Friday, March 07, 2008

Between Flights headed back to Chicago.

In the time that our conference in the Judge's Chambers has ended I have done one more interview for the film. I have received several emails regarding a hilarious account of my day in court by a person who was not there and who recounts the interpretation of an individual who is CLEARY out of his depth speaking of "half-truths."

I just read the nefarious BDFS Blog and find it more humorous than I do objectionable. If you have a warped sense of humor like I do you may get some enjoyment out of it. Or you might ask why I put up with this bullshit. It is all part of the story.

Mr. Aguiar has not yet realized the depth of legal difficulty he has gotten himself into. He interprets a judge questioning a lawyer on the validity of her ideas in a written document as some kind of reprimand. As we are both learning, law is a process, justice is not The People's Court. The judge did his job and Julie Ahern and all of the lawyers have clearly done theirs.

The facts are quite clear and documented by the court. I am within my rights to fair use. The gavel already fell on that one. Mr Aguiar clearly needs some legal assistance in interpreting court documents that are already on record. He persists is believing that someone has "stolen his stuff."

Aguiar, even if he COULD prove his ownership, and he clearly has not, still stands to lose the case because I have not infringed on any copyright.

Aguiar, clearly has listened to what was said in Judges Chambers. That is on his head.

He has been ordered by the judge to come up with the legal goods in writing with precedent and documentation of all infringements in two weeks. His time would be better spent making that deadline for the court than bragging about a false victory over a beer or any other pharmaceutical enhancements he might seek with his buddies. The court was quite clear about the seriousness of not making the next deadline set. This is not a late homework assignment. I doubt whether, "I'm sorry your honor." is going to cut it in future.

As for mediation, why would I do such a thing with a guy who clearly has not proven he owns anything, who clearly has a need for someone to interpret the very nature of the litigation he has initiated and get a clear understanding of why I can claim fair use and that that issue has already been clarified. I follow the advice of my lawyers not his "advisors," namely his in-house legal genius, John Creeden III.

Let's go to the record. Judge Wolf is the one who suggested mediation on February 16. Mr Aguiar came to conference ready to do so and I am my legal counsel decided against it and we state it clearly in i the following statement taken from CIVIL ACTION NO.
5. Alternative Dispute Resolution
There have been no ADR efforts to date. No settlement conference has been scheduled at this time.

Defendant Webb does not want to go to mediation at this time. While Mr. Webb is always open to reasoned proposals from Plaintiff Aguiar, he is not optimistic about the prospects for productive settlement discussions at this time for several reasons. Most importantly, Plaintiff Aguiar has produced no evidence that he is the owner of the copyrights he asserts. Indeed, he has already admitted that he is not the owner of the film footage at issue here. Without documentary proof that Mr. Aguiar is the true copyright owner of the works he alleges Mr. Webb has infringed, there is no benefit to Mr. Webb of agreeing to license such works from Mr. Aguiar. Production by Mr. Aguiar of documents demonstrating he owns the works at issue is a prerequisite to any settlement discussions. In addition, the Court has ordered that Mr. Aguiar amend his complaint against Mr. Webb to clarify the claims he asserts. Only after an amended complaint is filed will it be clear exactly what works Mr. Aguiar alleges have been infringed, as well as precisely what works of Mr. Webb are at issue. At that time, Mr. Webb will be in a better position to know what information and documents are needed to establish the ownership of the copyrights at issue.

Moreover, in Defendant Webb's view, Mr. Aguiar's inability or unwillingness to obtain professional legal advice has left him with a distorted sense of the rights and privileges of copyright holders in general, and of the value and strength of his own case in particular. Perhaps for the same reasons, Mr. Aguiar, who has filed no responsive pleading in this case, has given no indication that he is aware of or has the ability to assess the strength of the counterclaims againsthim. Under these circumstances the chances for a successful outcome to alternative dispute resolution are slim at best.

Finally, Defendant Webb is neither a corporate party nor a wealthy individual, but an independent artist. As of March 6, 2008, he will have already spent many hundreds of dollars to fly from Chicago twice to attend court hearings. In order for Mr. Webb to be able to justify investing more of his limited time and financial resources in the possibility of settlement, the prospects for productive discussions must be more tangible.
Now comes the best part. My "state of mind." This is so ludicris all I will discuss is my present state of mind. In my state of mind this evening, as I sit here in Philadelphia waiting on a delayed flight back to Chicago. A flight I payed for with my hard earned cash I should be spening on the film. My state of mind is not angry, nor troubled, but grateful. Grateful that I am surrounded by some of the best legal minds in the country.

I am grateful that they have taken my case on and that they believe in my right to fair use and to not be harrassed by the like of those who would stick me up on a whim, deprive me of my right to free speech and commentary on a subject or person by denying those rights granted to me by copyright law.

My state of mind is relaxed, focused and directed to the tasks ahead. Completing the film by any means within reason, planning, fund raising editing. I will have some great news on Monday I think. Things are already in motion.

Maybe my next blog will be on blogging, megalomania and narcissism. Don't worry I won't overlook discussing myself as well.

1 comment:

Kung Fu Pimp said...

Safe travel.