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Author Topic: Service to "fight back" against Higbee  (Read 3470 times)

notarget

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Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« on: December 26, 2017, 05:05:07 PM »
I noticed this Google ad for a service that supposedly helps you fight back against Higbee (and others).

http://copyright-demand-letter.com/higbee-associates-copyright/

I counted 72 lawsuits that this website claims Higbee has filed this year. Their graphic claims that Higbee has a very high chance of filing a lawsuit.

After scaring you with this data, they want you to buy their service:

http://copyright-demand-letter.com/typical-prices/

For $1,499 they'll give you advice but won't represent you. Prices shoot up from there for more engagement.

Their disclaimer says this:

Outcomes are not guaranteed. This service is not a law firm. This is a referral service. This service is not yet available in all states and with all law firms. This service is not available outside of the US.

Their "About Us" page is essentially content free. It says nothing about who they are.

http://copyright-demand-letter.com/about-us/

Their WHOIS page has no owner info. (That info protected.)

Has Higbee really filed 72 lawsuits this year? What is this service not telling us?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 05:11:12 PM by notarget »

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 05:35:36 PM »
That link to copyright-demand-letter.com seems to be a fear-mongering website operated by unnamed individuals. That certainly doesn't inspire a lot of trust and confidence.

It is entirely possible I am charging way too cheap at $60 for my ELI Support Calls vs. the $1,499 they want to charge for this service:

NEGOTIATION (Prior to Lawsuit Being Filed)
Typical Price: $1,499

* Reviewing the demand letter
* Reviewing your use of the image or images and all possible defenses
* A phone call with you to discuss the defenses or offers
* Making a recommendation on what amount to offer (if any)
* Sending a letter that explains your offer
* One follow-up call
* One follow-up call to you

To be fair, I am not writing any letters for anyone. I just do some basic research, speak to people, and provide some light after-call support.  But does someone need to pay a non-lawyer $1,499 for someone to write a letter for them?

If you have $1,500 to pay for a consulting service, you have money to just settle most cases or hire Oscar Michelen to officially represent you.

In regards to all the lawsuits that Higbee might have filed for his clients, it is the client who decides who files a lawsuit, not the lawyer.  Some clients are more litigious than others.  They also assume a greater risk of a copyright lawsuit going wrong.  One only needs to look to lawsuit history for that which include Masterfile, RIAA, Righthaven, Getty Images, etc. As of today, I only know of one Nick Youngson lawsuit out of the many many infringement letters Higbee has issued on his behalf.

I know Higbee law firm would love for everyone to get the idea that everyone getting a letter is going to get hit with a lawsuit. But that is factually untrue. As far as I am concerned, it is still less than 1% of all letter recipients who get hit with a lawsuit.  That percentage might become a bit higher (5%-10%) depending on other factors and circumstances.

We at ELI don't engage in fear-mongering.  We believe in empowering people with education and the right fight-back/push-back attitude.  While both Oscar and I do offer premium services, that is an off-to-the side item if you REALLY want personalized help. The very heart of ELI is these open discussion forums where we openly and honestly share information, strategies, and attitude.

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.

notarget

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 06:25:49 PM »
Matthew,

As always, I appreciate your fair and balanced engagement.

I am curious to know about these 72 lawsuits that Higbee's clients have supposedly had Higbee representation on. Is the data accurate? Is it misleading somehow? Everything I've read on our forum is that lawsuits by Higbee are rare. No, I'm not afraid. I'm just wanting to better understand this data. There are case name, case number, court code, case filing date, case status, and case termination dates for 72 cases filed between Jan 5 and Nov 27 of this year. Filing 6 to 7 lawsuits per month is certainly an aggressive enough rate to scare some folks.


Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 06:29:57 PM »
To get accurate data one only need to search pacer.gov, not all of those case may be copyright cases. Looks like this site is hosted in Romania, which to me raises more red flags.
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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clist

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 06:45:09 PM »
Multiple red flags here.

I'd stay away from that site.

- Wordpress theme

- Generic stock homepage image

- Multiple hyphens in the domain (done strictly for SEO purposes)

- No contact info

- No business info

- http not https

And the list goes on..

IMO its just a POS opportunist site with data compiled from here (possibly) looking for the quick cash grab.

Again: Stay away.

Read this site and save yourself from getting ripped twice.
Knowledge isn't free - you have to pay attention.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2017, 06:56:18 PM »
There was another "referral service" site that popped up a while ago, not sure if it was this one, just revamped, or something completely different, but yeah opportunistic douche bags at work here.. That other site will come back to me at some point, most likely in the middle of the night. Matthew has mentioned to me directly that I have a keen memory for things like this, which is amusing because i generally can't remember more important stuff..
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..

icepick

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2017, 07:59:54 PM »
I wondered if Higbee is involved in that operation so he either gets the settlement money directly to himself or he has a stooge charging outrageous fees for this non-representation against him. Either way, he gets paid.

And in normal attorney client relationships it is always the client's call to file a suit, but if you look at the power of attorney Higbee uses and some of his cases I'm still very skeptical that his 'clients' are all making the decision to file and paying the filing fees. I very much believe in the volume operation (not all his clients are volume filers) Higbee is under the impression his clients are assigning these decisions to him and he advances filing fees and expenses as he sees fit. Unless someone can convince me that guy Youngson in England agreed to pay $400 out of his pocket to file a case in California where he will likely never show up for trial and lose by default if the defendant doesn't fold before trial. Or why one of Higbee's clients filed a lawsuit after agreeing to a $1,000 settlement to gain a confidentiality clause that no judge would give. A lot of Higbee's moves indicate to me that he is the decision maker, not the client.

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 11:53:33 AM »
I see it more of Higbee selling "options" to his clients...in other words he's not making the decision, but selling the idea to the client who then agrees to move forward..He is a money hungry slob, and could probably care less about his clients at the end of the day, so what does he care if he files and loses..
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..

icepick

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 05:17:57 PM »
I can't prove it, but when I first looked into some of Higbee's cases I got the impression he is probably being fed cases from https://www.imagerights.com/recovery or other comparable outfits because I really doubt all these people were suddenly finding this expungement attorney to do copyright work as much as he found lead sources. For those leads I'd wager the client has no involvement in any decisions and probably knows next to nothing of the details. They just wait for their check.


I see it more of Higbee selling "options" to his clients...in other words he's not making the decision, but selling the idea to the client who then agrees to move forward..He is a money hungry slob, and could probably care less about his clients at the end of the day, so what does he care if he files and loses..

notarget

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 05:28:23 PM »
I looked through the first 15 or so filings, searching for Pacer records. Four of them I couldn't find. But, of the 11 or so that I did find, all WERE for copyright infringement. So, something to examine to understand the profile of the folks he/his clients are filing suits against given that he's filing 5 or 6 lawsuits a month.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2017, 05:40:07 PM »
In the interest of fairness, my comments inline...

Multiple red flags here.

I'd stay away from that site.

- Wordpress theme
(We have a Wordpress component to ELI which consists of mostly static content.)

- Generic stock homepage image

- Multiple hyphens in the domain (done strictly for SEO purposes)

- No contact info
(Yes, that is a red flag.  I don't like contact forms when you have no idea who is behind the website.)

- No business info
(Yes, I agree with this as well. Victims are going to entrust their case information to an unknown individual or company?)

- http not https
(Our Wordpress side is https compliant.  We are working on getting the forums on https compliant "soon".)

And the list goes on..

IMO its just a POS opportunist site with data compiled from here (possibly) looking for the quick cash grab.

Again: Stay away.

Read this site and save yourself from getting ripped twice.
(Thank you for saying that. I am biased but I think we are very open and transparent in the information we provide and what/why we do what we do.)
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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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2017, 05:56:44 PM »
Good discussion.  My comments inline...

I wondered if Higbee is involved in that operation so he either gets the settlement money directly to himself or he has a stooge charging outrageous fees for this non-representation against him. Either way, he gets paid.

There is no easy way of knowing right now.  It seems hard to believe that any lawyer would be behind that website given that it is supposedly a "referral service."

And in normal attorney client relationships it is always the client's call to file a suit, but if you look at the power of attorney Higbee uses and some of his cases I'm still very skeptical that his 'clients' are all making the decision to file and paying the filing fees.

That is a very good observation regarding the POA. HOWEVER, I find it hard to believe that Higbee would put his law license at risk by filing lawsuit without the specific consent of a client. I certainly believe Higbee has a HUGE influence as to whether a client chooses to file a lawsuit or not, but it just seems like professional suicide for a lawyer to file a lawsuit for a client without first discussing about it. It is possible I may be giving too much credit to Higbee but some do blow up in people's faces in very unexpected and unintended ways.

In regards to the filing fees, it is certainly possible that Higbee is willing to FRONT the fees for the clients but I cannot see a scenario where he will not ultimately be reimbursed for the hard costs one way, shape, or form. And regardless of who pays the hard costs, it does not change the fact that all plaintiffs expose themselves to countersuits if any defendant is inclined to exercise that option.


I very much believe in the volume operation (not all his clients are volume filers) Higbee is under the impression his clients are assigning these decisions to him and he advances filing fees and expenses as he sees fit.

It is possible but FOOLISH for both Higbee and the client. Both parties stand to have lots of exposure if lawsuits go wrong.

Unless someone can convince me that guy Youngson in England agreed to pay $400 out of his pocket to file a case in California where he will likely never show up for trial and lose by default if the defendant doesn't fold before trial.

Most of these lawsuits are expected to settle way before trial. That is the gamble. It is a game of chicken. I am very certain federal judges will find it insulting and bad use of their time to oversee an low-resolution image on a low-trafficked website from a smaller party who works from home.

Or why one of Higbee's clients filed a lawsuit after agreeing to a $1,000 settlement to gain a confidentiality clause that no judge would give. A lot of Higbee's moves indicate to me that he is the decision maker, not the client.

There is no question Higbee has a HUGE influence but being the ultimate decision-maker for a lawsuit for another party is contrary to everything I know about a reputable lawyer/law firm. I know an argument can be made that Higbee may be unethical or disreputable but my vibe of what I see is that he is striving for credibility.  As offensive as his actions have been, he has not yet approached the likes of RIAA, Righthaven, Prenda Law, etc. If he does adopt uglier ways, he will get LOTS more attention from the Internet at large.
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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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2017, 06:07:59 PM »
I saw it begin with Picscout which Getty Images have since acquired to scan the Internet for potential infringements. I am certain Picscout has competitors that perform a similar service.  And yes, the companies that do find/flag potential infringements do have a "recommended list of lawyers". That is how some of the lawyers we report on get some of their early work.

From what we have reported over the years, there is a very small community of lawyers who do what Higbee does.  Many lawyers pre-Higbee era have left the business.  The very public pushback and exposure against extortionate demands for "de minimus" infringements and constantly be referred to as a copyright troll/extortionate takes its toll.

And words has gotten out that going dark, ignoring, and simply NOT paying is a perfectly legal strategy. No lawyers or fees required. Of course, the caveat is every person bears the burden of risk for doing so.  But we have had MANY people successfully report over the years that simply and quietly waited out the 3 years.

In regards to Higbee operations doing everything and the client not being involved at all, then the client puts themselves at Higbee's mercy.  Who would even know if Higbee collected money and NOT pay out the money???  This happens often with unethical collection agencies.  If Higbee got caught by a client of not paying monies and it went public, things would go very badly for the entire law firm.

I can't prove it, but when I first looked into some of Higbee's cases I got the impression he is probably being fed cases from https://www.imagerights.com/recovery or other comparable outfits because I really doubt all these people were suddenly finding this expungement attorney to do copyright work as much as he found lead sources. For those leads I'd wager the client has no involvement in any decisions and probably knows next to nothing of the details. They just wait for their check.
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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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 06:17:38 PM »
Earlier in 2017, someone had emailed me a list of Higbee-related lawsuits. I looked over the list of lawsuits and did some poking around.  People need to be more discerning as to WHO the PLAINTIFF is.  For example, Highbee separately represents Alex Wild and Nick Youngson. Victims who receive a Higbee letter on behalf of Alex Wild is far more at risk of a lawsuit than a letter for a Nick Youngson image.  Same lawyer but entirely different lawsuit risk levels because the plaintiff is different.

However, Higbee's staff will be thrilled that most people will not be so discerning as we are here on ELI. (And for the occasional critic about ELI's open discussions and analysis by non-lawyers, show me a lawyer who will freely and openly tell you this, using their full names, free of charge. There are lawyers who visit and read ELI but they tend to stay underground.)

I looked through the first 15 or so filings, searching for Pacer records. Four of them I couldn't find. But, of the 11 or so that I did find, all WERE for copyright infringement. So, something to examine to understand the profile of the folks he/his clients are filing suits against given that he's filing 5 or 6 lawsuits a month.
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.

clist

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Re: Service to "fight back" against Higbee
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2017, 09:41:46 PM »
In the interest of fairness, my comments inline...

Multiple red flags here.

I'd stay away from that site.

- Wordpress theme
(We have a Wordpress component to ELI which consists of mostly static content.)

- Generic stock homepage image

- Multiple hyphens in the domain (done strictly for SEO purposes)

- No contact info
(Yes, that is a red flag.  I don't like contact forms when you have no idea who is behind the website.)

- No business info
(Yes, I agree with this as well. Victims are going to entrust their case information to an unknown individual or company?)

- http not https
(Our Wordpress side is https compliant.  We are working on getting the forums on https compliant "soon".)

And the list goes on..

IMO its just a POS opportunist site with data compiled from here (possibly) looking for the quick cash grab.

Again: Stay away.

Read this site and save yourself from getting ripped twice.
(Thank you for saying that. I am biased but I think we are very open and transparent in the information we provide and what/why we do what we do.)

Didn't mean to bash WordPress ~ to clarify, WordPress sites are relatively easy to set up if you know what you are doing... And that setup looks like a theme that was just "slapped together" in my opinion... 

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

 

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