Have you received a demand letter from the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates? If so, then you are not alone. We have been forwarded numerous emails and other written correspondence from the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates, demanding a large sum of money in exchange for a release of claims related to allegations of copyright infringement. Many of those people have successfully retained us to reply to that correspondence.
If you have received such a letter, then feel free to contact us about your particular issue. We keep all communications confidential, pride ourselves on quick and active responses, and do not charge for initial consultations.
The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates is the type of law firm that is commonly referred to as a “copyright troll.” It represents all types of holders of copyright with the intention of enforcing those copyrights far and wide for the purpose of earning a percentage of the payments received, often prior to actually engaging in any litigation against the alleged infringer. The firm is overly aggressive and persistent in its communications, and will often increase its aggression when an accused infringer is not represented by legal counsel.
The letters from the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates typically begin by identifying the client that they are reaching out on behalf of, indicating that there is still time to resolve the matter before it gets more expensive and possibly ends up in court. They commonly attach exhibits to the letter to demonstrate the use of the copyrighted works at issue and the alleged infringing use. The letter will then make reference to The Copyright Act and scare the recipient by citing to the largest possible amount of statutory damages of up to $150,000 for intentional infringement, even though it is incredibly rare that any judgment for infringing copyrights ever gets close to that number.
What the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates intentionally avoids discussing is that technical infringements of copyright are commonly not worth litigating. The damage to the copyright holder could be nominal and, furthermore, even though technical infringement exists, that does not preclude an infringer from prevailing with an affirmative defense such as fair use or de minimis use.
We have found that, while the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates is extremely aggressive with non-represented clients, when we craft a thorough response that highlights the weaknesses in the firm’s position, as well as the strengths of our potential defenses, the file is commonly closed with the firm choosing not to spend the time or money to litigate. It is important for our clients to quickly recognize that, if there are any technical infringing activities, the infringing content be immediately removed from websites, social media accounts, etc.
It is also important that letters from the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates, or any other law firm representing the rights of copyright holders, not be ignored by the recipients. That is perhaps the worst thing that you can do if you find yourself in receipt of one of these demands. Lack of attention could certainly result in the initiation of litigation and, at that point, you will be spending more money than you wish in defending against a judgment being entered in favor of the plaintiff.