This is fairly major news. After a long string of nasty, outrageous, and bullying extortion letters from Attorney Timothy B. McCormack on behalf of Getty Images, I introduce to you the polar opposite: The civil and gentle Lee & Hayes Settlement Demand Letter written by Attorney Daniel M. Wadkins.
I confess that I am amazed by this letter. It is simple, “reasonable”, sanitized, and so different in tone, approach, and content than Timothy B. McCormack’s extortion letter.
- There are no outrageous demand numbers, statutory damages or references to criminal penalties.
- There is no direct and exaggerated threat to file a lawsuit.
- There is no outrageous lying, exaggeration, or personal accusations.
- There is no artificially inflated amount being demanded to pay beyond the reference to the stated amount on the original Getty Images Extortion Letter.
- There is no outrageous blustering or peacocking.
- There is no use of the word “settlement”.
- There is only one specific term usage of “copyright infringement”.
Daniel isn’t going to embarrass himself, subject himself to state bar complaints, attorney general complaints, or otherwise damage his professional reputation and career by sending these letters.
I think it’s safe to say that ELI had some strong influence in this “new and gentle” settlement letter. Quite frankly, I don’t even think I can call Daniel’s letter an “extortion letter”. It doesn’t feel or read like an extortion letter. It feels like a civil business letter.
However, time will tell whether the actual settlement amount is actually reasonable. I suspect it will not be but who knows? The interesting thing is this letter lays the entire responsibility of the settlement amount on Getty Images and doesn’t appear to come from the lawyer.
My opinion is that this is an experimental approach in response to the the brutal and public retaliation on Timothy B. McCormack and his letter.
Someone on the Getty front is watching, reading, and paying attention to make sure the collection lawyers are being “protected”.
I have a suspicion this new letter on behalf of Getty Images will generate some interesting discussions and comments. I am interested in what others have to say with this new letter.