November 28, 2017 – RM Media Ltd., the publisher of “best selling” stock photos and alleged notorious copyright troll, has begun filing copyright lawsuits in the United States. The first lawsuit, which was filed in California’s Central District, comes after more than a year of RM Media sending letters threatening such action against those who have used their images without a valid license and who refuse to pay thousands of dollars.
RM Media, which is a United Kingdom based corporation, has drawn criticism for its offering some of its images via a Creative Commons license that requires attribution and a link back to its web sites. Users of the images who fail to provide the attribution and link back often find themselves facing demands for thousands of dollars from one of RM Media’s lawyers. Photographer Nick Youngson was the author of the the images and is believed to be the owner and principle operator of RM Media.
According to court records, RM Media, which is based in the UK, has not filed any lawsuits in the United States prior to this one. However, under United States copyright law, RM Media would have three years after discovering an unauthorized use to bring a lawsuit, so this could be the first of many. RM Media has been represented by several law firms, including two of the more litigious copyright law firms, The Sanders Law Firm and The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates, the latter is representing him in this first law suit.
The defendant in the first case is 420 Evaluations, Inc., A Professional Medical Corporation. According to their website, “420 Evaluations specializes in providing medical marijuana recommendations, treatment plans, patient verifications, plastic ID cards, medical cannabis cultivation license and full medical support for all patients of California and other states in a safe and confidential environment.” The case number is 2:17-cv-08577
RM Media’s web site does not list any offices in the US. If the court requires the parties to personally appear, RM Media will need to send an employee or hire a local agent who is qualified to answer questions from the court or during a deposition. Many courts allow for a parties to appear via telephone, so there is a good chance that the matter will settle before RM Media is forced to send a corporate representative to court.
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