World's Worst Copyright Troll, Richard Liebowitz, Suspended From Practicing Law

from the revealed-in-a-new-benchslap dept

I had meant to write an update on the never ending clusterfuck that is copyright troll Richard Liebowitz last month, as things appeared to be going badly in the two cases where the judges had clearly grown completely tired of the games he was playing with the court: Usherson v. Bandshell and Chevrestt v. Barstool. In both cases, judges had gotten very, very angry at Liebowitz for continuing to lie, play games, mislead and so on. In the Chevrestt case, the judge actually let him off kind of easy last month, saying that for the next two years, any time that he is ordered to show cause for why he shouldn't be sanctioned again (basically, any time he gets in trouble with a judge), he has to share the details of what happened in the Chevrestt case (in which he does not come out of it looking good).

But the bigger story is in the Usherson case, where this week, Judge Jesse Furman mentions in passing that the Southern District of New York's Grievance Committee had issued an order suspending Liebowitz "from the practice of law before this Court." This is temporary, pending "final adjudication of the charges against [him]" so it's likely to get worse. Also, it only applies to SDNY, but that's where he's filed so many of his cases, and the stink over his practically non-stop sketchy behavior in court will follow him everywhere else. It's not clear exactly which of the many problems that Liebowitz has brought upon himself resulted in the Grievance Committee acting, but the list is very long.

In fact, it's rather convenient that it's Judge Furman who is revealing the suspended license, given that he was the one who catalogued the dozens upon dozens of times that Liebowitz had been caught lying to courts or has been sanctioned for lying to courts.

As you may recall, Judge Furman laid out those details in an order telling Liebowitz to file a copy of that order with every case that he was involved with. Liebowitz, in true Liebowitz fashion, waited until the last minute to whine that this was unfair and a violation of his rights. The judge was not impressed and neither was the appeals court.

Liebowitz then had one day to send a copy of Judge Furman's order to every one of his clients and to every court in which his cases were being heard. At the time, we pointed to at least one case where the order had not been filed, but we had heard from a few lawyers in other cases that no such filing had been made either. And those lawyers weren't just telling me: they told Judge Furman as well. At the beginning of October, Judge Furman asked Liebowitz to file a declaration addressing why he hadn't filed the order in some cases (and why he had filed it late in others). Liebowitz then filed quite an amazing declaration on October 15th, explaining how and why he had failed to file the order in 113 different cases. In typical Liebowitz fashion, he had excuses for all of them. He blamed PACER (which we agree is a terrible service), but he also admits that he never thought to use his case management system -- the one he'd been forced to install a year earlier as part of sanctions in another case (the one where he blamed the death of his grandfather for failing to appear in court, and then lied about the actual date of his grandfather's death). That case also involved the judge referring Liebowitz to the Grievance Committee.

Other excuses Liebowitz gave for not filing the order in cases was that he thought some cases were completely over and just missed that they had motions pending. Some cases he closed out between the time the original order was made and his attempted compliance with them. And then there were some cases which he argued he was more peripherally than directly involved in them.

Either way, Judge Furman, finds this literally unbelievable.

Had Mr. Liebowitz failed to file the Opinion and Order in a handful of cases, the failure to comply might have been understandable and excusable. But the failure to file it in 113 cases is astonishing and suggests contumaciousness, an egregiously disorganized case management system, or both. It is all the more astonishing in light of Mr. Liebowitz’s record, set forth in painstaking detail in the Court’s Opinion and Order, and his repeated representations to Judges — in this District and beyond — that he had taken steps to improve his case management practices.

Contumaciousness is a good word. Look it up.

Basically, Judge Furman notes that Liebowitz has not shown any real evidence that he's changed. At all. And thus, it's clear that the judge believes that Liebowitz deserves further sanctions. However, as he notes, the sanctions should be designed to lead to correction of the bad behavior -- and thanks to the Grievance Committee's suspension of Liebowitz's license, there's not a current threat of this behavior continuing.

That said, the ultimate purpose of sanctions is deterrence... and, as Mr. Liebowitz’s extraordinary record of both sanctions and noncompliance with court orders demonstrates, it is far from clear that there is any additional sanction that would serve to deter him. Moreover, on November 30, 2020, this Court’s Grievance Committee — noting Mr. Liebowitz’s “repeated disregard for orders from this Court and his unwillingness to change despite 19 formal sanctions and scores of other admonishments and warnings from judges across the country” — entered an Amended Order immediately suspending Mr. Liebowitz “from the practice of law before this Court pending final adjudication of the charges against [him].” In re Liebowitz, No. M-2-238, at 1-2 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 30, 2020). Thus, for the time being, there will be nothing to deter when it comes to Mr. Liebowitz.

Accordingly, and in light of the Grievance Committee’s Order of November 25, 2020, the Court, exercising its discretion, determines that additional sanctions are not appropriate at this time.

However, just in case, Judge Furman clarifies that when he said that Liebowitz had to file the order in all of his cases, he did mean all of them, and amends the original order to make that abundantly clear and to make sure that Liebowitz cannot wriggle free from complying.

All in all, there seems to be a decent chance that Richard Liebowitz will no longer be practicing law.

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Filed Under: copyright, copyright troll, grievance committee, jesse furman, richard liebowitz, sdny


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  • icon
    Coffee U (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 12:28pm

    On the one hand

    Awwww yeah.

    On the other hand; it took how many repeated lies to get here? An untruthful legal practitioner ruins the reputation of the entire career field. Their own bar associations need to be more on the ball with that. Caught lying or suborning perjury once should be a severe; suspending from practice for a year+ in all states seems appropriate. Caught lying in two separate occasions should be disbarred for life. This definitely needs to include DA's/ADA's.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 12:31pm

    How does he continue hos trolling now, become his twin brother Dick Liebowitz?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Scote, 1 Dec 2020 @ 1:02pm

    It's stunning just how lenient judges are towards lawyers. It's great that Richard Liebowitz may finally lose his ability to practice, but the amount of flagrant abuse it takes for that to happen is astounding - you almost have to directly taunt the court with a letter asking to please be disbarred for it to happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      You are right, courts do generally try to bend over backwards to avoid punishing lawyers. At least in broad sweeping ways. Part of that is because the lawyer is the representative for the plaintiff, (generally) not one of the parties in the suit. Coming down on the lawyer doesn't do the plaintiff any good other than signalling "get yourself a new lawyer, dude".

      Some places, the court might be able to disbar a lawyer. But many places, it is the bar association that does the disbarment, not the court.

      At most points, the court's (IE the judge's) ability to sanction a lawyer rely on regulating that lawyer's access to the court. With Liebowitz being barred from this judge's court, there is little further the judge could do.... but also little more harm the lawyer could do (within the judge's ability to affect), so there's that.

      He could have held Liebowitz in contempt, but what's the point if Liebowitz will never appear before him again? Revenge?

      But back to your first point, sometimes the lawyer does indeed taunt the court. The results are everything you would imagine them to be.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Flakbait (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 4:52am

        Re: Re:

        "...but what's the point if Liebowitz will never appear before him again? Revenge?"

        How about protecting potential clients down the road from Liebowitz's scumbaggery? Letting him off the hook because you won't see him again is like a crooked cop getting caught but then taking his talents to another state to prey on citizens elsewhere.

        I see judges' reluctance and hesitancy to take strong actions against lawyers' malfeasances as nothing more than closing ranks, protecting one of their own, giving qualified immunity, if you will. And, like QI, giving crime-committing douchebag lawyers a pass in court makes people who rely on them vulnerable to future douchebaggery.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      MathFox, 1 Dec 2020 @ 3:49pm

      In many cases the lawyer is asked by his/her client to play a certain game. To disbar her (leaving out the male form for brevity) for a legal game the client pays her to play would be too harsh in many cases. On the other hand, justice can not tolerate plain lying by its officers.

      So there is a balance between leniency to "small" offences and punishment for larger or repeated offences by lawyers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Scote, 1 Dec 2020 @ 5:39pm

        Re:

        Yes, but as an "officer of the court" a lawyer as an obligation not merely to not lie, but also not to suborn lying, and to not bring frivolous allegations.

        I think the other issue is that many lawyers like Liebowitz and Prenda are largely their own clients serving their own interests rather than that of their putative clients - especially in copyright cases. But, again, it takes years of pulling teeth to reveal such shenanigans and for the lawyers to ever be called to account.

        I think all lawyers working on commission should be listed as real parties at interest on all legal filings and be treated by judges with that in mind.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pixelation, 1 Dec 2020 @ 5:59pm

        Re:

        "In many cases the lawyer is asked by his/her client to play a certain game. To disbar her (leaving out the male form for brevity) for a legal game the client pays her to play would be too harsh in many cases."

        From my point of view, more disbarment would be a great thing. It would reduce frivolous lawsuits and have lawyers think twice before deciding to take a case because, "The money is good". It might improve the way lawyers are viewed as well. The fringe cases where it would be "too harsh", the judge should have some leeway.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 9:40pm

        Re:

        "In many cases the lawyer is asked by his/her client to play a certain game."

        That would appear to a problem with the legal system in that case. If you're hiring experts in any field, you should be hiring them because they can advise and perform tasks for you that you cannot do yourself, not because there's a game to be played that can be profitable if the guy you're hiring is immune from consequences.

        OK, I'm an IT guy so I'm rather allergic to clients who think they know better than me about how my knowledge and experience should be applied, but that the US legal system not only tolerates but encourages such things will always strike.me as a negative.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 1:06pm

    And that's what you have to do to get temporarily suspended pending review.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JustMe (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 1:21pm

    Popcorn stock rising...

    Couldn't have happened to a more contumaciousness person.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 2:06pm

    Actually, it does not just apply to that one jurisdiction. Where an attorney is suspended in one State/Jurisdiction, just about every other state requires that the attorney notify them within a short period of time (usually 30 days) and any other state where he may be licensed will then immediately suspend him pending the outcome of the original grievance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 5:59pm

      Re:

      And considering how he's filed copies of court orders elsewhere when specifically ordered to perform such filings, what do you think the chances of him informing those other courts is?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 2:43pm

    And my popcorn futured just tanked. Guess I can't retire yet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 3:14pm

    Can this just hurry up and be a tv show already? There's enough juicy twists and turns for at least of couple of seasons. Better Call Saul has nothing on this!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 3:56pm

      Re:

      As it stands, the Richard Liebowitz saga is better Netflix documentary series fodder than whatever drugs caused the Social Dilemma propaganda piece.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ObserverInPA, 1 Dec 2020 @ 3:20pm

    An attorney suspension due to Ethics Rules violation in any federal district can be extended to every other federal court, on mere motion by an interested attorney. It can also be extended, upon motion, to the suspendee's home state bar admission. It happens routinely in cases of criminal conduct, and in cases of egregious ethical misconduct. Bar Associations have nothing to do with it. Disciplinary counsel in each state and federal district do the deed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 4:16pm

    Maybe if Richard hadn't spent so many of Techdirt's articles about him trying to concern-troll the niche he provided to starving photographers, he might've been able to demonstrate a greater modicum of competence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Darkness Of Course (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 5:12pm

    Thanks to you and your team

    I got to send out some links to this article.

    It does a heart good to see some lawyer finally get properly bench-slapped.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 8:00pm

    Please, PLEASE, make a t-shirt that says "Proudly Contumacious" or something to that effect. It captures the essence of my personality, and possibly that of many more of your readers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ross (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 12:22pm

    Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

    I'm reading all these comments, and frankly I'm a bit confused. On one hand I see he is being labeled as a troll, and then there also seems to be an issue about how he conducts himself in court. I'm not sure where these two issues intersect or if they even do. I'm sure someone here will elaborate. I'm posting this because I genuinely want to see all sides of this.

    I can only speak from my personal experience with him. As a photographer, prior to meeting Richard, I could never get representation. Attorney's want thousands of dollars in retainer fees, and in my first experience with a copyright attorney, she did very little and was barely effective. My images are constantly stolen and used for advertising. I started to handle all this on my own, and the copyright thieves just laughed at me and said, "Hey, next time we'll give you photo credit." Many continued to use my images even after I asked them to be removed.

    With Richard I finally have someone on my side - I feel like there is finally some justice. Regarding the registrations, from my personal experience, they are handled meticulously. I'm under the impression that the majority on this thread believe in copyright law, and if so, then what is wrong with pursuing people who steal images? What's wrong with pursuing all of them? It is the only way they will learn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2020 @ 5:45pm

      Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

      Infringe. It's called infringement. No one took your image and left you without your original. Now that i'm done being pedantic...

      There are several reasons lawyers won't bother, possibly because your case is unlikely to generate any money, or you have a bad case (such as... you never registered your copyrights, or didn't do so prior to the infringement happening). That said, it is too bad that more lawyers won't take on lots of clients who have been wronged in some way. But just because a lawyer finally did take your case, this does not make him a good lawyer. In fact, his ability to handle and prosecute cases is so bad, that even without his other egregious behaviors and his habit of trolling, you'd be well-advised to seek out other representation.

      His behavior and trolling are separate issues, but seem to rather stem from some pretty bad core personality traits.

      He's a troll because he files insane numbers of cases, many of which have no merit, and frequently drops them if it looks like he isn't coercing a payout settlement. He tries to duck out of active cases when it is quite obvious that no one is fooled and the case assuredly is not going his way.

      His other problems include: Repeatedly lying to the courts, lying to his clients, lying to other legal professionals, not properly prosecuting cases, not managing cases or workload whatsoever, as well as bringing cases without merit and no evidence, which is a lie to the courts and client, assuming the client isn't in on the lie.

      So anyway, if you want to know more, there is plenty of history right here: https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=richard+liebowitz
      and techdirt always links out to original sources and provides court documents. No reason to take the opinion of writers or the commentariat, you can read all manner of other information.

      P.S. Best wishes getting any appropriate compensation for the use of your work. Willful infringers, especially those profiting at least in some degree from infringement, need to pay up. (Also they are jerks.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ross (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 6:27pm

        Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

        Hi, if my cases were unlikely to generate any money, Richard would not have taken them on. I do register my images, and we have prevailed in court more than once. Your assumptions are way off. Why other attorneys are not doing what Richard does, does not make sense to me. My work is STOLEN, yes these people are THIEVES in my opinion. They are horrible, dishonest people, and when I confront them personally, they don't take me seriously. Just recently in fact, I saw one of my photos being sold on t-shirts by an up and coming brand. The company that took my photo and is making money off my photo, is bigger than I am. I am a one man show and need representation against a company like this. They could have done a reverse image search before they grabbed my image for their clothing line, but they didn't because they know that most photographers do not pursue these kinds of claims. We cannot take our claims to small court! We have to file in federal court. We can't do that without an attorney!

        When you say he is a troll because of the number of cases, that's like saying a successful real estate agent is a troll if they sell a lot of houses. Or if I license a lot of photos, I'm a photo license troll? How is being successful in one's business a bad thing?

        I don't know what his behavior is like in court, and that part of it, I can't have an opinion on. His office just sent me a notification about his suspension, so I googled his name with some key words and found this thread. As I read all these accusations, I was dumbfounded. This is not the Richard I know and have worked with for two years now. I'm going to have a conversation with his office admin about it.

        Yes, he does guard his time. He tries to be selective about which suits have defendants that are able to pay, but to me that just seems like good business sense. With all respect, so far, nothing you have written compels me to think he is not a good attorney doing honest work. The issues of him lying in court and frustrated judges, I cannot have an opinion on because I am not privy to these sorts of details.

        I'm under the impression that persons on this blog have had copyright claims against them? Is this blog about putting all intellectual property into the public domain?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 11:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

          "Hi, if my cases were unlikely to generate any money, Richard would not have taken them on"

          Just an observation from someone not in the US legal system, but from what I know that doesn't mean that the case itself has any merit. What it may mean is that he calculated that he could file a bunch of frivolous lawsuits in your name, happily taking your money until you realised that you are never going to get a cash payout.

          Richard taking on your case does not necessarily mean that YOU will get money. It just means he's happy to bill you hourly.

          "Why other attorneys are not doing what Richard does, does not make sense to me"

          They have a code of ethics?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Ross (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 7:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

            Hi Tom,

            I have received several checks from Richard's office, and he never bills hourly, never. We have a contingency agreement, a contract that is very specific. What comes off the top is the filing fee and then we split 50/50. The one time I hired an attorney, she made me put down a $2,500 retainer, billed me hourly, settled for a small amount, and I think my net was about 10% of what I net with Richard. So, I then just started representing myself with certified letters to the infringers, and of those, I would say only 20% settle with me and really small numbers. With Richard, 90% settle and the settlements reflect copyright law. Copyright infringement is a federal offense with statutory damages. It's a serious crime, but a crime that is very difficult to take action on because one has to file in federal court.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 7:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

              "Hi Tom,"

              Tom?

              "I have received several checks from Richard's office, and he never bills hourly, never."

              OK

              "With Richard, 90% settle and the settlements reflect copyright law"

              Forgive me for being suspicious that a know copyright troll with a reputation shady enough for him to be reprimanded for his behaviour reached an honest settlement. The problem with this behaviour is that it depends on people being convinced to settle rather than go through the courts, since even though they are not breaking the law it costs them more to defend themselves than just settle.

              "So, I then just started representing myself with certified letters to the infringers, and of those, I would say only 20% settle with me and really small numbers"

              OK, so you're saying that Richard gets more settlements than you can yourself. That doesn't mean he's automatically in the right, it could just mean that he's a better extortionist.

              "Copyright infringement is a federal offense with statutory damages"

              Only very limited types of criminal infringement.

              "a crime that is very difficult to take action on because one has to file in federal court"

              Also a crime that people might decided to settle even though they are not guilty because it costs so much to defend against frivolous actions.

              That does also raise the question of why you're OK with a lawyer that will just settle with those guilty of criminal activity rather than actually prosecuting it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2020 @ 4:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

          I have made no assumptions, these are the facts as found by a court of law, you know, the same system which you seek to employ for some redress.

          I stopped reading after the all-caps shoutiness. I do not believe you are engaging in good faith.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2020 @ 1:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And here I thought the Liebowitz apologism was done, but apparently not. I'll give you one smidgen of credit for bothering to sign up for an account though, that's more effort than all the other Liebowitz sockpuppets have shown, not that it's a very high bar to clear.

          Attorney's want thousands of dollars in retainer fees

          And... the records show that Liebowitz asks for a lot. In fact, documents show that he gets most of the money you would have been entitled to. Trying to paint Liebowitz as an honest person doing this out of the goodness of his heart is hopelessly naïve.

          When you say he is a troll because of the number of cases

          Copyright trolling is named because many lawyers involved in the practice threaten people with huge monetary consequences without strong evidence, then run away when judges call them out on it. It's a term that's worked its way into legal lexicon, in large part thanks to the likes of Liebowitz and his predecessors. You can look up Paul Hansmeier and Keith Lipscomb for prominent examples.

          How is being successful in one's business a bad thing?

          Is Liebowitz successful, though? The most noticeable "win" he's had is against one arm of Buzzfeed... which hasn't even been mentioned in most media. It's a "win" against one of the major media outlets of the day and yet it's barely registered a whimper on the significance scale.

          I don't know what his behavior is like in court, and that part of it, I can't have an opinion on

          Why not? When that behavior is getting the judge pissed at your case, it affects you. It affects how subsequent judges handle similar cases. If your lawyer's lack of professionalism is getting your cases kicked out, not having an opinion on the matter screams willful blindness.

          This is not the Richard I know and have worked with for two years now. I'm going to have a conversation with his office admin about it.

          Frankly if you are who you say you are, I wish you luck in getting your money back. Because Liebowitz is holding onto most of it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 5:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

          "When you say he is a troll because of the number of cases, that's like saying a successful real estate agent is a troll if they sell a lot of houses."

          Let me know when a "real estate agent" starts brokering on behalf of people who did not contact him first, used malicious, fraudulent and unlawful practice to present his offers, etc. Liebowitz is an outright con man.

          "I don't know what his behavior is like in court, and that part of it, I can't have an opinion on."

          And yet that's actually the only relevant part of this. Liebowitz is apparently incredibly good at bullshitting presumptive clients, because if you had looked at his court records you might not have wanted to trust him with anything.

          "This is not the Richard I know and have worked with for two years now."

          Actually, it is. You and the other clients relying on this con man have simply been taken for a two year ride.

          "With all respect, so far, nothing you have written compels me to think he is not a good attorney doing honest work. The issues of him lying in court and frustrated judges, I cannot have an opinion on because I am not privy to these sorts of details."

          It's not a good look for you that you are willing to exculpate a lawyer who regularly perjures himself in court. That only tells us that you, as his client, are bereft a moral compass. If the only lawyer you can access is the one getting disbarred for lying through his teeth in front of judges then that tells us exactly how much respect you have for the law.

          "I'm under the impression that persons on this blog have had copyright claims against them?"

          News to me. I'm aware of a few commenters who have had problems with false DMCA takedowns on youtube etc, but it's not exactly new that copyright allows false accusations to gain validity beyond any reasonable proportionality. Haven't heard anyone complaining about actual infringement claims levied against them.

          "Is this blog about putting all intellectual property into the public domain?"

          Haven't heard anyone mentioning that. Almost everyone on this blog seems in favor of copyright reform however, and a few, like me, of the opinion that it's too late to salvage anything from the corrupt morass of copyright and Queen Anne's old political-religious censorship tool needs to be abolished completely in favor of something more fair and less abusable.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2020 @ 6:34pm

      Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

      Wow, and here we thought Liebowitz told pathetic lies, but then here comes "Ross" in an attempt to surpass him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ross (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 6:54pm

        Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

        I assume you've been a defendant in one of his cases and lost. That is the only explanation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 12:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

          Why is that the only explanation? Are people not able to observe facts from the outside and make a judgement?

          I can certainly have a laugh at the current comedy stylings of Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani without ever being a client, for example.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Ross (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 7:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

            Hi Paul,
            My response to Anon Coward was because he claims that everything I write is a lie. His passionate hatred for Richard much be personal - that's the only conclusion I can come to.

            Yes, of course you're right, and that's what I'm trying to figure out. What is the real issue here? Is this about bringing IP into the public domain? Is is about trying to define fair use? All of my lawsuits with the exception of one, have been black and white outright infringement. Businesses taking my photos, which are registered, and mocking up ads for their services and products. Only one was used in an editorial article, and when Richard's staff brought it to my attention, I had to pause. For the most part, if someone had just asked me if they could use my image for an editorial piece, I probably would have just said "Yes" or charged some small fee like $200. It's the kind of infringement that does not make me furious the way the ads do. BTW, all the other infringements, I think there have been about 20, I have found on my own and brought to Richard. So, this would then make me the IP troll, but like an attorney for Ebay once told me, "It's not our responsibility to protect your copyright. It's yours."

            Anyway, in your opinion, in a nutshell, aside from the issues the judges have with him, what makes him such a villain? There are several threads on this site, that villianize him, and one in particular that indicates he is not serving his clients best interests. So, what is it?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 7:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

              "My response to Anon Coward was because he claims that everything I write is a lie"

              It's very suspicious when there's someone here has been talked about extensively in negative terms, then someone jumps in with a full on positive defence of the person in question, especially someone who announced that he has a direct relationship with that person and the article they're commenting on is about the court coming down on him.

              You could be completely honest, of course, but it's natural for posts on a relatively anonymous forum in defence of a controversial figure, on a story about said person being suspended for doing his job poorly, to be taken with a pinch of salt.

              "Is this about bringing IP into the public domain? Is is about trying to define fair use?"

              The nature of the concerns are very well documented here with this lawyer, similar trolls and the overall state of copyright in general. A quick summary of the consensus opinion is that copyright has shifted away from the public good it was originally intended to be toward being a profit centre for corporations (not artists, as they rarely get the benefits from a corporate win), and is in desperate need of reform.

              Obviously, there's lot of history about fair use and public domain being very necessary but not the whole answer to anything, but it's not a subject easily summed up in a single comment.

              Suffice to say that the current situation allows far too easily for the abuse of courts and innocent victims, which appears to what your lawyer is being punished for.

              "Businesses taking my photos, which are registered, and mocking up ads for their services and products"

              If true, that's a good thing to fight for, and I hope you find decent representation. But, a lot of the time people who claim such things are mistaken (for example, they used Flickr to host their images and thus published them with a free CC licence without realising it), so again these are taken with a pinch of salt.

              I will however note that the situation you described is a) infringement (not stealing as you erroneously claim) and b) has absolutely nothing to do with fair use or the public domain, as it's commercial infringement.

              "BTW, all the other infringements, I think there have been about 20, I have found on my own and brought to Richard."

              OK, and the court decided...? I don't care that Richard charged you by the hour, I'm interested in what the court decided.

              "Anyway, in your opinion, in a nutshell, aside from the issues the judges have with him, what makes him such a villain?"

              I advise you read up on your lawyer's history. There's a number of links in the article you're commenting on.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Ross (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 9:43am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

                Hi Tom,

                Thank you for introducing me to flicr CC, yikes, never done that thank god, but I have put my stuff on social media, and I understand that that gives others license to share on those particular platforms. But it is not license to made advertisements for one's business.

                To answer your question about judgements. Only one of our cases has been decided by a judge. This particular judge awarded me 10 times what we normally settle for. All the other cases we have settled.

                Regarding my credibility, it is possible that I am the only small artist that he represents. I don't know, but if the author of this article wants to personally reach out to me, I am happy to be non-anonymous while we chat about Richard.

                Let me ask this question. Before using a photo for an advertisement, or before grabbing a photo from the internet (with the exception of photos explicitly in the public domain) why aren't people doing reverse image searches to discover the author of the work and then seeking permission? I know it's more work, but it would protect one from a lawsuit. Rarely do people ask for permission to use my images in their advertising. They just grab them and often it is the graphic designer who knows very little about copyright law, making ads and then presenting them to their employer or with whomever they contract with. It's not the graphic designers we are suing, it's the business owner we sue. You business owners should demand from your graphics people documentation for permission for usage of images in the ads.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 10:26am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

                  "Hi Tom,"

                  Erm, is this a meme I'm not getting, or are you one of those idiots who has to pretend you're talking to someone other than you're talking to in order to beat up a strawman?

                  "Thank you for introducing me to flicr CC, yikes, never done that thank god"

                  Thank god that you don't know that people had to invent an entirely new licensing system to get away from the locked-up restrictive old school method that pretended that people only cared about profit? The one that's similar to the licence involved in every piece of software you're using to post your nonsense? Hmmm...

                  "Before using a photo for an advertisement, or before grabbing a photo from the internet (with the exception of photos explicitly in the public domain) why aren't people doing reverse image searches to discover the author of the work and then seeking permission? "

                  Because their marketing department aren't worth their job, or because the copyright system is so convoluted and geared towards corporations that even people who do due diligence, and in some cases even have permission of the copyright owner, still have to put up with copyright trolls?

                  "You business owners should demand from your graphics people documentation for permission for usage of images in the ads."

                  I'm not sure who you think you're talking to - is this a hallucination, or have you just been trained to avoid reality by a lawyer who is being reprimanded for his bad legal practices?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    icon
                    Ross (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 12:46pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's a

                    Sorry, didn't mean to call you Tom. Wow, you've become quite hostile and angry and I am now having a better understanding of what this site is about. Just angry at the system. Frustrated with life in general. A lot of people are right now.

                    Because my personal experiences don't fit the narrative here, I am deemed to be either a fake or a liar. If you want to live your life with half the story, that's your choice. I'm done here, and I thank you guys for taking the time with me. When Richard's office first alerted me about the suspension, I was concerned and felt like I needed to dig into this a bit. After interacting with you and one other, I will no longer take seriously this particular thread.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 11:26pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard

                      "Sorry, didn't mean to call you Tom"

                      You did it twice, which makes me think that your attention to detail isn't particularly strong, which is also supported by the fact that you keep asking people what the site thinks about your lawyer, even though all the statements ever made on this site have been provided to you within a single click. You also seem ignorant of some very basic issues regarding the subject, such as not understanding the difference between theft and infringement, not understanding the difference between civil and criminal infringement, not knowing the existence of a widespread legal licencing scheme that's been in use for millions of works for over a decade, and so forth.

                      I would suggest you have poor legal counsel on this subject.

                      "Wow, you've become quite hostile and angry"

                      Nope, I just have little patience for the wilfully ignorant, especially those who have placed profit above understanding the issues at hand, as you claim to have done.

                      "I am deemed to be either a fake or a liar."

                      Not at all, you might be telling the truth about having been hoodwinked by a fraudster who extorts innocents, in reaction to people talking about his long overdue reprimand by the courts.

                      "After interacting with you and one other, I will no longer take seriously this particular thread."

                      I'm guessing you've never taken it seriously. You came in here thinking you'd be able to make an argument in defence of your profiteering lawyer, and are now running away when you encountered an audience armed with facts that don't fit in line with what you have been told.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 5:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

              "Anyway, in your opinion, in a nutshell, aside from the issues the judges have with him, what makes him such a villain?"

              Uh...are you serious? Multiple judges have had to sanction the man for perjuring himself in court and you're asking him what makes him such a villain?
              Gee, I dunno, maybe the same logic which establishes that a man who robs a bank is, in fact, a criminal?

              Someone who makes a mockery of the legal process itself is a lot worse than just a criminal or someone acting unlawfully. You can justifiably doubt individual laws, after all, but every sane person wants a functional legal system.

              That you even have to ask why a man who defrauds a court should be considered a villain says a lot about your moral compass.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 5:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

          "I assume you've been a defendant in one of his cases and lost. That is the only explanation."

          Commenter#1: "Having read the years worth of Liebowitz being sanctioned by judges for practicing actual fraud in the courtroom, I think he's not a good lawyer!"

          "Ross": "You must have lost a case against this paragon of good lawyering! It's the only explanation!"

          Seriously, Baghdad Bob, give it a rest. Liebowitz is not defensible any more than Hansmeier, Harder or Steele were.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Ross (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 6:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

            Please note, you are literally putting words in my mouth. You created your own sentence and then wrote it as a direct quote from me. Are you able to respond without railing on someone? Without misquoting them?

            I can see that you are passionately outraged, however I gain nothing from someone that just rages on me and puts me down. This was the first blog/article I came across when I found out he was suspended. It was a mistake to engage here. I gained nothing from it. A friend of mine who is an attorney told me to go directly to the court documents, which I have done.

            So, I will leave you now to pick at my every word. To club me with all your outrage.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 6:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

              Are you able to respond without railing on someone? Without misquoting them?

              Sure, we can quote your actual insinuations.

              So, basically anyone who has something positive to say about Richard you light your hair on fire and run down the street, screaming, "Liar!"

              From the moment you got here you've been doing nothing but singing the praises of Liebowitz in spite of the evidence in record against him, and expressing umbrage at the idea that Liebowitz's reputation was besmirched by Internet nobodies. When confronted with this, your first response was to double down and insist that everyone else who disagrees must have a personal grudge against copyright due to losing a similar suit.

              Putting words in your mouth is unnecessary. Watching you throw a hissy fit just to "white knight" for Liebowitz tells casual readers all they need to know.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 9:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

              "A friend of mine who is an attorney told me to go directly to the court documents, which I have done."

              A sensible person would have done that to begin with, rather than go to whatever random blog he found first for his information. Then get all offended because he realised that not everyone loves his friend, even though he didn't bother reading the several years worth of explanation on why that is before responding, or perhaps considering why the courts are reacting the way they are to the actions of the subject.

              Anyway, so what did the court documents say? Did they counter the general impression here that he was a copyright troll who constantly overstepped the way the courts are meant to operate in this type of case to the point where he had his licence suspended as punishment? Or, is there something we're missing here?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 5 Dec 2020 @ 3:55pm

      Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

      On one hand I see he is being labeled as a troll, and then there also seems to be an issue about how he conducts himself in court. I'm not sure where these two issues intersect or if they even do. I'm sure someone here will elaborate.

      Liebowitz is called a troll for two reasons. One, the way he conducts himself in and out of court. Two, the fact that he takes far more cases than is reasonable for anyone to be able to handle and with little care as to the legitimacy of those cases. Both of these are supported in the record of his cases, which is discussed in the article.

      Regarding the registrations, from my personal experience, they are handled meticulously.

      We have a court ruling that explicitly says otherwise.

      I'm under the impression that the majority on this thread believe in copyright law, and if so, then what is wrong with pursuing people who steal images? What's wrong with pursuing all of them? It is the only way they will learn.

      It’s about how they are pursued, and the amount of money involved. Quite frankly, Liebowitz’s tactics in and out of court are problematic, to say the least, and the amount of money it takes just to settle a copyright case, no matter how small, is outrageous. As for pursuing all of them, that’s unfeasible. There are too many of them.

      Look, I feel for you. I really do. I do think you should be paid for your work. However, Liebowitz is not a great attorney. He is constantly being sanctioned, and you may end up having to pay for those sanctions. And that’s the problem. What he’s doing is bad for all parties.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ross (profile), 5 Dec 2020 @ 4:17pm

        Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

        This is the first comment where someone didn't put me down or call me a name. Thank you, and I will continue to research these issues you've mentioned. I've had two attorneys before Richard, and IMO, they were unethical and ineffective.

        Richard is the first attorney to produce results for me, and he has been fair with me. I know he deals in volume and relies on a staff. I've dealt with the copyright office quite a bit, and they don't always get things right, make mistakes on certificates and on occasion give out wrong information. But I don't know the details of of the court not allowing the registrations he produced. For Richard to go forward with any of my cases, they have to be registered - his office staff requires it.

        His basic formula works, and I would encourage other attorneys to follow it. It is very effective, and perhaps they can do a better job than Richard. But until more attorneys enter this niche market, Richard seems to be the only one serving and underserved market.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2020 @ 4:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

          I've had two attorneys before Richard, and IMO, they were unethical and ineffective.

          It does occur to me that IP-based litigation is staffed by mostly people who are unethical and ineffective. Now why is that?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 5 Dec 2020 @ 11:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hey, I'm a client of Richard's and

          "Richard is the first attorney to produce results for me, and he has been fair with me"

          Amway have some satisfied clients, as well. That doesn't mean they're doing good, honest work overall.

          "His basic formula works, and I would encourage other attorneys to follow it."

          You would encourage other attorneys to follow a business method that has led to your lawyer having his licence suspended?

          "Richard seems to be the only one serving and underserved market"

          Not at all, he's just the most prominent scam artist in the area.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ross (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 6:53pm

    Wow

    So, basically anyone who has something positive to say about Richard you light your hair on fire and run down the street, screaming, "Liar!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ross (profile), 3 Dec 2020 @ 7:15am

      Re: Wow

      This comment was meant as a reply to Anon Coward. I'm trying to message the author of this article, but when I click on his Twitter account, messaging has been disabled. Does anyone have his email? thanks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 5 Dec 2020 @ 3:41pm

      Re: Wow

      Nope. We might instead think you’re a patsy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ross (profile), 5 Dec 2020 @ 3:55pm

        Re: Re: Wow

        Our settlements are usually in 5 figures. I see all the accounting, no hourly charges, just the filing fee which comes off the top. Very recently a judge awarded me a 6 figure settlement, a case with multiple infringements. I appreciate your concern that Richard is taking advantage of me. You are obviously a kind person. If you know of an attorney who takes on these kinds of contingencies and pays better than 50/50 minus filing fees, please direct me.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2020 @ 7:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wow

          Very recently a judge awarded me a 6 figure settlement

          Care to share the details, or are we going to have to take your magical word for it?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 8:49am

        Re: Re: Wow

        Or a sock puppet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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