Imagine having a silly surf blog that does not amount to a hill of beans, that you write for yourself more than anyone else. Imagine having threatening communications from a law firm stating that you owe $1000 for using a picture that was copyrighted even though it didn’t look it? No copyright logo, nuthin'! What would you do?
The law firm wrote me that I am going to be responsible for court costs, attorney's fees, and up to $150,000-250,000 in fines unless I paid their ridiculous fee.
This is what I wrote back to them:
There’s a really great entrapment going on now by copyright firms. Innocent hobbyists using pictures from the internet to project one idea or another, mostly by completely unknowing writers making no money whatsoever on whatever they are talking about.
Our nation's copyright laws need to be changed to bring them up to date with today's internet realities.
Not sure which angle is best. I gotta think about it for a while. I actually was so stupid that I looked online for a funny bird flipping picture to post because I guess I did not learn my lesson from this experience. There is more to the story to follow.
As an excellent example of how twisted the laws are, anyone can put a YouTube (and other) video like these songs up on their blog and it’s “ok” because of the way it’s embedded, it’s not technically copied. There’s a HELL OF A LOT MORE creativity and work in these videos than the pictures like the one I posted that people are getting in trouble for. Go figure!
10/24/18 FINAL UPDATE:
I found a copyright lawyer who negotiated the $1000 fee down to $450. I paid him $500 for a total about the same as the original fee from the copyright scammers. I told him that I would rather pay HIM than THEM, and I meant it. It’s OVER but I’m writing this because our government is so far behind in almost every aspect of life as we know it today, that innocent people like you n me getting stuff off google and posting it anywhere will get caught by intelligent companies who have their act together (more than our government does)... and it costs hundreds and thousands of dollars. Spread the word- do not put ANYTHING UP on any site unless you created it yourself!!! Nobody will protect you if you get caught (doing something that you didn’t even know can get you into a bind).
Coming from someone who endured a long and horrible divorce, I can tell you that eventually standing up for yourself feels good even though sometimes it makes no financial sense.
To thoseAmericans who suck blood out of the poor innocent bloggers- what goes around comes back around.
On on that note, here is a good song:
Hi, my name is
David Benjamin and I started swimming in Chappaqua, NY., swam for Badger swim team, Mercersburg Academy, NC State University, then Westport YMCA masters. I got bored of the ol' back and forth of competitive swimming and the high cost of skiing. Surfing took over and I never looked back.