If Templatemonster is sued, is anyone having purchased from TM still liable or are they getting the money twice?
If Templatemonster is sued, is anyone having purchased from TM still liable or are they getting the money twice?
Tban, I totally agree with your post/comments. I had never even heard of Getty before getting this demand letter, let alone gone to their site and take an image. Yes I understand that if I had used a rights managed image supplied by a 3rd party that I got back in 2003 that it is wrong. (hence why it has been removed). But I had no way of checking the image as Getty doesnít mark their images in any way that we can tell who owns the image. Plus thatís why clause 97 of the act Getty says I have broken is there.
There is enough information/links in this thread to build a defence (or case) against Getty & Co.
For information (if Getty are monitoring this), if I receive a debt collecting letter, I for one will not hesitate to re-contact the UK & Irish Government C&Es about the so called Non VAT demand letter stating Irish VAT with a UK address. Plus send emails/letters/complaints to the DTI and all the other official regularity authorities/bodies listed in this thread above, plus every internet magazine/media company I can think of. (.Net magazine, BBC Watchdog etc)
I have the time, energy and will to stand up for my rights.
Has anyone contact theRegister.co.uk ? dont know how we get a news article on there, but that would reach thousands of people. The most bad publicity and people like media watching the cases the better. Getty is far less likely to pursue claims if the cases are being reported and watched by millions around the globe. I'm hoping the media will have a field day with this story - how the big goliath Getty is chasing little one man bands over a few images. The bad publicity could cause much more damage to their business than it's worth the claims... I hope everyone is up for contacting as many media newspapers and sources as we can..I'm sure they will lap up a story as this..
As the name implies, yet another UK resident to get the dreaded letter.
I was going to try and get the amount reduced, but after reading the groundswell of feelings against this underhand way of raising revenue, I WILL NOT PAY.
My company got a letter from Getty Images for using some of their images and now one of our clients has recieved a letter too.
Our letter escalated, and they sent it to a debt collector who also contacted us, but we have just told them "whatever! and we have passed it to our legal team. They then sent a letter to tell us saying they were putting us on some bad debtors list. To which we said "yeah well so what"!
They are after us for £11,000 after an ex contractor used their images which we in the end removed from our site.
My question is how does the bot work, are getty images photos including a digital signature??????
Anyway since the last letter and phone call we have recieved nothing.
I reckon they can go kiss my ****, I have removed the photos, end of!
Man, too bad you guys aren't here in the States. I'd tell you how to squash the collection agencies like a bug for doing that (for those here in the USA, what the bill collectors in kristianp's post did would be considered a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if the action was taken here inside the US) if you were.
I'm sure the UK has similar laws to the FCRA and FDCPA on the books. I'd suggest consulting with an attorney who specialzes in credit and collections law (you want an attorney who represents people who are being harrassed by collection agencies only--not the collection agencies you want to sue).
Anyone living in the States can feel free to PM or email me (please use the forum) for information on how to proceed if Getty refers you to a collection agency.
I believe in the Uk I can take Getty to the Small Claims Court on Charges of Financial Harassment. Interesting fight - take it to them and pre-empt action on their part.
Next port of call though will be the BBC Programme "Watchdog".
There are enough of us in the UK affected by this to make it count.
That would be a good way to get Getty's extortion racket publicised, but there are two potential problems:Quote:
Originally Posted by Yet Another
- Watchdog only investigates a story if a large number of people contact the programme about it.
- The BBC themselves are a big customer of Getty Images. Just look at the BBC News web site, e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5400054.stm and you will see plenty of photos with "Getty Images" in the corner. But you never know, this could actually work in our favour if we suggest to Watchdog that the BBC boycott Getty.
If you want to contact the BBC then also consider Working Lunch and The Money Programme.
I'm happy to contact Watchdog; I'm in the UK and I'm affected too.
Also if the BBC credit Getty they can use their images for free if they are reporting news.
BBC won't lose out on this story.
Does anyone know the USA equivalent to the UK Watchdog? ...and how to submit our information to them?
Everyone talks about $1,000 per image. Is everyone just rounding off?
I am being charged $1,300 per image. And they were small images.
I sent them a compliance email and letter within 48 hours.
They sent an email back thanking me, and still demanding the money.
Its such bull. Its not like we are copying movies or pictures and selling them on the street for a profit. Most all of us had no clue.
If GETTY was smarter, they would say, " In order to avoid the fine, you must advertise this image for purchase from Getty Images" and link to the image. for say 6 months.
Or If GETTY charged $75 - $150 for each violation for 1st time offenders, do you really think anyone would be unwilling to pay?
If only GETTY wasn't so GREEDY!
If anyone does decide to do the class action lawsuit, "IM AM IN"
Its too bad the search engines don't pick up on these forums and index them well. I took me 5 days of searching to find other people having the same problem with GETTY
And we only represent probably 1% of the people getting letters.
On a side note, "EVERYONE PLEASE" update your dealings with Getty, so we can all prosper from your information.
Also: Look into commenting about Getty Image letters on free websites and places like complaints.com etc. for further exposure. If anyone has any connections with the press, all the better!
If Getty was smart and ethical then they would: ask for the images to be removed, educate the person with some info and offer the website a discounted subscription to their service. That way they could turn people into customers... basically thinking in the long term.Quote:
Originally Posted by 4440500
After the third letter, and despite reading the early posts in this thread, my client reluctantly paid them, but I am now doing free updates on his site. :rolleyes:Quote:
Originally Posted by 4440500
He did manage to negotiate it down from £1700 to £700 though.
Because of my position I had to reply to their letter; so If/when I hear back I'll let you know.
Has anybody had any word back from Customs and Excise with regard to the Irish VAT situation yet - I am still waiting to hear from them.
It has been reported to the UK HM C&E Confidential Section. They don't take caller details as it is an anonymous tip off line. Needless to say it will be reported again if Getty or Morton Smith sends any further demand letters etc to me. Plus I have other channels/people to go to, you donít work somewhere for 18 odd years on the IT infrastructure around the country without getting to know a few people in the right placesÖ..
Found this out there:
Dear Sir: 06/09/03
Our records indicate that you are using an unlicensed image belonging to a client of Getty Images, on pub18.ezboard.com/fcoldba...D=9.topic. The image in question is FU9994-001 by artiste extraordinaire D. Armbruster. Unless you can provide records proving this image was purchased, you must cease and desist display of this and any other Getty brand imagery immediately or pay a licensing fee. Any future illegal uses of Getty Images artwork will result in an unauthorized use invoice. Thank you for your cooperation,
License Compliance Specialist
Hmmm, I wonder what happened, GETTY getting GREEDY?
Found a trademark lawyer today. If he's any good Ill let you know.
Getty are counting on enough people paying up in this initial purge to cover the costs to picscout before they get slapped down and are forced to go back to sending cease and desist notices again.
I thought I would chime in with my situation. I received a letter from Getty last week advising that I was at fault for 5 Getty images. I had a basic website created about 2.5 years ago and did in fact have four images on my site which Getty claimed I infringed on. The images were originally downloaded from a website (I can't remember which) which claimed the images were free. The fifth image belonged to a completely different site I have never heard of. Anyway, I immediately removed the images and decided to ignore the letter demanding $5,000.
Yesterday, I received a phone call (voice message) from somebody at Getty calling in regards to the notice and invoice that I received. I came across this forum and have decided to take no action and to ignore all forthcoming requests or calls from Getty.
It seems that a lot of posts in this forum come from the UK; however, I am located in the U.S. and am interested in any additional information from others both in the UK and U.S. who have simply ignored Getty. While my original impression was to respond to Getty claiming I was unaware of the misuse of the images and that I have discontinued using the images; I have since decided not to feed the fire. I have never heard of Getty until receiving this initial notice.
My business recently received one of the dreaded letters from Getty asking to pay the small sum of £1350.00 + VAT for the unauthoraised use of one of their rights managed images. They made a "generous" offer of a discount if the bill was paid early.
This use of the image was complete news to me as the image in question was placed on the site no doubt by one of my unsuspecting interns working on the website some 6 - 12 months ago.
I have so far chosen to IGNORE THE LETTER for a number of reasons:
- The letter was not sent registered post, therefore there is no proof that I received the letter
- I did not receive a Cease & Desist order at any stage, yet Getty claim the image has been in use since April. If this is the case, why did they not bring this to my attention in April and ask us to remove it? Clearly this is an act of entrapment
- Seeing that the letter is in breach of the 1988 Copyrights act, I therefore fail to acknowledge it or the invoice as legal or lawful
Having myself been involved in a long and drawn out business dispute last year, there's one thing I learned very very quickly. DON'T PANIC.
Getty are hoping that any recipient of one of these letters will panic, act hastily and either pay up quickly or contact them, therefore confirming receipt of the letter.
We must all realise one thing. Getty has lost a huge market share to the likes of iStockPhoto and co. They have invested heavily in PicScout to find any maluse of the copyrighted images, which in fairness we should all pay for if we knowingly use them, but preying on the likes of the small business owner and the non-profit website admins is simply good old fashioned bullying.
They have a huge wage bill to pay and not enough money coming in. They spent millions acquiring the numerous stock companies they now own and somehow, they have to claw that money back.
Everyone please do yourselves a favour. Sit tight and see what happens. The legal bill to chase all of the letters/invoices they issue would mount to millions and would render their business insolvent.
What Getty should do is take a good look at their business model and realise that their site makes use of their images way too easy to the unsuspecting victim, that their images should be clearly watermarked, priced more competitively and stop harrassing the like sof us and chase the real pirates who sell thosands upon thousand sof their photos every years on market stalls and online.
You took down the images. That should be enough, given the manner in which Getty Images has gotten their proverbial fat into the fire.
If they try to send a collection agency after you, do a simple Google search for FDCPA and FCRA. If the collection agency tries to initiate collections activity via phone, they have five business days (this is a federal law) to send you a written collections notice. Otherwise you can sue them for harrassment and seek statutory damages ranging from $0-1,000 if they try to call you again (this also works if they send you the letter but then follow up with a phone call).
If they do send a collection agency after you, and you live in the Chicago area, PM me and I'll give you my attorney's contact information. If you're not in the Chicago area, you'll be best off hiring a law firm that specializes in collections abuse cases.
Also, if you want a properly formatted FDCPA validation letter (my attorney said mine was overkill - and that if the collection agency were to even so much as sneeze the wrong way, I'd have an open-shut case against them in federal court, but my particular case was unrelated to the whole Getty fiasco), feel free to PM me.
Keep in mind though, I am not a lawyer, and any information I provide should be reviewed by an attorney.
Unfortunately I responded. Got a couple days left to hear from a few attorneys on how much I should offer, or if anything at all. I wonder what would happen if you just mailed them a dollar? Technically you paid them a fine :)
I'd just ignore them, 4440500. It's obvious they're breaking the law. So why make it easy for them to collect, which will make them think that it's easier to do this in the future.
This Getty thing is getting out of hand. I know that it hurts their business. But this seems like they are waging total war. Some people use it in their web design without even knowning it. And some of these people are students trying to make a living out of it or just tyring to improve their portfolio.