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Messages - Matthew Chan

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I haven't had the chance to go into PACER yet but according to, Masterfile has filed a new lawsuit on September 11, 2014:  Masterfile v. Law Office of Jerry Joseph.

Apparently, Canadian MasterFAIL couldn't have chosen any other date besides September 11 to file a lawsuit.  After all, there are ONLY 360 other non-significant days to choose from.  Normally, Canadians are great folks EXCEPT with "copyright compliance" losers Geoffrey Beal and Dan Pollack. Are they idiots and blind to the significance of September 11? Who is the lawyer who filed that suit on that day? We need to find the dipshit who chose that date!

From what I can tell, Jerry Joseph appears to be a patent attorney from Washington DC. That is slightly embarrassing which is probably the reason Masterfile wanted to make an example out of him.

This is on top of the the two cases from August 2014:

Masterfile v. Lifecare Chiropractic
Masterfile v. Hoover Financial Consulting

We should take a peek at these lawsuit complaints and see if they are cookie-cutter/boiler-plate lawsuits like Getty Images did early this year filed by $500/hour (well-paid) Getty lackey Scott "Towels" Wilsdon.

A familiar name has popped up on the updated docket.

Scott "Towels" Wilsdon has filed his notice of appearance on behalf of Getty Images.

It looks like Scottie wants to face off against Oscar again! This is going to get interesting.

I believe Getty will try to bribe their way out of this one to avoid the discovery process. If the money is high enough, I wouldn't blame Schneider Rothman from banking it if it comes to that.  Karmic justice for Getty who ends up paying out for an extortion letter they should never have sent out!

$100,000 to settle out sounds pretty good to me.  A nice round number.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Photo Attorney Operation Seems Sketchy
« on: September 25, 2014, 05:18:45 AM »
Photo Attorney only lists one guy as "of counsel". That doesn't quite explain the others.

I find this to be an ingenuous and disrespectful post in light of your supposed history with ELI. You registered in December 2010 and made a total of 6 posts since then.;u=453

3 of those 6 posts has to do with your efforts to learn from us how to execute on a UK version of Oscar's Defense Letter Program. The post I am now responding to makes a 4th post regarding your service. Your other two posts in the last 4 years were helping victims.

Now, nearly 4 years later, you come out of the blue with zero advance notice to me or Oscar and make this "marketing announcement" about your "UK survival service" and your alleged selling points and benefits (which by the way is nothing new to us. It is something we pioneered over 6 years ago and took the risk on back in 2008).

We have been open and transparent on how Oscar's Defense Letter Program program works and disclosing the prices for the service to letter victims since the very beginning. Yet, I see no prices in the link you provided. It appears you are setting prices on a case-by-case basis. You are certainly entitled to practice law however you want to but don't try to come here and try to convince the ELI community how great your service is or how innovative it might be.

Your post comes across as a marketing piece to invite people to call you and then you talk and sell them.

As far as I am concerned, because Oscar and I are Americans, we will have to concede that we aren't able to support anyone outside the U.S. the way we normally would.  No Canadian lawyer has shown any meaningful interest.  And no UK Lawyer has operated in a way we could endorse.  And honestly, I have no particular desire to try as it is now low priority for me. 

I will keep your post up for now but I reserve the right to take it down as I view your post as entirely an advertisement without permission. I have disabled your link. However, people can manually visit your website if they really want to.  You have not "earned" any goodwill on ELI based on your last 6 posts across nearly a 4 year period.

She filed a lawsuit against the producers over a matter that you don't hear about. That is what was interesting to me. She agrees to be fully naked on the show but she thinks that one quick peep shot hurt her reputation?  I would saying agreeing to be naked on the show regardless has its own sets of issues and challenges.

Equally substantive point: What motivated Matt to post this in the first place?  Does he want to discuss the possible legal issues around the possible breech of contract issue that involves revealing more of this woman's naked body than she agreed to? Or not?

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Photo Attorney Operation Seems Sketchy
« on: September 17, 2014, 02:44:52 PM »
Lawyers are often held to a different standard than laymen (which also include photographers). I am suspicious of how some lawyers in the "copyright enforcement biz" operate so I scrutinize very hard on the details.  Notice, I qualify my statements as I wasn't sure about some of the issues.

I was told that there was a time that lawyers were not allowed to use firm names that didn't include a partner's name. I found out yesterday that has changed due to First Amendment issues. So that is resolved in my mind.

I am almost positive that Photo Attorney lawyers are NOT on salary.  Most work for around 30%-40% commissions.  Earl Richardson doesn't designate any business contact info whatsoever.  That is suspicious to me because every lawyer I looked up generally has contact information. He is the first lawyer I have seen to have zero contact information.

Earl Richardson appears to be a Kansas attorney with a current listing with the Kansas Supreme Court.  He has an expired Texas Bar license.  I have been unable to find a Nevada online search to verify whether he is able to practice in Nevada. I might have to make a phone call.  He clearly uses and signs a letterhead for a law firm based in Nevada. There is no disclosure of the PhotoAttorney letterhead of where their lawyeres are licensed to practice as many letterheads do.

You obviously take up for the photographers profession and position, I advocate for the victims.  And honestly, I am not going to accept your or most people's opinion as I will find out for myself the finer points from qualified sources.

ELI's strength is partially built by thinking outside of the box and not making any assumptions. I just follow the paper trail.

Lawyers like Earl Richardson want to bludgeon someone with an insane 5-figure claim for one image.  Well, it is only fair before a non-lawyer victim directly engages an allegedly lawyer that uses copyright law as a blunt force instrument that we need to find out the details on that fellow.  They are quick to take advantage of non-lawyers legal ignorance. Well, I am just as quick to find legal ways to find and discover their Achilles heel and use their lawyerly status against them, if necessary.

And part of being a lawyer is that they took an oath to follow a set of rules that most laymen are not required to.

... so you're saying you've never heard of the concept of doing business as, d/b/a (and other variants thereof) and/or the practice of remote working?

If the Richardson receives a salary or retainer from the PhotoAttorney people, then he's staff - regardless of where he's geographically located; as long as any correspondence shows the address of the law firm that he's employed by, this should be a non-issue.

Another point: when an attorney sends out correspondence on the instructions of a client, they will always make mention of it - they'll use language such as "we represent X" or similar. An attorney might make a suggestion to a client as to a course of action, but it's up to the client to green-light any suggestions.

Lastly, on the point of sending correspondence out-of-state: you could have a Californian attorney send a letter to a New York infringer on behalf of a photographer in Texas and it would, as I understand it, be perfectly legitimate.

To the best of my knowledge, the only issue arises when the matter escalates beyond cordial negotiations and starts heading down the road of litigation; per the example above, the Cali attorney would either need to obtain pro hac vice with the state bar wherever the defendant is resident, or pass the matter to an attorney who is licensed in the state where the action will be brought - which could mean someone within the same company, or an outside entity.

Were you part of their free embedded image program that was offered earlier this year? Or was the embedding through another mechanism? It was clear as to the mechanism of the embedding.

Oscar has been formally admitted into Florida in support of Schneider Rothman against Getty Images.

ENDORSED ORDER granting [8] Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing as to Oscar Michelen. Signed by Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks on 9/16/2014. (kcr)

Also, Attorney Robert P. of Santiago Woodbury & Santiago in Miami, FL has filed his Notice of Appearance is heading up the Getty Images side. It looks like Getty waited to see what Schneider Rothman would do first before committing to their own lawyer.

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Robert Peter Santiago on behalf of Getty Images, Inc.. Attorney Robert Peter Santiago added to party Getty Images, Inc.(pty:dft). (Santiago, Robert) (Entered: 09/15/2014)

Robert Peter Santiago
Woodbury & Santiago, P.A.
9100 S Dadeland Boulevard
Penthouse 1 - Suite 1702
Miami, FL 33156
Fax: 305-670-2170

Getty Images Letter Forum / Photo Attorney Operation Seems Sketchy
« on: September 16, 2014, 11:41:09 AM »
I have some burning questions that I never looked at before that seems suspicous to me.

PhotoAttorney is not actually a law firm in itself. At best, it is simply a website / fictitious name for Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC. Carolyn Wright also has a corporate registration in Georgia and Evan Andersen is her attorney there. So that isn't a problem.

It is my understanding that law firms are NOT allow to use fictitious names to represent themselves in most states.

What is sketchy to me (and perhaps a violation of professional rules for lawyer and law firms) is some of the non-Nevada, non-Georgia lawyers for PhotoAttorney that are signing on behalf of a Nevada law firm that they are not even licensed in.  Example: I see an obnoxious letter from Earl Richardson who is registered with the Kansas Supreme Court as a Kansas lawyer but he lists no contact info whatsoever for himself.

And yet he signs off on the Photo Attorney letterhead as if he were a lawyer for Carolyn Wrights law firm in Nevada.  And he sends this letter to someone NOT in Kansas and NOT in Nevada.

Earl signs his name on a letterhead for a Nevada-based law firm but he isn't a Nevada lawyer.  And Carol Wright doesn't appear to have a corporate registration in Kansas.  It should be noted that Carolyn's letter doesn't even prominently display her law firm name.  It is in small print at the bottom.  And Earl Richardson sends this letter to a state that is NOT NEVADA, KANSAS, OR GEORGIA.

If Earl Richardson is practicing law in Kansas and sending out letters, I am thinking he needs to send out letters in his name under his letterhead.  He isn't representing Carolyn Wright or her law firm, he is allegedly representing the photographer.

I haven't quite figure this twisted situation out yet or have all the details but I want to find out if this scenario is actually permissible by each of the respective states.

"Internet stealth marketing" is me being snarky. "Stealth marketing" is an oxymoronic term for those who "try" to market successfully (in this case Internet), but it ends up being detrimental.

And yes, many law firms do have crappy uninformative websites. So, if they have been in existence a number of years, it says that they have enough referrals and a presence to be profitable. I did acknowledge that. Nevertheless, a website is like a calling card nowadays.  One would think they would want to portray a better image of themselves.

Internet stealth marketing.
What's that?

A lot of law firms have bad web site. Getty Images has money. I suspect they will have picked a competent law firm. They don't want to be enjoined from sending out demand letters.

This is a continuation of the Woolf Gafni saga first reported in this thread.

After our reporting, they coincidentally changed their law firm name. It appears that Woolf Gafni is back with a new website:  Adam is still collecting for Vincent K. Tylor.

They have renamed themselves "Woolf Gafni & Cirlin LLP". However, they once again claim to have a Los Angeles office.  I have copies of their recent letterhead.

And yet, in the California Corporation database, I once again find no listing of Woolf Gafni Cirlin LLP of any kind. I continue to find this interesting.

Someone may want to find out WHERE Woolf Gafni Cirlin LLP is actually registered, if at all.  Right now, it looks suspicious for such a visible law firm to have such a hidden corporate registration. The California State Bar has contact info for anyone who wants to check up on them.

Over the years, there has been quite a bit of mention to file a class action against Getty Images.  Recently, Katz v. Getty Images was settled. However, that lawsuit alleged that Yahoo Flickr users were not getting paid commissions. Based on memory, I think there was a complaint about whether photographers even willingly enrolled into the program. Regardless, knowing Getty Images' ugly copyright extortion operation where they regularly engage in dishonest behavior, there might be an opportunity for photographers to file a class action against Getty Images if they believe that the monies being collected from their extortion letter program is not being properly or equitably distributed to the photographers.

Photographers are going to be on the short end of the stick because I believe the agreements they sign allows Getty to charge whatever administrative fees they deem appropriate under the auspices of collection efforts and legal fees.

My guess is that Getty Images could be engaged in a form of "Hollywood accounting" whereby it doesn't how much money a media project generates in revenues, "creative accounting" techniques are used to assign egregious administrative-related expenses to a media project thereby creating the illusion that a project is unprofitable.

Given how much money Getty is earning through their extortion letter program, I am not convinced that photographers actually get much of it at all. It would not surprise me if the "copyright compliance" department assigns such a high administrative cost that photographers see very little monies collected.

It is especially convenient now because Getty can now "double dip" because it also owns PicScout. One dips through "revenues" collected by PicScout, then another dip when it goes through the Getty copyright compliance department.

According to GlassDoor, Getty attorneys make a nice base salary of $120K-$170K. But then there is this "bonus" of $40K?,21.htm

Since when do corporate lawyers get bonuses unless it is tied in to performance? It seems to me that the Getty corporate lawyers "performance bonuses" is most closely tied into their extortion letter program as they have the most direct impact there vs. other sales goals that might exist for the company.

The Getty Images corporate compliance lawyers are probably one of their few lawyers in any company that might have a huge bonus incentive.  Their department is a revenue-generation department not a loss recovery one.  The distinction is that revenue-generating is expected to generate monies in excess of their expenses.  Loss recovery is an operation where you only get what you would normally charge someone minus overhead.  You never collect as much as if you had a cooperative, full paying customer. Loss recovery is often associated with collections departments.  Their job is to collect as much as they can but it never exceeds "market value" or the face value of debts being owed. They don't pad the collection amount.

The copyright compliance departments routinely collect monies many multiples in excess of market value. Hence, I refer to them as a revenue-generation department.

In any case, Getty is hated by many including photographers.  All it would take is one disgruntled photographer to initiate a class-action suit against Getty Images regarding unaccounted "revenues" generated from the copyright compliance operation.

It would appear that Woodbury-Santiago are experts in Internet stealth marketing. What a terrible and atrocious website.  Did they have their website developed in the late 1990's?  And what about those hokey sound effects?

I guess Getty did a good job hiring them because those lawyers have done a good job hiding themselves online. They must have more business than they need because NO ONE would every sign up with them based on what little you can find.

They have to be reasonably good lawyers because they are clearly bad in cyberspace and would not likely get much business via Internet contacts.

New development.  Getty's attorneys have made an appearance.  This is the firm: 

Robert Santiago, the attorney who filed the notice of appearance, was involved in a long running copyright infringement case that is somewhat famous (and infamous) in Florida involving a yacht multiple listing service.  Here are some decisions from that saga:

I don't know Mr. Santiago.  I have never heard of his firm before.  We will see what transpires.

Getty Images Letter Forum / "Trust ELI" Intro Video
« on: September 14, 2014, 05:19:20 AM »
WE have a brand new Intro video called "Trust ELI". We have embedded the video on the Home Page.

However, the direct link to that video is here:

The video speaks for itself.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Thank You
« on: September 13, 2014, 08:08:14 PM »
We are happy to hear this and I am sure going forward, you will be much more careful as the rest of us going forward.

And I personally thank you for being part of the ELI Community!

I just want to update people on my case.
As a recap, I received a Getty letter back in the summer of 2011.
I had Oscar write me a letter.
It's been three years, and not a peep from Getty.


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