Masterfile reaches new High…errr Low

Michael Hilsheimer on behalf Masterfile just sent out a new extortion letter, not only are they “demanding” over 12K per image, it looks like they have made some other changes, such as including registration information, and an “artist agreement” as well as attaching blank papers that resemble the filing of a lawsuit..most likely to add to the “fear factor” to send a message to recipients, “Pay us, or this is the next step.” I will be working to get a copy of the blak lawsuit filing to add to this post.

A couple notes of which I will probably add too after reading thru and digesting the entire packet of documents.

1. You may verify Masterfile’s ownership by visiting – yup thats solid proof that they own the image, and the image has been registered PROPERLY

In case anyone is interested I OWN THE MOON!!, YES I do!! I have apicture of it on my website, anybody that looks at the moon should give me money, better yet, they should give me all of their money! NOW!

2. second image in question “Hand Holding Compass” just happens to be listed on this site as well

Watermarked Image claimed to be owned by Masterfile

The above site does mention masterfile, and that the image is Rights Managed, but is it not “odd” that the image is watermarked with “

Artists Agreement Dated April 1, 2003 –

section 16.1 states the agreement will remain in force for a term of 3 years, and be automatically renewed for 1 year terms, until such time as Masterfile ot Artist gives written notice of termination…

It’s awfully nice of MF to supply these agreements, however it seems to me that they should also supply solid proof that the contract was never terminated by themselves or the artist. So once again providing this document means nothing, nada, zilch!


The Demand Letter

You can read the artist agreement here.


  1. There seems to be a lot of Mastersuck photos on site with the watermark of Seems strange that 2 of the 4 photos Mastersuck is coming after me were listed on Now they have been removed but I have copies of them alone with the html code along with my attorney. They do not provide any information till they go to court. Lets hope they have their asses handed to them more times like Mastersuck VS Changa. Keep up the fight!

  2. so….if MF makes a demand and the image in question is shown as being copyrighted by visualphotos on their site with MF shown as being an agency? does one respond that MF has no standing as their is no exclusivity and therefor no standing to sue or will alerting MF result in that visualphotos claim ontheir website being removed or does it not matter or does it matter if MF has remove that claim so that MF can state that was a mistake we are the exlusive assignee, licensee copyright holder etc. and proceed as if nothing has happened…or do you pull this rabbit out of the hat later?

    • MF most likely has the right to enforce the copyright, as they are acting on behalf of visualphotos. Historically speaking MF generally has their ducks in a row, and can usually back up any claims. The real question remains whether the amount being demanded is appropiate. This is where the main disagreement lies.

      • but 2 separate companies both claiming copyright in the same image is not having one’s ducks in a row. I cannot see a court cutting giving MF much slack if it has to explain that aspect of its ownership as well as proving damages.

      • posted on eli recently but posted here as we have a dialogue

        observations from Canada

        interesting points

        MF inadvertantly allows its sub-licensees to exhibit images with their own copyright, referring to MF using the word “Agency”

        A sub-licensee is not an agent

        MF cannot assert exclusive copyright where 2 legal entities claim copyright separately and therefor cannot maintain an action

        Damages – MF claims typically 3 years (limitation period) – should MF not be held to a higher standard of due diligence ie it has access to the webcrawler software that monitors the internet 24 hours a day – how is it that alleged infringements come to its attention only after 3 years

        Damages – coupons are shows on its site allowing 20-30% discounts – is not after discount pricing its true measure of damages if all other elements proven

        Random points for consideration

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