Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Blogger Troll Receives Notice Of Pending Litigation - Federal Crime

[JTO Editor's Note: I write this article in the Third Person, hoping that it not be perceived as a personal defense of myself or anything that has occurred to me. For my part, I am content to allow God to use persecution to buffet my soul and have posted my view on such HERE. But, for the cause of Christ and His Holy Church I come to the defense of God's people who are the targets of an enemy who "roams to and fro, seeking whom he may devour."]

Minas Michael Christie, of Saint Petersburg, Florida, has received a cease and desist letter from a Nashville, Tennessee attorney, representing Nathan Lee Lewis, the author of the JTO blog and Executive Producer of Rocky Top Pictures, LLC. Sighting numerous infractions, the letter warns Christie of Copyright Infringement, which is a federal crime, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment and "demands that you immediately cease and desist all use of the infringing photographs and provide an accounting of all uses of the photographs..."

The letter focuses on Christie's activity on a Google blog he operates under the name Journey To Knuckleheads From The Underworld. The blog, operated under the Google name, MRXRISTIDIS, contains numerous copyrighted photos, used multiple times, and belonging to several owners, including Nathan Lee Lewis.  JTO has learned that at least one other attorney, representing a copyright owner, is preparing action against Christie.
"The blog appeared about a year ago", Lewis said. "I was mortified to see personal and copyrighted photos of my wife, daughters, grandchildren and myself displayed with vitriolic and mocking captions. My copyrighted photos from my business, blog, FaceBook, and church websites were also used as defamatory memes. Christie's blatancy and disregard for the law is astounding." Lewis said.
Although Christie's Knucklehead blog is his own, he is also co-administrator of an orthodox blog, Remnant ROCOR, operated by Joanna Higginbotham of Oregon and her priest Father Gregory Williams of Liberty, Tennessee. Ms. Higgingbotham is quoted heavily on Christie's blog and she is very active in the comment section. She also endorses Christie's Knucklehead blog via a link on the Remnant ROCOR blog, with this warning: "Caution-satire." Recently the "caution-satire" was changed to simply, "humor." Both Christie and Higginbotham's internet conduct were the focus of the August 7, 2014 JTO article, Blogger Troll Confesses To Criminal Record- Big Deal,  

In recent days, the Remnant ROCOR vitriolic posts, some of which also included copyrighted photos, have lessened, but Higginbotham's activity on Christie's blog have increased. Along with the link on Remnant ROCOR, Higginbotham has also posted an article specifically endorsing Christie's blog.

Lewis has confirmed that more than one legal course of action is being prepared against Christie,
"The copyright infringement issue is only the first stage in holding Mr. Christie accountable for his illegal actions," Lewis said. "There are also numerous documented accounts of his blatant lies regarding my character and business activities. His obvious intent to do me personal and financial harm through defamation and libel will not go unanswered. I am not only confronting this for my sake but for the sake of the other good and godly people, including clergy and their families, whom Christie continues to target."
On at least five occasions, Mr. Christie deliberately obscured Lewis' copyright mark, © 2014 Nathan Lee Lewis, from the photos by using a Paint or Photoshop feature or with a black bar. The U.S. Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq, entitles a plaintiff to seek statutory damages of as much as $150,000 per act of infringement, but the intentional removal or manipulation of a copyright notice constitutes an additional, specific violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 1202(b), stating,
No person shall, without the authority of the copyright owner or the law, intentionally remove or alter any copyright management information knowing, or. with respect to civil remedies under section 1203, having reasonable grounds to know, that it will induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal an infringement of any right under title.

The damages for violating 17 U.S.C. 1202 alone range from $2500 to $25,000 per violation, in addition to any damages for copyright infringement.

"If Christie honestly believes that he has the right of  "Fair Use" of the photos", Lewis said, "then why would he take the time to obscure the copyright marks on the photos? His position certainly will not stand a legal test."
Since Mr. Christie has reportedly published upwards to 100 copyrighted photos, he may have much for which to answer, particularly if other plaintiffs take action. A legal answer from Christie has been demanded by Lewis' attorney,
"If you fail to comply with the demands in this letter on or before (omitted), (omitted) reserves the right to take all necessary action to protect its rights without further notice to you."
According to Lewis, Christie missed the deadline and has yet to respond to the attorney's letter through legal channels, but initially confirmed that he received and read the letter, with a seemingly sarcastic and mocking comment he attempted to post on the JTO blog:
"Hi Nathan. I'm trying to get the [settlement offer omitted] together but I may need more time, my blood type isn't rare so they won't pay much for it at the blood bank. Also be assured that I'm working on putting everything on my hard drive on flash drives to send to you for review. I do need to be careful though as that damn Jezebel is keeping close tabs on me and may not approve of my action to settle up with you. I have a feeling she doesn't like you as much as I do and may punish me for cooperating with your requests. Please have mercy on me. Maybe you could pray for me, I could used a mediator like you between God and myself."
As of this post, Mr. Christie has failed to voluntarily remove the copyrighted photos from his blog and, in fact, has defiantly posted a new round of copyrighted photos belonging to Lewis, followed by a posting of the attorney's letter. In the post, Christie claims his right to use the photos and his refusal to remove them.
"It doesn't surprise me that Christie has pushed back," Lewis said, "but his arrogance is obscuring clear thinking. The letter contains his home address and he posted it for all to see. A very unsafe action in today's world. With the issue now being a legal matter and with Christie's obvious defiance", Lewis said, "my attorney is preparing the first of two law suits."
It is yet to be determined if Mr. Christie will continue to defy the law and ignore the Cease and Desist demand. Time will tell, but if it doesn't, litigation certainly will.

See Related JTO Articles:
Remnant ROCOR Co-Administrator Discovered In Gay On-line Chat
State Of Florida vs. Christie, Minas Michael

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