Copyright · Photography

Important things to know; Copypants, Higbee & Associates, and Litigation

So this is your first litigation case? That’s super exciting! Sorry about the jerk stealing your image(s)! Or maybe it’s not. Maybe you’re here because you want to know how we handle litigation cases. Maybe you need some bedtime reading material… Sorry, this is going to be the most stimulating thing you’ve read all day!

Whether you’ve found this article yourself, or we’ve referred you here from a new case, the purpose here is to fully explain how we handle Litigation cases at Copypants. Strap in!

What we need from you

When you’re finished submitting the case request

Information about Higbee & Associates

H&A x Copypants Partnership

Payment & Fees

Privacy

When to use litigation

First off, if we’ve referred you here from a case email, we probably need a couple things from you. To begin a litigation case, we need as much information about the image as possible. You can fill in the form via the link we provided in the email, or you can visit the case page that has been created for you under the Cases tab on the app.

We’ll need:

  • A signed Power of Attorney document
    • This will give Higbee & Associates the power to pursue your cases on your behalf, negotiate settlement amounts, and represent your in court.
  • Your full legal name
    • Sorry, no usernames or aliases.
  • The approximate date that you first published the image, online or otherwise
    • Month and Year are enough
  • As much relevant information about the image as possible
    • Have you licensed this image before?
    • If so, how many times?
    • When?
    • On average, how much did you charge for licensing this image?
    • What kind of licensing rights were given to the publisher?
  • The image’s registration information
    • If you’ve registered the image with the U.S. copyright office we will need
      • The registration number
      • The date (day, month, year) that the image was registered
  • Your desired settlement amounts
    • The initial amount in USD
      • This will be the proposed amount
    • The minimum settlement value in USD
      • This is the lowest value you will be willing to settle this case for

Once you’ve provided all this information your case can be submitted. Of course, if you are opening a litigation case on your own, all of this still applies. Your images do not need to be registered with the Copyright office to be pursued. The big benefit of registering your images is it allows you to sue for statutory damages and attorney fees.

The reason we require so much information is because it makes a MUCH stronger case. When you have all of your “i’s” dotted, and your “t’s” crossed, it leads to quicker settlements and less negotiations.

What do you need to do when you’re finished?

After you’ve finished submitting all the information you’re finished! It’s being taken care of from this point on. We will update you as soon as progress has been made on your case. Go ahead and relax, you’ve earned it!

In the event that your case goes to court, you will not need to be present in court. Higbee & Associates are acting on your behalf, and will represent you in court.

Again, you do not need to be present in court for these cases! Isn’t that awesome!?

Who is Higbee & Associates?

Higbee & Associates is a California based law firm that specializes in copyright. They provide a wide range of copyright related services designed to help creative professionals maximize their potential and protect their livelihood. They can help with everything from registration, licensing, enforcement— including pre-litigation negotiation, and litigation.

What is H&A doing with Copypants?

Higbee & Associates is providing Litigation services for our users. All of their work is done on contingency. This means that they will accept and pursue your case with no upfront cost to you. The only time you will pay for this service is when your case wins. Payment is based on a percentage of your settlement and will be deducted once the case is closed. If your case does not settle, you pay nothing.

Two attorneys at Higbee & Associates will have the ability to review your results which include your image, the websites where they are found, and the contact information of the people using your content.

From time to time, they may suggest opening cases for certain matches that they believe have a high chance of settling.

Payment & Fees

The fees will be 50%* of the reward upon successful litigation or settlement. This is only charged after a successful case, unless you mislead your legal counsel in any way that leads to a loss. 

Why 50%? For two reasons:

  • First, we would like to be able to go after all cases, even the low value ones. In order to do this we need to have a higher rate to average it out.
  • The second reason is because Copypants and Higbee are taking on the cost of protecting all of your images, and only receiving payment for the ones where you benefit.
  • Copypants and Higbee are committed to acting professionally and respectfully towards the alleged infringers. In the end, we see them as your potential customers and we rather you have future customers, than past opponents.
*Fees are subject to change.

Privacy

Your privacy is important to us and none of your personal information or content will leave Copypants.com. As mentioned before, two attorneys will have access to information about your matches, including the location, and the contact information of the publisher.

When should you open a Litigation case?

We suggest using the Litigation action when:

  • You’ve had trouble contacting this publisher in the past
  • This image is particularly valuable, and a quickly closed case is important
  • You are asking a large licensing fee
    • Unfortunately it is common for publishers to simply ignore the licensing request, and in place take an image down, thinking they will not have to pay. This is not the case. Once legal counsel is involved, your case will continue to be pursued even if the image has been removed.
  • If this is an important image of yours and it is being used commercially by a big organization, Litigation is the best option.

As always, if you have any further questions or need some clarification please leave a comment or email support@copypants.com, and our awesome team will be thrilled to assist you!

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