Author Archives: Paul Levy

Open Letter to CopyCat Legal about a Prepared Food Photos Infringement Claim

An Alabama lawyer recently sought my help responding to your February 9, 2024 demand letter to Foggy Bottom Farms, complaining about alleged infringement of Prepared Food Photos’ copyright in a photo of vegetable. Over the past several years, I have seen many demand letters from your client based on that photo (for example, your client’s […]

Is Prepared Food Photos Running a Scam, Not Just a Scheme to Extract Excessive Rents?

Last spring, I posted two articles about a new force among the corps of copyright trolls – a law firm calling itself CopyCat Legal, representing a copyright holder that we had challenged before, now calling itself Prepared Food Photos, Inc. (“PFP”).  When I last wrote about these two, I called their monetary claims outlandish. But […]

Protecting Blogger Anonymity in New York

In the twenty-three years since the New Jersey Appellate Division issued its seminal decision in Dendrite International v. Doe, appellate courts in most adjoining and nearby  states — Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland — have adopted at least most of the major features of the Dendrite standard.  But New York has been the outlier — no […]

GSB Gold Standard Corporation’s Attack on a Blogger Who Calls It Out for a Ponzi Scheme

by Paul Alan Levy Today we have filed our first brief  in a case in the First Department of New York’s Appellate Division that may present an opportunity to secure an appellate ruling in that state on the Dendrite standard, the consensus approach to deciding whether an individual or company contending that speech about it […]

Higbee Threatens Copyright Enforcement of Stale Claims (and Other Turns for the Worse)

Over the past few years, since I started to pay attention to copyright infringement demand letters  sent by the law firm of Mathew Higbee, and after we filed a few declaratory judgment actions on behalf of discussion forums whose users had posted images or inline links to images, I thought I had perceived an improvement […]

Virginia Again Upgrades Its Anti-SLAPP Law

After years of being a happy haven for outrageous libel tourism, providing a steady source of income for certain lawyers and a source of intimidation for many speakers, Virginia has been slowly upgrading its anti-SLAPP law. The changes may even be applicable to diversity cases pending in federal court. A few years ago, Virginia created […]

May Political Slogans Criticizing Public Figures Be Trademarked?

When I first saw the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Elster v. Vidal, won by my friends and former colleagues Jon Taylor and Greg Beck, holding that the First Amendment forbade the United States Patent and Trademark Office from withholding registration of the proposed trademark “Trump Too […]

A note of caution about signing up for Threads

Twitter has become such  a mess that  it is  not surprising that there has been a rush of sign-ons for the new service offered by  Meta to compete in that space. But note the following language in  the Supplemental Privacy Policy :  You may deactivate your Threads profile at any time, but your Threads profile […]

Can Frederic Eshelman Avoid the First Amendment by Claiming That He Plans to Sue a US Critic Abroad?

Frederic Eshelman, a pharmaceutical magnate, resents being criticized by an anonymous gmail user who called him a “piece of shit” and urged companies to stop collaborating with Eshelman for, among other things, “abusing police resources” when he used his political influence to secure the arrest and prosecution of hunters who “corner-crossed” his hunting reserve to […]

Expressive use of marks dodges a bullet in the Supreme Court

Today’s Supreme Court decision in Jack Daniel’s v. VIP Products reverses the appellate decision below in a way that minimizes the possible damage to free speech interests that impelled Public Citizen and others to file amicus briefs in the case. It confines the decision to the narrow issue on which certiorari was granted, rather than […]