Canadian Funeral News Hands Out A little Poetic Justice to Copyright Troll

A few months ago someone from the Canadian Funeral News stumbled across one of my blog posts on the Beware Don’t Share blog and asked for my permission to share it in their industry publication. Scroll to pages 59,60,61. I was thrilled since the funeral industry, related business owners and customers have made Christian author Linda Ellis very rich from copyright settlements. 

I started my blog because I was targeted by Linda Ellis in 2011 after I responded to an unsolicited email with a link to The Dash poem. I assumed the author wanted me to share the poem so I copied and pasted the poem on my blog with a link to her website. With a little help from Google Ellis found the post and demanded damages. When I refused to pay she became aggressive and abusive - harassment she continues today. The badly behaving author converted this fan into an investigative reporter and btw, I still refuse to pay her off.

Since June of 2012 the blog has saved hundreds of potential victims hundreds of thousands of dollars. I stopped counting targets after I'd helped more than 300 avoid paying her off. I have no idea how many people read my posts and take my advise without ever revealing themselves. That's okay too. With their help and that of a small squad of anti-copyright troll bloggers, we slowed the scheme down to a near screeching halt in the United States. Linda Ellis is a no longer feared on this continent but unfortunately there is a whole wide world of uniformed content sharers who fall prey to the ruse. I'm currently working with a man in South Africa and another in Australia and a woman in Scotland. She won't collect a penny, rand or pence from any of them.

Before my reporting only one target had ever spoken publicly about Linda Ellis and he is a Canadian. Eugene “Gene” Calibrese hosted a radio show on Canada’s Radio Free G network and shared The Dash on his program. Ellis found it via Radio FreeG's archive directory. Ellis demanded $3500 for damages. Eugene chose instead to expose Linda Ellis and the extortion scheme on several broadcasts. I listened to those episodes and his disdain for the poet troll while explaining the scam to listeners. I'm confident Eugene paved the way for my voice. When I decided to write a chronicle about the scheme and how I fought back, I asked Gene for a statement:

Hi April
…As for a statement, I would simply like to help anyone who is on the receiving end of this person and the legal hell hounds bullying and battering the public into submission.  What really hurts is that I was trying to heap praise on the author!  You can listen to the podcasts and see I am trying to do good!  

I would eagerly have made mention on my site and in my podcast that she is the rightful author, created links to her website, and tried to increase awareness that she is the one behind this beautiful poem.  Instead, the fangs came out and enemies are made… Eugene.    

All funeral related business continue to be a fertile hunting ground for Linda Ellis. She targeted Funeral Homes first and discovered she could threaten grieving families, pastors and business owners for the single use of The Dash in a funeral program. Before 2017, US Insurance companies readily settled but today they refuse. And school districts and religious organizations are following. 

The fact that Ellis is still fooling people should not be a surprise. The reporting on copyright trolls and trolling is extensive but bad advise still abounds. As an example, US company, Connecting Directors, published an article about Linda Ellis that compounded the fear and surely created more cashflow for the poet troll. The article written by Poul Lemasters on Ellis is full of bad advice. Suffice it to say, LeMasters has zero understanding of copyright trolling and and how Ellis operates her scam. The advice is ill advised.

Lemasters advises: "Do not ignore the letter. If you ignore it and then later find yourself in a suit it could lead to higher damages."

Brown proved: Ignore the letter. Copyright trolls threaten to sue, they don't sue. They peacock around and they may even send sample lawsuits, invoices and letters stating victims will be turned over to a collection agency or an attorney. Linda Ellis does not have a legal department, an attorney or a copyright representative. She runs her operation from her kitchen. She signs several different names to emails and letters to make people believe she has staffing and even a legal "department"! She sends approximately 6 – 12 emails threatening to sue and eventually fades away to find easier targets. 

Lemaster advises: "Contact your lawyer.  I know it seems like more money but you should never settle a matter without legal representation."  

Brown proved: Very few lawyers are educated in the scheme of copyright trolling. 99 out of 100 will tell a victim to settle to avoid federal penalties without knowing that judges hate copyright trolls. For the handful of cases that are litigated, judges tend not to award settlements. Linda has never sued anyone for sharing The Dash poem. People who allow themselves to be intimidated and need peace of mind should call one of the few experts, Oscar Michelen.

Lemaster advises: "Plus, it is quite possible that an attorney could get the amount reduced to a more reasonable amount, if the facts show there was an actual infringement."  

Brown proved: Again, copyright trolls never sue. Trolling is a numbers game and all about the people who are easiest to shame and frighten. Trolls need targets to believe the threats in order to negotiate a settlement. If an attorney advises you to settle get a different attorney. Copyright trolls are afraid of attorneys who know how they operate. One good letter from a smart lawyer usually knocks a troll out.

Lemaster advises: "Lastly, if the matter cannot be resolved through negotiations, consider contacting your insurance company for coverage; some policies cover infringement claims."

Brown proved: Insurance companies have wised up to Linda Ellis. They no longer pay her off. If you are forced to involve a board of directors, employer, or someone else, send them my book. Poetic Justice is written to be used to educate anyone who wants to expose copyright trolling and specifically The Dash Extortion Scheme. It is also available on Kindle free.

Brown's advise:

Do not Respond. Do Not Be Afraid. Do Tell The world. PSA.

I want to thank the Canadian Funeral News for helping us prevent more victims. Let’s hope the rest of the world follows your lead.

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If you have been a victim of Linda Ellis and want to share your story of abuse and harassment, Contact Mac Anderson at Simple Truths below.
”The Dash is a Very Popular Funeral Poem. Read it Now and See Why. Got a question? Want to share your story with us? Or, maybe you want to hire Linda Ellis for an inspirational speaking engagement or ask about getting a limited license agreement for reprinting The Dash with other works? Please use this form to contact us.
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