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  1. #226
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    Click here to report Getty to UK Watchdog


  2. #227
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    I doubt they can even legally do anything to you. And if they do forward the invoice to collections, read my post on the FDCPA and then check with an attorney to see if there is a UK version of the law (US law won't help you in the UK).

    Not only that, but the attorney might be able to determine whether Getty Images even broke the law in regards to how they "invoiced" you in the first place.

  3. #228
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    You can complain to watchdog online here http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and...omputers.shtml

    Quote Originally Posted by SortedGeezer
    That would be a good way to get Getty's extortion racket publicised, but there are two potential problems:
    • 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.

  4. #229
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    Be aware that the BBC doesn't have to pay Getty if they are using their images to illustrate news stories and they credit Getty.

    If you genuinely didn't know that the images were copyright Getty; then the UK law: Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988
    Which Getty quote in their UK letters; actually protects you:
    This is in Section 97: Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988:

    " Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him"

    See here:
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1988...80048_en_7.htm

  5. #230
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    Angry

    Thanks for the info ionisedlight, I think that this has Getty bang to rights,

    We all need to report them to watchdog http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and...omputers.shtml

    Lets all show Getty they are nothing but crooks & Bullies !!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by ionisedlight
    Be aware that the BBC doesn't have to pay Getty if they are using their images to illustrate news stories and they credit Getty.

    If you genuinely didn't know that the images were copyright Getty; then the UK law: Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988
    Which Getty quote in their UK letters; actually protects you:
    This is in Section 97: Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988:

    " Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him"

    See here:
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1988...80048_en_7.htm

  6. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    Hold on. A now defunct corporation hired (in good faith) an independant contractor to build a Web site for it (the corporation, not you), the contractor illegally used some images from Getty, and now Getty is trying to collect from YOU? Not only that but the debt collector is trying to collect from you?

    Sue them. Just sue them for harrassment. Talk to your attorney, show him my post above (and this one), and ask him to file suit against Getty Images and the debt collector for harrassment and violating the FDCPA respectively. I hate to say it, but sending a validation request letter (while a good idea, since the burden of proof would be on the debt collector to prove that they can legally collect the debt from YOU rather than the CORPORATION - which they can't anyway unless they manage to pierce the corporation's protective legal veil first) might not even be worth the effort.

    Though it wouldn't hurt to do it, just to tweak their noses and make them sing high soprano six ways to Sunday in a leaky boat just before they take the plunge over Niagra Falls...

    Talk to your attorney though. He (or she) should rightfully have the final say in this, not little ole' me.

    Sorry i should have been more clear, when i said i had received the collection letter, i ment that i had received it on behalf of the corporation. they are trying to collect from the corporation now, not me perosonally.

  7. #232
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    2nd Demand Letter after 30 Days in the UK

    The information below relates to the UK only are both my views and facts that you can find out for free over the Net. I am not a solicitor and I don’t offer it as legal advice.


    It is now over 30 days since I received my Getty demand letter and sent them back a simple reply stating I got the image over 3 years ago (I still have it with the meta date stamp encoded in it) from a free template from a PC Magazine, I had removed the image with out prejudice and I also quoted them “Section 97: Of The Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988” and told them the matter was closed.

    I have now received a follow up letter from them stating that I haven’t paid or responded etc. This is not correct as I have proof of delivery from the Post Office that my letter, as above, was signed for by “Roger” at their office at 116 Bayham Street on 30/9/06

    Having spoken again to my FSB legal advice line, the advice is either write again stating the facts again that I did not take the image from them, I did not know they owned the image rights, quote Section 97 again and state that I had replied and I had proof it was signed for at their office. Or ignore the demand as it is clear now that even if one does reply back, Getty don’t take any notice.

    So I will continue to ignore the letters and keep a watch on this and other forums.

    It is interesting to me that none of their letters are signed with a name, just bog standard computer generated letters. No one person will put their name to the letter, I wonder why… could it be fear of being sued back ?

    IF I do get a debt collection letter from Morton Smith, then I attack back. As I previously posted I will again:-

    • Report Getty to the Irish C&E Large Trader unit on 00353 1-6470710, email:- largecasesdiv@revenue.ie

    • The UK C&E tip off line on 0800 595 000
    E-mail: Customs.Confidential@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

    Because Getty are issuing non vat invoices headed with a UK address, posted in London, with an Irish VAT number and charging IRISH UK VAT. Both the C&E’s take a very dim view of this kind of malpractice

    • Companies House have registered (among other Getty Co’s) :-

    GETTY IMAGES LIMITED
    101 BAYHAM STREET
    CAMDEN TOWN
    LONDON
    NW1 0AG
    Company No. 00948785

    GETTY IMAGES (UK) LIMITED
    101 BAYHAM STREET
    LONDON
    NW1 0AG
    Company No. 03728660

    So the UK Companies Investigation Branch, part of the UK DTI who I spoke to, at http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/cib/ would be very interested in hearing about a UK Registered Ltd Co trying to charge Irish VAT in UK Pounds and not UK VAT.

    Then I will be reporting their tactics to:-

    Office of Fair trading tactics can also be logged at:-
    http://www.oft.gov.uk/default.htm

    Cross Border complaints to governments can be made at:-
    http://www.econsumer.gov/

    Then of course inform BBC Watchdog, .Net magazine, and all the other Computer and Internet magazine I can think of, PC Pro, Computer World etc etc.

    As we know under section 97 of the act they say we have broken http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1988...n_7.htm#mdiv97
    Most of us can show that we were unaware and “did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates”. Therefore Getty are only entitled to the cost of the image, not damages. i.e. what they are currently selling the image for.

    If they send the debt to Morton Smith debt collection agency, I will write to the agency with a recorded delivery letter, inform them that the demand is disputed and

    “It is an offence under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 to harass of debtors with a view to obtaining payment including the issue of letters which convey a threat or false information with intent to cause distress or anxiety.”

    The debt collection agency mentioned above, Morton Smith are members of http://www.csa-uk.com/index.htm and therefore must follow their code of practice http://www.csa-uk.com/COP%20-%20CSA.htm#
    which includes the Administration of Justice Act 1970 Section 40. If they don’t, complain to CSA at the website above.

    This shows the debt collecting agency you are disputing the debt and know your rights which should make them think twice before harassing you again or going to court.

    No letter or bill can be enforced unless it has been issued by a legal court. Unless it is a court stamped document or Government/Police issued warrant, it is just some fancy words on a bit of paper from a person.

    Why not also send Morton Smith details to both Irish & UK C&E’s DTI, Insolvency branch and everybody else I mentioned above as they will be adding and abetting in the Getty try on. That will please them when you inform them of that..….

    IF Getty want to take it all the way to court, and I really doubt that, already because of Section 97, they are down to only being able to collect the current cost of the image as per their website.

    They would have to prove that when you got the image (in my case 2003) that they owned the image AND owned the copyright. Not just X months ago when they added it to their image bank. They would have to show that when you stated to use the photograph back in x years ago it was logged with the US Copyright office. Plus if the date it was lodged was after 1988 then show in writing that the photographer had requested Getty to represent the copyright interests.

    The image I have has a huge chunk of picture (almost 50% more) then is on the image on Gettys image bank. This makes me think that they have gone around buying up free images/image sites, adding them to their image bank then using Picscout find people like us that have as far as we were aware at the time used a royalty free image and try to get money out of us with scare tactics.

    If they do prove that they had the image registered etc, I can show, as per Section 97 etc that I was unaware of this as I got the image from another source (as I have more picture content) and so they would only be able to sue for the current cost of the image, no damages etc as I am within Section 97 etc. I am guess the same applies to most of us here.

    As SortedGeezer previously posted:-
    Getty's invoices state that you have used the image over a specific period (e.g. 6 months). If Getty objected to your unlicensed use of their image, then they should have sent you a "cease and desist" notice when they (or Picscout) first discovered your use of the image at the beginning of that period, rather than intentionally letting you continue to use the image for months in an attempt to make you accrue a large (disputed) invoice in their favour. This point alone demonstrates that Getty's objective is revenue generation rather than copyright protection. Furthermore, deliberately letting you continue to use the image for many months could be construed as consent, albeit consent for the sole purpose of pecuniary advantage.

    My civil court judge (i.e. UK Magistrate) friend has advised me that IF they took it to court (it can only be a civil court, not a criminal court) a judge will look at the facts, most of us here have got the images from free sites or templates years ago, not stolen them from Getty. That will be looked at by a judge and the Getty case could be thrown out of court if you can show that you did not take the image from them. You don’t even need to attend, go to a local solicitor and swear a “statuary declaration” stating/showing your case/the details etc. This cuts down your costs.

    Don’t forget “You are innocent till proven guilty” Getty have got to 100% prove we are guilty and that is going to be hard and cost them money to in the end only be able to recover a few hundred quid for the current cost/value of the image (as per section 97 of the act etc they claim we have broken)

    Now if you did take the image from Getty site, then your could be stuffed as you have stolen something.

    I belive this is a BIG try on by Getty, every bit of advice I get from solicitor friends, FSB legal advice line, my UK Magistrate friend I have and other friends who have had similar letters sent to them say to ignore Getty.

    So now I continue to wait and see what happens and more importantly get on with my business and life.

  8. #233
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    bizwiseit, welcome to Sitepoint, and thanks for covering the legal ends for those on the other side of the pond!

    I'll edit my post on debt collection abuse remedies to include a link to this one .

  9. #234
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    Hello, I am french, I have just receive the same letter as you ! they send me a bill for 7900 euros for 6 pictures (I pick them up on the web a long time ago), I have phone to them in Dublin and they ask me if I was a getty customer, in fact I have bought high resolution picture last year.
    The guy call me back few minutes later and tell me that he could make a new bill for 3800 euros... In one phone call I have win 4000 euros a nice price !! no ?

    I don't want to pay We start to begin a struggle in France :
    http://blogs.nofrag.com/Loyus/

  10. #235
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    The best price IMHO (and personal opinion) would be for Getty Images to go jump off a cliff (file for bankruptcy and go out of business), but we know that's not going to happen.

  11. #236
    Now available in Orange Tijmen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard3
    Hello, I am french, I have just receive the same letter as you ! they send me a bill for 7900 euros for 6 pictures (I pick them up on the web a long time ago), I have phone to them in Dublin and they ask me if I was a getty customer, in fact I have bought high resolution picture last year.
    The guy call me back few minutes later and tell me that he could make a new bill for 3800 euros... In one phone call I have win 4000 euros a nice price !! no ?

    I don't want to pay We start to begin a struggle in France :
    http://blogs.nofrag.com/Loyus/
    Seems to me that they are trying a similair tactic as the RIAA. They just send bills to everyone who might have done something wrong, and hope that they will pay instead of going to court.

    Especially since they can just take 4000 euro's of the price in a couple of minutes. I doubt a business that's absolutely sure that someone stole something from them, would just take off 4000 euro's from the money they are claiming.

    I looked through all 10 pages, but maybe i missed it. How do they even find the images of which they claim are theirs? It would take ages for a human person to learn how all the images look that are owned by Getty, but a bot wouldn't be able to recognize the images or would they?
    Last edited by Tijmen; Oct 30, 2006 at 12:59. Reason: typo
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  12. #237
    Brevity is greatly overrated brandaggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tijmen
    Seems to me that they are trying a similair tactics as the RIAA, just send bills to everyone who might have done something wrong. And just hope that they will pay, instead of going to court.

    Especially since they can just take 4000 euro's of the price in a couple of minutes. I doubt a business that's absolutely sure that someone stole something from them, would just take off 4000 euro's from the money they are claiming.

    I looked through all 10 pages, but maybe i missed it. How do they even find the images of which they claim are theirs? It would take ages for a human person to learn how all the images look that are owned by Getty, but a bot wouldn't be able to recognize the images or would they?
    They actually have the technology (they hired picscout) to analyze and compare images so if you changed the image a bit - even its file format - they might find it and associate with their library regardless - if their bot/algorithm feels it is a match.

    Par for the course big business praying on those least financially able to defend themselves - isn't capitalism great and ethical?

  13. #238
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    When conducted by great and ethical people, yes it is.

    But in cases like this, there's a reason why the phrase "business ethics" is such a joke.

  14. #239
    Brevity is greatly overrated brandaggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    When conducted by great and ethical people, yes it is.

    But in cases like this, there's a reason why the phrase "business ethics" is such a joke.
    I could not agree more - you hit the nail on the head - that is why I believe in some kind of regulation - unchecked those with the money and the power seem to almost universally abuse it (remember long distance phone slamming by MCI?). I like to think business and ethics can co-exist somehow - I will be waiting...(remember even Ben & Jerry's sold their majority stake to a big corporation - but they did do it right for quite some time)

  15. #240
    Now available in Orange Tijmen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wozniak
    They actually have the technology (they hired picscout) to analyze and compare images so if you changed the image a bit - even its file format - they might find it and associate with their library regardless - if their bot/algorithm feels it is a match.
    So blocking that particular bot in your .htaccess file would pretty much rule of getting into trouble, or wouldn't it? Not that i have anything to hide, all the images that i use are bought from Istockphoto. But i don't even want to get into a discussion with them about images used on websites that are made by me.
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  16. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by SydneyJen
    Jared, did you talk to Getty on the phone or did they leave a voice mail message? I don't know if they have tried to phone me because I won't answer the phone when the caller ID box shows unknown name, unknown phone # and I have received a few of those lately. I received two letters to far and have ignored them. I really don't know what the best course of action is to do at this point.
    I did not speak with Getty as I also do not answer from unknown numbers. They did leave a voice message and folllowed with my second letter. This is good information - thank you all for sharing. I have still not contacted an attorney and will see how this plays out.

  17. #242
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    Going to be broke

    I just got a letter from this Getty
    I'm incorporated which helps. I contracted out my website to a professional web company. They have bought the rights to the pictures which are in question. They have never bought from Getty. They bought from another source.which they have proof of. But they are coming after me. Which I told them fine because I can third party this and The company that I hired can third party from that company from which they bought it from. They Getty told me That I can't do that. They said They will go 7 times higher then what they want from me now.

    I guess I will be living on the streets soon
    or in the mountains

  18. #243
    Yum Yum agcic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gettykissmy
    I just got a letter from this Getty
    I'm incorporated which helps. I contracted out my website to a professional web company. They have bought the rights to the pictures which are in question. They have never bought from Getty. They bought from another source.which they have proof of. But they are coming after me. Which I told them fine because I can third party this and The company that I hired can third party from that company from which they bought it from. They Getty told me That I can't do that. They said They will go 7 times higher then what they want from me now.

    I guess I will be living on the streets soon
    or in the mountains
    This is total BS just reply to them telling them you have a great attorney and you will call him up if need-be, then give them the middle finger. thats basically what i did, havent heard fromt he sense.
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  19. #244
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    I have all ready got a Lawyer as soon as I got this letter. They advised me what to do. I called them and told them I can third party this. They went nuts over the phone And said they are going after me. I said good luck.

    Will be living on the streets
    or in the mountains.

  20. #245
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gettykissmy
    Will be living on the streets
    or in the mountains.
    No you won't. If you really want to make them squeal, give them your attorney's name, office number and business address and tell them that from now on all communications between Getty Images and you must be handled through your attorney. Then tell them that if they ever attempt to contact you directly ever again that you will consult with your legal counsel for suit.

  21. #246
    Brevity is greatly overrated brandaggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tijmen
    So blocking that particular bot in your .htaccess file would pretty much rule of getting into trouble, or wouldn't it? Not that i have anything to hide, all the images that i use are bought from Istockphoto. But i don't even want to get into a discussion with them about images used on websites that are made by me.
    This is the next logical step IMO - if they have the right to eat up someone's bandwidth with their crawler than we certainly have the right to deny them at the door for whatever reason we see fit. It is not like they are being transparent - lol.

    I did some searching for the name of this troublesome robot but haven't found much yet - I invite everyone to look (and look through their logs - early in the month is good) to try to indentify it. From the info on their site it sounds like they are geographically dispersed which certainly won't make this any easier.

    And so begins this game of cat and mouse.


    -------------

    This is my favorite part of this fiasco - PicScout's tagline:
    PicScout: Manage Your Rights...
    while not recognizing those of others - nice - real nice. Whatever a company (or organization - "to protect and serve"? How bout "to harrass and inconvenience" - that would be more honest) says they do they in their tagline or mission statement - in reality they do close to the opposite (something I need to remind myself of sometimes). I find this a good yardstick for people to do business with. If their tagline is like, "we suck" the firm usually rocks. Just a tad ironic, dontcha think?!

  22. #247
    Brevity is greatly overrated brandaggio's Avatar
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    An open letter to PicScout/Getty:

    From PicScout's site:
    Compliance Services
    Each match should be cross-referenced with your sales records to determine if the match is an authorized or an unauthorized use of your image.
    So it is totally to clear to you - PICSCOUT - you/Getty are not meeting this obligation - all of the people here are not liars. You have not met the most base expectation of due diligence in investigating the lawful purchase(s) of the image(s) in question before pursuing collections.

    PicScout, you are no doubt aware that images in Getty's collection can be lawfully purchased elsewhere - and yet (again - without due diligence) you as a company have no problem endorsing collections and adversly affecting the lives of hobbyists.

    Make no mistake about it those are the people that are so upset. Those that have used high resolution images, without permission as major components of their site and are unwilling to take them down deserve to be pursued - not mom and pop.

    I should not have to tell you all of this - grow up and play nice - or does your business model's success depend on outright harrassment?

  23. #248
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    In reply to the post by bizwiseit
    Thanks for all the info you've put on here, but I have issues with a couple of points:

    Therefore Getty are only entitled to the cost of the image, not damages. i.e. what they are currently selling the image for.


    IF Getty want to take it all the way to court, and I really doubt that, already because of Section 97, they are down to only being able to collect the current cost of the image as per their website.


    If they do prove that they had the image registered etc, I can show, as per Section 97 etc that I was unaware of this as I got the image from another source (as I have more picture content) and so they would only be able to sue for the current cost of the image, no damages etc as I am within Section 97 etc. I am guess the same applies to most of us here.

    In the UK, as far as I know; and I've been to court on a couple of occasions to sort out business disputes: In this instance damages are all Getty could hope to get from a court, current cost of an image doesn't really figure into it, unless a judge decides to use that as a guide for damages.

    If Getty offer an image at a price, and if you were to accept that price and therefore enter into a contract with Getty then that price would mean anything, otherwise it's just numbers on a page.
    Section 97 protects most of us (In the UK) against Getty recovering damages and seeing as we never entered into a contract with Getty the usual image price doesn't figure.

    Except, unless we went to court and lost, it would be likely that the judge would use the current image price as a guide for awarding damages.
    However I agree with, just about, everyone in that Getty are trying it on.

    Getty aren't entitled to the current image price if they can't get damages; in this case they are one and the same, so no damages, Getty gets nothing.

    I felt it important to point out my thoughts above.
    If someone can point me to information on the web that disagrees with what I've said above (UK legal) then fine; but my experience in legal circumstnaces leads me to beleive what I posted above.


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    Hi ionisedlight
    Thanks for your input.
    I stand to be correct, as I said that was my take, (on interpreting Section 97 etc) plus information I received from friends/solicitors on Section 97 etc and is not legal advice.

    If it is correct what you say, then IF Getty go to court it would be for damages (i.e. their demand figure). But Section 97 etc negates their claim.

    So here in the UK, either we are all reading Section 97 wrong and Getty know something we don't, so think they will win in court, or it is a big try on.

    They may well sell/send the debt to a collection agency, (the details I posted should help you prepare for challenging that) but I am still to yet hear of a case going to court in the UK. I hope it stays that way.

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    If you did not know, and had no reason to believe, that Getty had the copyright to the images then Section 97 protects us in the UK, yes.

    If it did go to court though, the judge would decide whether to believe you or not and also they would take into account how you used the images.
    If it looks like you made money out of the images I reckon a UK judge would award damages.

    Although I reckon that would only happen if you were selling the images on - as T-shirts, posters whatever; or if your business sales were via an image, such as an amazing advert that got peoples attention.
    If you didn't really make much of a profit and/or the images weren't fundamental to you making a profit and you weren't badly representing the images (associating them with something bad) then I can't see any argument as long as you satisfy a judge that you did not know.

    However that's probably by-the-by as it's unlikely that Getty will take you to court; they most likely won't win and they make plenty of money out of the people these letters are scaring into paying.


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