from anyone who wants to submit info to us. There is no "witch hunt" as long as people play fairly and ethically. However, Peter's biggest problem now is his association with Hawaiian Art Network because of the smell H.A.N gives off.

For now, despite our differences, Peter Holt earns my respect for keeping his head above the drama caused by Julie and Brandon.  Let's hope everyone can now go their separate ways peacefully.

You can now add J Stephen Street to the list. He filed a  federal lawsuit now when I refused to pay the money from his "demand letter". The image came from a free download site and apparently the image is copyrighted by V Tylor and the Hawaii Art Network which of course we had no idea. I have a small web design company and this was used by our  intern.  Once I received notice we took the site down not just the image. So when he persisted after I offered him a small settlement in good faith,  I felt it was something more behind the scenes. Your right something does not smell right here to me at all. As to what that is exactly I will let you know I intend to find out! I am looking for anyone who has delt with Hawaii Art Network and received a demand letter etc. I spoke with one attorney in town who tried to defend a client but settled cheap as the poor client was local gal who had no money and she did not know she infringed a copy right ---the same free download thing.

Jerry Witt (mcfilms):
Some questions for the H.A.N. lawyer:

Has client registered the copyright for the image at the US copyright office?
Can they provide you with proof of registration?
Is client aware that numerous web sites are representing their images as "free" or "free to download and use"?
If so, what action has client taken to stop them?

To me you are well within your rights to require this information prior to any talk of a "settlement." You've seen first hand how easy it is for someone to misrepresent the rights they have to an image and you don't want it to happen again.

For your part, be sure to document everything. Screenshots and urls of the site you got the image from, but also the other ones offering it for free. Many people on this site have indicated to me that they suspect HAN may be behind seeding these images to the wallpaper sites in the hopes of doing exactly what they are doing now. No one has been able to provide me with proof of that yet. However the images they represent do seem to show up on a remarkable number of "wallpaper" sites and strangely we have no evidence of them asking those sites to stop.

Jerry Witt (mcfilms):
Two other thoughts:

First on another thread you said the image was uploaded by a student for a site that was non commercial. Sounds like fair use to me, but I don't know the specifics.

Second -- Just a thought for those that are following along -- I wonder if it would be possible to get any one of those 150 sites that offered that image to reveal the identity (or even the ip) of the original uploader. Because if it were uploaded to the site by the photographer of his representative and then they threatened to sue for it's use... wouldn't that be fraud?


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