Click Official ELI Links
Get Help With Your Extortion Letter | ELI Phone Support | ELI Legal Representation Program
Show your support of the ELI website & ELI Forums through a PayPal Contribution. Thank you for supporting the ongoing fight and reporting of Extortion Settlement Demand Letters.

Author Topic: Higbee followup  (Read 21349 times)

notarget

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2017, 11:05:07 AM »
Robert and Icepick, you've convinced me to file a bunch of complaint letters. I have a couple of favors to ask.

1. Can you please point me to sample (and hopefully effective) complaint letters? I want to get a feel for the style of the letters.

2. Can you please give me some bullet items for points I want to cover in the letter? The most obvious one is that the two images were linked to and not hosted by my blog which he acknowledges in his extortion letter when he lists the infringing webpages (my blog) and the infringing file locations (Barnes and Noble). The second point is the concern you've raised re his conflict of interest. He represents photographer Michael Grecco and at the same time he is trying to give me advice re business insurance.

Also, I have to ask. What's the risk that going on the offense will increase the odds of his client taking this to court? Again, I don't believe Higbee has a case and I'm wondering if he might try to make a case that linked images are somehow an infringement. I'm willing to take that risk for two reasons: (1) Ignoring him for three years will be a drag. (2) I'd like to help others in the same boat who can follow my example but might otherwise roll over.

Icepick -- I'd be happy to send you a link to Higbee's initial letter if you like. I've posted the follow up emails on this thread already.

Oh, and I got a call from Michael Adela yesterday from Higbee's office. I let it go to voice mail. Michael sounds VERY young, VERY inexperienced, and NOT confident. He was very polite. I imagine he is one of their unpaid interns learning some lessons about our legal system.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 11:40:46 AM by notarget »

notarget

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2017, 11:16:15 AM »
When I mentioned that Mr. Adela was an unpaid intern I was referring to this page:

https://www.higbeeassociates.com/interns/copyrights-internship/

"Copyright interns assist in handling cases prior to the commencement of litigation. This is an unpaid position that will provide a valuable opportunity for the student interested in a career in law to work with a fast paced national law firm."


Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3354
    • View Profile
    • ExtortionLetterInfo
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2017, 05:41:23 PM »
Greg troy is going to help you with tips/tricks and the "how to" on filing complaints.. way back when when we started doing this with getty he was the driving force, and getty now has literally 100's if not 1000's of complaint filed with the washington AG...Keep in mind the AG or Bar association may not take any action, but Highbee will need to use his time to respond.
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)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1859
    • View Profile
    • Yeah, We Do That.
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2017, 06:57:48 PM »
p.s. Here's something I'm scratching my head about. Higbee brags about having an A+ rating with the BBB. And, he's right as you can see here: https://www.bbb.org/sdoc/business-reviews/lawyers/higbee-associates-in-santa-ana-ca-100071532
But, he's got 3 positive reviews, 1 neutral review, and 4 negative reviews. In what universe does half the reviews being negative earn the business an A+ rating? The BBB site has an explanation of how they determine the rating which makes no sense to me. And, yes, I do get that resolving complaints improves one's score but there are some supposedly resolved complaints that haven't been confirmed by the customer.

In my dispute with Getty Images I ended up filing complaints with the Washington state Atty. Gen.'s office, the Washington Better Business Bureau, the Ohio State Atty. Gen.'s office, my Congressman, my Sen. and the FTC. As far as your question about the Better Business Bureau and how Higbee can maintain his rating with a number of complaints he has the BBB works like this. If a business can show that they have tried to resolve the complaint in good-faith and the customer is still not satisfied it will not count against the business. In my situation, my complaint with the BBB did not count against Getty Images because no product or service was purchased from Getty Images. 

The complaints filed against Higbee did not count against his score. If they were all about complaint letter sent out new product or service was actually purchased which is all that the BBB really deals with.

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

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1859
    • View Profile
    • Yeah, We Do That.
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2017, 07:51:27 PM »
notarget,

I would be more than happy to assist you with the process of filing complaints against Higbee especially since you say he has acknowledged the fact that the image was hotlinked and did not reside on your server. I have had some experience with the complaint letter process and can share whatever information I have with you.

Higbee knows that hotlinking does not constitute infringement. In the case of Perfect10 vs Google along with several other cases Perfect10 filed the ruling clearly states that since the images do not reside on the defendants server no infringement has occurred.

https://www.scribd.com/lists/4468896/Perfect-10-v-Google


For your complaint letters I would start here with this link:

https://www.scribd.com/lists/3777301/Complaint-letters-filed-against-Getty-Images

These are copies of the complaints I filed in my own dispute with Getty Images. I filed complaints with the Washington state Atty. Gen.'s office, the Washington Better Business Bureau, my states Atty. Gen.'s office, my Congressman, Sen. in the FTC. The link contains copies of my letters, Getty's response to my complaint and then in every case I wrote a follow-up letter to the agency correcting Getty's errors, pointing out where they omitted responding as well as outright lies.

I had encouraged others who felt they were being unfairly treated by  Getty Images to file complaints as well.  The Atty. Gen.'s office started receiving so many complaints in such a short amount of time that  Getty Images actually started mentioning me indirectly in their boilerplate responses to the Atty. Gen.'s office. They started saying that This letter writing campaign is misguided and misdirected.

Since Higbee is also an attorney I would recommend filing complaints with the Bar Association(s) he is registered with and I believe Robert has provided you a link with information on that.

If you would like I would be happy to review your letters and give you suggestions before you send them out. If you don't mind I would also like to report on Higbee and your story over on Copyright Anti-Bullying Act. I personally find disgraceful that Higbee is continuing to push this even after acknowledging the images hotlinked.

You can use this link to see examples of almost 200 other complaint letters filed with the Atty. Gen.'s office. You can click on each complaint number to view that complaint in detail.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/222235974/1-2-Index-of-Compaints

This should give you enough information to get started. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance and if you would mind if I reported on your story.



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

notarget

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2017, 08:46:11 PM »
Greg,

Thanks for your engagement. Perhaps "acknowledge" is not the right word. Higbee's letter lists infringing webpages and infringing file locations. So, his software knows that where an image is hosted may not be the same as the supposedly infringing site. I've had no contact with them other than their letters so he hasn't said "yeah, you're right, you're just hotlinking the image."

I've got other questions I'll post to you in private messages.

Thanks.


Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1859
    • View Profile
    • Yeah, We Do That.
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2017, 09:03:05 PM »
Greg,

Thanks for your engagement. Perhaps "acknowledge" is not the right word. Higbee's letter lists infringing webpages and infringing file locations. So, his software knows that where an image is hosted may not be the same as the supposedly infringing site. I've had no contact with them other than their letters so he hasn't said "yeah, you're right, you're just hotlinking the image."

I've got other questions I'll post to you in private messages.

Thanks.

Thank you for the clarification, still that is the kind of sloppy "legal" work I would expect to see coming from Mr. McCormack's office back before he retired. 
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

icepick

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2017, 09:20:45 AM »
Private message me through ELI if you would like any help with the bar complaints. Most of the states have a form which I linked on the post I made. They don't need an exhaustive narrative, just the key issues. If you cite the ethics rules for the state you are complaining in and add in the keywords conflict of interest and 'misrepresentation, deceptive' etc. you are probably giving the investigator a lot more of a starting point than 90% of other complaints they get. They usually take the ball and run with it, they just need the starting point from the complaint to know what they should be looking at.

icepick

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2017, 09:29:40 AM »
by the by, I was discussing with an attorney friend the whole method Higbee has been using to request the business insurance information like the way seen in this thread and 1) he agreed it is a big ethics complaint vulnerability 2) Higbee's main goal may be targeting businesses and getting the quick insurance payouts like personal injury lawyers do. Insurance payouts are lower hanging fruit for this guy than the usual defendants he goes after.


notarget

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 07:50:31 PM »
It's been two weeks and I've not heard a peep from Higbee or his staff. I'd like to believe that they have figured out that I'm posting here and don't want to make waves. It might not be that hard to figure out who I am given the hints available in my posts. Or, maybe I'm dreaming.

My current thinking, if they contact me again, is to email Mr. Higbee, Mr. Adela (the intern), and Mr. Grecco (the photographer client), and make these points.

  • The images are hotlinked. You yourself make the distinction in your initial letter between the "infringing" webpage and the "infringing" file location. So, there's no case here.
  • Your offer to have your lawyers advise me re business insurance matters is an ethical violation given that you represent Mr. Grecco.
  • Does Mr. Grecco really want to pay to file a lawsuit given that there's no case and waste a judge's time explaining why your law firm is going after a blogger with a site that makes no money for hotlinking two images of the cover of a book associated with a review of that book?
  • I've spent a considerable amount of time researching this situation, posting about it at extortionletterinfo.com, and discussing my options privately with a couple of the senior members of the community.
  • If I hear from you or your office again (other than to tell me you've dropped your campaign against me) I will immediately file letters of complaint with the Bar Associations and Attorney General offices in my state and in all of the states in which you practice. And, that will be just my first action.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 08:01:37 PM by notarget »

kingkendall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2017, 11:58:26 PM »
@notarget

I would say contacting Higbee is the best way for him to know that he got you nervous and would only encourage him to really mess with you more. 

Why put your self in that position?

You're not dealing with an honorable person, he's a bottom feeder looking for the quick cash. 


Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3354
    • View Profile
    • ExtortionLetterInfo
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2017, 12:31:19 PM »
I agree with KK, if you are going to contact him at all do it AFTER filing complaints, the complaint will send a clear message you are not to be screwed with... If I were you I would

1. file complaints
2. tell Higbee that you filed complaints and that he has no case.
3. demand that he send you hard copies of documentation, that he is no longer pursuing this matter. ( waste as much of his time as possible)
3. demand an apology from this asshat for not doing his homework prior to sending a poorly written cheesey demand letter.
3. if Higbee was dumb enough ( which he probably is) and files suit, promptly file a counter suit against him and his client.
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)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1859
    • View Profile
    • Yeah, We Do That.
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2017, 08:35:47 PM »
I agree with Robert's  plan and order in which to do it.
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

icepick

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2017, 10:47:32 AM »
I've had limited experience with Higbee's operation but from what I've seen, it is all automated in the early stages. The best analogy is he is hiring bill collector types to keep making phone calls and reply to e-mails. Anything that requires thought outside of a script is probably going to be ignored. From what I have seen in some of his court filings I'm not sure they deviate from scripts even after filing cases. I have not seen Higbee or any of his staff make any accurate substantive rebuttals to issues others have raised so I would not expect much. Each case has a dollar value to them, the only way to get them to back off voluntarily is by finding that dollar value (which could be 10% of their initial ask in some cases).

kingkendall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
Re: Higbee followup
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2017, 12:12:12 PM »
Higbee uses the court system to extract settlements.  That's it!  If he files one, the world won't end.  Answer it, push back, show no fear whatsoever.  He wants the easy fold. 

 

Official ELI Help Options
Get Help With Your Extortion Letter | ELI Phone Support Call | ELI Defense Letter Program
Show your support of the ELI website & ELI Forums through a PayPal Contribution. Thank you for supporting the ongoing fight and reporting of Extortion Settlement Demand Letters.