Bigfoot Researcher Sues YouTube User Over False Copyright Claim - The Aftermath

In my recent blog post, I talked about how arguments in the field of bigfoot research have reached the point of legal actions. A case I outlined in specific was Melissa Hovey vs. Phil Poling, a lawsuit in which Hovey sued Poling over copyright infringement. That post can be found here: Bigfoot in the Courtroom

Here is the information via

Plaintiff: Melissa M Hovey 
Defendant: Phil Poling
Case Number: 3:2013cv00615
Filed: March 21, 2013
Court: Ohio Northern District Court
Office: Toledo Office
County: Sandusky
ii,: James R. Knepp
Presiding Judge: Jack Zouhary
Nature of Suit: Intellectual Property - Copyrights
Cause: 17:101 Copyright Infringement
Jurisdiction: Federal Question        
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff

Since the results of this lawsuit have become public, many people seemed to have missed the point. Granted, there have been numerous attempts to spin or misdirect the masses from the truth. The truth being that the subject of the hoaxed photograph produced by Melissa Hovey is not the issue. The subject of what mean and hurtful things were or were not said by Phil Poling is not the issue. The true issue that everyone should be concerned with is the fraudulent copyright registration Melissa Hovey made on a photograph that did not belong to her, nor had the permission of the true owner to copyright, in which she then used as a false reason to sue Poling over. A lawsuit which was most likely enacted over spite and hurt feelings of embarrassment on the part of Hovey. It does not matter what Poling said about Hovey. It does not matter if Karl Kozak is the rightful owner of the photograph. As clearly shown in the court docket, the lawsuit was over copyright infringement. I will say this again for clarity; the photograph does not matter.

Melissa has since posted in regards to the results of the lawsuit nothing but attempts to misdirect and spin things in her favor. She has attacked so called "anonymous" bloggers over correspondence with Karl Kozak that she states are not the real Karl Kozak. Well, I'm not anonymous, nor is Shawn Evidence. I provided an example to show the email address for Mr. Kozak. If it isn't the real Karl Kozak, who is using his personal email address? Does his "real" email address differ from the one I provided? I really enjoyed her comments about bloggers getting so excited that they vomited at the thought of someone so important as Mr. Kozak "commenting to their blog" which didn't make any sense at all. It was an email exchange, not a comment. I also seriously doubt anyone would view Mr. Kozak as someone of significant fame and importance. No offense to Mr. Kozak, but it takes a bit more than directing a b-movie to cause me to vomit in excitement. Melissa also speaks on the subject of being in contact with Mr. Healy, the person responsible for the costume effects used in the movie "Clawed", and steadfastly maintaining the position that it was not the costume he created for the movie shown in the photo. Once again I will state emphatically, 
So if some bloggers are wrong about the photo being from a specific movie, or if they are corresponding with someone other than the real Karl Kozak, is a moot and ignorant point to be arguing. To be entirely honest, in my opinion the reactions by Hovey both in her blog and elsewhere have been the ramblings of an irrational mind. I have yet to see anything in response that was about the issue of the copyright, which is what the lawsuit was about. Incomplete thoughts, appreciation for supposed well wishes, shark week updates, vague comments about a belief in some sort of magical retribution that always plays favor to her, secret conversations with a costume designer that doesn't matter, fantasy portrayals of anonymous bloggers that don't exist, these are the responses Melissa Hovey has given.

Another issue I have is the fact that Hovey has claimed numerous times how she finds all of this funny. How much it amuses her. I'm glad she finds attacking the 1st amendment rights outlined by our constitution amusing. I'm glad she thinks it's amusing to file a false claim in a federal court of law. I'm glad she amuses herself by assuming this is Melissa Hovey's world and we all just live in it. She has stated publicly that everyone is entitled to their opinions, and that they should not be attacked for doing so. When Phil Poling voiced his, she wrongfully sued him under a false circumstance. When I voiced mine, she ended our friendship. That's hilarious Melissa. You should feel really good about yourself.

It doesn't matter how this is spun. It doesn't matter what is used as obvious attempts at misdirecting the public from the real issues. A person has been made a victim by a spiteful individual in a court of law based on a lie. That person is not Melissa Hovey, regardless of how she tries to make it seem. I understand people are her friends. I know they will defend her. Apparently they believe some very hurtful things were said about her. Perhaps things were said, by both parties. Perhaps some very cruel things were said about Melissa Hovey by Phil Poling. How does that give her the right to sue him over copyright infringement of a photo she never had the right to copyright in the first place? Even if you take the entire situation away, she still fraudulently filed a copyright on a photo that she did not have the legal rights to.

THAT is the issue. THAT is the truth.

To Melissa Hovey, or anyone else who feels so inclined. I would be more than happy to retract anything I have published on the matter, and publicly apologize if someone can produce legal documents showing Melissa's right to ownership of the photo, dated prior to her registration with the United States Copyright Office. Of course if such a thing ever existed, she would have produced it for the judge.

One final issue I would like to clarify is the results of the lawsuit. Hovey did not win the case. Poling did not win the case. The case was dismissed. The case never reached trial. It was dismissed with prejudice on the grounds that since Melissa Hovey was not in fact the owner of the photo, she could not sue someone else over copyright infringement of the photo. That is why part of the dismissal agreement was that she would remove her copyright from the photo, as per the judge's request. The owner of the photo, whoever that may be, would be the person responsible with filing a claim against Hovey for her fraudulent filing of a copyright. I also read that the parties agreed to not speak of one another in any defamatory way, both in public or private, personally, in regards to the case, and on the subject of bigfoot. However, both can speak freely about the case itself as it applies to their own behalf. There is also a mention of a counterclaim that was dropped. This must have been done by Mr. Poling, one would assume in regard to his legal fees. I won't speculate on why he chose to drop his counterclaim.


  1. Melissa Hovey? Irrational?? Surely, you jest. (He said, mustering as much sarcasm as possible...)

    Oh, "irrational" doesn't even begin to cover that nasty little sociopath.

  2. HEY! MATT.JUST you wait till I sick my big black boyfriend on your ASS!!! as always MELLISSA H!!

  3. Hey Matthew, I think you are missing the point. You want to talk about a law suit and the improper conduct of an individual by immediately starting out with calling the picture a "hoax". The copyright claims may be false or a "hoax" but to date no one has proven the photo to be a hoax. In fact, the sources you use to draw comparisons between the 'Clawed' costume and the picture are the issue most people have. To counter this claim, if I knew that I had hoaxed a picture by using a costume prop I would never take the chance of exposing my fraudelent scheme by filing suit over the image that I stole from someone else in the first place. The credibility of most people will always come into question when the topic of BF comes up.

    If you want to attack this ladies character that is your choice. It is an opinion that you are entitled to. If you want to write about your disgust for the lawsuit, again you have that right. When you immediately start to re-use information about this picture that was thrown out to the public by the naysayers over a year ago and later disproven or denied by the very people that the naysayers referenced as their proof that the pic was a fake; Well, IMO you are acting no different than those you are writing about.

    1. I think I have clearly expressed that the copyright is the issue, and not the photo. It doesn't matter how many times people would like to bring up the photo to try and distract from the real issue, it will still remain about the copyright. The lawsuit was not over if the photo is fake or not, or if it was from a particular movie.

      As for the photo being a hoax. Well, that is based on my own opinion. I do believe it to be a hoax. That's based on my own experiences and what I've seen in the field, along with some OBVIOUS red flags about the subject of the photo. Certain items can be seen more clearly once the copyright is removed from the bottom of the photo. There's obviously not enough information contained in the photo to determine what it is or isn't, so then we have to look at the story behind it. That gives us additional information. Which, in my opinion, also adds to the photo being a hoax.

      Then, again, we have the issue of Karl Kozak. One side has issued evidence that they have in fact spoke with Kozak about the photo, and one side claims they have done so. Let's see it then. All I stated was that IF Karl Kozak says it is one of the costume props used in a movie he was more involved in than anyone else, then I fail to see how someone could argue with that. At no time did I make comparisons between the photo and the Clawed costume in my post. Yet another spin.Nor did I attack anyone's character. The readers can think for themselves, and form their own opinions. Just as you have.

      I did not write these articles to discuss the photo, or if it was from the movie Clawed, or if people are talking to the real Karl Kozak. I wrote them because a man was wrongfully sued for something he was not guilty of, out of spite and malice for opinions he had expressed. I wrote these articles because an individual lied to the federal government and said they were the owner of something that they did not own. If you think whether or not the photo shows a bigfoot's hairy back is more important than a person using bogus charges to attack another individual for expressing their freedom of speech, well then I can't help you.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. So if the photo turns out to be real and not a hoax, why wouldn't the copyright MH put on it be valid? If she did it to protect the right of ownership of person who gave her the photo and they affirm it, she would have a right to file a suit against PP, correct? Where did you see the outcome of the dismissal of the lawsuit? All I could find was the filing info. If you were told the reason by someone, well I would like to see the actual papers.

    I think the photo IS the center of the suit. I agree with the anon poster about why would MH file a suit if the photo was a hoax? A court case would destroy her standing and credibility in the bigfoot world, for what that is worth anyway. But if the photo is real, it would increase the said standing.

    It really boils down to this. If the photo is real, and MH had the right to copyright it from the owner, then she was justified in filing against PP.

    If the photo is fake and MH had no copyright permission from the owner, then her lawsuit against PP was illegal and harassment.

    I want to see the actual court documents showing why the case was dismissed. They should say who owned the photo too. That will end this debate once and for all.

  5. Big Jim Jr. Matt posted a copy of the court documents in his previous blog.You can see it there. No the Document does not show who owned the photo because no one knows. It doesn't matter if the subject in the photo is real or not. Melissa did not have a legal right to copyright the photo under the law. That is why the court order her to remove her copyright. She place a fraudulent claim on a photo which makes her a fraud and she took a photo posted all over the place without permission which makes her a thief. And now she thinks if she plays it off that the photo isn't the movie then maybe everyone will forget these facts.

  6. The easiest way to clear up this squatch is to find out the exact dates this image was put out. Mellissa was given the photo(s) and under copyright law dates will prove who put it out first. Phil says it is from his movie so is that the only pic of the monster in his movie? Hollywood types have been know to use other peoples pics, I believe some of Billy Miers pics were used with out his permission. So lets see some of the pics from his monster movie, to compare or you worried there will be another sasquatch copyright case. I am on Ms. Hovey's side on this one, as it appears so far the photo(s) were given to her. So Phil let's see a frontal of your so called monster flick. By the way next to the Patterson photo the one given to Ms. Hovey looks pretty good.

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