Attorney Timothy B. McCormack sends Cease and Desist over..a Cease and Desist

2 trolls
Birds of a feather Flock Together!

Yup, you read the title correctly! The fuck-tard attorney from Seattle strikes again! ( Oh by the way “FUCKTARD” is simply my opinion and is used as a term of endearment.) So the back story is pretty simple, back on January 13,2014 I received a Cease and Desist for some parody images that appeared on copyright-trolls.com, which I reported on publicly ( https://copyright-trolls.com/site/seattle-attorney-mccormack-ip-law-claims-copyright-infringementdefamation/). Being that I’m fairly reasonable ( and a nice guy) I promptly removed the questionable images, even though I felt strongly that the images would fall under fair use and were created as parodie’s by whomever created them…but I digress..

I then proceeded to scan the nice little fed-ex package contents as part of my posting about the cease and desist letter. Not wanting to omit anything and to paint a very clear picture for my loyal readers, I also included the color scans of the screen shots that were included in the letter that was sent to me….and posted them as part of the article/post…

On January 21, 2014 I get a letter from the same douche-nozzle acknowledging the removal of said images. ( yes the new post was already written at this point) Also in this letter it is pointed out that I may have missed a single image, which was also taken care of.

Fast forward to today:

I now get a letter stating that I have failed to “comply” with the cease and desist and that the images are still appearing here. NOT

I suppose I have to really dumb it down for those that can’t comprehend..

1. The original images were removed as a courtesy ( remember I’m reasonable and a nice guy?)

2. The images in question in this new letter NEVER existed until Seattle Lawyer Timothy B. McCormack Fed-Exed them to me at my address, because I created them when I scanned in the fucking letter..

3. Letter #1 and Letter #2 are completely unrelated, in terms of images..

So in a nutshell McCormack Intellectual Property Law & Business Law PS wants another cease and desist?? I think not the post stays, the images stay.. I’m clearly within my rights of fair use to scan a letter that was sent to me, post said letter and freely comment on said letter..Just because the images show up on a google image search isn’t my problem..

Below are all three documents for your reading pleasure:

Original Cease and Desist ~ Jan.13, 2014

Acknowledgement Letter ~ Jan. 21, 2014

Cease and Desist, Cease and Desist ~ March 3, 2014

5 Comments

  1. I love the new “Is McCormack A Troll?” image.

    I’m assuming the underlying image is a screenshot taken from “McCormack Self-Promotional Video,” for the purpose of discussion I’ll call your parody image “Is McCormack A Troll Image” I was thinking about what argument might make if McCormack were to sue you for this image. IANAL, but these thoughts came to mind.

    The defense of fair use involves 4 factors. I’ll try to weigh each.

    Factor 1: Purpose and character of use.
    The purpose and character of use in “Is McCormack A Troll Image” is parody; its main element is to take a jab at Timothy McCormack’s public-relations persona where he spins himself as an expert who teaches others about copyright. Some who are familiar with Timothy’s business practice of sending frightening demand letters threatening the recipient with litigation if they do not fork over large amounts of case consider his business practices to amount to “copyright trolling” and hold the opinion that McCormack himself is a copyright troll. This derivative image mocks McCormack’s decision to use a Troll to in his “lesson” about copyright. The point being made in the parody is that the person examining the image cannot be certain which of the two characters in the image is the troll.

    Interestingly in this case, because the image manages to almost achieve self parody of McCormack by McCormack himself. It is the addition of the text that twists the self-parody into a more direct statement that says, “This is no joke: There really are two trolls in this image!”; this is certainly not the statement McCormack intended.

    It’s worth noting the derivative use is also non-commercial, intended to help enrich the public’s knowledge about the existence of “copyright trolls” and in no way intended to supersede the value of the underlying work nor any derivatives that might be made from it. So the first factor should lean heavily in favor of the maker of the derivative whether or not the image is seen as a parody. Because it is a parody, this will influence application of the other factors.

    Factor 2: Nature of the (underlying) copyrighted work:
    The underlying work (i.e., “McCormack Self-Promotional Video”) is a video which whose use appears to be a self-promotional infomercial which publicizes and promotes Timothy McCormack as an expert on copyright, presents Timothy McCormack’s interpretation of copyright law, and promotes sales of his book. McCormack disseminates this and other infomercials free of charge on YouTube.

    As quality is not a factor in assessing the nature of the copyright work, “McCormack Self-Promotional Video” seems to be “original/creative” rather than “a list of facts”. That is: the video appears to be the result of McCormack’s efforts to put together what he thinks is an engaging and useful infomercial.

    I have no idea whether this factor balances toward the defendant or plaintiff! Seems like a draw to me, but courts might deem this ‘something that can be protected by copyright’ so this factor might lean in favor of the person whose copyrighted work was copied, i.e., McCormack. (Note however that if the derivative is a parody, the fact that the underlying work is “creative” has no effect on the test of fair use. )

    Factor 3: The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;and amount copied.

    The derivative uses one frame from a 4:17 minute youtube video posted by Timothy McCormack. here and the chosen frame does not represent the “heart” of the work. The amount used is such a tiny fraction that this factor should lean in favor of the maker of the derivative even if the use is not deemed ‘parody’.

    Beyond that, in parody, the issue is taking only the elements required for parody effect. In this case: The idea communicated in the parody is “Timothy McCormack is a Copyright Troll”. The specific screen shot chosen is one that contains the Troll and is precisely the amount required to communicate the parody message.

    Factor 4: The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The derivative use has no meaningful effect on the potential market or value of McCormack’s video nor any derivatives made from it. The effect on the market is measured by how it would affect how much a willing buyer might pay the copyright owner (i.e., McCormack) for the video that promotes Tim McCormack or how much any buyer might pay for the privilege of creating derivative works. This amount was likely $0 prior to the creation of the derivative. It’s worth noting that any decline in value springing from people coming to think less of McCormack or his expertise does not count against a determination of “fair use”.

    So, I would daresay the effect of the potential market for the value of McCormack’s self promotional video is zero. So this leans well in favor of the maker of the derivative.

    All in all, I think it’s almost certain any Copyright court in the US would rule that the derivative copy showing McCormack is “fair use”. That said: IANAL. Going further IANA_copyright_L. So maybe I am mistaken.

  2. I noticed the “McCormack Self-Promotional Video” is also at vimeo

    I guess I should call this McCormack Self-Promotional Video with Troll” to distinguish it from his other videos.

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