An article in Lawyer Monthly Magazine shed some interesting light on the copyright practice of Higbee & Associates. The article, which is an interview with attorney Mathew Higbee, covers a lot of topics.
Overall, the article was very pro-Higbee, giving him plenty of time to brag about his representing the Associated Press and lots of “high end” agencies. However it did press him on a couple of topics of interest. The interviewer zeroes in on allegations that his notorious firm is heavy-handed. Higbee attempted to counter by saying that his firm does not pursue claims against individuals.
Higbee said: “We start by only pursuing commercial users, so we can presume there is both an increased level of sophistication as well as an expectation that a business will be liable for getting things wrong. The biggest challenges stem from the fact that we know very little about the claim or other possible infringements during pre-litigation negotiation, and our clients are offering a complete release of liability. We have seen cases with one or two unregistered images evolve into much bigger cases. So, we think the fairest thing to do is caution the business about what is possible and advise them that they should consider hiring an attorney or work with us to resolve the claim out of court…”
The interviewer brought up the criticism that Higbee & Associates takes from online bloggers. Higbee goes on to claim that some of the critics of his law firm are in denial.
“A lot of the criticism is simply a form of denial being expressed by businesses whose actions have them in an uncomfortable or embarrassing position, or from people who lack insight or understanding of the law. Occasionally, though, some of the criticism has merit and offers insight on how we can do things better,” said Higbee.
The articled does not provide much in the way of statistics or insight other than Higbee saying that most of his cases settle without having to go to court. “The overwhelming majority of recipients know they have done something wrong, whether unknowingly or not, which makes it an easy conversation about how to properly compensate our client. Most approach it as a business decision,” said Higbee. A 2018 article in Fast Company Magazine quoted Higbee as saying that more than 80 percent of the claims he pursues settle out of court.
The entire article can be read at:
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