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Author Topic: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court  (Read 27700 times)

stevep

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Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« on: August 05, 2010, 10:59:06 AM »
Here is a summary of the case filed yesterday in Federal Court in Chicago against Riddick and Imageline. The filing goes on to explain why they believe Riddick's copyrights are essentially worthless.

NATURE OF THE ACTION
1. This action arises from (1) Defendants’ false allegations of copyright infringement and threats of litigation against Bernina and its authorized dealers; (2) Defendants’ misuse of copyright to extort money and gain concessions from Bernina; (3) Defendants’ bad faith publication of defamatory statements about Bernina; and (4) Defendants’ malicious interference with Bernina’s valid and existing business relationships. Since Defendants, by their conduct, have created a real controversy between Plaintiff and Imageline, Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that it has not infringed upon any valid copyright owned by Imageline. Plaintiff further seeks damages and injunctive relief as a result of Defendants’ defamation and tortious interference with Bernina’s business relationships with its dealers.

SoylentGreen

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2010, 11:49:09 AM »
This is an important posting.  Riddick definitely harassed the wrong people. This court action could change the ‘game’ entirely.  Additionally, I believe that a win by Bernina could set a precedent wherein the likes of other Copyright Trolls such as  Masterfile, Getty images and others could no longer risk sending extortion letters seeking payment for content that they cannot prove that they even own. Can you imagine a class action put forward by a large group of Getty extortion letter recipients?  It’s clear that the likes of Getty and Masterfile state hugely inflated prices in their demands, and try to claim damages that don’t exist (much like Riddick). This is already a victory for anyone who’s been a victim of Riddick’s extortion business.

S.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 08:45:08 PM »
Riddick never "got it" how his letter-writing tactics are so outrageous, they make Getty Images look respectable.  Riddick basically engages in outright lying and impersonation.  Getty Images may bully and bluff but Riddick goes way beyond.  Hence, he has generated so much bad karma that someone has decided to something about it and turn things against him.

For anyone that is interested in reading the full complaint as it has been submitted, click the link below.  It is pretty serious.

http://extortionletterinfo.com/imageline-suit-080410.pdf

Good reading. Thanks to my friendly anonymous contributor for providing me this Pacer file.  You know who you are.  We all appreciate your contribution.

MatthewC
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: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 12:53:49 AM »
I just received another email from my friendly contributor source containing 4 more court documents from the Pacer system relating to the Riddick, Imageline lawsuit initiated by Bernina of America.

Because I now have 5 separate documents (with more to likely come in this case), I have posted an editorial/article (bright yellow box) with links to each court document on the main Riddick/Imageline Information page.

If that link doesn't work, this is the direct URL:  http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/imageline.htm.

Good reading all.
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.

Oscar Michelen

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 08:47:54 AM »
I have reached out to the lawyer on this case and directed him to this site where he can get more background information on the issue. He reported back to me that he had gone through the site and found it very useful.   I will be keeping in  touch with him and the progress of the suit. Riddick picked on a company who can ill afford his defamatory bad-mouthing and can afford the litigation to put an end to it.  This could be very significant!

Lettered

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 10:30:49 PM »
This is great.  Nail on the head in my opinion:

"15. The majority of the images over which Imageline claims ownership are rudimentary depictions of commonplace things (such as balls, everyday objects, and exact likenesses of public figures and national landmarks) that cannot be distinguished from other works in their class and, therefore, are not sufficiently original to be eligible for copyright protection."

Oscar Michelen

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 08:33:05 AM »
I know, in talking to the lawyer we pointed out the Riddick also claims copyright over the American flag, the Lincoln Memorial and the statue of Iwo Jima. This lawsuit is going to give Riddick a massive headache.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 01:06:39 PM »
Oscar,

I think everyone knows that this lawsuit was entirely preventable. I guess he wrongly assumed the no one had the stomach or resources to fight him.  Riddick was both relentless and outrageous in his approach. Makes Getty Images seem almost pleasant by comparison.

Riddick has so badly damaged his name that the only way he can enter Internet society again is under an alias. Anyone that does a Google search on him will show he now has a very bad reputation.

Bottom line, Riddick getting a massive headache is probably an understatement.  I think there are going to be a lot of people who will be empowered enough to jump on a retaliatory bandwagon.  There will probably be no shortage of people willing to support and speak out against Riddick.
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: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 07:19:22 PM »
To be fair, as far as I know Getty Images, Masterfile, and the other stock photo companies are much tamer and professional in their tone and language compared to Riddick.  If you read his letters, they are just off the charts and screams lunacy.

Riddick is being sued not for having pursued Bernina. That in itself did not set off the lawsuit. It was the way Riddick went about it and the outrageous tactics and personal attacks he used.  He took it out of a business realm and started personalizing it to the point the folks at Bernina became angry and wanted to put a stop to Riddick.  My guess is Riddick has gone dark and into hiding at this point. But one never knows since Riddick was never that logical to begin with.

Bernina wants payback and retaliation against Riddick, that much is clear.

SoylentGreen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is an important posting.  Riddick definitely
> harassed the wrong people. This court action could
> change the ‘game’ entirely.  Additionally, I
> believe that a win by Bernina could set a
> precedent wherein the likes of other Copyright
> Trolls such as  Masterfile, Getty images and
> others could no longer risk sending extortion
> letters seeking payment for content that they
> cannot prove that they even own. Can you imagine a
> class action put forward by a large group of Getty
> extortion letter recipients?  It’s clear that
> the likes of Getty and Masterfile state hugely
> inflated prices in their demands, and try to claim
> damages that don’t exist (much like Riddick).
> This is already a victory for anyone who’s been
> a victim of Riddick’s extortion business.
>
> S.
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.

SoylentGreen

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 11:41:09 PM »
Yeah, Riddick's the worst.  Masterfile and Getty are Copyright Trolls.  But, Riddick's the Copyright Nazi.

The Copyright Trolls do bully and even stretch the truth quite a bit in their claims in order to intimidate.  But, the tactics employed by Riddick are really over the top.  He took on quite a bit of risk by doing this.  I wonder if this is just his nature, or has he become braver and more bold over time due to past conquests - the thought of which I find chilling indeed.

In a past post, he did say that he was going after larger companies rather than the small guys such as bloggers.  I guess that he was serious.  Yes... there are surely some past (or present) victims watching this closely.  I mean, was he only concentrating on Bernina?

S.

riddickvictim2

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 08:51:01 AM »
This lawsuit comes as great news to all of us long time Riddick victims.  This man is clearly disturbed and a threat to himself and the public.  I truly believe that he will one day face criminal charges.  Maybe then, the threatening emails from Riddick will stop and we can all move on in peace.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 08:16:31 PM »
Yes, Getty has a propensity to exaggerate and prey on the legal ignorance of the people they pursue. They also do a good job training their $15/hr interns the sing the party line.  IN my mind, I always think about how it will actually play out in a reasonable court of law.

Regarding Riddick, I honestly believe he thinks what he is doing is right and he is fighting for a cause.  The problem with his position is that some of it is irrational and illogical.  His long-winded threats and windbag explanations tries to mask that he has little or no bullets in his gun. He also relies on the ignorance of his victims.  The sheer persistence of his attacks can be overwhelming to some people.  Some people cave in, others fight back and lash out.

I am quite certain Getty, Riddick, and Masterfile hate this website and the fact a heavy-hitter like Oscar Michelen is on the case.  I honestly think this website and Oscar Michelen are the biggest thorns against their ongoing demand letter campaigns. We have educated too many people on the issues.

I don't necessarily think he singled out Bernina.  It is just when you hit enough people, the "right" party will actually do something about it and fight back.  My own story was not terribly unlike many other people's situations.  The biggest thing that was different with me is that I don't like being bullied and threatened.  So I am willing to aggressively fight back.  If someone points a gun my way, they better shoot to kill because when I get back up, I am coming after you.  I do hold grudges and I believe in payback. That is the whole reason why this website was created to begin with.  Obviously, the anger I originally had has since subsided but this website continues to exist to help others.  :-)

MatthewC

SoylentGreen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yeah, Riddick's the worst.  Masterfile and Getty
> are Copyright Trolls.  But, Riddick's the
> Copyright Nazi.
>
> The Copyright Trolls do bully and even stretch the
> truth quite a bit in their claims in order to
> intimidate.  But, the tactics employed by Riddick
> are really over the top.  He took on quite a bit
> of risk by doing this.  I wonder if this is just
> his nature, or has he become braver and more bold
> over time due to past conquests - the thought of
> which I find chilling indeed.
>
> In a past post, he did say that he was going after
> larger companies rather than the small guys such
> as bloggers.  I guess that he was serious.  Yes...
> there are surely some past (or present) victims
> watching this closely.  I mean, was he only
> concentrating on Bernina?
>
> S.
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.

riddickvictim2

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 11:12:09 PM »
And we are extremely grateful for your efforts, Matthew!

SoylentGreen

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2010, 12:10:11 AM »
Matthew,

I think that you're probably right about Riddick.  He should have sought legal advice before he did anything, too.

The type of product that Riddick's Imageline sells appears to be of the type that was more popular about 12 -15 years ago.  I don't mean this as any kind of insult.  When people had much less bandwidth and things took a long time to download, "vector" type clipart could be made into GIFs that were of extremely small file size.  These days bandwidth is much less of an issue, with photographic or sophisticated graphic art taking precedence.  He's probably seen the value and market of whatever collection that he has shrink greatly.  That is no excuse for his actions, of course.  Perhaps, he should have changed with the times?

I think that Riddick's actions may already have damaged the reputation of the stock image industry as a whole.  Many companies and individuals are getting wind of the "extortion letter" schemes.  People that are well-read on the subject may recognize that some companies are much worse than others in their tactics.  But, the average person who hears about what's going on would likely think to themselves, "look at what these scamming stock image companies are doing!"  They're just thinking of the "industry" as a whole, unless they dig further (and how many people actually take the time to research it?).  In such cases, some damage has been done.  How many of these people were potential customers is anyone's guess.  

I'm surprised that some of the news media hasn't picked up on the "extortion letter" schemes yet.  I'm tempted to approach a few news-magazine style shows, and I'd love to see some cameras and a reporter stop by the offices of Getty, Masterfile, or whatever dank swamp Riddick lives in.

I'm a lot like you, I think.  I can tell you that when a situation like yours arose, I fought them every step of the way like an immovable object.  Of course, there's always a possibly that they could have won, but they would have had to go through every single step of a very annoying and torturous route, and I made that clear.  I'd never just "give" them anything just because I got few letters and calls.  They should "prove their case", and if they can't actually go to court, then they can't be very confident in their position.

You and Oscar have definitely set up a great resource!!  There's nobody else to turn to; nobody else took the time to do it.  How many people have stopped having so many sleepless nights after coming to the site - we may never really know.  But, it's probably a significant number of people. No wonder the site's so popular.  Thank you!!

S.

riddickvictim2

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Re: Riddick and Imageline sued in Federal Court
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2010, 12:14:04 PM »
I have read the complaint twice now (it gives me such pleasure) and will likely read it again several more times.  The exhibits are a disturbing look into Riddick's world.  The baseless, utterly unprofessional and personal attacks on the attorney in this case are reminiscent of the brash and distasteful verbal attacks unleashed upon Matthew by Mr. Riddick through this very forum.  These are the rants of someone unstable and with obvious anger issues.  I do chuckle at the George'isms such as "over there," "up there." and "down here."  "The pirates are on the shores of Montezuma!"
I know that you are careful to monitor these post, Matthew, for relevancy and adherence to the facts involved.  I would expect however, that there may be many posts to come expressing adulation for Bernina USA, Mr. Michelen and yourself.  
I will again make a contribution via PayPal to support this vital resource.
Keep up the good fight, Matthew!

 

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