E = Who Are You?

E = Who Are You? | Mark Kaufman

Readers of my blog know that I’m generally in favor of enforcing copyright. If you’ve got the goods on someone and those are your rights, you should be entitled to collect for it — or at least stop it. Likewise, if you’ve been called out for infringing, the right thing to do is usually to pay the pound of flesh required of you. But how does the would-be defendant know whether paying it will actually solve the matter? A client recently received a demand letter from a licensing agency for allegedly infringing on a copyright owned by a newspaper in Europe. The notice was referring to my client’s use of, let’s say, the famous image of a French boy running with a baguette on a relatively private — and certainly a non-profitable — website. In this case the pound of flesh was only a couple hundred bucks, but I was motivated by the sense that the purported licensor was a greedy, undeserving troll until proven legitimate.

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