Image Copyright Infringement Under CDPA 1988
I ran an online forum (phpBB) back in 2006 which was a celebrity image forum. I recently received a letter from a photographer stating that a post made in 2007 contains images of a particular model which are copyrighted to the photographer. They state that use of the image without a valid licence is an infringement of their rights under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988. They have requested that I provide documentation within 14 days that I have a valid licence for the images and if no valid licence is available that I cease and desist from using the images and settle the retrospective invoice which is for over $16,000. I have removed the post from the forum on the day of receiving the letter.
I did not make the post on the forum and it was made by a registered user on the forum. The forum is free to sign up to and the users contribute to the forum. The images were not hosted on my server and were hosted on Imagevenue by the user which is a 3rd party image hosting site. No images are hosted on my server. I have no control over what a user posts and can only moderate/delete posts which I have done upon receiving this letter.
I was wondering what the best course of action would be in response to the letter. I have been reading up about Getty images and the extortion letters but the difference is I did not make the post nor were the images hosted on my server. Should I respond with the details of the forum user and their IP address as well as the Imagevenue details for removing the pictures from their hosting services? Any help on this matter would be much appreciated.