If you are on this page, then you may have received a demand letter from the SRIPLAW firm. The SRIPLAW firm, like Higbee & Associates, is known for initiating many disputes against individuals and corporate entities who have allegedly infringed upon the copyrights of their clients. SRIPLAW typically demands a large sum of money to avoid being named in copyright infringement lawsuits. Heitner Legal has been retained to successfully represent the interests of those who find themselves on the receiving end of demand letters and/or Complaints filed in federal court.
If you have received such a letter or been served a Summons and Complaint, then feel free to contact us with some information about your particular case or controversy. We promise to keep all communications confidential, pride ourselves on quick and active responses, and do not charge for initial consultations.
SRIPLAW typically will suggest that it is reaching out with the intention of resolution. However, the demand is commonly extravagant and totally unrelated to the gravity of the claimed infringement as well as the economic opportunity that has purportedly been lost by the copyright holder. Furthermore, SRIPLAW may make the accusation that you have willfully infringed on its client’s copyright when, in fact, the infringement was largely or totally harmless and entirely innocent. We recommend not falling prey to what can be an overly aggressive tone in a demand letter. Law firms will often seek to take advantage of unrepresented individuals and corporate entities, particularly in the complex field of intellectual property.
Whether a technical infringement was willful or innocent is extremely important in calculating the appropriate range for possible damages. If willful, then the range is from $30,000 to $150,000, but that is rare. More commonly, the infringement is innocent. If SRIPLAW’s client had the requisite copyright registration in possession prior to the alleged copyright infringement and it was innocent infringement, then the range of statutory damages is $750 to $30,000. It is more common for damages to be in the lower end rather than the higher end of that range.
What the SRIPLAW firm intentionally avoids bringing up in its demand letters is that it is rare for technical copyright infringement issues to be worth litigating. The lawyers representing these types of plaintiffs are typically on contingency agreements, which means that they only get paid if their clients get paid. Stated another way, they are not being compensated by the hour. Thus, they are incentivized to craft a resolution as quickly as possible to get the most gain with the least amount of work. Additionally, law firms like SRIPLAW will purposefully not address the fact that there may be fair use or de minimis use defenses to copyright infringement claims. These are things we would explore if retained to fight against copyright infringement-related demands or litigation.
When we are retained by clients we initially will draft a complete reply that fleshes through the problems in the firm’s position, as well as the strengths of our possible defenses, and the file is either commonly closed with the firm choosing not to spend the time or money to litigate or we are able to broker a resolution, at a discount from the initial demand, in exchange for a release from any and all claims. We always recommend that clients immediately remove any infringing content unless a license was possessed that provides the right to publish it.
It is also important that letters from the SRIPLAW firm, or any other law firm representing the rights of copyright holders, not be ignored. The consequence of avoiding the demand altogether will likely be a lawsuit being filed against you, which immediately requires spending much more time and money than should be necessary with these issues.