ELI Mission Statement: What We Stand For

Matthew Chan and Oscar Michelen Headshot
Matthew Chan and Oscar Michelen

Images top

Since 2008, ExtortionLetterInfo.com (ELI) is dedicated to reporting¬† information and providing commentary on Getty Images (and other stock photo) Settlement Demand Letters. ELI is a privately-owned and privately-managed website. Every effort is made to provide factual information and professional opinions regarding Getty Images’ (and the respective companies’) “practice” of issuing “Settlement Letters” that we consider “legalized extortion”.

As Lead Contributors of this website, we believe what they are doing is technically legal but ethically and morally questionable. “The Letter” bullies and preys upon the legal ignorance of the letter recipients. This website attempts to discover, report, and comment on the facts in a civil and orderly way. This website also provides assistance in defending unaware and unintended victims of this Letter.

There are two sides to every story and disagreement. Recipients of the Letter know Getty Images side. This website will assemble the stories and legal arguments of “the other side”. We trust this website will be both helpful and beneficial to you.


Matthew Chan & Oscar Michelen

Visit the ELI Discussion Forums!

Find out more about what Matthew Chan, Oscar Michelen, the ELI Defense Team and others are talking about!

Why is This Being Called “Legalized Extortion” and an “Extortion Letter Scheme”?

This is a descriptive and colloquial term for Getty Images’ deliberate, malicious, bullying, and presumptuous letter campaign that engages in what is tantamount to legalized extortion. The letter in its entirety is both well-worded and well-constructed. It has been clearly been well thought out. Because of the deliberate construction and planning that goes into this letter campaign, it qualifies as a Scheme.

The Letter automatically presumes guilt of the recipient. The letter recipient is expected to provide proof of their innocence. In effect, the letter recipient is presumed guilty unless they prove their innocence.

Although the letter does provide for the possibility that the letter recipient was unaware and unintended of the alleged infringement, the Letter takes a heavy-handed and unforgiving approach of stating that they are responsible for all alleged “damages and liability”. The Letter automatically presumes Getty Images has been “damaged” whether or not that is actually true or proven.

Because this scheme relies heavily on the letter recipients ignorance of due legal process and people’s inherent fear of legal conflict as a result of that ignorance, it is considered by many as legalized extortion.

Given the overall assessment of the situation, the term “legalized extortion” was coined to better describe Getty Images very aggressive letter campaign.

ADDENDUM: Since ELI was launched, we have discovered and encountered dozens of media firms and photographers partake in the “extortion letter” phenomena. ELI has gone much further than reporting on Getty Images extortion letters. ELI reports on extortion letters of all kinds.

Visit the ELI Discussion Forums!

Find out more about what Matthew Chan, Oscar Michelen, and many others have to say!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply