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Author Topic: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com  (Read 79286 times)

Matthew Chan

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #90 on: September 14, 2017, 08:33:07 PM »
You resolve the matter by negotiating a settlement. Otherwise, you have to live with the uncertainty for the next 3 years.

People who settle the matter will generally not say anything publicly. They will also not generally not share what they settle for but I am confident people can settle for much less than the $5K.  However, it is still a lot to settle for most people.

Ultimately, people have to make their own "resolution" if you elect not to negotiate or settle the matter.
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.

TedStryker

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #91 on: October 15, 2017, 02:44:15 PM »
I actually paid the $10, I feel that if someone is complaining that you violated their copyright, but agree to sell you a license for $10, then they can't claim you owe them $5,000 in damages.

To show the nonsense of Higbee, I did answer the call from one of their "staff". I told them that I bought a license. They checked with Youngson and said that I bought the license for them after their initial claim. They still wanted to negotiate a settlement.

I asked the staff member if they were an attorney and of course, they denied that they were and claimed they never said they were one. I said that I knew by the way they communicated and their understanding of the law, they clearly weren't an attorney.

I told them that when it came to a settlement, I demanded money from Youngson for breach of my licensing agreement. Needless to say, I haven't heard back.



My comments inline...

I received one of these Higbee demand letters in February 2017 through a website I run. At first, I was a little nervous and then I Googled and came out to this site. I'm a lawyer and I knew things were fishy before even coming to this great resource.

Welcome, glad to have you here!

1. I found it odd that they sent a demand through regular mail. Usually, in important legal papers, I at least use tracking.

In the "old" days (pre-2012), almost everything we saw was through regular mail but then gradually we began seeing copyright claim emails which has almost become the norm today. I estimate there are literally thousands of copyright claims each year.  It is all based on most people's legal ignorance. The emails are generally as effective as sending a snail-mail letter.

2. The $5,000 demand bears in no relationship to any damages that Youngson could have for a page that maybe had 200 views on it. I deleted the photo after I got the initial paperwork.

Absolutely correct  The $5K number is made up and arbitrary. We see that number for most people.

3. The whole honeypot scam of labeling the photos for reuse in Google Images when it should be labeled as commercial or reuse with modification since you have to attribute or pay the license.

The Nick Youngson website operation is so shoddy and the wording and disclosures are so bad, I didn't even know it was his website until another victim reported his findings and it compelled me to give a closer look. He promotes his "free images" so hard that people are falling for it left and right and put into a "gotcha" situation.

4. The whole license fee of $10. How can he demand $5,000 in damages when he'll sell the picture for $10?

That is correct. It is far above even the $750 minimum statutory damages assuming he even registers his images.

5. The whole licensing thing is a scam because if you pay the $10, Youngson provides no licensing agreement. When does it start, when does it end? Will he still claim damages from someone who bought a license from him.

I have not heard from anyone paying the $10. Did you pay $10? Is that what you are saying?

6. The people calling you on the phones aren't lawyers. Anyone who ever went to law school would understand their demands aren't reasonable.

Yup, the people on the phones are generally low-level hourly clerks. They do the grunt work.

7. Higbee hasn't sued on this because it would expose the Honeypot scam. There is more money in getting $500 to $1250 settlements from companies who don't know better or don't want to hire an attorney than filing an actual lawsuit.

That is what I have been saying. I rarely call anything a "honeypot" scheme because most victims got their images from Google Images and any number of places.  But with Nick Youngson, he promotes "free" images with crappy disclosures, then nails people for making dumb mistakes on giving credit.

I ignored the calls and I've ignored the threats that they are forwarding this to their litigation team. It's 6 months later. If they wanted to sue me, they would have already.

I agree with you that people should not return calls. In fact, people should save the voice messages. I am interested in hearing more of them. I disagree with you on the rationale of their not filing a lawsuit within 6 months. Many copyright lawsuits are filed between Years 2 & 3 when it becomes clear that months-long efforts to settle have been exhausted. IN particular, Nick Youngson filing a lawsuit is currently unlikely because of the way he operated.  His active promotion of "free" images and lack of clear disclosures is a big problem in my view.

icepick

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #92 on: October 15, 2017, 03:33:35 PM »
Just curious, how is Youngson breaching the license agreement you have with him?


I actually paid the $10, I feel that if someone is complaining that you violated their copyright, but agree to sell you a license for $10, then they can't claim you owe them $5,000 in damages.

To show the nonsense of Higbee, I did answer the call from one of their "staff". I told them that I bought a license. They checked with Youngson and said that I bought the license for them after their initial claim. They still wanted to negotiate a settlement.

I asked the staff member if they were an attorney and of course, they denied that they were and claimed they never said they were one. I said that I knew by the way they communicated and their understanding of the law, they clearly weren't an attorney.

I told them that when it came to a settlement, I demanded money from Youngson for breach of my licensing agreement. Needless to say, I haven't heard back.



My comments inline...

I received one of these Higbee demand letters in February 2017 through a website I run. At first, I was a little nervous and then I Googled and came out to this site. I'm a lawyer and I knew things were fishy before even coming to this great resource.

Welcome, glad to have you here!

1. I found it odd that they sent a demand through regular mail. Usually, in important legal papers, I at least use tracking.

In the "old" days (pre-2012), almost everything we saw was through regular mail but then gradually we began seeing copyright claim emails which has almost become the norm today. I estimate there are literally thousands of copyright claims each year.  It is all based on most people's legal ignorance. The emails are generally as effective as sending a snail-mail letter.

2. The $5,000 demand bears in no relationship to any damages that Youngson could have for a page that maybe had 200 views on it. I deleted the photo after I got the initial paperwork.

Absolutely correct  The $5K number is made up and arbitrary. We see that number for most people.

3. The whole honeypot scam of labeling the photos for reuse in Google Images when it should be labeled as commercial or reuse with modification since you have to attribute or pay the license.

The Nick Youngson website operation is so shoddy and the wording and disclosures are so bad, I didn't even know it was his website until another victim reported his findings and it compelled me to give a closer look. He promotes his "free images" so hard that people are falling for it left and right and put into a "gotcha" situation.

4. The whole license fee of $10. How can he demand $5,000 in damages when he'll sell the picture for $10?

That is correct. It is far above even the $750 minimum statutory damages assuming he even registers his images.

5. The whole licensing thing is a scam because if you pay the $10, Youngson provides no licensing agreement. When does it start, when does it end? Will he still claim damages from someone who bought a license from him.

I have not heard from anyone paying the $10. Did you pay $10? Is that what you are saying?

6. The people calling you on the phones aren't lawyers. Anyone who ever went to law school would understand their demands aren't reasonable.

Yup, the people on the phones are generally low-level hourly clerks. They do the grunt work.

7. Higbee hasn't sued on this because it would expose the Honeypot scam. There is more money in getting $500 to $1250 settlements from companies who don't know better or don't want to hire an attorney than filing an actual lawsuit.

That is what I have been saying. I rarely call anything a "honeypot" scheme because most victims got their images from Google Images and any number of places.  But with Nick Youngson, he promotes "free" images with crappy disclosures, then nails people for making dumb mistakes on giving credit.

I ignored the calls and I've ignored the threats that they are forwarding this to their litigation team. It's 6 months later. If they wanted to sue me, they would have already.

I agree with you that people should not return calls. In fact, people should save the voice messages. I am interested in hearing more of them. I disagree with you on the rationale of their not filing a lawsuit within 6 months. Many copyright lawsuits are filed between Years 2 & 3 when it becomes clear that months-long efforts to settle have been exhausted. IN particular, Nick Youngson filing a lawsuit is currently unlikely because of the way he operated.  His active promotion of "free" images and lack of clear disclosures is a big problem in my view.

TedStryker

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2017, 04:59:12 PM »
I paid $10 for a license and he threatened to sue me.

I understand the timing aspect of it. But if he was insistent that I violated his copyright for $5,000, why would he accept a license fee of $10 from me?


Just curious, how is Youngson breaching the license agreement you have with him?


I actually paid the $10, I feel that if someone is complaining that you violated their copyright, but agree to sell you a license for $10, then they can't claim you owe them $5,000 in damages.

To show the nonsense of Higbee, I did answer the call from one of their "staff". I told them that I bought a license. They checked with Youngson and said that I bought the license for them after their initial claim. They still wanted to negotiate a settlement.

I asked the staff member if they were an attorney and of course, they denied that they were and claimed they never said they were one. I said that I knew by the way they communicated and their understanding of the law, they clearly weren't an attorney.

I told them that when it came to a settlement, I demanded money from Youngson for breach of my licensing agreement. Needless to say, I haven't heard back.



My comments inline...

I received one of these Higbee demand letters in February 2017 through a website I run. At first, I was a little nervous and then I Googled and came out to this site. I'm a lawyer and I knew things were fishy before even coming to this great resource.

Welcome, glad to have you here!

1. I found it odd that they sent a demand through regular mail. Usually, in important legal papers, I at least use tracking.

In the "old" days (pre-2012), almost everything we saw was through regular mail but then gradually we began seeing copyright claim emails which has almost become the norm today. I estimate there are literally thousands of copyright claims each year.  It is all based on most people's legal ignorance. The emails are generally as effective as sending a snail-mail letter.

2. The $5,000 demand bears in no relationship to any damages that Youngson could have for a page that maybe had 200 views on it. I deleted the photo after I got the initial paperwork.

Absolutely correct  The $5K number is made up and arbitrary. We see that number for most people.

3. The whole honeypot scam of labeling the photos for reuse in Google Images when it should be labeled as commercial or reuse with modification since you have to attribute or pay the license.

The Nick Youngson website operation is so shoddy and the wording and disclosures are so bad, I didn't even know it was his website until another victim reported his findings and it compelled me to give a closer look. He promotes his "free images" so hard that people are falling for it left and right and put into a "gotcha" situation.

4. The whole license fee of $10. How can he demand $5,000 in damages when he'll sell the picture for $10?

That is correct. It is far above even the $750 minimum statutory damages assuming he even registers his images.

5. The whole licensing thing is a scam because if you pay the $10, Youngson provides no licensing agreement. When does it start, when does it end? Will he still claim damages from someone who bought a license from him.

I have not heard from anyone paying the $10. Did you pay $10? Is that what you are saying?

6. The people calling you on the phones aren't lawyers. Anyone who ever went to law school would understand their demands aren't reasonable.

Yup, the people on the phones are generally low-level hourly clerks. They do the grunt work.

7. Higbee hasn't sued on this because it would expose the Honeypot scam. There is more money in getting $500 to $1250 settlements from companies who don't know better or don't want to hire an attorney than filing an actual lawsuit.

That is what I have been saying. I rarely call anything a "honeypot" scheme because most victims got their images from Google Images and any number of places.  But with Nick Youngson, he promotes "free" images with crappy disclosures, then nails people for making dumb mistakes on giving credit.

I ignored the calls and I've ignored the threats that they are forwarding this to their litigation team. It's 6 months later. If they wanted to sue me, they would have already.

I agree with you that people should not return calls. In fact, people should save the voice messages. I am interested in hearing more of them. I disagree with you on the rationale of their not filing a lawsuit within 6 months. Many copyright lawsuits are filed between Years 2 & 3 when it becomes clear that months-long efforts to settle have been exhausted. IN particular, Nick Youngson filing a lawsuit is currently unlikely because of the way he operated.  His active promotion of "free" images and lack of clear disclosures is a big problem in my view.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #94 on: October 15, 2017, 05:17:50 PM »
The timing is important, as it shows you did infringe, since you purchased a license afterwards. The good thing here is that by you purchasing the license afterward, it shows that the image is only worth $10.00 in the eyes of the artist himself.. Any judge that sees this ( which they won't) would probably snicker at Youngson and Higbee, then send a clear message to them to not file these BS lawsuits..
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

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icepick

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #95 on: October 15, 2017, 05:20:14 PM »
It will be interesting if Higbee really does drop it or if you hear from him down the road. It would kind of set the floor for what it takes to get rid of a Youngson case.

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #96 on: October 16, 2017, 05:53:27 AM »
I actually paid the $10, I feel that if someone is complaining that you violated their copyright, but agree to sell you a license for $10, then they can't claim you owe them $5,000 in damages.

To show the nonsense of Higbee, I did answer the call from one of their "staff". I told them that I bought a license. They checked with Youngson and said that I bought the license for them after their initial claim. They still wanted to negotiate a settlement.

Sorry, Ted: there's case precedent that purchasing a license after you have committed an infringement does not get you off the hook for infringing: Palmer/Kane, LLC v. Rosen Books Works, LLC, Case No. 15-cv-7406 (SD NY Aug. 31, 2016) (viewable at https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=9723625002606900591)

TedStryker

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #97 on: October 22, 2017, 02:21:10 PM »
Thanks, but a district court decision where I couldn't reasonably be sued in is of no value to me.

I get your point at the timing of the purchase of the license, but if Youngson is selling a license for $10, what's his reasonable damage especially when I pulled the image after getting the Higbee form letter and images?




I actually paid the $10, I feel that if someone is complaining that you violated their copyright, but agree to sell you a license for $10, then they can't claim you owe them $5,000 in damages.

To show the nonsense of Higbee, I did answer the call from one of their "staff". I told them that I bought a license. They checked with Youngson and said that I bought the license for them after their initial claim. They still wanted to negotiate a settlement.

Sorry, Ted: there's case precedent that purchasing a license after you have committed an infringement does not get you off the hook for infringing: Palmer/Kane, LLC v. Rosen Books Works, LLC, Case No. 15-cv-7406 (SD NY Aug. 31, 2016) (viewable at https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=9723625002606900591)

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #98 on: October 22, 2017, 03:21:05 PM »
Thanks, but a district court decision where I couldn't reasonably be sued in is of no value to me.


If you were sued ( which is unlikely) that case could certainly be quoted by the plaintiff for consideration. IMHO whats more important is the value the artist sets for the image. Provided you did not make huge profits and had little traffic to your site, this would speak volumes to judges.
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

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Zeke

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Re: Higbee & Nick Youngson Extortion Scam
« Reply #99 on: June 02, 2018, 04:47:31 PM »
With regards to the image you referenced, it falls under the Creative Commons 3 - CC BY-SA 3.0. Under this license (Creative Commons offers different types of licenses), you're not simply able to use the image freely under all conditions. Instead you're required to show attribution: "You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use". This is where I think most people are setting themselves up by failing to follow the terms of the license. 

This is one of the images Higbee is trying to extort money from:

http://www.creative-commons-images.com/highway-signs/d/domain-registration.html

It clearly states:  "The picture below related to the word Domain Registration is licensed by R M Media Ltd under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license which permits the free use of the image for any purpose including commercial use and also permits the image to be modified"

In my opinion, that makes any demand for cash laughable.  Higbee should know these images are being offered for free.  Do they do reverse image searches or look at a client's website?
...

Offering the images for free and them sending Higbee after them?  That is massive extortion and unethical as hell.  Wonder what the bar association would say?


Ethan Seven

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #100 on: June 02, 2018, 05:21:09 PM »
Zeke is correct.  From what I can see, a person can obtain a license for a price or free of charge if they provide a link to one of RM Media’s websites.  I am not an expert on SEO, but I believe links can have considerable promotional value. A person who takes the image and fails to do one of those two options creates a cause of action under 17 US 504. 

There simply is no merit to the idea that a winning class action lawsuit can be created by a class of people who violated a license and then voluntarily settled the claim. 

As far as jurisdiction, if the claim is brought under 17 US 504, a federal court would have subject matter jurisdiction, regardless of where the copyright owner resides.  RM Media has been filing its lawsuits in the state where the defendant resides.

I don’t think there is any harm in writing those letters.  Do it if it is therapeutic, but I don’t think the state bar associations or attorney generals will care about someone making copyright claims that you believe are spurious, especially when you can solve the problem by ignoring them or seeking a judicial remedy if sued.

How is Image Rights associated with this?  I read their website, http:// www.ImageRights.com and do not see a connection.  Are they affiliated with RM Media LTD or Higbee? 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 05:43:18 PM by Ethan Seven »
Even if I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer.  Copyright matters can have serious consequences.  If you have assets worth protecting, consult a lawyer who is familiar with copyright law and who can review the facts of your case. If you cannot afford one, call your state or county bar association.

tkuhnwald

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #101 on: July 03, 2018, 01:54:51 PM »
First, I appreciate a lot this (blog/link/thread?) as I recently received a letter demanding $5280.
My first reaction was panic. OMG. I stole someone’s intellectual property that I thought was free.
As soon as I got the attorney’s letter I removed the image.
I exhaled and started to reflect on the process.
The more I looked the more I realized what a clever swindle it was.
First it was posted under free images at this link. https://www.google.com/search?q=free+images+of+assessment&tbm=isch&source=lnt&tbs=sur:fc&sa=X&ved
Then came the fine print. =0ahUKEwjs14jAuPfbAhVosFQKHTLgAa8QpwUIHw&biw=1794&bih=952&dpr=1#imgrc=hV0PRVgGR5OUjM:
Which leads to the following image
Free Creative Commons
Handwriting Assessment Image
After searching for free images: I find the photo and under the image it says the image may be licensed. So, when I click on the image it takes me to this site:
http://creative-commons-images.com/handwriting/a/assessment.html
Here is the first paragraph on the page:
Free Creative Commons Handwriting Assessment Image
The picture below related to the word Assessment is licensed by R M Media Ltd under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license which permits the free use of the image for any purpose including commercial use and permits the image to be modified. The image may be redistributed for free under the same Creative Commons license but may not be sold, attribution required, see license details below.
Please ensure the license and image size are suitable for your use, alternatively you can purchase the original full-size image on a right managed license for a few dollars from Alpha Stock Images here

When I clicked on Alpha Stock Images and searched for assessment, 4 pages of images show up and the image in question is NOT there and there are no directions to purchase images from there. Nor are there any directions for making an attribution.
After doing what I considered due diligence to find how much it was to pay for the image and could not locate a place to pay or the fee I assumed it was ok to use the image.
Then I received the letter from xxx attorney wanting $5280.
I do have some curiosity how they arrive at their different penalty numbers.
It is a clever bait and switch.
They simply advertise the product under FREE and give no clear directions how to pay for something and no description of what the fee will be or how to make an attribution.
Then they surprise the user with a violation and offer a proposed settlement.
I am sure some people wanting to avoid a legal hassle will opt for a settlement. And they must get enough settlements to continue this kind of swindle.
It is unfortunate the attorney and photographer use their creative talents to prey on legitimate business people instead of harnessing that energy for a productive use. 
So, thank you all for posting your experiences. And I am quite sure this is only the tip of a large parasitic iceberg just lying in wait of another unsuspecting target.


sworx123

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #102 on: August 30, 2018, 08:40:39 PM »
I got one of these letters on a site that barely was live for a few months. What if we just switch domain names. I don't think there was ever a business registered or anything.

You resolve the matter by negotiating a settlement. Otherwise, you have to live with the uncertainty for the next 3 years.

People who settle the matter will generally not say anything publicly. They will also not generally not share what they settle for but I am confident people can settle for much less than the $5K.  However, it is still a lot to settle for most people.

Ultimately, people have to make their own "resolution" if you elect not to negotiate or settle the matter.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Beware of Photographer Nicholas (Nick) Youngson of NYPhotographic.com
« Reply #103 on: September 08, 2018, 05:53:27 PM »
Certainly, the timing is questionable but I think the $10 was well spent and a potentially good insurance policy.  I like the idea a lot. Buy the license even if it is after the fact and keep the receipt to show proof of the market value!

The timing is important, as it shows you did infringe, since you purchased a license afterwards. The good thing here is that by you purchasing the license afterward, it shows that the image is only worth $10.00 in the eyes of the artist himself.. Any judge that sees this ( which they won't) would probably snicker at Youngson and Higbee, then send a clear message to them to not file these BS lawsuits..
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 #104 on: September 08, 2018, 06:01:52 PM »
TedStryker,

I want to say I love your outside of the box thinking. I commend you for it. There is no question about the timing issue of buying after the fact.   But when you spent the $10 and got a receipt from the party who is pursuing you, you now have good evidence that the market value of the image is $10!!! The market price was set by the accuser himself!!!

The best part is that you should be able to continue to use the image!  There is no wilful infringement if you went out of your way to buy/license the image to continue to use it.

I speak as a non-lawyer that spending the $10 is a good investment and a good tool in case there is any litigation or legal argument.

In fact, you could take it a step further and buy/license the same image twice (two $10 licenses) and keep the receipt.

Youngson images have a ridiculously low market value and there is little risk for any letter recipient to just go buy/license the damned image and get the receipt for it to help mitigate the infringement claim.

I get your point at the timing of the purchase of the license, but if Youngson is selling a license for $10, what's his reasonable damage especially when I pulled the image after getting the Higbee form letter and images?

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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