Higbee and Associates & Mathew K Higbeescammer?

We are a small community online media, serving people with no English proficiency. In December 2017, a reporter reported a community crime and used a photo of a police car. There was no other specific feature in the picture, and she didn't see any sign of it was a copyrighted work. Soon we received a letter from this law firm demanding $6, 750.00. Even though they didn't include a copy of the picture's copyright registration, we still offered $1, 000 and took down the photo immediately, but they keep changing their demanding amount.

I think they are scammer are based on the fowling reason:

1) We had never received a "take-down notice" from your client before your claim letter.
2) The purpose of using the photo was "News Reporting": The photo was used by a reporter on December 11, 2017, for the purpose of news reporting of a community crime. The purpose was solely to serve the Chinese-American community, who possesses no English proficiency. [According to the "Fair Use of a copyrighted work online", including such use by reproduction in copies or phone records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright]. You included a picture of our advertisement price of other ventures, which has nothing to do with the article and the use of the photo. Moreover, we did not generate any revenue from the use of this picture.
3) They did not include the copyright registration. [According to the "Fair Use of a copyrighted work online", if you wish to pursue an infringement lawsuit you will first need to register your work with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress]. 4) The picture was transformed into a low resolution [According to the Fair Use law, "If the new work which incorporates the copyrighted image is a "transformative work"— is not an infringement of copyright".] 5)The reporter found the photo on the Internet. At the time she first posted the photo, she could not determine if it had been copyrighted. Since there were no specific figures (such as people, buildings, etc. in the picture), there was no explicit indication of whether the photo was copyrighted. [According to the law, in a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200.]

We tried to negotiate with the firm, but they have been extremely rude, they keep changing their demanding amount and set up a time line for us to accept their demanding amount. They even called one of our worker after 9:00pm to tell her that their offer will be expired if we don't accept it right away.




  • Th
    Theotrader Jul 31, 2018

    They are a complete scam. Higbee is likely being disbarred soon.

    1 Votes
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