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Author Topic: An Analysis of Nick Youngson/RM Media's Copyright Infringement Lawsuit  (Read 1856 times)

Matthew Chan

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I was notified 3 weeks ago by a reputable ELI reader/contributor about RM Media (Nick Youngson's) first copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Mathew Higbee himself. I was slow in getting to it because I had other things to take care of. But with the holiday season here, it is a bit quieter and I can catch up on a few items that deserve attention. I suspected that there might be some interesting nuggets with this lawsuit and I am happy to say, I was correct.

The lawsuit is officially listed, RM Media Ltd v. 420 EVALUATIONS, INC., A PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CORPORATION d/b/a www.420-evaluations.com; and DOES 1 through 10 inclusive

https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6244392/rm-media-ltd-v-420-evaluations-inc/

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF FOR: (1) COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT (2) UNAUTHORIZED ALTERATION OF COPYRIGHT MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

These are some interesting things to notice within the lawsuit.

1. "420 Evaluations" appears to be in the medical marijuana evaluation business that has two brick-and-mortar office locations in California. This is a very unusual business that is highly regulated and highly scrutinized.

2. Mathew Higbee doesn't know how to spell "publicly". 
Defendant 420 Evaluations, Inc., A Professional Medical Corporation is a commercial medical facility which conducts business through the publically available commercial website https://420-evaluations.com/.

3.  These statement of facts clarify the underlying relationship between Nick Youngson and RM Media Ltd.

Youngson is the sole author of the original Images.

By virtue of his sole authorship, complete ownership rights and copyrights to the Images originally vested in Youngson.

Youngson registered the Images with the United States Copyright Office under registration numbers VAu 1-248-878, with an effective registration date of June 10, 2016.

After registering the Images, Youngson transferred complete rights and ownership in the Images to RM Media by written instrument.

4. These statement of facts outline Higbee's accounting of events.

On or about March, 2017, RM Media discovered one of its Images on Defendants’ commercial website. RM Media had no record of issuing a paid license to Defendants, nor did the photo give any attribution as required by the CC License. A true and correct copy of Defendants’ infringing use of RM Media’s Image is attached hereto as Exhibit C.

RM Media subsequently sent a cease and desist letter to Defendants, and Defendants stated that they would be willing to settle the claim and remove the Image from their website.

On or about August, 2017 RM Media discovered that Defendants used a second Image of Plaintiffs on Defendants’ commercial website. Again RM Media could not locate any record that Defendants had paid for a license, and again, Defendants did not include any attribution as required by the CC License.

On or about September 1, 2017, RM Media sent a second cease and desist letter to Defendants requesting that they remove the second Image. Defendants responded by refusing to remove the second Image from their commercial website or include the requisite attribution under the CC License.

Defendants also stated that they would no longer be willing to discuss a settlement of RM Media’s claim related to the first Image.

As of the date of this Complaint, RM Media’s second Image is still displayed on Defendants’ website at https://420-evaluations.com/treatmentanorexia-medical-marijuana/ and https://i0.wp.com/420-evaluations.com/wpcontent/uploads/2016/10/Paradox.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1. True and correct time stamped screenshots of Defendants’ infringing use of RM Media’s photographs is attached hereto as Exhibit E.

On information and belief, Defendants’ use of the Images was deliberate and willful because Defendants refused to remove one of RM Media’s Images after being put on notice of the infringement.

Defendants used the Images to promote the Defendants’ business despite knowledge that the Images are subject to copyright and continued to use one of RM Media’s Images after receiving actual notice of RM Media’s rights to the Images.

5. Some vague assertions in which Higbee provides the court ZERO GUIDANCE of the value of the infringement. This tells me this is scare tactic specifically for the defendant than it is to inform the court.  Any court will know the basics of copyright damages.  What the court seeks is guidance as to what the value might be but Higbee has dumped it on the court and a judge will call him out on this IF it gets that far.

As a result of Defendant’s violations of Title 17 of the U.S. Code, Plaintiff is entitled to statutory damages in an amount up to $150,000.00 pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(c).

6. More bullshit assertions that is designed to scare the defendants more than to service the court.

Defendants falsification of said copyright management information was done by Defendants intentionally, knowingly, and with the intent to induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal Defendants infringement of Plaintiff’s copyright in the Images. Defendants also knew, or had reason to know, that such removal and/or alteration of copyright management information would induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal Defendants infringement of Plaintiff’s copyright in the Images.

Plaintiff has sustained significant injury and monetary damages as a result of Defendants wrongful acts as hereinabove alleged, and as a result of being involuntarily associated with Defendants in an amount to be proven.

7. More stupidity and pie-in-the-sky wet dream statements from Mathew Higbee.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendants as follows:
• For statutory damages against each Defendant in an amount of $150,000.00 for each infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(c);[/b]
• For statutory damages against each Defendant in an amount up to $25,000.00 for each falsification or removal of copyright management information pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 1202;


There is NO CHANCE that Youngson will get even close to those numbers. It will come out that he is selling most of his images for $10! That is the market value that Youngson himself has placed.

The central issue that people need to understand is that the Defendants made the mistake of not immediately removing these images.  That was the impetus for the lawsuit. Of course, it doesn't help that the defendant is located right in California close to Higbee, in a highly regulated business in which there will be little public sympathy, and a brick-and-mortar business in which getting it served should be relatively easy.

I hate to say it but by not taking down the images, the Defendants were almost ASKING FOR THE LAWSUIT.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 07:10:59 PM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Matthew Chan

  • ELI Founder, "Admin-on-Hiatus"
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Re: An Analysis of Nick Youngson/RM Media's Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 07:16:12 PM »
And the case was settled today! Going forward expect the Higbee law firm to push this case to all future Youngson image demand letters.

https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6244392/parties/rm-media-ltd-v-420-evaluations-inc/

TO THE COURT, ALL PARTIES AND THEIR ATTORNEYS OF RECORD:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Plaintiff and Defendant have reached a settlement in the above-referenced case. Plaintiff hereby submits this Notice of Settlement to notify the Court that the lawsuit has been settled, and to request 30 days in which to file the dismissal.

Dated: December 27, 2017
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

 

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