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Author Topic: Higbee and Mark A. Johnson Photographer - willful entrapment  (Read 851 times)

megamail

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Higbee and Mark A. Johnson Photographer - willful entrapment
« on: January 25, 2019, 04:19:43 PM »
Is this willful entrapment?

First of all, as an artist i would never willfully use copyrighted images - i always get them from creative commons or free image sites.

BUT, last month I got an extortion letter from Higbee. It was on a non-professional website i put together to try to pitch a Mr. Roger's Neighborhood style children's tv show. I grabbed a picture of the ocean from some random free site.
http://www.midmodsquad.com/projects/the-green-room/what-is-a-green-room/

I responded to them with a letter that i removed the photo that looked "similar" to the one that they said was infringement.
I also explained that I had no assets for them to go after should they decide to pursue a lawsuit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, today they called me and harassed me on the phone. (I probably said too much to them.) I never admitted guilt. But I kept telling them I had nothing for them to sue and they kept asking me for proof of hardship... bank statements and tax returns.

When I asked them if they had forwarded my correspondence to their client, they said no.
When I ask them if they would forward it to their client they again said not until I send them a proof of hardship.

Then they hung up on me!

So I look up this artist they are representing.
Mark A. Johnson
https://www.markjohnson.com/index

There are all of his images without any copyright notice on the page. None of the images have watermarks or any other notice.

But when you click on the left bar "EXTRAS" there is a little menu option "A word on Copyright"
Then you click again on that and the following comes up:
All of my photography is registered with the United States Copyright Office, which also protects my work internationally. None of my photography is available for free, fair use, Creative Commons, or any other perceived free use. If you like my work, please buy a print or license it from me. It's easy and inexpensive. Thank you!
If you have any questions about use of my work, please contact me.
Aloha,
Mark

i bet his images are circulating in a few places and Higbee is having a field day with this extortion scheme!

On the phone they said they were going to pursue litigation against me.

NOW what can I / should I do?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 04:28:40 PM by megamail »

megamail

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Re: Higbee and Mark A. Johnson Photographer - willful entrapment
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 04:42:28 PM »
my other question is, is it worth it for me to reach out to this photographer directly to ask him to ask his lawyers to drop this action?

I understand him wanting to be compensated for wrongful infringement, but i cannot image such an artist willing to inflict pain and hardship in this particular case. i am not "sue-worthy."
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 04:58:39 PM by megamail »

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Higbee and Mark A. Johnson Photographer - willful entrapment
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 08:16:29 PM »
Is this willful entrapment?

First of all, as an artist i would never willfully use copyrighted images - i always get them from creative commons or free image sites.

"Free image sites"...nothing is free, most of these "Free" sites are full of scraped images..

BUT, last month I got an extortion letter from Higbee. It was on a non-professional website i put together to try to pitch a Mr. Roger's Neighborhood style children's tv show. I grabbed a picture of the ocean from some random free site.
http://www.midmodsquad.com/projects/the-green-room/what-is-a-green-room/

professional, non-professional has no bearing on anything... and " I grabbed a picture of the ocean from some random free site." is where you went wrong, did you read the "terms of service"...likely not, and they likely have some sort of disclaimer putting the onus on you if there are any issues..

I responded to them with a letter that i removed the photo that looked "similar" to the one that they said was infringement.
I also explained that I had no assets for them to go after should they decide to pursue a lawsuit.

they now know that they have a "live one"
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, today they called me and harassed me on the phone. (I probably said too much to them.) I never admitted guilt. But I kept telling them I had nothing for them to sue and they kept asking me for proof of hardship... bank statements and tax returns.

screw them, you can show this when a judge tells you to.

When I asked them if they had forwarded my correspondence to their client, they said no.
When I ask them if they would forward it to their client they again said not until I send them a proof of hardship.

Then they hung up on me!

So I look up this artist they are representing.
Mark A. Johnson
https://www.markjohnson.com/index

There are all of his images without any copyright notice on the page. None of the images have watermarks or any other notice.

and none is required..

But when you click on the left bar "EXTRAS" there is a little menu option "A word on Copyright"
Then you click again on that and the following comes up:
All of my photography is registered with the United States Copyright Office, which also protects my work internationally. None of my photography is available for free, fair use, Creative Commons, or any other perceived free use. If you like my work, please buy a print or license it from me. It's easy and inexpensive. Thank you!
If you have any questions about use of my work, please contact me.
Aloha,
Mark

i bet his images are circulating in a few places and Higbee is having a field day with this extortion scheme!

On the phone they said they were going to pursue litigation against me.

NOW what can I / should I do?

only you can decide how to move forward, but  I suggest reading these forums and getting educated before you do / say anything else.
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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Re: Higbee and Mark A. Johnson Photographer - willful entrapment
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 08:19:38 PM »
my other question is, is it worth it for me to reach out to this photographer directly to ask him to ask his lawyers to drop this action?

I understand him wanting to be compensated for wrongful infringement, but i cannot image such an artist willing to inflict pain and hardship in this particular case. i am not "sue-worthy."

He wants to be paid, do you really think he cares about your "pain"??... If you are not "sue-worthy" why even worry about it...worst case they sue you and win and collect nothing...
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..

 

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