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Author Topic: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court  (Read 1764 times)

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Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« on: March 27, 2018, 02:53:57 PM »
Has anyone run into this new method of attack? Adlife is now taking people to Small Claims Court in an attempt to extort money out of them.  They are claiming that I stole use of their subscription site and feel that as a result I should pay several months of their overpriced subscription fee as compensation for one photo.  I have never even heard of this site prior to being sued let alone ever downloaded any photos from it.  Has this happened to anyone else on the forum?  I am interested to know if your small claims date has already occurred? What was the outcome. Did they show up? Was it Rebecca who is an employee of Adlife and works with Albrizio. I am being harassed in the same manner and it would be helpful to know if you went to court what the outcome was. I am curious if they prevailed or if the Magistrate saw them for what they are? Did they file with the plaintiff being Prepared Food Photo’s .com?. Any info anyone can share would be greatly appreciated. I would prefer not to list my name as I am currently involved in an open claim against my company. Does anyone have any advice as to how to stop this sort of unfair business practice.

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Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 03:18:30 PM »
This is very unusual and highly unorthodox. In the 10 years of ELI's existence, I don't think we have ever heard of anyone going through small claims court on anything infringement related. This seems like a "creative" strategy/tactic. Do you have the paperwork on this?

The ELI team would very much like to see the paperwork if you are willing to share it with us. 

You can email it to me privately at matt30060 / gmail.

Has anyone run into this new method of attack? Adlife is now taking people to Small Claims Court in an attempt to extort money out of them.  They are claiming that I stole use of their subscription site and feel that as a result I should pay several months of their overpriced subscription fee as compensation for one photo.  I have never even heard of this site prior to being sued let alone ever downloaded any photos from it.  Has this happened to anyone else on the forum?  I am interested to know if your small claims date has already occurred? What was the outcome. Did they show up? Was it Rebecca who is an employee of Adlife and works with Albrizio. I am being harassed in the same manner and it would be helpful to know if you went to court what the outcome was. I am curious if they prevailed or if the Magistrate saw them for what they are? Did they file with the plaintiff being Prepared Food Photo’s .com?. Any info anyone can share would be greatly appreciated. I would prefer not to list my name as I am currently involved in an open claim against my company. Does anyone have any advice as to how to stop this sort of unfair business practice.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 10:27:33 AM 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.

trying_to_help

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Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2018, 12:07:17 PM »
Has anyone run into this new method of attack? Adlife is now taking people to Small Claims Court in an attempt to extort money out of them.  They are claiming that I stole use of their subscription site and feel that as a result I should pay several months of their overpriced subscription fee as compensation for one photo.  I have never even heard of this site prior to being sued let alone ever downloaded any photos from it.  Has this happened to anyone else on the forum?  I am interested to know if your small claims date has already occurred? What was the outcome. Did they show up? Was it Rebecca who is an employee of Adlife and works with Albrizio. I am being harassed in the same manner and it would be helpful to know if you went to court what the outcome was. I am curious if they prevailed or if the Magistrate saw them for what they are? Did they file with the plaintiff being Prepared Food Photo’s .com?. Any info anyone can share would be greatly appreciated. I would prefer not to list my name as I am currently involved in an open claim against my company. Does anyone have any advice as to how to stop this sort of unfair business practice.



I just registered with a 'throwaway' account as I don't want to identify myself either- but I recently finished with this BS, was curious if the outcome of our case was posted online, and happened to run across this thread.

Our situation was exactly the same as yours- we got letters over the course of a year or so- starting with $8k down to about $2k. They called a couple times offering to 'settle' as well. Eventually they filed in small claims court asking for ~$2k + legal fees. While we got letters from AdLife originally, then from some random law firms, the suit was filed with prepared food photos dot com as the plaintiff.

When we attended court, there were several other people who were there for a hearing with this same company. Some didn't show up, and judgement was awarded to this company in those cases. We went before the magistrate and let them know that we did due diligence before using the pictures (checking the picture metadata for any copyright claims, etc.). Had we known it was a copyrighted image we would have used other stock photography that comes with a perpetual license for ~$50 for similar content. Ultimately the magistrate granted judgement in favor of the plaintiff, but reduced the damages from the $2k they were asking for down to less than $100 (including court costs).

Obviously our experience doesn't necessarily reflect what may happen in your situation, but it does seem that the 'reasonable person standard' can prevail in these cases. Hope this helps. I will try to check the throwaway email address associated with this account at some point in the future if you have additional questions.

Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2018, 02:35:56 PM »
I received a letter from PreparedFoodPhotos.com for a small claims court appearance in July in Brookline MA.    It does not state which photos were used.  It is handwritten and signed by I believe a "Rebecca N. Jout"?(hard to read).   I only have a couple of food photos and bought them off of iStockphoto back in 2006.
The letter reads:
"The plaintiff is in the business of selling subscriptions for use by registered subscribers to its website PreparedFoodPhotos.com.   The Plaintiff has identified the Defendant as having used a subscription without permission or compensation to the Plaintiff in the marketing of Defendant's business on our about May 8, 2018.  The Plaintiff seeks compensation in the amount equal to a two-month subscription to PreparedFoodPhotos.com website.  Plus costs occurred with this filing as Plaintiff believes is a just and reasonable amount due to the Plaintiff"

Going to the Plaintiff's website I see only Joel Albrizio listed with the contact info.

Should I snail mail him requesting he tell me what photos as I am not aware of stealing his photos?  I paid hefty to Getty a while back and learned my lesson so removed anything I thought I may not have purchased and now only use 123rf.com.

Is contacting the plaintiff appropriate to get more information?

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Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 06:09:38 PM »
Yes, it is appropriate to reach out the plaintiff. I would do it in writing. And if they don't respond appropriately, I would keep a record of their response or non-response.

It is quite "creative" to use small claims court to collect on copyright infringement issues. Very low bar of entry.  Judges are typically not knowledgeable on copyright matters.  People defending themselves in small claims court have the burden of explaining the judge what this racket is all about.

I advised a defendant to print out several ELI posts, prepare a presentation, and submit it as part of their defense that the plaintiff is inappropriately and under false pretense using small claims court to resolve a copyright infringement matter.

Quote
Should I snail mail him requesting he tell me what photos as I am not aware of stealing his photos?  I paid hefty to Getty a while back and learned my lesson so removed anything I thought I may not have purchased and now only use 123rf.com.

Is contacting the plaintiff appropriate to get more information?
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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Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 11:25:50 AM »
Yes, it is appropriate to reach out the plaintiff. I would do it in writing. And if they don't respond appropriately, I would keep a record of their response or non-response.

It is quite "creative" to use small claims court to collect on copyright infringement issues. Very low bar of entry.  Judges are typically not knowledgeable on copyright matters.  People defending themselves in small claims court have the burden of explaining the judge what this racket is all about.

I advised a defendant to print out several ELI posts, prepare a presentation, and submit it as part of their defense that the plaintiff is inappropriately and under false pretense using small claims court to resolve a copyright infringement matter.

Quote
Should I snail mail him requesting he tell me what photos as I am not aware of stealing his photos?  I paid hefty to Getty a while back and learned my lesson so removed anything I thought I may not have purchased and now only use 123rf.com.

Is contacting the plaintiff appropriate to get more information?

The kicker here is that the plaintiff is not suing in small claims for anything copyright related, as that is a federal gig, they are dragging people into small claims, stating that the defendant used / misused the subscription service offered without paying the subscription fee... Their claim is likely one of: these im ages are only available through our subscription service, so defendant must have have figured out a way to get to the images without paying.. Judges need to know that these images were once available on multiple sites for purchase and download, and have been removed along with purchase histories..

Playing it this way saves the cost of filing a federal suit, hiring a copyright attorney, etc, etc...
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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Matthew Chan

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Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 03:24:48 PM »
Using small claims court for supposed violation of "subscription service" is entirely a sham. But defendants actually have to call it out for what it is or they will get rolled over. If I was a defendant, I would file a countersuit while demanding they provide evidence that a "subscription service" is in any way involved.

The kicker here is that the plaintiff is not suing in small claims for anything copyright related, as that is a federal gig, they are dragging people into small claims, stating that the defendant used / misused the subscription service offered without paying the subscription fee... Their claim is likely one of: these im ages are only available through our subscription service, so defendant must have have figured out a way to get to the images without paying.. Judges need to know that these images were once available on multiple sites for purchase and download, and have been removed along with purchase histories..

Playing it this way saves the cost of filing a federal suit, hiring a copyright attorney, etc, etc...
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.

Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 09:29:55 AM »
FYI - to anyone that may have received AdLife (aka PreparedFoodPhoto) extortion small claims court letter.  I just called iStockPhoto and they were great.   I spoke with a woman who said their legal team is well aware of this issue of him pulling photos off of iStock and then sending out the letters claiming pictures were taken without permission.  I am to forward her the letter I received from his hired woman Rebecca in Bridgewater,MA and she said to me "our legal team will handle this so you do not have to".   She said verbatim "unfortunately some people receive the letter and just pay him the money when they do not have to".

So if you legally purchased something off of iStock you are well protected by their legal team. Contact them and they will help you.
This sleazeball Joel Albrizio needs to be stopped - he should be class action sued for Abuse of Process and potentially locked up.     

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Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 09:19:17 AM »
the judges in these small claims courts are the ones that need to see and here from istock!
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..

Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 03:55:29 PM »
My case was dismissed by Sharon Albrizio (Executive VP of AdLife) - I assume Joel's wife in crime.

The legal team at iStock sent her a copy of the only possible photo they could be claiming I stole as well as a copy of the small claims notice stating that the image is licensed by me and to close the case.

iStock is well aware of what AdLife is doing -  "it is a shame that some people are paying him when they do not have to".

I hope this helps other people that are getting letters from AdLife aka PreparedFoodPhotos.com aka Joel Albrizio.    Don't give in to this guy.

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Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 05:40:38 PM »
Good for you for keeping records of your purchases and fighting back.   

I am curious, did Adlife try to resolve this prior to filing a small claims case?  If so, ho much were they asking for?
Even if I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer.  Copyright matters can have serious consequences.  If you have assets worth protecting, consult a lawyer who is familiar with copyright law and who can review the facts of your case. If you cannot afford one, call your state or county bar association.

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Re: Prepared Food Photos - Small Claims Court
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 04:18:47 PM »
Kudos to the iStock for taking the time to help their prior customers in this matter.

This whole small claims system was definitely NOT masterminded by a lawyer. It was devised by an out-of-the-box thinker. Joel would be my guess as to the guy who came up with this angle.

My case was dismissed by Sharon Albrizio (Executive VP of AdLife) - I assume Joel's wife in crime.

The legal team at iStock sent her a copy of the only possible photo they could be claiming I stole as well as a copy of the small claims notice stating that the image is licensed by me and to close the case.

iStock is well aware of what AdLife is doing -  "it is a shame that some people are paying him when they do not have to".

I hope this helps other people that are getting letters from AdLife aka PreparedFoodPhotos.com aka Joel Albrizio.    Don't give in to this guy.
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.

 

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