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Jan 13

Update On The Getty Images / Cabinet Bouchara – Avocat Censorship Letters

A few days ago, our sister site Getty Images Must Change received a Cease and Desist letter from the French Law firm of Cabinet Brouchara – Avocat on behalf of their client Getty Images.  Below is a copy of all email correspondence to date between Vanessa Bouchara of Cabinet Bouchara – Avocat and Greg Troy owner and operator of Getty Images Must Change and Copyright Ant-Bullying Act.

The Original Letter

 

 

My Response

January 11, 2017

Ms. Vanessa Bouchara
Cabinet Bouchara Avocats
17 rue du Colisée – 75008 Paris

 

RE: Getty Images Cease and Desist Letter sent to GettyImagesMustChange.com

 

Ms. Bouchara,

I received your cease and desist letter in the mail on January 10, 2017 by registered letter. You sent it to the wrong address and it took a few days to catch up to my new address. I must say I was a little surprised by it.  After looking you and your law firm up, I see you claim to be intellectual property specialists. I was very confused as to how you assume French Law would apply to me and my website being an American citizen operating a U.S. based website directed at U.S. citizens.  My site contains document-supported, fact-based reporting accompanied by my personal opinions on your client’s business practices.

The Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (Speech Act) states that foreign defamation judgments are unenforceable in the U.S. unless the foreign findings are consistent with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  All statements on my site that are not document-supported are my OPINION which is fully supported by my First Amendment rights. I also believe that under French Law, any claim against me or my site must be made within thirty days of the original posting, not 30 days from when you noticed it. Prior to receiving your letter, my last post was almost two years ago. This is a moot point anyway, as I stated my opinions are protected speech.

You accuse me of “acts of gross disparagement seriously damaging Getty Images’ image” yet I believe it is your client who is doing it to themselves by doing things like having foreign law firms send me letters threatening me with legal action over protected speech using foreign law.  This, Ms. Bouchara, is the type of letter I refer to as “harassing”, “bullying“ and “unethical“ and the type of behavior I have come to expect from your client.  Why does your client not attempt this with a U.S. lawyer?  Because, in my opinion, they know it has no merit and are hoping that the letter recipients will panic and fear the implied imminent lawsuit and take their websites, articles, or blogs down.

You state in your letter that if I do not comply with your client’s demands, they will “initiate all appropriate action against me”.  Again, it is vague but threatening and definitely an implied legal threat.  I will tell you right now that I have no intention of complying with your client’s demands and fully intend on reporting on all this and your clients attempts at censorship of free speech.  The last time your client threatened me with the possibility of legal action after refusing to negotiate in good faith, I ended up launching a campaign to inform recipients of your clients letters that if they felt as I did and Getty Images refused to provide proof of claim or negotiate in good faith, they could file complaints with the Attorney General and other agencies.  It appears this resulted in 117 complaints filed with the Attorney General in the 18 months. I tracked it.

Your client’s new letter attempting to remove free speech they do not like has irritated me enough that I am considering starting the campaign up again reaching out to all those you have sent these letters to.  I really do not want to do this, I have better things to do with my time.  I am willing to let everything go and dismiss this if I receive an apology from you, Ms. Bouchara, and your client along with dismissing this claim.  If I receive these apology letters or emails, I will do a follow up article showing your client has withdrawn their claim and apologized.  I truly hope we can end this amicably.

Regards,

 

Greg Troy

GettyImagesMustChange.com

 Correction

I made an error in the original document, the French Law limits action to the first 90 days after a post is made not 30 days.  I have left it here the way the letter was sent out.

 

Response from Vanessa Bouchara

From: Vanessa BOUCHARA – Cabinet Bouchara – Avocats [mailto:vb@cabinetbouchara.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017 11:47 AM
To: Greg Troy <GregTroy@GettyImagesMustChange.com>
Subject: RE: Response to Cease and Desist Letter

 

Dear Sir,

 

Please find enclosed the letter we have sent you yesterday.

 

Best regards,

 

Vanessa

 

CABINET BOUCHARA – Avocats

Spécialiste en Droit de la Propriété Intellectuelle

17, rue du Colisée – 75008 Paris

Tel : +33 (0)1 42 25 42 30 – Fax : +33 (0)1 42 25 42 31

Email : info@cabinetbouchara.com

Website : www.cabinetbouchara.com

 

My Response To This Email

 

January 12, 2017

Ms. Vanessa Bouchara
Cabinet Bouchara Avocats
17 rue du Colisée – 75008 Paris

 

RE: Response to Cease and Desist Letter

 

Ms. Bouchara,

I received your response to my email regarding you and your client’s cease and desist letter and I gladly accept and thank you for your apology.  As I see by your reply (attached below), it appears you have sent two demand letters to me and only the first one arrived. They are being directed to the wrong mailing address and I may not receive your apology letter, could you please send it to my current address which is:

Greg Troy

###### ******** **

************, **  *****  USA

 

However, before I let the matter go, which I would prefer to do as stated in my original email to you I also require an apology from your client, Getty Images.  Your original letter to me, dated December 19, 2017 stated that it was your client who had issues with my website and it was your client who told you and I quote “I had been instructed to initiate all appropriate action against you.” if I did not comply with their demands within 8 days of receipt of your letter. I find the thought of this attempted censorship of the display of public records and personal opinions by your client abhorrent which is why I require apologies from both you and your client before I will drop the matter.

 

If I do not receive an apology letter from your client, I fully intend to continue documenting and commenting on this story on GettyImagesMustChange.com and CopyrightAntiBullyingAct.ORG as well as once again filing complaints against your client and providing information for others who received these censorship letters from your client to do the same, if they wish.

Again, I do not want to do any of this. If I get the apology letter from your client, I will simply report that you and Getty Images have dropped the matter, apologized, I accepted the apology, and thanked you both for it.  At that point, I will let the matter drop. I will give your client the same 8 days they instructed you to give me before I start filing complaints.

I look forward to an amicable resolution to this matter.

Regards,

 

Greg Troy

GettyImagesMustChange.com

 

Now we wait to see if Getty will give me an apology letter or if we start sending out the complaints.

 

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