Received a second letter....
That's one hell of a demand for payment. Like yourselves I received a demand plus a second letter (today) although this was only just over £1600 after VAT. I have also chosen to ignore the letters as in my case, I believe persuing such a small amount would cost them far too much in legal costs to chase.
Originally Posted by Dozy Mare
Not to mention the fact that a "Cease & Desist" order was never issued. In my opinion, the best course of action is to "Dispute the Invoice" - then any possible bailiff or debt collector has no leg to stand on.
In my experience of letigation, the more these things drag out, the less worth while they become to the claimant if it ends up costing the earth to persue it.
I just hope in your case you have removed the images in question. I guess your other option is to wind up your limited company, start a new company so whern Getty do chase your company for payment, you can say the business is no longer trading!
UK victim of Gettymadness!
I received an invoice etc from Getty Images a few weeks back which did put a crimp on an otherwise nice day. My first reaction was to ignore it then I thought that i'd call the number just to tell them I had removed the image, which I did.
I got the standard (according to these posts) 'you've been a naughty boy and now you'll have to pay' speech from a US lady who went on to say that if I didnt pay up quick the ulimate bill could be much higher because because they would bill me for the total time the image had been on my website not just the 6 months usage (plus their exhorbitant 'damages' on top).
In common with most people on here I dont begrudge the right for photographers to get royalites due for their work but I have 3 questions for anyone out there that may know the answers:
1. As I am in the UK, i am curious to know if clause 97 in the act they quote does apply? (has anyone got experience one way or the other)
2. If the act does apply then if I were to offer them the advertised cost of the image in question (less than a third of what they are invoicing me) do you think they would take the money and run?
3. Their threat about increasing the bill to include the full amount of time the image has been on the site is worrying as this would up the bill hugely - BUT - if they could do that they why didnt they to start with and secondly is it in fact possible to tell how long an image has been on a website through meta data or something?
Excellent thread and contributions by the way!
Second letter received - what next?
Yesterday I recieved a 2nd letter about 2 months after the first :( Looking at the envelope window I could just about see that it appeared to be the same letter as the first. It was invoiced with the same date. I didn't open the envelope, it believe it has the same contents as the first. I decided to not open it and return it "addressee not known at this address" and return to sender. Since it wasn't addressed to me personally, but rather my website name - I cant see how they can prove the website is operating at this address. It's a private residence - so can I not say that it may have been a previous owner who hasnt updated the whois record and play innocence?
Anyone who has received a 2nd letter - what has happened after this? Have you received a 3rd demand or what? Can anyone further down the line tell me how things have progressed? If I know what might happen next, I can prepare by defences.
Is Stealth Crawling Legal?
I've been working on a new angle against various stealth crawlers which might be quite amusing if it pans out. It appears companies like Picscout are possibly violating laws in the U.S. regarding "Computer Hacking and Unauthorized Access Laws"
My working theory is that if they identified themselves that we would block them. Therefore, since they know we would block them, hiding as something known to be authorized is technically unauthorized access. As a matter of fact, the lawyer I casually ran this by said that the current U.S. definitions of hacking may be much broader than even I am thinking.
So, if you follow the logic here, they may be committing an actual crime, one that has fines and jail time in the US, trying to enforce a civil copyright violation. Unfortunately, they're in Israel beyond our jurisdiction. However, if a local image bank hires a company to violate the law, then isn't the image bank also violating the law?
The trick is to either find case law that confirms this or create case law to stop the spoofed crawling.
Will keep you all posted if I get anything promising.