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Author Topic: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com  (Read 79238 times)

someco

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2017, 01:44:26 PM »
Want to share some research that seems relevant to me - ignore if this is already well known on these threads.
Please see http://www.nyphotographic.com/about.html (text quoted below in case these guys take the page down)
It is quite evident as per his own documented timeline that Youngson started  releasing images clearly marked as "CC-attribution sharealike" only after Apr 2015 and even as late as Oct/Dec 2015 presumably not all his images were clearly marked. So if you got his images before say Dec 2015, it's likely that they may have been perceived as public domain.
It's a nuance but an important one IMHO.
Thanks.

--- text ---
News

June 2014

Just found lots of my images being used without a license - I am sure these people don't go around stealing things so what is it about images that makes them feel they can help themselves?

July 2015

For those people that insist on using my images without paying I have now released a number on a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license which means they can be used for free as long as certain attribution and license links are provided close to the image, please contact me for further details.

October 2015

More images released on a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license - a lot of people are following the terms of the license but a lot aren't and just helping themselves to the images so to those people don't use my images without the correct attribution or else paying for them.

December 2015

I am spending my days locating my images that are being used without a valid license, emailing people asking them to pay the license fee and most are ignoring me.

I am now thoroughly fed up with this situation so as from now any site using my images without a valid license and being used to promote a service, I am going to pass straight to my attorney to deal with. I can't be expected to spend my days emailing people infringing my copyright only to get ignored or abused so now they can deal with my attorney.

This only applies to web sites being run to promote a service such as legal services, banks, real estate companies etc - people who should know better than to ignore licensing requirements. Often these sites are managed by professional web site designers who are presumably charging their clients for adding my images to the client's sites without a license!

Sites run by individuals not promoting a service will continue to receive an email asking them for my standard license fee of a few dollars.

April 2016

My advisers have recommended I become incorporated so I now trade as a UK Limited company but everything else remains the same - you can see the company details on my contact page.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #61 on: April 05, 2017, 02:36:02 PM »
That is the power of the ELI community. We have different people who come in out of nowhere who are inspired by our "fightback and creative learn-to-think" attitude.

Case in point, nycopyrightabuse came out of nowhere. Never met them or heard of them. But suddenly, there is all this information, research, and commentary that compelled me to give the Youngson situation a second, closer look.

And even the debate about paying $100 to do copyright registration searches is helpful to readers as I think it rarely comes up.  So everyone benefits from the discussion.

The two most important things people need to get is:  Get Educated and Get an Attitude.  When you get these two things under your belt, people won't fall and get lost into the rabbit holes and diversionary tactics that copyright collection folks use.

Most people think the pursuers don't have anything to lose by using questionable or egregious tactics pursuing people with reckless abandon. They do!  Anyone that doesn't believe what I say can go Google Righthaven and Prenda Law.  They were brought down by the collective effort of outraged people and put out of business.

There are other parties ELI has discussed previously whom I will not name that have exited the business. They were pretty happy to take advantage of people's legal ignorance and use some scummy tactics but then when they were called out on it and exposed, they didn't last long.

People inherently know what is fair and not fair, reasonable and not reasonable.  And there is no question that the team of Higbee/Youngson sending out $5,000 letters over $10 images (or free with attribution) is unreasonable. If any knowledgeable judge saw this in a court case, the Higbee/Youngson team would have a LOT to defend and might even get reprimanded for bringing in a lawsuit of this kind into their court.

All it takes is for Higbee/Youngson to hit the wrong person to set off a chain reaction.

Matthew and @buddhapi - thanks for your notes. Just want to close this out re. the image search.
I guess you guys see this  day in, day out so it is quite evident to you :) but it's not as obvious to many of us, hence the questions.

" It is well known that copyright registration/listing system is woefully inadequate." - no, I did not know this, pretty much trusted it would have accurate records. Oh well.

And " But what if they say, it's a mistake then offer up another registration for you?" - yes, I suppose they  could do this. I assumed it was "Due diligence" on my part to verify their claims. Saw that others like nycopyrightabuse are also doing this and have even asked Higbee to provide the images included in the registration, which they seem to have refused.

"I am not sure you understand how the extortion scheme works or what is being said to you. Many people who successfully fight and resist their letters use far simpler strategies than trying to comb through the copyright registration system." -
not as much as many on this forum, but I do understand it and have spoken to Matthew and Oscar about it too, in addition to speaking with copyright lawyers and litigation lawyers (dealing with it for a few months now). I have not come across any simpler strategies  than "wait it out and see if they file a lawsuit, or join Oscar's defense letter program (in my case he himself advised against it for now), or hire an attorney to send a letter and/or negotiate a settlement". If there are other strategies you have shared elsewhere on this forum, please do point me to them.
For now I have not spent the $100.
Thanks!
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

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2017, 02:47:07 PM »
Let me be clear. I do believe infringements are rampant on the Internet. It is an issue.  I don't really have a problem with folks sending warning or notification letters. But it starts getting in to grey areas when you start demanding and expecting to get money from people out of the blue and start making it into a profit center vs. a stop-loss approach.

And the pursuers regularly LIE with reckless abandon about filing lawsuits, taking legal action, etc.

Youngson (and all artists) have some say over how Higbee works. But they like the easy finances.  Send out a $5,000 letter.  Settle for $3,000. Higbee gets 30% of that take.  Youngson gets the other 70%. See how easy that works?

The problem is in the sausage-making which is something people associated with Higbee and their ilk don't ever want to openly discuss which ELI reports.

We have exposed and shown people the ugliness of the sausage-making activities they engage in. 

If I were to believe his narrative as posted in his timeline, Youngson is extremely misguided or misinformed and the resulting blowback has not been kind to him. Part of the problem is he (as some others) have fallen for the story Higbee has sold.

Want to share some research that seems relevant to me - ignore if this is already well known on these threads.
Please see http://www.nyphotographic.com/about.html (text quoted below in case these guys take the page down)
It is quite evident as per his own documented timeline that Youngson started  releasing images clearly marked as "CC-attribution sharealike" only after Apr 2015 and even as late as Oct/Dec 2015 presumably not all his images were clearly marked. So if you got his images before say Dec 2015, it's likely that they may have been perceived as public domain.
It's a nuance but an important one IMHO.
Thanks.

--- text ---
News

June 2014

Just found lots of my images being used without a license - I am sure these people don't go around stealing things so what is it about images that makes them feel they can help themselves?

July 2015

For those people that insist on using my images without paying I have now released a number on a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license which means they can be used for free as long as certain attribution and license links are provided close to the image, please contact me for further details.

October 2015

More images released on a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license - a lot of people are following the terms of the license but a lot aren't and just helping themselves to the images so to those people don't use my images without the correct attribution or else paying for them.

December 2015

I am spending my days locating my images that are being used without a valid license, emailing people asking them to pay the license fee and most are ignoring me.

I am now thoroughly fed up with this situation so as from now any site using my images without a valid license and being used to promote a service, I am going to pass straight to my attorney to deal with. I can't be expected to spend my days emailing people infringing my copyright only to get ignored or abused so now they can deal with my attorney.

This only applies to web sites being run to promote a service such as legal services, banks, real estate companies etc - people who should know better than to ignore licensing requirements. Often these sites are managed by professional web site designers who are presumably charging their clients for adding my images to the client's sites without a license!

Sites run by individuals not promoting a service will continue to receive an email asking them for my standard license fee of a few dollars.

April 2016

My advisers have recommended I become incorporated so I now trade as a UK Limited company but everything else remains the same - you can see the company details on my contact page.
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.

pctechguy1

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2017, 06:13:32 PM »
Just got documents in the mail from Higbee concerning Nicholas Youngson. Higbee now claims it is representing RM Media, Ltd instead of Youngson. Enclosed in the letter is a copy of court papers showing RM Meda, LTD. as Plaintiff stating COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL. The problem is that there is NO CASE NO.

Looks like this is another way that Higbee is intimidating people to pay the $5000.00 extortion fee. They started mailing out these demands and sending emails around December, 2016.

kingkendall

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2017, 10:07:05 AM »
It's another scare tactic CT use to induce a settlement.  Instead of a file number the put "pending" to make you think they're getting ready to file if you don't pay up.  And for a lot of people it works because they get scared.  Sanders Law uses the same tactic.  It's part of the game. 

Matthew Chan

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2017, 04:38:27 PM »
Yes, we know about "RM Media Ltd" and the unfiled boilerplate lawsuit template that they send to people as a tactic.  They want you to "imagine" and "visualize" a possible lawsuit.

http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/getty-images-letter-forum/photog-nick-youngson-(higbee-assoc-)-lists-rm-media-ltd-in-template-lawsuit/

Just got documents in the mail from Higbee concerning Nicholas Youngson. Higbee now claims it is representing RM Media, Ltd instead of Youngson. Enclosed in the letter is a copy of court papers showing RM Meda, LTD. as Plaintiff stating COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL. The problem is that there is NO CASE NO.

Looks like this is another way that Higbee is intimidating people to pay the $5000.00 extortion fee. They started mailing out these demands and sending emails around December, 2016.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 04:49:17 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.

InWisconsin

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #66 on: April 14, 2017, 01:27:22 PM »
We've been dealing with this very same issue on an image from Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com since the Fall of 2016. Exact same problem as others (accidental problem on the image's attribution under CC 3.0), dealing with Higbee and Ass.

I immediately deleted the image from our server and took down the page it was on (where it got a whopping 11 pageviews). We offered to settle out of court for a small but very reasonable sum of money. They refused it, and went from asking for $5,000 to $2,000. Then I asked for further proof Youngson owns the image as it's supposedly part of a group of images with a copyright and (as mentioned by another poster here) the proof of registration doesn't directly reference the image itself.

In addition to asking a specialist at Higbee for sales info on the image and an explanation of how Youngson calculated $2,000 in (out-of court) compensation, I (at Higbee's suggestion) made a few inquiries to the US Copyright Office about getting a deposit of registration, but the process has been very slow, and I've yet to hear back from the Copyright Office.

All communication with Higbee has been via email, with "Daniela Lupean, Claims Resolution Specialist - Copyright Enforcement Division."

The case sat as-is for months, with the occasional email and voicemail from Higbee, wondering how things are going with the copyright proof.

Then, in early April, they escalated things and threatened to go to court if they didn't hear back in 24 hours. I sent an email and after some more back and forth, I set up a phone call with the specialist for today (April 14). But after finding this thread a few days ago, I canceled the phone call and offered another reasonable amount of money, though much lower than $2,000. I also said that if Youngson refuses the offer, we'll need to see the info I requested before considering a greater sum. I also told the specialist that if they need to talk to me they can do so via email or leave me a voicemail message.

Today, my employer got the following email (I've deleted some info) ...

Quote
From: Mathew Higbee <mhigbee@higbeeassociates.com>
Subject: Copyright Claim -
Date: April 14, 2017 11:44:13 AM CDT

Mr. XX-

This case has been moved to the litigation team.    I am now your point of contact on this case.    Ms. Lupean forwarded your last email to me.

The documentation that we have provided is more than sufficient to demonstrate the validity of the claim.  A quick search of the internet will provide you with an abundance of evidence that supports the validity of who we are, who are client is and the ownership of the image that you used.  If that facts were other that what we represent, we would be committing fraud and we would be liable under civil and criminal law.  If you want me to provide more supporting documentation, I can, but it will end up making this case more expensive for you as the client will pass on the cost to you.   

As this is a timely registered image, i you were to prove to the court that your infringement was unintentional, the mimum amount you would have to pay would be $750 plus court costs and our client’s attorneys fees.  If the court does not believe your unintentional defense and finds that the infringement was willful, the mimunim amount a judge could award would be $35,000 plus court costs and our client’s attorneys fees.

Our client has already incurred substantial costs tracking down the infringement and documenting it,  and our law firm has already spent considerable time communicating with you regarding the case.   As a last chance offer to avoid litigation,  I will give you a one-time offer of $1,250 ($750 statutory damages + $500 for our time)  to settle this case.  This offer expires Monday morning, at which time we will prepare the case for litigation.  We will also present this offer as evidence to the court that we made earnest efforts and reasonable offers to resolve this case, and ask the court increase award to our client as a result of your forcing this claim to be resolved in the courts.

My review of the Wisconsin Secretary of State records leads me to believe that this is a single owner or closely help LLC and, based on the chronology showing multiple times that the corporation has lost its standing (which leads me to believe that corporate formalities are not well maintained and piercing the corporate veil would be easy), I would recommend that my client name you personally on the law suit.   

An offer of $1250  is a dramatic reduction by my client.  I hope you make the smart business decision and accept this offer.   If you have additional questions or wish to accept the offer, please contact me by email or phone at 714-617-8352 (my direct line).

-Mat
Mathew K. Higbee
Attorney at Law

TL;DR
"As a last chance offer to avoid litigation,  I will give you a one-time offer of $1,250 ($750 statutory damages + $500 for our time)  to settle this case.  This offer expires Monday morning."

This is the first time Higbee himself has sent a message.

Any thoughts on what to do now? I'm inclined to ignore it or offer an third, small amount of money.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 01:31:54 PM by InWisconsin »

kingkendall

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #67 on: April 14, 2017, 02:12:13 PM »
@ InWisconsin

I would've ignored them from the beginning.  But, since you already made offers, I would go ahead with the third offer. I'm not keen on group resgistration being proof enough for a particular image.  Higbee saying it's been refered to their litigation dept is really the next cubicle over from the past person dealing with the case.  It's a tactic meant to shake you. 

InWisconsin

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #68 on: April 14, 2017, 02:24:49 PM »
@ kingkendall

Thanks for the reply! Wish we had ignored them right away. Ah well.

The thing is, I HIGHLY doubt they will accept my third offer, as it will be quite low, yet extremely generous for the limited use of an image offered for free.

If their email is to be believed, they've spent $500 emailing with me since October.

I may just let it go.

Thanks again!

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #69 on: April 14, 2017, 02:25:43 PM »
Mathew Higbee needs an English tutor..
"who are client is"....
"If that facts were other that what we represent,"....
"As this is a timely registered image, i you were to prove"....
" the mimum amount you would have to pay"...
"this is a single owner or closely help LLC and".....

He could at least use a basic spell checker for.. this emal really makes Mathew Higbee look like a moron, no wonder nobody takes him seriously.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

InWisconsin

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #70 on: April 14, 2017, 02:28:40 PM »
@ Robert Krausankas

So true.

Also, according to his email, he prefers to be called "Mat."

kingkendall

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #71 on: April 14, 2017, 03:05:24 PM »
@ kingkendall

Thanks for the reply! Wish we had ignored them right away. Ah well.

The thing is, I HIGHLY doubt they will accept my third offer, as it will be quite low, yet extremely generous for the limited use of an image offered for free.

If their email is to be believed, they've spent $500 emailing with me since October.

I may just let it go.

Thanks again!

@ InWisconsin
I wasn’t knocking what you did as an error on your part.  In fact, you acted like a gentlemen seeking to resolve an issue in good faith.  But, that’s not the case with Higbee in the way he conducts business with threats and intimidation.  He wanted you to fold after the first communication.  But you didn’t.    A lot of others do and that’s where he makes his money.  By the way, that email I’m pretty sure didn’t come from Higbee himself.  It probably came from a case manager (non-lawyer) he’s paying $18-$23 dollors to run this extortion operation.  And if it did come from Higbee what does that say about his professionalism. 

InWisconsin

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #72 on: April 14, 2017, 03:14:46 PM »
@ kingkendall

No worries! As others on this thread have mentioned, it's so good to know how many people are in this boat. Thanks so much for the info on Higbee. 

Hey, fun fact: I actually emailed Youngson right when this all started, asking how to properly cite his images, and he politely responded. I quoted his reply in an email to Higbee and they were not happy about it. Just kinda funny.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #73 on: April 14, 2017, 05:03:49 PM »
" By the way, that email I’m pretty sure didn’t come from Higbee himself.  It probably came from a case manager (non-lawyer) he’s paying $18-$23 dollars to run this extortion operation.  And if it did come from Higbee what does that say about his professionalism.  "

Either way, Higbee is a dolt..just a matter of time until Yungson picks the wrong target and gets a declaratory lawsuit filed against him..
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

InWisconsin

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2017, 09:21:27 AM »
They got back at it yesterday, someone new (an Associate Attorney) calling and sending an email to my employer. Here's the bulk of the email from the Law Offices of Higbee & Associates ...

Quote
I am an attorney with The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates, my email is in regard to the copyright claim involving [YOU].

I am attempting to contact you regarding a settlement agreement for a copyright claim you had with my client.

Please contact me if you are interested in settling this outside of court. Should I not hear from you, I will advise my client to pursue this in federal court.

So there's that. Seems like more of the same. The other deadlines they gave us before legal action came and went. This is the first we've heard from them in months. 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 09:23:10 AM by InWisconsin »

 

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