Have you received a demand letter from a law firm that represents Affordable Aerial Photography, Inc. or received a Summons and Complaint concerning a lawsuit that has been filed against you by Affordable Aerial Photography? If so, then you are not alone. We have been forwarded numerous emails and other written correspondence from law firms representing Affordable Aerial Photography and we have represented many defendants in copyright infringement litigation initiated by Affordable Aerial Photography. Many of those people have successfully retained us to reply to that correspondence and/or defend against the litigation.
If you have received such a letter or found yourself/your company named the defendant in a legal proceeding, 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.
Affordable Aerial Photography often retains law firms such as CopyCat Legal, SRIPLAW, and Beusse Sanks. The vast majority of copyright infringement cases filed by Affordable Aerial Photography are initiated in the State of Florida. Quite often, Affordable Aerial Photography, through its lawyers, will demand an exorbitant amount of money based on what was, at most, a technical, innocent copyright infringement. More likely than not, the image was taken from a platform such as Google Images without the knowledge that such activity may be considered to be copyright infringement.
The lawsuits filed by Affordable Aerial Photography all have the same look and feel. They begin with a discussion of the company being formed in Florida in 2005 with its sole shareholder being Robert Stevens who, for many years, has been employed by Affordable Aerial Photography as a high-end real estate photographer who specializes in aerial photography. The Complaints go as far as to sometimes refer to Mr. Stevens as a “pioneer of aerial real estate photography.” In fact, many defendants tend to be realtors who use Affordable Aerial Photography’s content on real estate listings, not knowing that they may be infringing upon someone else’s copyright.
The lawsuits and demand letters should provide a copy of the copyrighted content as well as the allegedly infringing activity. You always want to make sure that the copyright registration is valid and double-check as to whether there is a proper claim for statutory damages as opposed to actual damages. Statutory damages could entitle Affordable Aerial Photography to enhanced relief above and beyond actual damages, which would ordinarily be calculated based on the normal licensing fee for such use.
Also, be cautious to not just take what Affordable Aerial Photography tells you about its licensing fees at face value. We have found that the company will inflate its alleged fees to scare defendants into submission. Always seek proof of licensing costs before coming out of pocket, and always consider potential defenses to the claims as well, such as fair use, de minimis use, a statute of limitations defense, and/or the three-month rule.
Importantly, do not feel as though you need to attack these Complaints and demand letters on your own, and definitely avoid the urge to ignore a filed lawsuit. The worst-case scenario is one in which you turn your head, allowing Affordable Aerial Photography to swoop in and receive a judgment, which it will seek to enforce by garnishing your bank account(s) or otherwise. Copyright infringement cases can be quite complicated, and we are happy to help you navigate them to optimize your defense strategy.