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Nick Youngson's Creative Commons images websites: The fine print


Matthew Chan:
Thanks to nycopyrightabuse, and his uncovering of new Nick Youngson domains and websites, I have taken a closer look at how Nick Youngson and Higbee & Associates seem to be generating a disproportionate number of infringements and complaints. They are not Getty Images, Masterfile, or some of the larger agencies we are accustomed to following.

So far, I have come up with a list that appear to be "anonymous" Creative Commons websites that promote Nick Youngson's images but takes a "secretive", third-party, long-arm approach to doing so. There may be of more these "anonymous" Creative Commons images websites out there I have not yet come across.

NYPhotographic.com (disclosed home website for Youngson)
JPhotostyle.com (points to creative-commons-images.com)

If you look carefully at these domains, you will see that these websites seem to take a long-arm approach to promoting the images as if Nick Youngson was a 3rd party. Also, you will see a prominent "Advert" box implying that someone has bought advertising on the website. But if you click on that box, it goes to NYPhotographic.com.

The Terms & Conditions and especially the Privacy Policy seems to me full of shit and trying to convey something the website really isn't.

--- Quote ---Creative Commons Images privacy policy.

This privacy policy is for this website Creative Commons Images and governs the privacy of its users who choose to use it.

The policy sets out the different areas where user privacy is concerned and outlines the obligations & requirements of the users, the website and website owners. Furthermore the way this website processes, stores and protects user data and information will also be detailed within this policy.

The Website

This website and its owners take a proactive approach to user privacy and ensure the necessary steps are taken to protect the privacy of its users throughout their visiting experience.

Users contacting this website and/or its owners do so at their own discretion and provide any such personal details requested at their own risk. Your personal information is kept private and stored securely until a time it is no longer required or has no use. Every effort has been made to ensure a safe and secure form to email submission process but advise users using such form to email processes that they do so at their own risk.

This website and its owners use any information submitted to provide you with further information about the products and services they offer or to assist you in answering any questions or queries you may have submitted. This includes using your details to subscribe you to any email newsletter program the website operates but only if this was made clear to you and your express permission was granted when submitting any form to email process. Your details are not passed on to any third parties.

Adverts and Sponsored Links

This website may contain sponsored links and adverts. These will typically be served through our advertising partners, to whom may have detailed privacy policies relating directly to the adverts they serve.

Clicking on any such adverts will send you to the advertisers website through a referral program which may use cookies and will track the number of referrals sent from this website. This may include the use of cookies which may in turn be saved on your computers hard drive. Users should therefore note they click on sponsored external links at their own risk and this website and its owners cannot be held liable for any damages or implications caused by visiting any external links mentioned.

--- End quote ---

I now have deep suspicions that Nick Youngson owns each of those websites with very generic website names. He sets up "advertisement" boxes to his own websites with his "privacy policy" that supposedly informs users of purported sponsored links, affiliates, and advertising partners. Why would there need to be an "advertising box" if you own the website and point to another website your own, operate, or associated with?  That is misleading and deceptive.

None of these websites (except NYPhotographic.com) indicate WHO owns or operates these websites. They leave the distinct impression that it is someone else NOT Nick Youngson. But as I said, I have a strong suspicion that Nick Youngson operates the above listed websites and cross-promoting and marketing in a dishonest way.

And people are falling for it. Higbee & Associates appear to be making out like bandits from Youngson's anonymous Creative Commons honeypot websites.

Matthew Chan A question

From your research how does Higbee & Assoc get away with commiting fraud if these Youngson fake sites are honeytraps?  Looks criminal to me. 

Matthew Chan:
It would be unfair to accuse Higbee & Associates of the Creative Commons honeypot situation. There is no evidence they have done this. However, they are a clear beneficiary of victims of the honeypot situation Youngson set up.

It is hard to say if Youngson intended for a honeypot effect but I am very suspicious.  But it doesn't seem he has much motivation to changes his ways as he will make far more money nailing people through Higbee than if everyone actually used his image and gave attribution.

If Higbee and Youngson ever file suit, the first thing that a defendant needs to do is probably bring up this honeypot situation.  It leads to unclean hands if Youngson is trying to lure people then entrap them into using his image based on some obscure fine print.

Personally, I think any judge that looks at this closely will also be suspicious of whether Youngson's websites and his Creative Commons image-sharing program is actually done in good faith.


I just think Higbee is a shady slime bucket out for the quick buck.  His practice was originally in criminal record engagement and now he's doing this?  I look forward to you creating a dedicated thread on him and his dealings.     

Matthew Chan:
Most of the copyright collections lawyers who do what Higbee does are in it for the commission (around 30-35%) of whatever amount they can intimidate out of some person.

There is an incentive for them to get higher settlements so they can line their pockets. They generally won't settle for a smaller amount because they want to make sure they get their take.


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