Anti-Extortion Case 3 – Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC and Corbis Corporation

Case Summary

I will publish this Anti-Extortion Case 3 as a series of letters that I sent to Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC and to Corbis Corporation’s management. You decide, whether the demands that these entities are making are valid or not.

I will also describe the correspondence that I received in conjunction with this case. I will not publish the letters that I received from the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC, because attorney Carolyn E. Wright has used the instances where her letter was published on the Internet as an excuse to attack the website that published her letter, to render the Web page that contains her letter inaccessible to the general public. I wonder, what it is that attorney Carolyn E. Wright is afraid of, that she goes to great length in order to prevent the general public from seeing the letters that her office sends out? These letters are commonly known as extortion letters.

Carolyn E. Wright of the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC, her co-worker, and Corbis Corporation’s lawyer ceased making demands and any other further interactions after the communication described here. Accordingly, this dormant case has been closed until there is a need to reopen it.

Contents

What Makes This an Anti-Extortion Case?

I seem to be a target of copyright cases. In September of 2012 I received a letter from attorney Earl R. Richardson of the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC. Similarly to Anti-Extortion Case 2, the letter contained unsubstantiated demands for thousands of dollars, accompanied by threats.

The interesting twist here is that the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC seems to be using made up evidence. Earl R. Richardson, the attorney, who contacted me, listed Corbis Corporation copyright numbers in his letter. However, Internet research indicates that Corbis Corporation has been involved in other copyright disputes where some of the same copyright numbers were used to represent different images than are involved in this dispute.

In his correspondence to me, Earl R. Richardson used the copyright registration numbers as part of the evidence that supported the legitimacy of his demands. These demands were accompanied by threats of further and more severe actions in case the full payment is not made as requested.

So, is this a case where an attorney knowingly used made up evidence to support the monetary demands?

If you have received similar correspondence from the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC and it contains copyright numbers that you supposedly have violated, my recommendation is to compare them to the copyright numbers listed here, and to do Internet search on them. If the attorneys at the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC are making up evidence by recycling copyright numbers, there may be other similar cases as well.

I wonder, what the FBI thinks of this.

Further, if the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC or any other copyright lawyer is demanding money from you, you may want to request that the party that demands money from you validates the demands similarly to the way listed below. If the party that is making the demands cannot validate the demands or chooses not to do so, the demands become baseless.

Additionally, if you request that the party cannot contact you without validation, any further contact instances that take place without validation of the demands can be categorized as harassment.

What is Demanded From the Suspected Extortionist?

The demand made here is to STOP EXTORTION. Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC and its client, Corbis Corporation, should not make monetary demands, accompanied by threats, for images, for which the party that is making the demands cannot provide verifiable proof that the images have been available exclusively through Corbis Corporation, and who the original authors of the images are.

Further, the fact that substantial portion of the monetary demands made are demands for damages, should be clearly stated and not disguised. Accordingly, the damages should be specified in a measurable manner.

Of course, the demand for damages is far from legal if there is no copyright infringement at all. Similarly, if there are no damages, then there is no bases for demands for damages. Based on the available information, this is the case here.

Open Letter to Earl R. Richardson of the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC

I sent this letter on 09/29/12 in response to Mr. Richardson’s letter dated 09/21/12. This letter was sent via U.S. Express Mail, EI544217849US, and was delivered on 10/01/12.

Earl R. Richardson

Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC

PO Box 430

Glenbrook, NV 89413-0430

Dear Earl R. Richardson:

Regarding the correspondence, demand for payment of $12,575 for 7 (seven) images involved and threats I received from you, in conjunction with my website, ProjectDeveloper.com and Corbis Corporation’s Copyright Infringement Claim, by 10/12/12 please provide the following for each of the seven images in question:

(1) Verifiable proof that the entities that you claim are the authors of the said seven images are indeed the authors of the said seven images. In particular, furnish copies of each of the registered copyrights that apply to these seven images that are used on my website.

(2) Verifiable proof that the seven images in question have been available exclusively through your client from the moment the images were first used by any other party than the original author.

(3) Verifiable proof that each specific image in question that is used on my website had copyright management information included at the original source of the image at the time the image was obtained as is described below.

(4) Itemized and auditable list that shows how the $12,575 requested for the seven images in question was calculated.

(5) Verifiable proof that the copyright owner or owners of the said images have suffered damages as a result of my alleged actions, that justify the demand for $12,575.

(6) Itemized and auditable list that demonstrates that you are asking for a reasonable compensation for the specific images, within the timeframe that these images have been used, and are not asking for exorbitant, unreasonable amounts of money under the circumstances.

(7) Verifiable proof that your office has been authorized to represent a case involving the seven images in question.

(8) Copies of your law license and your office business license in good standing.

Please note that you and your office made demands for payment, accompanied by threats. Thus, the burden of proof is on you.

Case Background

Other than the photo of me, all the images on my website ProjectDeveloper.com are either original images that represent my database work, or original collages that I have created, or images that were created based on my instructions. Most of the seven images that your correspondence refers to appear in collages that I made and put on the Internet in September of 2011, after I had completed a creativity management project that I had been working on over several year period of time.

From 2006 to 2011 I worked with contractors on several website development projects. Some of this work is documented on http://www.elance.com/e/creativitymodel/

In 2009 I received over 100 images from contractors whose names, company and email addresses are listed below. In addition to assisting me with other website development tasks, these contractors conducted Internet searches for me for images, based on the criteria that I provided.

I paid the contractors for these services and specified, that all the images must be available free of charge without any usage restrictions, and inquired about the source of the images, to make sure that I am not in violation of any copyright laws. The sources of the images were:

These contractors keep their own libraries of free images and may have obtained the said images before 2009.

Contractors Who Furnished the Images

I did send Mr. Richardson both the company name and website address, and names and emails of 4 people who were involved in rendering the web development and image obtaining services to me that I paid for. Because I do not have any reason to doubt the integrity of this company and its employees, I will not publish this company and employee information on this website.

StopExtortion.org

You can find more information on this case from StopExtortion.org under Anti-Extortion Case 2. The case involving you is very similar.

Please note, that in accordance with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I reserve the right to post on the Internet my communication to you, which may also include quotations of your communication to me.

Further Interactions

You made threats and a demand for payment for images that to the best of my knowledge were available free of charge from other websites. You did so, without providing proof that (a) my actions, regarding specific copyrighted images, have caused any specific damages to a specific client or clients whom you are authorized to represent, and (b) that my actions have caused damages that justify the demand for $12,575.

You listed copyright registration numbers in your letter. However, an Internet search indicates that Corbis Corporation has used the same copyright registration numbers in other lawsuits, regarding other images.

Accordingly, at this point my objective is to evaluate evidence that indicates that you and your company may be engaging in fraud and extortion. This is the reason why I am communicating with you.

Under the circumstances I have no intention whatsoever of paying you anything at all for the images that I obtained through the searches I paid for and were available for free, without any usage restrictions, and neither do I have any intention of removing any images from my website.

If you want to continue this dispute then you must both furnish the information requested above, and you must prove guilt. I do not have to prove you innocence. To prove guilt, among other things you must also prove that what the project manager at Techna said is false. That is, among other things, you must prove that these specific images that I used in collages were not available in 2009 or prior to 2009 free of charge, at any of the sites listed above.

Further, you must provide conclusive proof that, as you state in your letter, I have been knowingly and with intent to induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal infringement providing copyright management information that is false and distributing copyright management information that is false, in violation of 17 USC § 1202(a) and 17 USC § 1202(b).

Until you provide verifiable proof in all the relevant areas, do not contact me via mail, email, phone or in any other way. If you do contact me without providing the required proof, I will consider each such contacting instance to be an intentional act of harassment, in addition to being part of a fraud and extortion case under public investigation. If you will knowingly perpetrate such acts of harassment, I reserve the right to legal action and holding you and your company liable for any damages caused, including possible emotional distress.

Further, please note that because I am in my current situation involuntarily and due to your and your client’s actions, I keep track of my relevant expenses, including the time spent, and will invoice you and your client for these expenses if this dispute continues. Please note, that the expenses and damages that I may seek from you, including, but not limited to, the damages caused by possible emotional distress, may far exceed the claims that you and your client are making, or may make in the future.

Sincerely,

Thomas Eklund

Open Letter to Gary Shenk, CEO, Corbis Corporation, and Barry Allen, President and COO, Corbis Corporation

I sent this letter on 10/22/12 via U.S. Express Mail to Mr. Shenk EG536807835US and Mr. Allen EG536807849US. Both letters were delivered on 10/23/12. Enclosed was the letter sent to Mr. Richardson that appears above.

Gary Shenk, Chief Executive Officer

Corbis

710 Second Avenue, Suite 200

Seattle, WA 98104

Dear Gary Shenk:

This letter pertains to possible fraud and extortion that involves Corbis Corporation. However, I am not accusing Corbis Corporation of anything illegal. To the contrary, I am hoping that we are on the same side, and both of us want to reduce fraud and extortion, and to clear Corbis Corporation’s name in the process.

This is an open letter, that is, I will publish this letter on the Internet as well, on StopExtortion.org so that it is accessible to the general public.

Below I will describe the possible fraud and extortion that involves Corbis Corporation and then will ask you to comment on Corbis Corporation’s role in it.

On 9/25/12 I received a letter from attorney Earl R. Richardson of Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC. Mr. Richardson claims that he is representing Corbis Corporation. I am enclosing both a copy of Mr. Richardson’s letter and my response to him.

In his letter to me Mr. Richardson also claimed that I am infringing Corbis Corporation’s copyrights by using seven (7) images in an unauthorized manner, and demanded an immediate payment of $12,575.00, made payable to Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC Trust Account.

In his letter, Mr. Richardson states that Corbis Corporation “timely registered the copyright to the Photographs with the U.S. Copyright Office under registration numbers VA 1-407-325, VA 1-660-560, VA 1-704-501, VA 1-693-704, VA 1-697-689, VA 1-693-756, VA 1-407-987.”

However, Internet research indicates, that Corbis Corporation has been involved in other copyright disputes where some of the same copyright numbers were used to represent different images than are involved in this dispute.

In his correspondence to me, Mr. Richardson used the copyright registration numbers as part of the evidence that supported the legitimacy of his demands. These demands were accompanied by threats of further and more severe actions in case the full payment is not made as requested.

So, is this a case where an attorney knowingly used made up evidence to support the monetary demands?

In my letter, dated 09/29/12, I asked Mr. Richardson to provide registered copyrights that apply to these seven images that are used on my website and are involved in this dispute. I sent the letter with tracking number EI544217849US via USPS Express Mail. The letter was delivered on 10/01/12 at 11:56 am.

Mr. Richardson demanded full payment within 10 days of my receipt of his letter. I did respond to Mr. Richardson in a timely manner, and requested response to my letter by 10/12/12. As of 10/22/12 I have not received any response from Mr. Richardson.

I am not a legal expert, but I believe that if Mr. Richardson knowingly used made up evidence to support his monetary demands, then by doing so Mr. Richardson was infringing the law.

Of course, the role that Corbis Corporation has here is very important to understanding the situation and the liabilities that may arise from it.

One of the questions that arises from this situation is this: If Mr. Richardson was using made up evidence to support his monetary demands, was he doing so for personal monetary gain and for monetary gain of Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC, without knowledge of Corbis Corporation?

In my opinion, Mr. Richardson involving Corbis Corporation in usage of such practices certainly taints Corbis Corporation’s public image. If this is not a stand alone instance, and similar practice has been used widely, the damage to Corbis Corporation may be rather substantial.

Further, if Corbis Corporation has authorized the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC to represent Corbis Corporation, then as leader of Corbis Corporation, taking my case as an example, do you consider the $12,575.00 that Mr. Richardson demanded from me to be appropriate? If you consider this to be appropriate, then what specifically, in this specific case, justifies this demand?

I certainly respect copyrights and the relevant laws. However, I deeply despise fraud and extortion.

Accordingly, as far as my alleged infringement of copyrights is concerned, then, of course, first of all we need to clarify if there has been any actual infringement of copyrights. Verifiable proof of the relevant information, as I requested in my letter to Mr. Richardson, would need to be furnished in areas identified as (1), (2) and (3).

Mr. Richardson’s demands pertain to my obtaining and using certain images. That is, Mr. Richardson’s demands pertain to past transactions, not to the copyrights or any other rights that Corbis Corporation holds now, at this point in time, or any services that Corbis Corporation offers now. Accordingly, I also requested relevant information from Mr. Richardson regarding relevant past transactions.

Given, that the contractors who did Internet searches and furnished the images to me violated copyright laws and misinformed me about the sources of the images, I agree to paying the actual image usage fees starting 09/14/11, when I put up on the Web host’s server the collages that I had created.

Obviously, if the contractors misinformed me and I would have known about it when I obtained the images, I would have rejected these images, because there are plenty of free images on the Internet.

At this point, the only reason why I have any interest in these images is that I have put my time and efforts into creating collages out of them that are used in the context of a creativity management project that I worked on. The results of this creativity management project are available on ProjectDeveloper.com free of charge through Creative Commons license.

If Mr. Richardson demands any additional amount of money from me, then, at first he needs to furnish the relevant support information for items identified in my letter to him as (1) through (8).

However, most importantly, I hope that we can shed light into this situation. If any fraud and extortion are involved here, and especially if my case is part of more widespread activities, then it benefits Corbis Corporation to work with the victims of such abuses. That is, I firmly believe that Corbis Corporation benefits by demonstrating that this company cares both about the copyright holders and the image users rights, and does not support copyright law abusers.

Please respond by 11/16/12 and let me know what are Corbis Corporation’s positions in the areas addressed here.

Sincerely,

Thomas Eklund

Letter Received from Carolyn E. Wright of the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC

Attorney Carolyn E. Wright sent me a letter, dated 10/31/12. In her letter attorney Carolyn E. Wright stated that this letter was a response to the letter that I had sent to Mr. Gary Shenk, the CEO of Corbis Corporation.

As is stated above, I not publish the letters that I received from the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC, because attorney Carolyn E. Wright has used the instances where her letter was published on the Internet as an excuse to attack the website that published her letter, to render the Web page that contains her letter inaccessible to the general public.

In this letter attorney Wright tried to provide support to the previous demands, but the letter contained only general statements without providing any actual, relevant material support to the demands made.

By making general statements that are not relevant to my case, attorney Carolyn E. Wright tries desperately to show that I have broken copyright laws. Further, attorney Carolyn E. Wright avoids addressing the aspect that her demands are made up of damages, but these damages are imaginary and do not exist in reality.

The lawyers at the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC have fallen flat in every aspect as lawyers who legitimately protect their client’s interests. All they can do, is to make extortion demands in their client’s name.

Do the letters that the lawyers at the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC send out actually benefit the artists that Corbis Corporation works with, or Corbis Corporation, or the general public?

Open Letter to Carolyn E. Wright of the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC

I sent this letter on 11/05/12 in response to Ms. Wright’s letter dated 10/31/12. This letter was sent via U.S. Express Mail, EI158932856US, and was delivered on 11/07/12.

Carolyn E. Wright

Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC

PO Box 430

Glenbrook, NV 89413-0430

Dear Carolyn E. Wright:

This is an open letter, that is, I will publish this letter on Internet, on StopExtortion.org so that it is accessible to the general public and to other institutions, like the FBI.

Don’t worry, I will not publish your correspondence to me – only quotes, when they are directly relevant to my message to you. I am fully entitled to do so.

Your office approached me with unsubstantiated demands. I requested information that would help to validate the demands that your office had made. You contacted me and provided no requested information at all. Similarly, I requested information that would show that your office is not using made up evidence to extort money. You provided no information whatsoever that would in any way exonerate you – and your client Corbis Corporation – in that area either.

Instead, you sent me a letter that contains citations that have very little or no direct relevance to my case. Further, you made statements like “By law, the amount of damages awarded to Corbis can be as high as $150,000 per photograph.” You also stated that “Corbis’ offer in the very low end of that range for all of the photographs at issue will be available only for a limited time and may increase if we are unable to resolve this matter soon.”

This offer in the very low end that you are referring to is $12,575 for 7 images, none of which I obtained from Corbis Corporation website, and for which I have no reason to believe that at the time when I received the images, these images were available exclusively at Corbis Corporation website. That is, you are demanding $12,575 for nothing.

To me, this indicates that you are continuing to use your bullying and extortionist ways.

Further, considering how inappropriate your above statements are in this particular case, I consider the statements that you made to be direct insults.

I can swear, in the Court of Law, my hand on the Bible, that I have never ever received any images whatsoever from Corbis Corporation’s website. Until recently, I had not even heard of Corbis Corporation or visited their website. I received the images that I used as raw material from different sources. I have already provided you the list of sources from where these images were obtained. Thus, I have no reason to remove any collages that I made from my website.

When you furnish the information that I requested, proving that your client actually has the right to seek compensation, we can negotiate a payment of regular leasing rates. Until then, I have much more reason to trust in the honesty of the developers who sent me the images, whose customer I was and to whom I paid for these services, than I trust you, who makes utterly unreasonable demands for unproven and apparently non existing damages.

If you believe, that you and your client are entitled to $12,575 or more in this case, feel free to pursue litigation against me. In my opinion you have no legitimate base for your demands. I hope that this is clear enough.

Until you provide verifiable proof in all the relevant areas as requested, do not contact me via mail, email, phone or in any other way. If you do contact me without providing the required proof, I will consider each such contacting instance to be an intentional act of harassment, in addition to being part of a fraud and extortion case under public investigation. If you will knowingly perpetrate such acts of harassment, I reserve the right to legal action and holding you, your company, and your client liable for any damages caused, including possible emotional distress.

Further, please note that because I am in my current situation involuntarily and due to your and your client’s actions, I keep track of my relevant expenses, including the time spent, and will invoice you and your client for these expenses if this dispute continues. Please note, that the expenses and damages that I may seek from you, including, but not limited to, the damages caused by possible emotional distress, may far exceed the claims that you and your client are making, or may make in the future.

Sincerely,

Thomas Eklund

Open Letter to Gary Shenk, CEO, Corbis Corporation

I sent this letter on 11/05/12 via U.S. Express Mail to Mr. Shenk EI158932860US. This letters were delivered on 11/06/12. Enclosed was the letter sent to Ms. Wright that appears above.

Gary Shenk, Chief Executive Officer

Corbis

710 Second Avenue, Suite 200

Seattle, WA 98104

Dear Mr. Shenk:

Are you certain, that by aligning yourself and Corbis Corporation with Carolyn E. Wright of the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC, you are acting in the best interest of Corbis Corporation shareholders?

Ms. Wright seems to be unable to resolve the dispute we have by using valid arguments and legal means. By using invalid arguments and possibly less than legal means, Ms. Wright will drag down you and Corbis Corporation with her.

Enclosed is my response to Ms. Wright who, in her words, represents you and Corbis Corporation as well.

This is an open letter, that is, I will publish this letter on Internet, on StopExtortion.org so that it is accessible to the general public.

Sincerely,

Thomas Eklund

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