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Author Topic: How can I verify a copyright Certificate of Registration number online?  (Read 9773 times)

clist

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clist, if I ignore them doesn't that make me look bad in court if we end up there?  Doesn't that show that I willfully ignored this and as a result should have known better than to act like this is no big deal?  I just feel either way I do this I'm gonna get clobbered.   Seems this is a no win situation either way I go.  I either ignore this and possibly end up hiring an attorney, which I cannot afford, or try to negotiate this down the best I can.  I've read through this forum and have spent tons of time researching Higbee, and while they certainly are not known for being ethical in the way they pursue people for copyright infringement, they also don't let go once you become their target.  If Higbee wants to go to court he's going to spend a lot of money to find out that there's no blood to squeeze out of this turnip.

I wish I had an answer for you. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet.
(Except for paying the amount requested)

[My opinion here - again, not legal advice]

In regards to ignoring this: While Judges may look down on you for not responding they may also look down on Higbee for the unethical pursuit of an exorbitant amount from a non profit.

Its all on how you (or the judge) looks at it.

While I don't doubt that this Troll will take someone to court I do believe (in most cases) you have to make it desirable for them to do so.

For example, I spoke to a Lawyer a while back regarding the "Copyright troll business model" and he stated that if he was to take someone to court for this it would only be for "slam dunk cases" and "because they had something to go after".

Again, this is just an opinion so I wouldn't necessarily rule out an unethical firm from shooting in the dark but you get the picture.

So (my opinion again) you can bet as soon as you try to reach out to them to plead your case / negotiate (because you are an honest human being with a conscience)  all you will accomplish is putting yourself at a disadvantage because you have now made yourself look like you've got something to protect, thus making yourself look like a desirable candidate.


Knowledge isn't free - you have to pay attention.

Jerry Witt (mcfilms)

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GWB1, you seem like a really smart fellow. I believe you can make your ministry a really undesirable candidate for a lawsuit WHILE not admitting any guilt. The general rule is usually to ignore these things and hope they go away. However, I think the course you are considering based on what you've learned about Higbee's track record is smart. You don't need to over-engage. When you ask them to forward your offer to the client and they come back to you (and they surely will), be ready to press them on HOW the client responded. Also if you asked for proof of copyright registration, insist on that before any further conversations. And continue to drive home how silly the idea of suing a ministry with few assets is (and how bad it may look for all concerned).

Also, if they DO decide to file against you, be prepared to "out yourself." By that I mean, publicly reveal your organization, what good works you do, and what impact their claim would have on your ministry. Get vocal and active on social media, talk to people every chance you get.

Matt often talks about being willing to get your hands dirty when dealing with these... uhhh individuals. I think this would be a perfect situation to do it.
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.

Matthew Chan

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Jerry,

I don't recommend getting in the dirt all the time. It depends.

For some people, just plain ignoring and avoidance is the better course of action.

Some people's dispositions and mindset are just not well-equipped to engage. As you know, there is no one answer fits all.

Matt often talks about being willing to get your hands dirty when dealing with these... uhhh individuals. I think this would be a perfect situation to do it.
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.

Matthew Chan

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You are way too trusting and believing of the lawsuit threat. What you are stating is factually untrue in many cases.

People who are under the 3-year statute of limitations are not going to speak out.  And those that do make it to the 3-year mark will generally just go on with their lives. Some do report back.

And regarding Higbee & Associates, they only came on the ELI scene around two years ago.  Hence, nearly everyone who has gotten a Higbee letter and participates on ELI will not be reporting on anything until probably 2018 at earliest.

You are speculating a lot and making false assumptions.

You go do what you feel you need to do but I can tell you the compliant, obedient types are generally the big losers.

As other experienced people can tell you, there are no guarantees. If you are looking for one, then you cough up the money.

In my view, you are a candidate for Oscar Michelen's Defense Letter Program:
http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/2012-update-expansion-of-attorney-oscar-michelens-defense-letter-program/


If I don't respond in a few days this attorney plans to file suit and then it will end up in court.  I've been obsessed with this and have done countless hours of research.  It's clear that this outfit is known for not letting things go.  You either negotiate with them or go to court.  If there's been anyone who has had success in not paying some kind of a settlement with them, I have not found them here on this forum or anywhere else for that matter.
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.

Matthew Chan

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Where is this "everywhere" you are reading? And who is writing this "information" you are getting?

I would submit to you that what you think you see is not representative of what is true. I think I have a much better view of the situation because I have spoken with/consulted with many Higbee victims. Not one of them has written back to me they got a lawsuit yet.

And I don't get the feeling all the people I've talked to coughed up the money to settle either. The fact I have not heard from them doesn't mean they haven't settled. But it doesn't mean they have also.

You have flawed conclusions. Do what you want and what you think is best for yourself but you making these broad statements about the Higbee situation is misleading and inaccurate as far as I am concerned.

Most of us who have been around know the psych games these people play and the lies they tell. We also know that that vast majority of cases don't face lawsuits. I monitor the lawsuit situation and it is still a relatively rare occurrence compared to the thousands of letters being issued every year by the copyright extortion industry.

Everyone always has a choice. YOU may feel you don't have a choice but that is factually untrue.

kingkendall, the thing is, everywhere I've read about people who have ignored Higbee they eventually heard back from him and he withdrew his previous offer and demanded more than he originally asked for.  I have not seen one case that was dropped or ignored by this outfit from people who ignored him.  Everything I've read shows that he will not let go until he gets money or takes them to court. 

If I ignore him and end up in court I might end up spending more money by hiring an attorney to settle this.  I can't afford it.  I understand either way is risky but since I haven't seen anyone post having success by ignoring this guy I feel I don't have any choice in the matter except to deal with him. 
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.

Matthew Chan

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Higbee doesn't decide if a case goes to court.  The client does.  And generally speaking, they have to be willing to commit the upfront monies to file suit because most lawyers are not going to subsidize the fees unless they have a "sure thing" or a "big fish".

Your own false assumptions is going to your detriment and cost you. If you want to negotiate a settlement, fine.  But you are setting yourself up to pay more than necessary.

People think that being the "broke little guy" is a bad thing. In these types of cases, it is actually BETTER to be a "broke little guy". It is a deterrent to paying filing fees to try to sue and collect money from someone unable to pay.

It also drives down the settlement amounts, not increase them.

If Higbee wants to go to court he's going to spend a lot of money to find out that there's no blood to squeeze out of this turnip.
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.

GWB1

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Matt, thanks for your comments.  I appreciate you chiming in and sharing your valuable insight with me.

Here's the thing, some people suggest I just ignore them.  Do you seriously think they're going to ignore me for ignoring them?  Today I went to two attorney websites that specialize in the same stuff you do.  Both of them give some basic do's and don'ts (on their websites) on how to handle situations like this.  They both say...do not ignore a letter from an attorney for copyright infringement.  Naturally, they both suggest getting a lawyer to represent them. They both agree that if you do it on your own then let the attorney know the picture has been removed from the website and offer to pay whatever the going rate is for using the photo.  They warn not to give anymore information than that.  I think that's wise advice and I'm not sure why some people think ignoring this is a good option to take. 

Regardless, I think I need to step back now and process all this information I have and take a couple of days to decide how to deal with this.  I read through the letter again and they give 30 days to respond.  I have plenty of time to figure this out and hopefully I make the right decision.

Thank you all again for your time and valuable input.  I'm glad I found this forum and appreciate the service you offer for people like me. 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 10:21:05 PM by GWB1 »

stinger

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  Today I went to two attorney websites that specialize in the same stuff you do.  Both of them give some basic do's and don'ts (on their websites) on how to handle situations like this.  They both say...do not ignore a letter from an attorney for copyright infringement.  Naturally, they both suggest getting a lawyer to represent them. They both agree that if you do it on your own then let the attorney know the picture has been removed from the website and offer to pay whatever the going rate is for using the photo.  They warn not to give anymore information than that.  I think that's wise advice and I'm not sure why some people think ignoring this is a good option to take. 

Lawyers work in the court system and use that system to mitigate disputes.  That is not the only way to come out ahead here.  Matt has a reputation on this web site for thinking outside the box and working outside the court system.  He finds ways to discourage trolls from coming after him.  Some of Matt's methods might make lawyers cringe, but they work and are often more cost effective than going to a lawyer.

Jerry Witt has suggested some things that might discourage lawyers from coming after you.  A whole lot of bad PR can hurt a troll operation far more than a small win in court.

In the end, you have to decide what works for you.  But remember, there are no court mandated 30 day deadlines.  All deadlines imposed by trolls are completely arbitrary and dreamed up to further pressure you.  The only deadline I'm aware of in these matters is that the trolls have 3 years from the day they discover an infringement situation, to file with the courts (Statute of Limitations).

Don't be bullied.  Take your time and make the best decision for yourself.

JuanSilva

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I will quickly say that I ignored them and then got sued (I am not saying if it was Higbee & Associates or not - I do not want revealing details about my case posted online). I am a small operation with little income and less assets.   Thankfully, I have insurance and the insurance company looks like they are going to get involved.   A claims representative contacted me and said that most likely an attorney will contact me today or tomorrow.  My deductible is $2,500 - ouch because that is more than they originally asked for. 

I am thinking that I probably would have been better off calling them to explain my situaton and offer them something less.  I hear that the prices they are asking are negotiable.

I am in the process of applying for a loan and I had to disclose this law suit.  I have no idea what that is going to do to my loan.

I will post more later if I can.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Here's the thing, some people suggest I just ignore them.  Do you seriously think they're going to ignore me for ignoring them?  Today I went to two attorney websites that specialize in the same stuff you do.  Both of them give some basic do's and don'ts (on their websites) on how to handle situations like this.  They both say...do not ignore a letter from an attorney for copyright infringement.  Naturally, they both suggest getting a lawyer to represent them. to decide how to deal with this.  I read through the letter again and they give 30 days to respond.  I have plenty of time to figure this out and hopefully I make the right decision.


NO ONE ever said if you ignore they will ignore you, not sure where you got that.. By ignoring we mean, remove the image and question and get on with life, don't respond, don't email.. You pretty stated you have no funds to pay this..even more reason ( if it were me to ignore it)..let them sue you, you have no assets, even if they win, they lose, as they can't collect, and you get to publicly shames them for suiing a non-profit small minisrty that tries to do good..you have to deal with this on YOUR terms, not theirs, sometimes that requires hinking outside the box.
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..

Matthew Chan

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I don't have a vested interest one way or another what people do.  What I do care about is telling the truth and dispelling so-called common knowledge. You make broad statements that is untrue in our corner of the world.

People always say "get a lawyer" and listen to them UNLESS someone listens to or hires Oscar Michelen. He isn't here on the ELI Forums very much anymore but I am still in regular contact with him over different matters. We have a few disagreements on smaller points but I don't think I am out of line when I say he agrees with some of the "street" knowledge/tactics ELI shares and discusses here. It may be edgy but not criminal or illegal. Oscar doesn't try to reel everyone into hire him. He actually dissuades some people because he knows the scam well and thinks of the victims instead of his wallet.

Some lawyers hate some of the ideas and knowledge we share because it makes their job much harder and it plays outside the system.  Lawyers prefer people pay and use the system.  The system has its place. It has its good points and bad points.

I have lawyer friends and associates. I respect them highly but I have been in business and lived "on the streets" long enough to see the pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses of lawyers. I have also seen enough to know that many problems get resolved not by trying to "outlawyering" your opponent.

Sometimes it is "out-spining" them (as in "get a spine").  Lawyers work for clients. Clients don't work for lawyers. People forget that.

This is the deal, hiring a lawyer is a luxury. It requires money. It also sometimes requires you to subvert your independence and options. Small-timers who can't afford lawyers have to pursue non-lawyer options and we openly discuss them here on ELI.

You keep saying you have little money but apparently that must not be true because you seem so eager to pay into a system in which many have not had to.  If the stress and fear is too much to bear, I understand. Do what you need to do. But that is YOUR issue and choice.  But for others, standing your ground and not getting rolled over and falling into extortionate demands is their choice.  And yes, they do bear the small risk for standing their ground.

I am not telling you to not settle or not engage. I am not telling you to ignore either.  I am also not telling you to not hire a lawyer. After all, we have Oscar Michelen and his defense letter program.

What I object to are your sweeping statements and assumptions which are greatly flawed. I don't mean to sound harsh but I feel strongly in my position.

As Stinger has said, I don't follow conventional wisdom. I do try to think creatively and unorthodox ways. We even talk about edgy ideas but I keep it in the "legal" column as in NOT CRIMINAL ACTIONS.

Ignoring a demand or ignoring a lawsuit would make most lawyers scream and run for the hills BUT IT AIN'T CRIMINAL.  And sometimes, it actually works and solves the problem much more quickly and efficiently than any lawyer could make it!

Just like NOT paying a debt. In the U.S., there are no debtor prisons or half the the U.S. population and all college graduates would be in jail. It doesn't mean I endorse not paying debts either. 

All I am saying is that the ELI Forums is a place for finer discussions and thinking when it comes to legalistic issues as copyright infringement enforcement issues.

I encourage people to think "rebelliously" and with a protest mindset. And for me personally and many people, it works quite well.

And stop blindly believing everything an extortion letter says.  Just because it says 30-days, does not make it true.  You have fallen into the trap. You seem to believe everything the letter says.

Here's the thing, some people suggest I just ignore them.  Do you seriously think they're going to ignore me for ignoring them?  Today I went to two attorney websites that specialize in the same stuff you do.  Both of them give some basic do's and don'ts (on their websites) on how to handle situations like this.  They both say...do not ignore a letter from an attorney for copyright infringement.  Naturally, they both suggest getting a lawyer to represent them. They both agree that if you do it on your own then let the attorney know the picture has been removed from the website and offer to pay whatever the going rate is for using the photo.  They warn not to give anymore information than that.  I think that's wise advice and I'm not sure why some people think ignoring this is a good option to take. 

Regardless, I think I need to step back now and process all this information I have and take a couple of days to decide how to deal with this.  I read through the letter again and they give 30 days to respond.  I have plenty of time to figure this out and hopefully I make the right decision.
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.

Matthew Chan

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I would like to add to what Robert said, there is middle ground also.  You can lightly engage to feel out if they are willing to be reasonable. If they refuse to be reasonable, then go dark.   You can play ping-pong with them to gauge things out.  Or simply hire Oscar. Or simply go dark for awhile, THEN hire Oscar.

You see how that works? There are many permutations but people new to ELI are linear or black/white thinkers.  We are not afraid to get into the grey but people have to be receptive to talking in the grey areas.

There are actually many ways to play it but it does require someone to be open-minded, flexible, and adaptable.

Here's the thing, some people suggest I just ignore them.  Do you seriously think they're going to ignore me for ignoring them?  Today I went to two attorney websites that specialize in the same stuff you do.  Both of them give some basic do's and don'ts (on their websites) on how to handle situations like this.  They both say...do not ignore a letter from an attorney for copyright infringement.  Naturally, they both suggest getting a lawyer to represent them. to decide how to deal with this.  I read through the letter again and they give 30 days to respond.  I have plenty of time to figure this out and hopefully I make the right decision.


NO ONE ever said if you ignore they will ignore you, not sure where you got that.. By ignoring we mean, remove the image and question and get on with life, don't respond, don't email.. You pretty stated you have no funds to pay this..even more reason ( if it were me to ignore it)..let them sue you, you have no assets, even if they win, they lose, as they can't collect, and you get to publicly shames them for suiing a non-profit small minisrty that tries to do good..you have to deal with this on YOUR terms, not theirs, sometimes that requires hinking outside the box.
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.

Matthew Chan

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You imply that your claim is much more than the $2,500 deductible.  Did you even try to negotiate it down?  People who turn to their insurance policies over most of these claims strikes me as a bad idea. It is a guarantee for a premium hike.

And only the uninformed every believe the printed settlement amounts is what it takes to get rid of it.  It is not uncommon to see 50% discounts or more for multi-thousand dollar claims but it requires fighting for it. It isn't handed on a silver platter.

Did you not consider getting on the Defense Letter Program for $250?

I think you may want to reconsider the claim until you get better informed.

Something feels very wrong about what little you shared. I think you need to do more reading.

I will quickly say that I ignored them and then got sued (I am not saying if it was Higbee & Associates or not - I do not want revealing details about my case posted online). I am a small operation with little income and less assets.   Thankfully, I have insurance and the insurance company looks like they are going to get involved.   A claims representative contacted me and said that most likely an attorney will contact me today or tomorrow.  My deductible is $2,500 - ouch because that is more than they originally asked for. 

I am thinking that I probably would have been better off calling them to explain my situaton and offer them something less.  I hear that the prices they are asking are negotiable.

I am in the process of applying for a loan and I had to disclose this law suit.  I have no idea what that is going to do to my loan.

I will post more later if I can.
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.

Matthew Chan

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Thank you, Stinger, for saying that and "getting" me. And most importantly, thank you for being part of the ELI community.

And yes, many copyright extortion lawyers hate ELI and the information and ideas we share. They wish ELI would go away. They wish Oscar would stop being involved here. They hate the unity and community culture we espouse.  Oscar has the freedom to do whatever he wants but he seems to want to stick with ELI even after nearly 9 years.

Lawyers work in the court system and use that system to mitigate disputes.  That is not the only way to come out ahead here.  Matt has a reputation on this web site for thinking outside the box and working outside the court system.  He finds ways to discourage trolls from coming after him.  Some of Matt's methods might make lawyers cringe, but they work and are often more cost effective than going to a lawyer.
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.

jren

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Re: How can I verify a copyright Certificate of Registration number online?
« Reply #44 on: February 27, 2018, 01:34:39 PM »
Juan,

What ever happened with your filing an insurance claim, what was the result? Considering doing similar.

J

 

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