Friday, June 20, 2014

One of our Publishers has become a site owner


In an interesting turn of events, one of our own publishers has recently spun off his own site. While we hope he will still be publishing an occasional story with us, we are very happy that he has taken this bold step.

The publisher in question is one of our favorites, RedditTroll. On Mizozo, RedditTroll would often post various things he found on Reddit. His articles could be funny, bizarre or just incredibly interesting. His new site, NotReadingIt, follows in the same light.

The site is about 2 months old now and has a ton of great content. I am also a huge fan of Reddit, but unfortunately I don't have much time to really delve into its bowels. NotReadingIt, however, is much easier, and already sorted to bring you the most interesting content from Reddit.

Congratulations, RedditTroll ... may your venture be prosperous!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

All Lawyered Up!

Well, it seems that I was given little choice but to lawyer up and get ready for a long fight. The extortionists that I have mentioned many times in the past have now become hostile. I had refrained from posting their email when I first received it, opting to speak to a lawyer first. But, then after speaking to him, I forgot to post this, so here I am.

I received the following message from the racketeers on June 6th. I have opted not to respond to them based on my lawyers recommendations.

Dear Mr. Golob,
 This is my final attempt to contact you with regard to the above reference matter.  We have requested you to contact us office to discuss a resolution to this matter.  We strongly disagree with the assertion that this infringements are covered under “fair use” and would be happy to provide a more in depth reason as to why when we speak.  It is our desire to resolve this issue without having to pursue other remedies.
 Please note, we have been authorized to commence litigation against you should you fail to timely resolve this matter. Please be further advised that once we commence such litigation, we will seek the maximum statutory damages available to our client, and will start to accrue legal costs and attorney's fees for which you may ultimately be responsible. This letter is without prejudice to all rights and remedies afforded our client under statute and common law, all of which are expressly reserved.
 If I do not hear from you by Wednesday June 11, 2014, I will assume you are not interested in resolving this matter and will proceed accordingly. 



After speaking to my lawyer, he pointed out several interesting things. First, due to the fact that Mizozo is a registered LLC, there is nothing this law firm can do to me personally, but they can force my hand in taking down Mizozo.com. While I don't want to do this, if it comes down to it I will have little choice.

Second, openly fighting them (which is what I had planned) does nothing to help me, but does a great deal to help them. So, I have removed all instances of their name from this blog. I will leave any scanned PDFs, but Google doesn't index those, so it should work out fine.

With a lawyer on retainer, I am now just hanging out waiting to see what these extortionists plan. Obviously, they can't possibly get any money out of me. But, unfortunately, they can do more harm to me than I can do to them. Its funny how this works.

I have done a great deal of research on this firm, and these tactics have been used hundreds of times last year alone. It seems that they can't make any money honestly, so they resort to stuff like this. I have also done some research on the photos that I took down, and they are literally all over the internet. I see no reason to get more people in trouble, so I won't post links, but there are hundreds of sites with that series of pictures on them, not to mention several large sites like Reddit.

Doesn't matter ... time will tell how this goes, but one thing is for certain, these Copyright clowns will eventually go down.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

This extortion is just never ending

It seems that lawyers trying to extort money have plenty of time on their hands. Earlier today, I received the following message from them (previous post link):

Dear Mr. Golob,

Thank you for getting back to me. Yes, by amicable we mean a monetary settlement out of court. There are thirty three (33) infringements that are/were posted on your website, to which my client owns the exclusive rights.

These do not appear to be posted by a user but  by the website itself, and all of the pictures were housed on Mizozo servers. Therefore, the defense of “user content” does not appear to be a valid assertion.

Please call me to discuss this matter further.

What's most interesting to me is their count of infringements. Either they just make up numbers as they go, or they are willfully not sending me additional takedown notices. The notice I received from them only has 4 images, so where the other 29? I remember there were many more images on that post, all of which I removed, but unfortunately I have no record of the count.

Of course, their second paragraph is also telling ... 'do not appear'. Now there's an argument! I figured they would be a bit more concrete than that.

Oh well, looks like this fun isn't ending soon. My friends tell me that I have nothing to worry about, these shakedowns happen all the time. If they do take this to court, I can potentially benefit a great deal due to the press it would generate, so I should just sit back, be nice and answer any questions they have so as not to offend. So, that is what I'll do.

I don't see any questions in this email, do you?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And so the Takedown Extortion contiues

Looks like the extortion attempts aren't over. In case you aren't following the story, I think my last post may be useful, and this post started it all. I'm impressed by these people's resolve, but unfortunately for them am unchanged in my resolve.

So, here's the email I received from the wonderful law team yesterday:

Dear Mr. Golob,

I have not received a response to my email dated April 17, 2014. Since that date unfortunately my client has informed us of more infringements of images they owe. There are now thirty three (33) violations in total.

As I am sure you are aware, removing the images does not alleviate the infringement. It is our desire to resolve this matter amicably. However, if we do not hear from you by Friday May 23, 2014, we will assume that you are not interested in resolving this matter and will proceed accordingly.

And, here is the response I sent:

Hello Stacy,
I am not exactly sure what you see as amicable, but I'm guessing it involves green pieces of paper. If this is the case, how many pieces are you looking to attain?

I must point out, your attempts at extortion are futile. Mizozo is a user generated content website, which provides ample ways for people to send me takedown notices for any content they feel is infringing.
Dan

This sounds like fun. Time to get a few other people involved.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Decision has been made

After our last post about the attempted extortion, it has been decided that we will play the waiting game. Rather than try to reach an amicable resolution, as suggested by the email, we will simply ignore the threat and see if it goes away on its own. Lets be honest, the only solution that those lawyers will be happy with is money, and that is not going to happen, so why bother?

Assuming this doesn't simply go away and they reach out again, our response will simply be that we have done and said everything that we plan to do and say, so the ball is in their court. If they decide to take it to the next level, we will become very vocal and they will only lose the battle, wasting both our time and money as well as theirs. Also, a battle like this may prove most beneficial to Mizozo in the long run.

If they are reading this blog, we should see a response from them soon ...