Saturday, December 3, 2011

'Thin skinned' Trutanich threatens to sue Alan Jackson over use of campaign photo

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is believed to be behind an October 14, 2011 threat to sue District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

The threat, contained in a letter delivered to Jackson at the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office in downtown Los Angeles, complains of the "unauthorized use of various copyrighted photographs that appear on the website identified as:"

The website displays a video attacking Trutanich for reneging on his promise to voters that, if elected, he would not seek higher office. Trutanich's so-called 'Pledge to Serve' is righteously hammered in  'Election Hangover Part II,' a political parody suggesting voters might wake up to the awful reality of what they did in a moment of foolishness - voting for Trutanich.

Although the October 14, 2011 threat letter does not identify Carmen Trutanich as a client of the law firm, Alan Jackson's campaign manager, John Thomas, told the Daily News that he believed Trutanich was behind the threat. "There's only one person in the world that would have a vested interest in having us tear down that video, and that is our opponent, and he is a very thin-skinned individual," Thomas said.

Trutanich certainly seemed to know enough about the threat letter to make it implausible that he was not the instigator of this threat. Trutanich's response to questions about the threat letter was that it "was sent on behalf of a photographer who worked for the 2009 city attorney bid," Trutanich told the Daily News, also claiming that he did not authorize the sending of the letter himself.

Curiously, the photographer is also not named in the threat letter. The Daily News, however, contacted the law firm who sent Trutanich's threat letter and they claimed to be "representing Redinger." This is believed to be Scott Libolt, a photographer at Miami based Redinger-Libolt Photo. The Daily News was able to contact someone who apparently identified themselves as Scott Redinger who said he "was the definitely the photographer," but he said he couldn't comment any further, "I was told not to talk to reporters," he said.

The photograph apparently complained of by Trutanich appears for only a fraction of a second in the Election Hangover Part II video, at about 1 minute 29 seconds into the video, and appears to be either the same or similar to a photograph that appears on Libolt's portraits portfolio.

The photograph apparently used without permission in Election Hangover Part II
appears to be similar to one featured on the Redinger-Libolt Photo website.
The threat letter warns Jackson of potential damages of up to $150,000 for willful copyright infringements, however, legal experts contacted by the Daily News doubted that an actual copyright action would succeed given the "fair use" doctrine of the Copyright Act.

The Redinger-Libolt photo of Trutanich is routinely used by the LA Weekly without
express permission or any credit to any copyright holder.
Furthermore, this photograph of Trutanich has been widely used by the LA Weekly, most recently to report on Trutanich chickening out of the District Attorney candidates' forum. On no occasion has the photo been used with either Trutanich or Libolt's express permission and certainly it appears without any accreditation, making it highly likely that the use of the photo by Trutanich in his campaign rendered the photo 'public domain' and thus the success of any copyright action is even less likely.
Trutanich, of course, has quite a reputation for making threats as well as hiding behind others to deliver his threats. In 2009, when questions arose about Trutanich's sudden hospitalization, respected author and sometime blogger John Mailander aka 'Mulholland Terrace' was threatened with a slander action for publishing a comment appearing on the LA Times website. The comment suggested heavy alcohol use may be involved in the hospitalization. Mailander was immediately threatened with a slander lawsuit by Trutanich via his Special Assistant Jane Usher.

Trutanich's apparent willingness to use threats and wildly inaccurate accusations while hiding behind the skirts of others to launch attacks against people who don't agree with him should give voters sufficient reason to question his suitability for any elected office, let alone that of the District Attorney's Office.

Despite saying that he would not speak to reporters about his breach of copyright claim, Scott Libolt-Redinger aka Scott Redinger-Libolt has just published a comment to the Daily News article:

In order to help Carmen Trutanich understand copyright law, images depicted here appear pursuant to the Fair Use Doctrine:

Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.



Anonymous said...

Trutanich is a thug and a bully. This is so typical.

Anonymous said...

Trutanich couldn't care less about Alan Jackson, but of course Alan Jackson runs this blog (which nobody seems to be reading much anymore because of the obvious bias) so there you go with your spin. This is a dispute between the photographer and Alan, period. Trutanich has nothing to do with it although he must be amused. And the photographer will probably sue because he has a valid copyright claim. Pay him for his photos already he took them he deserves to be compensated.

Anonymous said...

Typical schoolyard bullying - Trutanich hasn't got the guts to confront his critics, so he hides behind others. Some gang buster

Anonymous said...

The comment at the end of the Daily News piece about Trutanich concentrating on putting gang members in jail is such a lie it totally belies the contempt Trutanich has for voters. He thinks they are so ignorant that they believe he prosecutes gang members, but it's the DA who does that, unless you count prosecuting a gang member for a traffic ticket as being a gang prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

The point has been made that this photographer does not seem to have been paid by Trutanich's campaign for the photo, and did not report an in kind donation, so it looks like this will cause another ethics violation investigation into Trutanich's fundraising. Do we really want an ignorant unethical clown making life and death decisions? Trutanich should go back to chasing ambulances, he's good at that. He's out of his depth against real prosecutors.

Anonymous said...

Thin skinned and light brained. Trutanich went to some fly-by-night unaccredited law school where copyright law wasn't available. All he learnt there was how to be shakedown artist, a fake, a phony, an ambulance chaser, a compete pile of what Occupy LA left behind in 20lb bags.

Anonymous said...

6:07pm "nobody seems to be reading [the Dragnet] much anymore." Are you Trutanich? Your self-defeating statement sounds like the sort of absurd logic that he comes out with. Seems like you read it, hope you choked over it.

Anonymous said...

Great reporting, Dragnet! Trutanich is going down in flames. I wonder if he'll sue the Daily News for using his photo?

Anonymous said...

One by one, all the people who supported Trutanich have bailed on him because he lied, let them down, and made them look like fools for supporting him.

Laura Chick was first to get it, then came Doug McIntyre, Steve Cooley, Kevin James, Rick Orlov, Gene Maddaus, David Berger (his 'specia'l assistant), Steve Lopez, John Thomas (his former campaign manager), Mike Antonovich, and all the blogs. Trutanich is like poison, the kiss of death.

Nobody with any credibility wants to be associated with him. He's only got Gil 'One Bill ' Cedillo and Sheriff Baca hanging with him because they don't know how to get out.

This idiot photographer is about to get himself into an ethics violation because there's no record of his 'client' Trutanich ever paying him (was it a cash under the table deal?) and no record of an in kind contribution. Of course, he could say he gave his services for nothing, but then that would make his copyright claim worth nothing. He's screwed either way because Jackson is probably going to sue him and Trutanich for filing a SLAP lawsuit.

Pretty much anyone associated with the train wreck that is the Trutanich campaign either gets burned, thrown under the bus, or made to look stupid.

Trutanich in 12? Yeah right, he defines epic fail.

Anonymous said...

If Trutanich is so "uncredible" why has he raised more money then all of them. This video was made by the director of Hangover I, probably because Jackson is going to come in as the hero of the new Three Strikes Law, which doesn't really do anything. They should be suing the producer of the movie. No one but teens even watched Hangover I or II and the older folks who would be Jackson's voters are only going to read the article which makes Jackson look like a loser. Jackson is sinking along with all of his stupid blogs and aliases.

Anonymous said...

@12:49 Money does not make someone credible. Just ask Jack Weiss what all of his money got him. Trutanich lacks credibility because he has been a liar, cheat and general buffoon in office. Being able to exploit special interests and sell your elected office for cash does not give credibility, it destroys it.

Anonymous said...

8.05pm is right. Nuch has raised a lot of money. Most of it seems to come from companies that do business with the city of los angeles. It is dirty money, payback money, pay to play money. Those companies have absolutely zero interest in seeing Nuch elected as DA, but every interest in seeing him paid off so they get the nice contracts for the remainder of his tenure as city attorney. So they kick a couple of grand to Nuch's campaign and they get hundreds of thousands. Well guess what Nuch, we're on to what you are doing, and you are gonna be writing a bunch of returned donations checks right around the time Shallman has your money earmarked for his expensive media buys. Oh man, it is gonna be a blast to see you go down in flames you lousy piece of sh*t.