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Author Topic: New Higbee & Associates Letter on Behalf of Adlife Marketing (food images)!  (Read 6283 times)

Matthew Chan

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An ELI reader has submitted to me and Greg a copy of the newest Higbee Demand Letter.  Higbee's newest client?  Adlife Marketing & Communications! It is a small world after all. 

Up to now, the Higbee demand letters generated a lot of controversy because they were sending $5,000 demands for using Nick Youngson's (from the UK) $10 (or free with attribution) photos.  On top of that, both Higbee and Youngson seemed to be trying to profit from the "honeypot effect" of Youngson's generic "creative commons" websites where people would help themselves to images without necessarily paying attention to the fine print of atribution, "the gotcha effect".  Until recently, Youngson did not disclose his involvement in some of the websites.

Higbee has been criticized by ELI, in part, because of his misleading "national law firm" self-promotion which we mostly believe is a sham because most of the locations Higbee advertises appear to be virtual addresses or rented mailing addresses. I tend to believe he is primarily a California operation but he appears to want to convey to the world at large he has this huge presence throughout the U.S.

On a separate front, we have Adlife Marketing & Communications which was first reported on Robert Krausankas' (who is part of the ELI team) Copyright-Trolls.com website. The Adlife Marketing letters were noteworthy for sending out $8,000 demand letters for food images.

Many letter recipients were angry and outraged because many acquired the images through Getty Images' low-end agency, iStock Photos before the working relationship between iStock and Adlife Marketing ended. Based on Robert's reporting, iStock Photo (to their credit) has tried to assist their customers who received demand letters from Adlife Marketing.

Although ELI has covered Adlife Marketing demand letters, most of the information surfaced and was reported directly to Robert and copyright-trolls.com. (Oftentimes, ELI, Oscar, or I will get first wind of new demand letters). But in Adlife's case, people kept contacting Robert and copyright-trolls.com in a similar way that people who get Linda Ellis' Dash Poem extortion letters contact April Brown of AprilBrown.com. (The Internet works in mysterious ways.) And because Robert is also part of ELI, he shared his information with the ELI Community.

During that journey, Robert uncovered quite a bit of information about Adlife Marketing's CEO, Joel Albrizio, and the many legal skirmishes in his and the company's past and reported on them.  A few outspoken and angry victims also voiced their unhappiness on copyright-trolls.com.

This led to more people connected to Joel's past coming out of the woodwork who provided Robert quite a bit of interesting information, some of it was published, much of it was not as the information could not be corroborated. Some of it might have been truthful but it seemed to fall into the gossip category.

Robert took a snarky, sarcastic, and satirical perspective in his coverage of Adlife Marketing and its CEO, Joel Albrizio on copyright-trolls.com.  Joel reached out to Robert to discuss the criticisms. Joel even offered some comments to Robert's early blog posts.  There were some disagreement in their phone conversations and it eventually lead to unhappy verbal threats against Robert to "destroy and ruin his life".

This eventually lead to Oscar Michelen stepping into represent Robert and copyright-trolls.com. Oscar issued notification letters twice to Joel.  One was to explain what copyright-trolls.com was all about and that Robert was well within his rights to his self-styled reporting. The other letter was to warn Joel to refrain from communicating and threatening Robert.

Ultimately, the dispute and animosity by Adlife Marketing CEO, Joel, reached a peak and he and/or a close associate of his, launched VoicesofJupiterFlorida (VOJF) to smear and disparage Robert, Copyright-Trolls.com and Robert's family, friends, and associates in Jupiter. One of VOJF's stated goals early on was to force the takedown of copyright-trolls.com. However, because Robert did not capitulate, VOJF wanted the content of Dash Poet Linda Ellis, one of her ex-assistants, Adlife Marketing, and Joel's removed.

This was done through an alias "Jessica Langston" where "she" was emailing Robert's family members, clients, friends, and associates to draw attention to VOJF. A lot of emails came back to Robert wondering what VOJF was all about. They were confused and mostly thought that this "Jessica Langston" seemed creepy. Robert had to take the time to explain the dispute Joel had against Robert.

Over time, a great deal of evidence was uncovered and gathered which pointed towards Joel himself as being the responsible party behind VOJF. VOJF was a source of personal drama here on ELI because of the personal smears against Robert's family members, friends, and associates because they were innocents who really have no knowledge of the world of extortion letters as ELI readers do.

Part of the VOJF drama can be found here on ELI: 
http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/getty-images-letter-forum/'voices-of-jupiter-florida'-discussion-thread/

Long-time readers of ELI know about the ugly underbelly that have been uncovered over the years and the seedy tactics used by nearly every company/law firm we have covered. Not everything is all it appears to be.  What is written on the demand letters cannot be trusted and must be scrutinized.

GET TO THE DAMN POINT ALREADY!

Now that I have gone through this LONG explanation and narrative of all the various characters and their stories, this all culminates that Higbee (with his own history and controversy) appears to have taken on Adlife Marketing (and by association, its CEO, Joel Albrizio, his history, drama, controversy) as their newest client!

The one Higbee letter on behalf of Adlife Marketing I have seen so far uses a nearly identical template to many other Higbee letters I have seen. What is notable is the "lower" $2,500 demand. It is still outrageous, but compared to Higbee's "normal" $5,000 letters and Adlife's $8,000 letters, it is less egregious than we have seen.

None of us know if this new Higbee demand letter on behalf of Adlife Marketing is just a one-off, an experiment, or the beginning of a new ongoing working relationship.

My gut-feeling is that we will see more of these letters. It would seem that Joel wanted to outsource the collection effort. Reports were that Joel himself "negotiated" with people receiving the $8,000 letters. I think he probably had very limited success in collections given how outrageous the amounts being asked were. It probably also generated a lot of negative energy and negative PR for himself and the company.

By outsourcing these demand letters to Higbee, most of the initial arrows and animosity will be directed at Higbee, not Adlife Marketing.  However, there is an inescapable past and history by each party. The once separate stories of Higbee and Adlife Marketing has now suddenly crashed together.

What a small world we live in.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 04:26:56 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.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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I can pretty much guarantee there will be many more letters appearing from Highbee/Adlife.. Joel Albrizio, and Sharon Ferretti are now seemingly sleeping with Mathew Higbee.. Is Mathew Higbee aware that his client pretends to be a women ( Jessica Langston ) and is responsible for all of the BS lies posted on Voices of Jupiter Florida .com? Does Mathew Higbee want to be associated with such a person?...He probably doesn't know about VOJF yet, and probably doesn't care, his reputation is quickly going down the toilet along with Adlifes Jel Albrizio and Sharon Ferretti... at the end of the day they are all whores...money whores that is, driven by greed.. In the coming weeks there will be much said of this new development now that the ELI community has been made aware of this.. It's also worth noting that TechDirt has already written about Higbee in the past, there is most likely a follow up story coming soon.
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.
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kingkendall

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@Mathew Chan

Is this just a coincidence?

I got my first demand letter from Sander Law in 2015.  I freaked out at first but after speaking to my lawyer cousin, I was told it was only a letter.  To make a long story short, Sander Law as you probably know os a long Island law firm.  I get my first letter from Higbee last December.  So I review all my paperwork because I keep everything I get.  The first letter I got from Sanders came from a 92704 Zip code which is Santa Ana California.  Why would a Long Island law firm be sending me a letter from California.  The Higbee latter is from 92705 Sanat Ana California. 

Coincidence? 

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Sanders Law is well known here, as is Higbee, but they are completely different entities as far as we know.... Why Sanders would be sending letters from Cali is kinda strange, it's also strange that you got a letter from BOTH...are they in regards to the same image?
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

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kingkendall

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Sanders Law is well known here, as is Higbee, but they are completely different entities as far as we know.... Why Sanders would be sending letters from Cali is kinda strange, it's also strange that you got a letter from BOTH...are they in regards to the same image?

Different iamages and clients.  But 902704 and 92705 are adacent zip codes.  To me, that's too much of a coincidence to toss off as a coinciidence.  Maybe the same demand letter operation is operating from one location under different names? 

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Not trying to dissuade you, it may or may not be a coincidence, Craig Sanders is admitted in NY & CA, but I find no record of an office for them on the west coast.
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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I'm also curious whether Joel Albrizio disclosed to Mathew Higbee the fact that the vast majority of Adlife "infringements" are from folks who properly licensed the images through Istock or Creative Outlet / Ad Builder.

Probably not is my best guess, time will tell if Higbee and Associates really want to be tied to the dirt bags at Adlife, which will further hurt their reputation..not that it would matter much at this point..

Lets not forget also, that Joel Albrizio aka Jessica Langston has made this personal with me, by dragging my family and friends into this ..I have not forgotten about this, nor is it going to go unaddressed..
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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Yes, I am familiar with the Sanders Law letters and they do appear to operate from NY. As such, Sanders letters would likely originate from NY.  And Higbee is from California.

And you are saying that Sanders Law is sending letters from California?  If that is the case, I would like to see that letter for myself if you are willing to share.

I have collected letters (from ELI Readers) from Sanders law but I don't think I noticed any Sanders letters from CA in the past. I might have missed it. I might need to go back and look.

Is this just a coincidence?

I got my first demand letter from Sander Law in 2015.  I freaked out at first but after speaking to my lawyer cousin, I was told it was only a letter.  To make a long story short, Sander Law as you probably know os a long Island law firm.  I get my first letter from Higbee last December.  So I review all my paperwork because I keep everything I get.  The first letter I got from Sanders came from a 92704 Zip code which is Santa Ana California.  Why would a Long Island law firm be sending me a letter from California.  The Higbee latter is from 92705 Sanat Ana California. 

Coincidence?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 02:30:50 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.

Matthew Chan

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It is possible that Sanders used a virtual address or maybe used an address from a "friendly" law firm.

BWP Media is/was a client based in California and Sanders has represented BWP media in the past. It is possible that Sanders has established some basic "presence" in California for cases in that state.

After all, Higbee has established virtual offices/presence in many states so he can claim his operation is a "national law firm".  Even Techdirt who has written about Higbee (which I only found out a couple of days ago) has commented on that peculiar bit of marketing and self-representation.

Different iamages and clients.  But 902704 and 92705 are adacent zip codes.  To me, that's too much of a coincidence to toss off as a coinciidence.  Maybe the same demand letter operation is operating from one location under different names?
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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A second Higbee Letter on behalf of Adlife Marketing was sent me to me.  This time around, it was $4,000.

Based on the two letters I have seen so far, there appears to be some variance in the proposed settlement amounts. Remember, the numbers shown in the letters are not absolute. Everything is negotiable.

I suspect there are probably more of these Higbee letters on behalf of Adlife Marketing that will be making the rounds or appear again.

Based on this very small sampling, there does not yet appear to be a tidal wave of these Higbee/Adlife letters yet.
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.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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not to worry, they're coming..I'll take a stab and say nearly 100 or so...just a hunch
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)

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I thought this might happen and said as much when I found out that in addition to AdLife Marketing pulling their images from iStock they were pulling their images from LSA/Creative Outlet as well.  That happened on March 1st and I asked the question how long until we start to see a rash of new letters being sent out. 

In my opinion it seems the business model of AdLife seems to be shifting more and more to the copyright trolling side. 
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

Blurg78

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I've received a series of letters and calls to my lawyer from an underling at higbee on behalf of ad life. They started at 8000, came as low as 500 and suddenly a different person wrote who seemed to not know about any of the previous calls and effectively rescinded the 500 and went back to 2000. I don't think they have a case but they're clearly not negotiating in good faith and I obviously want to avoid a lawsuit. Anyone have advice on how much they had to pay to make these people go away? I'm not a business, just a former blogger. Advice much appreciated!

kingkendall

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From what you described it looks like Higbee is not coordinating their own personnel.  You're just a case number to them to see if your gulible enough to pay.  Get educated on how the scam works by reading this forum.  A lot of good stuff here.  Sit tight, document everything and learn. 

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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As I fully expected..the case of MyWebGrocer vs. Adlife has had a significant change...not long ago adlifes lawyer requested to be reomoved from the case, seemingly Adlife has fired them.. that motion was denied until a new lawyer stepped up.. Well this has now happened and it's exactly who I predicted...Higbee..

ORDER granting 24 MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice of Mathew K. Higbee; granting 25 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorneys., Jack W. Pirozzolo and Kenyon D. Colli. Signed by Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford on 6/5/2017. (This is a text-only Order.) (jal) (Entered: 06/05/2017)
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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