Notorious New York copyright lawyer Richard Liebowitz filed five different copyright infringement suits in Massachusetts. Liebowitz, is well known for filing hundreds of infringement suits and seeking to extract settlements without consideration of the merits of the lawsuit or the defenses asserted against them 2013 I have personal experience with his tactics, which amounted to filing suit without first seeking to resolve matters and then simply demanding an outrageous dollar amount without explanation or justification, using the threat of the Copyright Act 2019s statutory damages and attorneys 2019 fees provisions to drive settlement. Liebowitz had yet to actually get to summary judgment or trial on any of his cases at the time, and indeed had settled virtually all the cases he filed without getting into discovery, and often without the defendant having answered the complaint. Liebowitz has been criticized by courts on several occasions and has been sanctioned for his litigation conduct, with S.D. N.Y. Judge Kaplan identifying one such filing as frivolous, and Judge Cote labelling him a 201ccopyright troll 201d and imposing monetary sanctions and required Liebowitz take ethics classes. None of this is to say that the defendants did not infringe the copyrights of the plaintiffs 2013 as Liebowitz has noted in his defense, it is very common for people to find photographs on-line and simply cut and paste the photos into their own projects, without license or attribution. The amounts sought by Liebowitz, however, vastly exceed the royalties that the photographers would have obtained, even with attorney 2019s fees included. The cases are split between Judges Stearns, Kelley, Saylor, Casper, Woodlock, and Young.
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