Have you received a demand letter from David C. Deal who says he focuses on photographic copyright law? If so, then you are not alone. We have been forwarded emails, letters, and drafts of complaints, as well as other written correspondence from lawyer David C. Deal and Taylor B. Parsons at The Law Office of David C. Deal, PLC located in Charlottesville, Virginia, demanding large sums of money in exchange for a release of claims related to allegations of copyright infringement. Some who receive these demands no know better than to cave in and pay the amount stated in the letter, but others have decided it is best to retain us and either negotiate down the amount to a reasonable number or fight them in litigation.
If you have received a letter and/or draft complaint from David Deal at The Law Office of David C. Deal, PLC, then feel free to contact us about your particular matter. We strive to keep communications confidential, we do not charge for initial consultations, and we tend to respond very quickly to inquiries.
David C. Deal has recently grown his “photographic copyright law” firm largely through referrals received from image rights company Pixsy, which will commonly reach out to people to try to push them to make a payment for use of images without consent. David Deal’s demand will oftentimes be higher than what Pixsy or another image rights company sought. That does not mean that the value of the matter has increased in any way; instead, it demonstrates that there are now more mouths to feed given that a law firm is involved. Do not be tricked into thinking that the value of the claim has somehow gone up from what an image rights company may have suggested in the past.
But now that the matter is in front of a lawyer like David C. Deal, it is probably best to not ignore it. While David C. Deal may not put each and every claim into litigation, the likelihood that a copyright infringement claim does get litigated is increased once it is passed along to a lawyer like David Deal and particularly after a demand letter is sent (especially when it is completely ignored). Instead of ignoring the letter, send us a copy and we will be happy to take a look at it as well as explore potential options with you.
Letters from David C. Deal typically begin by explaining the name of the professional photographer that his law firm is representing and the name of the entity or person who is allegedly committing copyright infringement. David Deal will commonly include any exhibits that evidence the alleged copyright infringement near the end of the letter. The letter also usually cites Title 17 504-5 of the U.S. Code which outlines damages for which a copyright infringer may be liable. David C. Deal will then scare the recipient into thinking that he/she may be personally liable for acts of copyright infringement committed by a company.
While he says that his client’s goal is a fair and expeditious resolution with the least cost expended by the parties, David C. Deal’s intention is a money grab — to do the least amount of work while obtaining the most amount of money for his client, which he likely receives a piece of as part of a contingency-styles engagement. This is where having an experienced law firm to help you, such as Heitner Legal, can serve as significant assistance in your efforts to deal with these types of letters. We will either help negotiate down the monetary demand or defend you in a court of law where the Complaint is filed. There also may be applicable defenses such as fair use or de minimis use for us to explore.
Reach out to us and let us see how we can assist.