Photographer wants "up to $600,000" from Joni Mitchell fan site over 4 user-uploaded photos

Les Irvin, operator of the web's top Joni Mitchell fan site, reports that he's being "sued for up to $600,000" over four photos uploaded by to the site by anonymous commenters.

Until now. Charlyn [Zlotnik] has refused to drop the case ... A $25,000-$600,000 payment out of my pocket spells the end of a lot of things for me personally - including, obviously, the end of

I'm not asking for your money, but I am asking for your help. If you have been enriched at any point by the treasure that is, if you choose to see this resource as a benefit and a service rather than as an attempt to defraud and infringe, and if you feel this situation is unfair... please help me by sending an email to the attorneys and the photographer Charlyn, Leslie, and Carolyn - asking them to drop the lawsuit. Or if you agree with them, give them a thumbs up instead!

Though Irvin claims he promptly removed the user-uploaded shots—copyright law specifies this as a way to avoid liability for users' actions—the demands remain in place. These shakedowns have little to do with the law, other than its price: their effectiveness relies on the fact that it's cheaper to fork over the cash than to hire a lawyer and defend oneself in court.

The New York Daily News reported that Zlotnik was "collared" in a drug bust several months ago, with the New York Post adding that she was "busted for allegedly selling $1,000 worth of Adderall to undercover cops".

The firm sending the nasty letters pops up in claims published at Ripoff Report and Extortion Letters Info.

Justice [ via Waxy]