Open Reply to Attorney Timothy B. McCormack Letter to ELI

Attorney Timothy B. McCormack wrote a short 2-paragraph letter to ELI (Matthew Chan & Oscar Michelen) accusing me of “inciting illegal behavior” that people record phone conversations between them and the letter recipients. At first, I found it amusing. However, as I typed my open reply to him, it evolved from sarcasm to anger. By the end of my reply, I was on the verge of creating and organizing a payback plan.

Oscar Michelen is the more rational and level-headed member of our team. I take things much more personally because if you let someone get away with making a threat and lie against you, they will continue to do it.

Below is my open written reply to Attorney Timothy B. McCormack. You can read how my reply starts off on one foot but ends on another foot.


June 19, 2012

Mr. McCormack:

I am in receipt of your two letters dated June 11, 2012 regarding “Illicit Illegal Activity – Recording of Phone Calls”.

It is clear you spent an extensive amount of time, thought, and research in the text of your two-paragraph letter to Oscar and me. I am rather impressed you spared no expense in sending two First Class letters to me.  Imagine my surprise and the corresponding heart palpitations when I was presented with not one but two McCormack letters.

May I suggest a proofreader for your future letters to Oscar and me?  For your information, my website is “” (ELI), not “”. As the “web administrator”, my full and correct name is “Matthew Chan” with 2 “T”s, not one “T”.  As a self-appointed, self-important blogger with ZERO legal credentials, unlike yourself, these small details matter a great deal to my ego.

I know you are accustomed to sending standardized form letters by the hundreds and blanketing your intended recipients whereas this letter was specially written by you for Oscar and me.  As most people know, I typically post all ELI-related letters I receive for the public to read. I must point out that you have hurt my ability to drive search-engine-related traffic to the ELI website when you provide an incorrect website address and misspell my name. You should realize ELI, as the injured party, could hold you responsible for any such SEO-related damages.

Regarding what you wrote in your letter and the implied accusation, may I also suggest you do your own research and reading instead of relying on rumor or a bimbo paralegal? To the best of my knowledge, there was only one message thread on the subject of recording phone calls.  That message thread began on June 2, 2012 entitled “Recording Copyright Extortion Collection Telephone Calls”.

If you carefully read the text of my message, you will see it was not even directed towards you or your firm. Your name and law firm was only brought up in passing. It was more of a response to the ongoing forum dialog with Glen Carner, CEO of Hawaiian Art Network. You will also note that I clearly state it was MY opinion and what I would do, not necessarily what everyone else should do.

I consider it high praise from you that you feel that my words are so massively powerful and influential that I could suddenly “incite” people to suddenly start recording copyright extortion enforcement phone calls from your law office and Getty Images. I am simply in awe that you think I have this kind of power and influence over so many people. Admittedly, ELI is cult-like and I am the self-appointed cult leader.

You should realize that creating and managing an online cult such as ELI is actually more challenging than one where you physically meet and interact with my followers. My dazzling, hypnotic, persuasive, and entrancing words and prose are somewhat masterful I must confess.  I can convince the most intelligent, self-determined, and self-motivated person to blindly follow any public suggestion I might make.

As a legally uneducated blogger and online community organizer, I did not realize that when YOU or Getty Images initiate a call to letter recipients to the other 49 states, that Washington State law would automatically supersede other state laws. 

For example, let’s say you in Washington State decide to call me in Georgia  (a one-party consent state) and I record a phone conversation that is unwelcome but YOU initiated. You seem to be implying that simply because Washington State needs two-party consent that I broke Washington State law. That may be the case except for the fact that I don’t live or do business anywhere close to Washington State.  Why would I be subject to Washington State law and not Georgia law? I would venture to say that most of your notification letters and subsequent collection calls go outside of Washington State. Why would Washington State laws dominate over any other states when dealing with cross-state phone calls?

I understand that the crime rate in Washington State is so extremely low and that state prosecutors are actively looking for new criminals to prosecute.  People who record phone calls certainly rank high on their hit list I am sure. I also did not realize that connecting my digital voice recorder to my cell phone constitutes as “wire-tapping” and criminal behavior.  I guess it’s similar to the verbiage and tact you used in your earlier copyright enforcement letters when you inform letter recipients that their alleged one or two image infringement is equivalent to criminal behavior outlined in the Copyright code.

And while I have been somewhat sarcastic in my responses in this letter, I can promise you one thing that I am not being sarcastic about. Your letter is unfounded and uncalled for. You are sloppy and did not do any research into the claims you made in your letter against me and Oscar. If you even bothered to research the matter yourself instead of relying on hearsay, you would have seen the context of what I wrote and you wouldn’t have to write your pathetic excuse of a letter to me and Oscar.

You are supposedly a licensed attorney in relatively good standing. You are supposedly held to a higher standard of conduct.  Act like one and stop throwing your unfounded copyright cow shit accusations my way. It’s a huge waste of my time. Stop crying to Getty for your mistakes.  Stop extorting people with off-the wall criminal claims just like you are doing with us. Stop sending letters to people who are already represented by an attorney (yes, one of your victims emailed me about it). You know that is forbidden.
And just maybe you might get some respect instead of being more hated and despised by each passing day.  Ever heard of Funnyjunk Lawyer/Attorney Charles Carreon? If not, go Google it. You might learn something. Stop blaming me, Oscar, and ELI for all your problems.  I am tired of hearing about it.

Go hook up with Linda M. Ellis of Dash Poem Extortion fame. Get her as your client so ELI can report on both of you simultaneously. You two are a great fit for each other and equally hated on the Internet.

Up until your recent letter to me, I only reported and talked about you but it is becoming personal very quickly. Don’t give me a good reason to file my own written State Bar complaints against you. I promise you I will personally see to it my complaint travels much further than the Washington State Bar if you pull me into this further.

Next time you ever bother to send me a letter again, get your facts straight.


Matthew Chan


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