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Telling them to Pound Sand.

by Adam Zack — September 11, 2019

Adam Zack

Pound sand.

I don’t know what to think about the opportunists they prey among us. Do we appreciate them for their savvy to see opportunity to make money and admire their business acumen, or do we condemn them as bottom feeders that are only just profiting from honest mistakes and misfortune? Recently we have seen an alarming rise in law firms that threaten lawsuits for photos that you may have used on social media, an ad, or a website that someone else owns the copyright to. There has also been a huge increase in the same type of legal actions against grocers (and other businesses, but I care about grocers the most) because their websites are not ADA compliant. It’s hard enough to conduct business in the physical setting of being handicap accessible, not offending anyone, avoiding employee related legal landmines and providing gluten-free, peanut-free, Keto, Organic, free-range, Paleo options. It’s enough to make you lose sleep. Or drink heavily. So, as our industry works to be relevant in the new age of online shopping, and a photo that’s some mediocre example of photography ends up innocently in a recipe on your website, only to be discovered by an internet troll search algorithm, how do you not tell the law firm that you get the letter from demanding $8,000 for using this photo to go and pound sand? Go ahead, sue me! Well, unfortunately they don’t care that it was an innocent mistake and that as soon as you were informed, the photo was removed. Their business model is to scare you into some kind of settlement, and if you tell them to pound sand, they have no problem in actually proceeding along the path to actually file suit. It really sucks, and I really did want to tell them to pound sand and just wait and go through the legal process to get in front of a judge and tell our story. But cooler heads than mine prevailed, and the pounding image remained only in my head.

So, do you appreciate how these firms have the ingenuity to make money in today’s digital world? Or do you put them in the same category as personal-injury attorneys and wish them a slow, painful death at the hands of karma?

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