#1: Introductory episode of the Copyright & Intellectual Property Podcast. In this episode, you’ll find out who Jason Tucker is and why you should listen to him when it comes to strategies to protect and manage your intellectual property.
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Copyright & Intellectual Property Intro Episode Full Transcript
Jason Tucker [00:00:00] You’re listening to Episode 1 of the copyright intellectual property podcast.
Jason Tucker [00:00:04] I’m Jason Tucker and I’ve settled over a billion dollars in copyright claims for the world’s largest studios over the last 15 years as the expert pirate hunter IP problem solver and enforcer I have helped shape copyright law the processes and the landscape that exists today. So how do you keep your IP organized protect it from pirates and make even more money off of your content. With real life insight the stories from the trenches. This is the Copyright and Intellectual Property Podcast.
Melissa Tucker [00:00:33] Welcome to the very first episode of the Copyright and Intellectual Property Podcast. In this intro episode you’re going to hear a lot about my husband, Jason Tucker, who is a pirate hunter and he is the best at what he does. There are attorneys out there – he’s not an attorney. I’m not an attorney. There are attorneys out there that will tell you they know what they’re doing. However, I don’t think that many attorneys have had as many – been involved as in any lawsuits and or strategies and or have settled as much money for their clients as my husband has. He is frickin brilliant! When I talk to people… I explain him like ‘The Wolf’ from Pulp Fiction. If you guys have seen that movie The Wolf goes in and cleans stuff up to the best of my knowledge you’ve never cleaned up any dead bodies in the back of any cars.
Jason Tucker [00:01:19] Not that we’re going to talk about in a podcast.
Melissa Tucker [00:01:20] Not in this podcast, maybe another one. However when it comes to anything related to structuring deals however especially around intellectual property, copyrights, trademarks – that type of thing. He’s a frickin genius. And for three years now I’ve been trying to get him to do a podcast and do a course because he’s been the best kept secret in his industry. His clients have definitely been very lucky. But I feel like you guys need to hear these stories and know what’s possible for you too. So, without any further ado. My husband the Copyright and Intellectual Property Management and Enforcement Genius. Guru. Expert. Jason Tucker.
Jason Tucker [00:02:01] Thank you.
Jason Tucker [00:02:01] There’s one hell of an intro. This has been a passion of mine for over 15 years. And and what I’ve been seeing it like all industries. They evolve. And now we’re in a very interesting time where everybody is a content producer whether you think you’re small you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing it for years and you’ve got a lot of stuff out there. The Internet is really not a safe place. We think it is. It’s a highly dangerous road and unless you do things to protect yourself, put systems in place to build what you’re really building – which is your intellectual property portfolio in the form of videos, in the form of trademarks, in the form of patents, you’re not going to get all the benefits that come with that. And so we’ll get into a little bit about what that looks like. But I just want everyone that’s listening to know that as a content producer you are building an intellectual property portfolio. What does that mean? It means that your content has value beyond what you probably realized from your current monetization piece. And then additionally to that if somebody takes it and uses it there are things that you can do to recoup the loss and more importantly just to have it taken down. But there are initial steps you need to take like registering your copyrights registering your trademarks and these are things that most people don’t think about they can do it themselves and so for a lot of time I see attorneys and this is no no disrespect to attorneys I have them I work with them I respect them I consult for them but there are good and bad like any other industry and I see a lot of attorneys trying to overcomplicate which I what I think is a rather simple process.
Melissa Tucker [00:03:36] So let’s say we really let’s just back up.
Jason Tucker [00:03:38] Sure.
Melissa Tucker [00:03:38] How many cases have you been involved in in the last 15 years.
Jason Tucker [00:03:42] Over 500. And have we settled a lot more than that those are actually probably filed cases around the world.
Melissa Tucker [00:03:48] Yeah not all your cases gets knocked as we settle because we settle with me to go. We try and negotiate to the best of our ability and we use the legal system as a last ditch effort when we can’t negotiate with somebody.
Melissa Tucker [00:03:57] So that’s what I was there know why they should care what’s in it for them how much money. Because ultimately that’s what everybody cares – how much money would you say that you’ve settled?
Jason Tucker [00:04:06] In 15 years.
Melissa Tucker [00:04:07] Yeah.
Jason Tucker [00:04:09] Oh Geeze. I mean we’ve settled over a billion dollars in claims.
Melissa Tucker [00:04:16] That’s a big number, over a billion. So how – like the average attorney that we meet that specializes (I’m using the air quotes). How many cases would you say they do in a year?
Jason Tucker [00:04:27] Nothing like this. I mean there are law firms that I’ve consulted with a law firm a few months back and I was sitting in a room with 12 13 attorneys for two and a half hour meeting that they were paying me to look at things and collectively the 13 attorneys that were in the room didn’t even reach three figures on, on how many lawsuits they had been involved in. So I don’t gauge it as much as – I mean. I don’t. I see the number and for me it’s just stuff I’ve done. So I don’t see it as wow that’s a huge number. But what it’s given me as a result of all of those experiences is a strategic advantage because I can see the ball moving before the pitches thrown. And I can I know exactly where it’s going to hit. And then if it doesn’t hit and it bounces somewhere else I already know what to do when it bounces how does that make sense?
Melissa Tucker [00:05:14] This. Yeah we’ll get to some of that later. But like how did you tell us your backstory.
Jason Tucker [00:05:18] Well you know I.
Melissa Tucker [00:05:19] I know they don’t.
Jason Tucker [00:05:20] I know I’m sorry I get stuck in a rabbit hole sometimes. So I I co-owned the world’s largest erotic library of images in the very early days of the Internet and we had an excess of 3 million images, we were supplying 50 percent of all the photos that you saw in men’s magazines in the United States and about 20 percent for the rest of the world. So we had a very large fingerprint WITH OUR LIBRARY ALL OVER THE PLANET. In comes the Internet this cool new tech toy. And I was consulting for companies at the time. But what happened was is people started scanning our images and then selling them on the Internet, and then they were searches scanning right out of the magazines and then when we started licensing them for digital use somebody would just acquire – they would find them or whatever the case may be piece them together however they did that and then they would start selling them or offering them for sale in a membership section of a website for $39.95 or $29.95 or whatever it was. And so what I saw was as our sort of virally at a high rate of speed to the point that I could go to Google and buy a set number on their image search I was able to find our images and it wasn’t just in one place it wasn’t it it was in thousands of places and then eventually hundreds of thousands of places really quick and I knew that if I didn’t do something our business was going to be dead. We were going to be because we couldn’t you can’t compete with something like that. So I could go to Google and just go to their image search and by set number I could find set after set after set not just a hundred places or a thousand places or ten thousand places but eventually hundreds thousands of places. So I knew that we had a fire and when you have a fire you have to grab a hose and figure something out. So I started calling around to attorneys that I know.
Melissa Tucker [00:06:57] Wait, you were pissed off.
Jason Tucker [00:06:58] I was extremely pissed off because to me I was losing a tremendous amount of money and we were going to be dead unless somebody did something. So I went to an attorney and got some advice that was useless advice went to the next attorney and that got even got pretty much the same useless advice because nobody knew.
Melissa Tucker [00:07:12] What was the advice?
Jason Tucker [00:07:13] The advice was what you could send these notices. So nowadays you can email DMCA notices back then you couldn’t. The earliest I was told that you needed to send them by certified mail with certified mail costs money. It’s – it’s expensive. We had snail mail back then so we would put these notices together we would send them off with a receipt a signed receipt required. And so in the course of the next six to twelve months I spent about two hundred fifty thousand dollars and I realized I’d spent a quarter of a million dollars and didn’t have any return on my money. That is a waste because now not only am I losing money from these pirates but now I’m paying for them to hurt me even more so I realized that I needed to come up with systems or something that could be done differently. And none of this from a logical stampoing, from a legal standpoint this made perfect sense to attorneys. From a logical standpoint, from a business standpoint, from an entrepreneurial standpoint, this was dumb! Just plain and simple. So a lot of late nights a lot of late nights screaming at my laptop going through all those emotions. So as a result of that alone – I get very passionate if you haven’t heard it already about theft because I feel it, because I’ve experienced it, and I relive it every time I’m with a client and we’re going through this process. So if you hear me get elevated you hear me get calm down. It’s not bullshit. It’s real. This these people piss me off but that doesn’t mean that I can’t work with them, it doesn’t mean that I can’t negotiate with them, it doesn’t mean that I can stop them. But I also don’t have a problem flipping them over and like a fly pulling their legs off one by one if that’s what is required. So OK so now we’re potentially into bodies but we won’t talk about it. All right. So getting back to what I was saying. So as a result of that I came up with systems that I just wanted to try out in the legal system. And the unique thing about intellectual property laws it’s very organic. It only takes one case to change the rules. It only takes one situation to shift the wheelhouse. And so fortunately I’ve been able to put these systems into play and then make them work in court to help facilitate moving the law so that now everyone at least has somewhat of an equal playing field. So the systems that we have in place we’ve been utilizing for 15 years and so what happened was initially I became this pariah that was out because my thing was like “let’s sue everybody and work backwards” because we didn’t have any other recourse. So we did that and then. I became this pariah of “Oh he’s just he’s litigious. He wants to sue everybody.” No. Really I just wanted it to stop and anyone who wouldn’t talk to me was getting a lawsuit. So. Well it was the only way to handle it.
Melissa Tucker [00:09:38] No, I remember when we first met. You told me that lawsuits were part of business. I was like “wait, what?”.
Jason Tucker [00:09:41] A lot of people don’t understand that there’s psychology around that it’s a tool to achieve what you want and you’re using the legal system. A lot of people are trained to believe however those that shows up for them that the legals if they’re involved in a lawsuit they’ve done something wrong. Well that’s not true. If the other side is doing you wrong and they are not willing to converse about it you may not have any other choice but to use the legal system. And there are ways to do that so that you can profit from it. So again going back to to what I’ve and that’s a very good point. So that’s what we did. And then flash forward just a little bit of time. This started happening to other content producers. This it started happening in the adult space to start happening in the mainstream space that started happening in the music business. And when people started doing their homework about what could we do they were running across cases I was involved in and specifically they were involved in cases where I was, our company was the plaintiff. So my phone started ringing and people started saying What do you think about this and what can you do about that and I realized I was giving away a lot of free advice and it was taking a lot of time away so I said, “Well you know what. Why don’t you just hire me as a consultant?” and I quoted what I thought was an extreme price at the time and they said “We’ll call you back” and 30 minutes later I had my first client and I stopped and it didn’t hit me at that point that I might have been onto something until the second phone call came and I said you know we’re going to charge a little bit more. And then they said yes and then I realized there was something there and that was goes about 15 years ago in many many cases less and so now. Yes. So that answers your question and that’s that’s the that’s the long and short of why we’re here now. And I think the the cool… So here it is. I want to take all of that. We want to take all of that and offer that up because there’s I can work with a library that’s registered I can work with a registered trademark and the reason I say registered versus not registered. Let’s just use video, photos, online courses, however the elements of that course are, a book – whatever it is that you’re producing. You own the copyright the second you turn it into a tangible good. So whether that’s a physical product or a downloadable product whatever it is now it’s considered tangible. It is now officially been published according to let’s say the U.S. in this case the U.S. Copyright Office. But if you don’t register that copyright ranging from $35 to $85 per registration depending on if you’re grouping or not how that works within the first 90 days of publication or before it’s published then you are not entitled to statutory damages in court. So let’s translate that into English. Short and sweet of it. You register 10 of your works. Somebody steals 10 of your works. They can be held liable for up to $150,000 per registration. So using that example $1,500,000 and here’s the important piece… You’re entitled to recoup your attorney’s fees when you win. If you win. Because most cases this is the other part most cases don’t end up at trial. They end up settling. So the person that wouldn’t talk to you and people got why talked to pirates because it’s cheaper and it’s easier.
Melissa Tucker [00:12:42] well and they’re really good at traffic.
Jason Tucker [00:12:43] They’re phenomenal at marketing so I have two lumps of clients and some of them are like I don’t want to do business with pirates. That’s they’re not advertising to my audience. Let me dispel that rumor right now. You don’t know who your audience is, if they’re making money. Because if they’re able to sell and the chances are they’re able to get better placement than you are on the long run. Second of all they’re obviously getting traffic and they’re making money off of it and how do I know this because they’re using your content. So feel good about the fact that they’re using your content because that means that there is value in your content because they don’t do things for free. Even if you may think it is – it’s not. There’s a monetary piece somewhere in that business model for them at your expense. So when you come from that place and you realize that you can go. OK well why don’t I reach out to them and see if there’s something we can work out where they can become an affiliate of mine and people go. I don’t want to be in business with pirates. That’s fine. We have a solution for that too. And the solution for that is one of three situations. You’re never gonna put them completely out of business and some people may not like this next sentence. But you know what you’re gonna get it straight from me so tough. Put them on to somebody that you’re not working with. So if we have a studio that we’re working with and that content’s being slaughtered the first conversation I’m going to have with the pirate is this needs to stop. And if you’re going to continue doing it go with another studio. So immediately I’ve benefited my, there’s a creative benefit to my client. I’ve shifted them with someone else and some people may be going right now. How can you do that? You’re making the problem worse. No I’m shifting the fire because it’s it’s a fire. So that’s that’s one piece. The other piece to that is that you need to figure out what it is you want to do and there’s a lot it we can get into that at a later date. But you can you can shut… You can try and shut their website down. You can eventually here’s what it comes down to no matter what the dispute, here’s the solution. If you want traffic ask for traffic, if you want some dollars ask for some dollars, if you want the site to go away – that’s going to cost a little bit more. But just realize that if that site goes away they’re probably just going to create another one so the sooner you can get emotionally into partnership with whatever that experienc is from that model that you need to create with the pirate, the the easier this this all is. And this is coming from somebody who gets extremely emotional.
Melissa Tucker [00:14:56] So we’re just going to go ahead and wrap this up right now. That’s a little bit of information about what you can expect from this podcast going forward. Jason has crazy stories.
Jason Tucker [00:15:07] I haven’t gotten into crazy stories yet.
Melissa Tucker [00:15:07] I know he’s got three stories that involve the porn industry, the mob, people in Hollywood, people in the music industry like there’s some pretty crazy stories and honestly I would like him to share them with you because he tells them to me all the time so why not record this and get you guys involved too. There’s going to be some “what’s going going on right now” podcasts because there are times when something’s happening in the law or something’s going on in the media that’s really important to what’s going on with your business around content so Jason will be jumping on and instead of just telling me he’s going to actually be sharing it with all of you guys so that information can be valuable and useful. And there’s also going to be some “how-to’s” in here. The best way to get in touch with us because you definitely want to be in touch with us is go back to our web site and that is IntellectualPropertyHQ.com. So the H and Q as in headquarters Intellectual Property HQ and we have a whatever lead magnet that we have up there right now as we get going it’s going to be more precise. But right now I think we have like I get a lead magnet, we have. All right get something signup for our course when we get that going we also have a DMCA takedown notice template. If you have some stuff going on right now that you need there’s also a ton of blog information, content information so you if you’re in a place where you’re hurting you know people are stealing your content you’re not sure what to do then you can find that information there as well.
Jason Tucker [00:16:37] Even if people aren’t stealing your stuff you should at least know this because again I go back to the same place which is you are building a valuable portfolio that will outlast you. So you need to take steps as early as possible.
Melissa Tucker [00:16:51] So if you want more information about this make sure that you subscribe on whatever podcast player you listen to. If you’re on iTunes leave us a review because that’s going to help more people find us and we’ll talk to you next time. Our goal is to have this out weekly. You can and hit us up on our Facebook Group which I think is intellectual property hq community. Or just go back to intellectualpropertyHQ.com and the link to the Facebook group is there. So we will talk to you soon.
Outro [00:17:21] Jason Tucker was not an attorney turn all the information shared on this free podcast is his opinion and not legal advice. Be sure to subscribe and rate the show on iTunes. See you next time.