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: Attorney Oscar Michelen to Work on Linda's Lyrics Defense Letter Program  (Read 6207 times)

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Cult Leader", Grand Poobah, Big Cheese
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2773
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
I have already spoken to Oscar about the Linda's Lyrics / Dash Poem Extortion scheme.  He promptly googled some key search phrases and he was stunned by the Poem Extortion and the huge Google presence the Dash Poem has. Needless to say, Linda's Lyrics (Linda Ellis) has a potentially endless stream of extortion letters that can go out.

Oscar has given me the verbal okay to move forward in brainstorming and announcing the Linda's Lyrics / Dash Poem Defense Letter Program.

Amazingly, no one has fought back again the Linda's Lyrics Extortion Letters until early this year when April decided to make a stand.

Up until last week, April was the lone fighter in this.  I suspect ELI will be a game changer as we were against George Riddick/Imageline and more recently, Glen Carner/HAN.
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, epithets, & profanity. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

dannyboy

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
How can anyone say that protecting one's legal intellectual property is extortion or in any way a "scheme?"  Ms. Ellis is the victim.  Ms. Brown is the perpetrator.  That is why we have copyright law.  Asking money for a product that you sell from someone who has already used it without permission and shared it with millions is not extortion in any way, shape or form.  Intellectual property is property.  Property was taken.  Property was given out at-will.  Someone should be held responsible.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3360
    • View Profile
    • ExtortionLetterInfo
Let me pose a question to you dannyboy, maybe this will you see the situation a bit clearer...

Suppose you at the market with your kid, who was as kids can be a bit cranky..so you let the kid have that shiny apple he so badly wanted....Later you check out and are stopped on the way out by security, seems they have you on video given the child the apple , for which you did not pay for unintentionally naturally..security then goes on to tell you, the store is willing to "let this incident slide" if you pay 500.00

would you pay for the apple? you know the one that cost .25 cents?..after all you did "steal it" for all intents and purposes, it was the stores product..even thought you meant no harm..


How can anyone say that protecting one's legal intellectual property is extortion or in any way a "scheme?"  Ms. Ellis is the victim.  Ms. Brown is the perpetrator.  That is why we have copyright law.  Asking money for a product that you sell from someone who has already used it without permission and shared it with millions is not extortion in any way, shape or form.  Intellectual property is property.  Property was taken.  Property was given out at-will.  Someone should be held responsible.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 10:39:28 AM by buddhapi »
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..

Mulligan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 451
    • View Profile
Dannyboy, you're in way over your head on this forum. You better watch yourself or it's going to get figuratively (the word is in the dictionary) handed to you the same way Oscar Michelen is going to be figuratively loping off the top knots of attorneys greedy enough for a fast buck to send thousand dollar plus demand letters to people who innocently shared or posted this cheesy poem on the internet.

Oscar Michelen

  • ELI Legal Warrior
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
    • Courtroom Strategy
The issue in almost all our forums is never supporting copyright infringement. I don't know how many times and in how many different ways we keep having to say it. The issue is the methods employed to enforce your copyright in certain material. Now, it cannot be disputed that a poem has a much higher value than a digital image (the usual subject of most of our forums). A poem takes more creativity, more time and more effort. Whether you like it or not, Ms. Ellis' poem is a work of art that has touched many people, unlike a photo of a computer keyboard or a photo of two guys shaking hands over a business deal. I have been to at least two funerals where it has been read. But it also cannot be seriously disputed that the tactics employed to enforce the copyright are overreaching and excessive.  That's the issue.     

April Brown (AuctionApril)

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
    • View Profile
    • AprilBrown.com
I agree the issue is the heavy handed threatening tactics used to get people to pay far more than the intellectual property could ever be sold for. One cannot compare any intellectual or artful property. I produce video. A one minute video requires shooting - I pay someone to shoot the footage or I belong to services I pay to use footage. I produce the video - could take me 10 or more hours. I have cameras, editing decks, lighting, studio - $$$$ cost associated. Linda refers to the years of blood, sweat and tears it took to write and protect her poem. She tells the story of sitting down and writing the poem in a few minutes. Assuming she used a pen, the cost might have been a few pennies. She accidentally became a poet and according to her God inspired her to write those words so they aren't even HER original words. God owns the copyright. She had no equipment costs. No setup time. No editing time. She spent minutes writing that stupid poem.

She talks of the blood sweat and tears she's put into writing and protecting the poem. If writing 242 words is that difficult, that stressful, maybe she should give up the task of writing and protecting and work on her lousy writing.

If we compare effort, content and value, I would value one of my videos far beyond any of her dribble. The same is true for photographers. Effort, talent and equipment is required. The video I prepared on my Dash Story drew 40,000 hits in 4 or 5 days. It took her poem years to get 40,000 shares. At Linda's prices my video would be worth millions. Incidently, she clearly attached great value to my videos - and immediately targeted my youtube channel for closing.

Writing is a profession when people want to buy your product. Apparently few people actually want to buy what she's selling. Her money is made off infringement fees. If she actually was making money from sales, she never would have come after me so intensely and jeopardized future sales. My guess is there are few sales to jeopardize.  BTW, you cannot buy the poem. The poem is sold mounted or reproduced on an item or in a book. It is not sold as a stand-alone text. In fact, I do not see any place on her website that offers it for sale. A person has to make a deal with her to post it. Anyone who posts that stupid poem becomes part of the scheme of sharing and a soldier in her abuse. The poem has to be unavailable for sharing and that poem in particular should be forced to have a digitally embedded warning.

SoylentGreen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
The photog's aren't going to like what Oscar said one bit.
I can hear them yelling "but I own a goddamn Hasselblad!!".
But, you should see the photos that I take using a camera that I got for free with credit card points. lol.
I'm not in the "stock photo" biz, though.

S.G.


lucia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 767
    • View Profile
I could write a plugin for Wordpress that would recognize the first line and prevent people from posting in comments or a post itself. It could be extended to forums guest books etc.

April Brown (AuctionApril)

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
    • View Profile
    • AprilBrown.com
Brilliant. Anything you do that I can share with others or when I'm doing interviews, please advise me on how to present it.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

  • ELI Defense Team Member
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3360
    • View Profile
    • ExtortionLetterInfo
I'll throw this out therebut I doubt it wil have much effect...anybody who runs a blog and allows users to comment, post or upload anything should really go thru the steps to register and agent, and pay the small fee to be protected by dmca, it's not that costly for peace of mind IMO.
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..

lucia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 767
    • View Profile
It might be useful to have something for funeral guest books if it posted an alert box that warned people not to post "the dash".  ;)

UncleJohnsBand

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
    • ExtortionLetterInfo
It might be useful to have something for funeral guest books if it posted an alert box that warned people not to post "the dash".  ;)

I find it somewhat ironic that if you go to Linda's web page and look at the speaking tab, the following organizations have paid her to speak:

National Funeral Directors Assoc. (Louisville, KY)
National Funeral Directors Assoc. (Las Vegas, NV)

Yet, she tries to make a point that she doesn't troll grieving families (which is untrue based on April's research) but only goes after funeral homes who print/post the poem.

Oscar Michelen

  • ELI Legal Warrior
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1301
    • View Profile
    • Courtroom Strategy
I want to try and present what I see as the critical issues here. From Ms. Ellis' perspective, The Dash is not  "just a poem" but central to her brand (she may want to trademark it as well as copyright it BTW -but that's just the lawyer in me). Having represented many artists - some new, some internationally known, and most somewhere in between-  in a variety of  issues, I know how difficult it can be to come up with a piece of art that has such widespread appeal. Those opportunities are few and far between and artists (especially poets who get the opportunity much less than singers and actors) should do all they can to capitalize on the situation when it arises. Say what you like about what you think about the poem, she was able to create a simple poem that took on  a life of its own and became hugely successful.     

But she does herself an injustice and hurts her image and indeed tarnishes the very message of the poem by employing bullying tactics and asking for such extreme amounts from individuals who are neither re-selling the work nor claiming it as their own but merely posted it without accreditation. Someone merely posting it on their site hardly deserves the treatment they have been receiving from her team. Some perspective from her enforcement group is necessary and its a good business move as well.  The ill will being generated by trying to argue that all infringement deserves the same all-out assault will soon eclipse the good will generated by the message of The Dash.

I firmly believe she needs to send a C & D letter out every time she finds someone using the Dash without permission or accreditation. If it appears that they did not re-sell the image or make profit off the use of the poem, then I suggest a small monetary payment - $200 is my suggestion which is the minimum a federal court can award if it finds that a copyrighted work was infringed upon innocently. If they don't take it down, then she is justified in asking for $7500 as it becomes a willful infringement. If they take it down but ignore the request for $200, a follow up letter seeking more damages -perhaps $500 now can be sent  (as you are entitled to legal fees and costs since the image is registered the increased demand may be compensation for the fees and costs associated with enforcement).  These amounts still make an enforcement program profitable but not extortionate. This kind of approach is more likely to be looked upon favorably; enforces your copyright; and would have saved a lot of grief and a lot of bad Google search results.
 
The ELI community would not have arisen in anger if she had taken this more sensible approach.  I actually proffered all of this to Ms Ellis in an email, but she stopped the dialogue we were engaging in when the ELI Twitter page began picking up steam on the issue. 

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Cult Leader", Grand Poobah, Big Cheese
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2773
  • 1st Amendment & Section 230 CDA Advocate
    • View Profile
    • Defiantly
I would like to add Linda got all crazy because of these 3 Twitter posts that had attached links. All the posts were fair and true.

Quote
@liveyourdash contacts ELI to have a "civil professional discussion". Doesn't like name "copyright extortionist."

@liveyourdash fans should check out what Linda Ellis does behind the scenes. Get the full picture.

@liveyourdash fans, BEWARE DON'T SHARE the "Dash Poem". U will be in big trouble. Listen to interview.

While a bit of a negative slant, those tweets certainly doesn't qualify as being outlandish or outrageous.

Of course, she started in on the "hatred and defamation" kick and "defamation attorney" against ELI which escalated the ELI response. To prove what ELI stated was NOT Defamation or untrue, we posted her "secret" documents and settlement agreements legitimately obtained by an informant.
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, epithets, & profanity. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

lucia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 767
    • View Profile
I have a question. The confidential $2500 settlement is here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/96551901/Linda-s-Lyrics-Linda-Ellis-Confidential-2-500-Copyright-Settlement-Agreement

I'm intrigued by the confidentiality agreement. So, the confidentiality part of the agreement binds Linda's Lyrics (the releasor), right? But the person who forked over the money (releasee) can say whatever they like, right?  Am I reading this right?

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 
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.