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  1. #326
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    Hello all,

    I am yet another victim of Getty's scare tactics. I received my first letter (claiming just under 3000) about a month ago, and I received another 2 letters recently. I have ignored all of their letters so far, and I am very glad to see that I am not the only one who is in this situation. The posts here have helped a lot, so thank you and keep it up!

    I understand that companies need to protect their content - but Getty actions just seem (in my opinion) to be the actions of a company out to make some quick money, using scare tactics on small businesses and personal sites. It's very dirty - and yes, we know you are watching this thread Getty. Shame on you - you know very well that if you sent out cease and desist emails that 95% of us would have removed the images immediately. Hell, if you had tried to bill people the *correct* amount for the images, we would probably have paid...but you seem to be greedy.

    So, has anyone in the UK made any further progress? Are you still receiving visits from the debt collectors?

    Is there any news regarding whether or not Getty is being investigated for their actions?

    Has anyone been contacted by the UK courts (small claims or otherwise) regarding this?

    Thanks, and stick together everyone!

    -Dave

  2. #327
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveUK100
    Hell, if you had tried to bill people the *correct* amount for the images, we would probably have paid...but you seem to be greedy.
    But if, say, 75% of people and corporations paid the extorionate rate, Getty can afford to quietly drop chasing the small offenders. Also, if Getty had invoiced the correct rate, then fewer people would have paid, on the basis that Getty would never have come after them for a few hundred pounds. "Hit hard and scare hard", seems to be the strategy.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveUK100
    So, has anyone in the UK made any further progress? Are you still receiving visits from the debt collectors?
    The debt collectors seem to go away if they are ignored or told to sling their hook (and there's nothing they can do without a court order)

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveUK100
    Has anyone been contacted by the UK courts (small claims or otherwise) regarding this?
    Not that I've ever noticed and I've been tracking the Getty issue with a friend since early this year.

    Sal.

  3. #328
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    This whole thing seems like entrapment to me. I mean Getty knows full well that people will try to use their images, so they intentionally don't watermark them or do anything to protect them so once they find the mom and pop sites that are using one or two images and making pennies from their site they send them a big bill in the mail. Now granted it's not right to steal images, but it's also not right to do what Getty is doing. A simple cease and desist letter would suffice. IMO, they are on the verge of shattering their business. I mean, all this is going to do is piss people off and they wont use Getty at all period.

    I don't really see how they can even think about doing what they're doing when chances are, the person that submitted the photo to Getty, also submitted it to stock exchange, and other sites like it.

    I hope someone makes a case, takes them to court and owns them! Seems it's always the big guy picking on the little guy. Same with Google or anything else. With Adsense Google says you can't display adsense ads on the same page as any other contextual ads...well if you're break.com you can, I've seen it numerous times when they've had adsense right next to adbrite ads.

    Just pisses me off.
    Deron Sizemore
    ----------
    My Sites: LogoGala | Golf Ledger (coming soon)
    Twitter: Deron Sizemore

  4. #329
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    still no response from Getty after they initially called me and i told them it was physically not possible for me to pay their bill.
    Will they call back? Will my business fold? I think about this on a daily basis, its not good for the gray hair...

  5. #330
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    Hi
    Someone posted a while ago that Getty may use archive.org to view your website for images even after you've removed them (sorry, cant find the original post now, but thanks to them for warning about archive.org).
    You may like to remove your sites from archive.org to stop the historical pages being viewed. You need to follow the instructions at

    http://www.archive.org/about/exclude.php

    and it takes a few days or so for the site to be removed from their database

    Regards

  6. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by deronsizemore View Post
    This whole thing seems like entrapment to me. I mean Getty knows full well that people will try to use their images, so they intentionally don't watermark them or do anything to protect them so once they find the mom and pop sites that are using one or two images and making pennies from their site they send them a big bill in the mail. Now granted it's not right to steal images, but it's also not right to do what Getty is doing. A simple cease and desist letter would suffice. IMO, they are on the verge of shattering their business. I mean, all this is going to do is piss people off and they wont use Getty at all period.

    I don't really see how they can even think about doing what they're doing when chances are, the person that submitted the photo to Getty, also submitted it to stock exchange, and other sites like it.

    I hope someone makes a case, takes them to court and owns them! Seems it's always the big guy picking on the little guy. Same with Google or anything else. With Adsense Google says you can't display adsense ads on the same page as any other contextual ads...well if you're break.com you can, I've seen it numerous times when they've had adsense right next to adbrite ads.

    Just pisses me off.
    Very well said.

  7. #332
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    Well said

    Agreed, very well said - and thank you for posting the tips regarding the archive sites.

    This forum is truly a lifeline to the people that have been targeted by Getty, and we must stick together. Please keep posting about your experiences.

    I'm still not 100% clear about the laws in the UK. Am I right in saying the DMCA only applies to the US? and if so, is there any legal obligation for Getty to provide people with a 'cease and desist' type letter prior to sending out invoices?

    Out of interest, how many people have actually had a visit from a debt collector? and (if you have had a visit) how much do you (apparently) owe Getty?

  8. #333
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    Would an Employee be Liable?

    Hi there. I too think this thread is VERY useful, however, I have an additional level of complication. Getty sent my client ABC a letter asking for $10,600 +tax with an offer of a 15% discount (actual cost of images used is $4545). My client had a contract from my previous employer XYZ stating that all images were included in the price of their web design/development. This should kick the client out of any obligation correct?

    Here's my part: This was over 2 years ago and I was stupid. I thought that "Royalty Free" meant that there was no cost associated with the images so I told the client ABC to choose "Royalty Free" images. They sent their selections to me in a word doc. I did not check the images to make sure they were Royalty free or whether there was a cost associated with the images they had chosen. I know this DOES NOT make it right and I know that unintentional copyright infringement is still copyright infringement.

    Here's the current status: I have been a sole proprietor for about 2 years now. My previous employer XYZ thinks I should pay 2/3rds of the current amount of $8000 (Getty reduced to 20% off). Is this fair? I don't remember anything about employee liabilities in my contract. This is one of the benefits of being an employee and not your own employer - the company usually shields the employee from lawsuits. However, if I was still an employee of that company I would expect to lose my job. The problem is that I was on a personal basis with my employers and I feel absolutely TERRIBLE about this situation. I have offered around $2400 in services since I feel a MORAL obligation but their reply: "Your offer is not close to being adequate". They also included "You will be a party to any legal action that arises as a result of this issue. I'd encourage you to rethink your offer before we start incurring legal fees to resolve this."

    Any comments would be GREATLY appreciated.

  9. #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by abSalinas View Post
    They sent their selections to me in a word doc.
    If they provided you with the images, then I can't see how you were liable. Furthermore, I don't see how your previous employer can be held liable for breaching copyright on images which the client gave you/them.

    I think that your past employer is scaring you into sharing the pain to help them settle, when I don't see any legal need for them to settle. If your past employer pays the charges on behalf of the client, without any legal cause to do so (ie a court order), then they have no legal grounds to pursue you. If I was your past employer, I wouldn't even consider spend legal money to sue you until I was sued.

    Do not give them anything without taking legal advise, or you could be admitting liability.

    I am not a lawyer but that how I see it.

    Sal

  10. #335
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    AbSalinas - I'm not a lawyer but I'm 99.9% sure that the responsibility for paying Getty's claim doesnt fall on you as an employee whatsoever. It falls solely on the company being invoiced by Getty (the client) who then can if they wish to, try to reclaim the costs legally from your employer in a seperate case of their own. I dont think there's any direct comeback on you at all, but if there was it would be in a further knock on lawsuit between your former employer and you, for them to reclaim a portion of their costs from you. Getty's letter even states that if an employee or contracted third party was responsible for the usage, it still falls on the company invoiced.

    I've still yet to hear of a case going past the letters from Moreton Smith stage here in the UK. I do think the tactics are to scare you into paying without the need for court action. I am watching with great interest. In my own situation the address Getty had for me (which wasnt even mine anyway) is no longer occupied, so I told them to communicate by email from now on - which they havent done. So I've not heard from Getty in six weeks or so. Before that they'd got to a 'generous' 20% discount...

    Unfortunately in the UK I dont think there is a requirement to issue a cease and desist letter, although of course it would be common courtesy. Plus the defence of not believing there to be copyright associated with the photo is not really valid in most cases (since we are apparently 'supposed' to all know that any photo is subject to copyright - ignorance of copyright is sadly not the same as believing there to be no reason for copyright in a specific photo). I think that argument could only really be used if you got it from a site like www.sxc.hu where it says that there are no copyright restrictions (but then you later found someone uploaded a photo that wasnt theirs to upload!). So sadly in many cases Getty's claim is valid - just not very reasonable and for more money than they are entitled to ask for. I was a poor student when I unwittingly used a picture that turned out to be theirs and now they want thousands of pounds from me that I dont have.

    This really is extortion and the worst possible corporate behaviour. Good luck to everyone dealing with it. Please continue to post updates on your progress so that others can know how best to deal with these demands.

  11. #336
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy21 View Post
    Unfortunately in the UK I dont think there is a requirement to issue a cease and desist letter, although of course it would be common courtesy.
    One of the major differences between USA and UK law seems to be that, in the UK, there's no right for Getty to claim damages where the infringer unknowlying breached copyright. This is why I feel that they will not legally chase small infringers (for only a few images) in the UK anyway as financially it would cost a stack of money pursuing them through the courts (and that is even if they won).

    Sal

  12. #337
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    Raising doubt - your best friend when you're under attack!

    Everyone seems to be forgetting that Getty's position is by no means rock solid.

    To be successful in any action, they have to establish (i.e. convince a court - or if the amount is sufficiently small enough, a small claims tribunal or the like) that at the time of the alleged infringement there existed an image they owned the copyright to. Further, they need to establish that you in particular - and not some other third party - were responsible for infringing their copyright.

    Let's assume for a moment that they can prove that at a certain point in time there existed an image over which they enjoyed copyright protection.

    How are they going to prove that you in particular - and not some other third party - infringed their copyright?

    Apparently, they are utilising the services of an Israeli firm that tracks down sites containing images over which Getty enjoys copyright protection. This raises a number of questions, some of which have been raised already. These include the following:

    How reliable is the technology used by the Israeli firm?
    Is it possible that the technology used to track down images is flawed and that they have erroneously identified your site as containing an image owned by Getty? Presumably you will be arguing that, when shown their image, you have never seen it before.

    Does the technology used by the Israeli firm consider historical, i.e. archived, internet data to identify sites suspected of having infringed Getty's copyright?
    If they do - as seems likely - and in light of the inherently inaccurate and incomplete state of much of this archived internet material, it seems possible that such methods might lead to inappropriate and irrational conclusions. In this regard, and as has already been mentioned, it would be worthwhile:
    1. Removing any images from your site that Getty are alleging are in breach of their copyright; and
    2. Request that any known archive sites remove your site history from their database.

    Did you exercise control over your site at the time of the alleged infringement?
    Most sites are hosted by a third party over which you (the alleged infringer) exercise little or no control. For example, it is unlikely that, at the time of the alleged infringement, you exercised control over essential aspects of site security such as user access, passwords, script access (including access to open source scripts), authorisations etc. Surely, this would be a necessary prerequisite for you to be capable of ensuring that inappropriate material, including images that infringe Getty's copyright, did not appear on your site. After all, it is a fact that many people use shared servers. It is also a fact that many sites on the internet are hacked - some of them routinely.
    Is it possible that, at the time of the alleged infringement the data gathered by the Israeli firm was not a true reflection of data posted by you (the alleged infringer) to your site but was instead the result of your - or another site on your shared server - being hacked? It wouldn't hurt to back these arguments up with data from McAfee / Norton's that indicate the inherent security risks surrounding internet sites.

    Please remember, Getty don't want to get anywhere near anything resembling a court room. They want to be good guys. That's why they're offering each of you an individual special discount rate (15%, 20% or 25%) for early payment.

    I think it might be useful if some of the discussion consider aspects of Getty's case and possible defences. It would pay to concentrate on areas where there exists doubt. In this situation, doubt is your best friend!

    If in the event Getty did decide to commence proceedings against an individual, I can't see them getting a great deal of sympathy from any judge.

  13. #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairybob View Post
    Everyone seems to be forgetting that Getty's position is by no means rock solid.

    To be successful in any action, they have to establish (i.e. convince a court - or if the amount is sufficiently small enough, a small claims tribunal or the like) that at the time of the alleged infringement there existed an image they owned the copyright to. Further, they need to establish that you in particular - and not some other third party - were responsible for infringing their copyright.

    Let's assume for a moment that they can prove that at a certain point in time there existed an image over which they enjoyed copyright protection.

    How are they going to prove that you in particular - and not some other third party - infringed their copyright?

    .....

    2. Request that any known archive sites remove your site history from their database.

    ....
    I think it might be useful if some of the discussion consider aspects of Getty's case and possible defences. It would pay to concentrate on areas where there exists doubt. In this situation, doubt is your best friend!
    Great post HairyBob, thanks!

    Does anyone know of anymore archive sites apart from archive.org? I've already removed content from the site - but don't know of anymore sites.

    My question is - all the "proof" they seem to have is a paper screenshot of the website at the time of infringement. That seems to me that it could easily be dismissed since it doesnt really take much skills to be able to manipulate a screenshot in photoshop or to fabricate evidence. Surely any judge could understand that? I could take a screenshot of any website and superimpose any picture I wanted onto it and then claim that website stole my picture. Are they seriously going to walk into court with a piece of paper as evidence as the only proof of the infringement? I'm thinking of producing a "screenshot" of Getty.com with my product photographs and printing it off and taking that with me. This will show how easily they could have manipulated screenshots to their advantage and hopefully will dismiss their evidence. I also will do a screenshot of my current website and say this was the website at the time of the alleged infridgment

    The other question I have is - one of the images came from a "free" website template I got from a template provider website. Now although G claims that it's the end user's responsiblity to licence the image, since they dont put any copyright information on the image itself, how is one realistically supposed to identify the copyright party? Of all the images on the internet and all the websites, how do we know the image came from Getty and not Granny Smith down the street? They make no attempt to protect the images or to have any watermark to identify it's origin.

    I have a screenshot of the template site I got the image from. However I dont know whether it's better to go the "I dont know what you're talking about - that image was never on my website" route, or the "it was, but I got it from a free website template provider" route.

    Any thoughts gratefully received

    Thanks

  14. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by tban View Post
    I have a screenshot of the template site I got the image from. However I dont know whether it's better to go the "I dont know what you're talking about - that image was never on my website" route, or the "it was, but I got it from a free website template provider" route.
    Breaching image copyright on "templates" sites is a grey area. Theoretically, Getty would have to sue you and you would counter-sue the Template provider but I do recall seeing somewhere that Getty are trying to hit the template people directly. Certainly Template Monster is being sued by Corbis for $109 million for using Corbis images. I suspect that Getty is also on the ball with them too. Ref: http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/search/..._id=1002913964

    tban, as far as your question as to which line to take, I would take neither - just lie low and don't communicate with them at all. Before Getty could take any legal steps they would have to make sure that you had received notice from them, in writing and by registered post. If you disappear off the face of the earth, who are they gonna sue ?

    Sal

  15. #340
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    Hello-

    This has been absolutely great information. I'm so glad to know I am not the only one getting hit with these outrageous charges. When I began web design and hosting a couple of years ago, I had no clue. I knew about copyrights and can't claim that I am innocent there, but when I was on Getty back then, the whole site was different. I read through their use and could not see that using "thumbnails" was a crime. I have about 30 web sites that I designed and several used thumbnail size pics from Getty where they didn't say there was a charge for them. In the past year I have paid out approximately $8000 in charges for the use of them. Even though they were removed 2 years ago as I got new pics from the owners.

    I spoke with Getty on the phone a couple of months ago when a client got a letter about this and the lady said that I still had to pay as though it were a regular size photo and she charged me for the past two years it was up. I told her that a thumbnail is not listed in the charge amounts when you go on their site.

    It's been a nightmare. Everytime I think I've removed them all or told all my clients to be aware of this and think I've done everything that I should, here comes another stupid letter and charge. I have done everything I can to make it right, except by their words, pay for the back use.

    With the amount they charge for using something on a website it's highway robbery. All my clients have said they would NEVER consider using Getty in the future. They all felt my pain and offered to help pay as well as boycott Getty.

    It's hurt my reputation slightly, but my being honest with my clients and paying for my own mistake has made Getty out to be the monster and the one who looks worse.

    I've take your advice and did the robot.txt thing on all my sites now and hope that stops this nightmare.

    Good luck to you all and thanks for chatting about it.
    Fillydeva

  16. #341
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    This past week a non for profit organization was sent a letter for $1000 ($850). They are the type of non profit that funds food banks, helps single mothers, provide heat and housing assistance for the poor. Getty was told that this was a volunteer site...they still insisted they pay. A discount (which seems to be standard procedure was offered). But c'mon...what type of large organization who knows about the type of organization this will still stand firm on this charge?? Knowing full well they hurt the people they fund? Could Getty not let it slide...Large organizations are usually providing donations to non profits...not taking them away. Infact their collection person needed to get back on the 'amount to charge' after checking with the supervisor (they needed to review the site, see the annual report, to determine how large the non profit was to see if the fee was appropriate)
    I say - pathetic! I wish it were on the cover of the NY Times!

  17. #342
    Brevity is greatly overrated brandaggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragster View Post
    This past week a non for profit organization was sent a letter for $1000 ($850). They are the type of non profit that funds food banks, helps single mothers, provide heat and housing assistance for the poor. Getty was told that this was a volunteer site...they still insisted they pay. A discount (which seems to be standard procedure was offered). But c'mon...what type of large organization who knows about the type of organization this will still stand firm on this charge?? Knowing full well they hurt the people they fund? Could Getty not let it slide...Large organizations are usually providing donations to non profits...not taking them away. Infact their collection person needed to get back on the 'amount to charge' after checking with the supervisor (they needed to review the site, see the annual report, to determine how large the non profit was to see if the fee was appropriate)
    I say - pathetic! I wish it were on the cover of the NY Times!
    Ditto - their behavior makes me think of a word..."scumbags"!

    Anyone who comes here, and is not yet an active part of our community and comes to defend Getty (with their first or first few posts) and does the "oh woa is me" sob story about how they have been life long photographers and now they are not making what they used to...

    Welcome to the club bucko! Take your pity party and...

    Sectors change - photography has been a lot more stable than web coding for example...some of us handle these changes more gracefully than others.

    Now - at the same time - if you consider yourself a good person and not heartless - consider the plight of the not-for-profit outlined in the quote above - they are being actively harassed and borderline entrapped (only a government can actually entrap you per the true definition but this is awfully similar - Getty's tactics are frightening and punitive). Now, think again about poor old Getty and the photographers they use - who is in the wrong here? If you need to think real hard about this one than you should go see a doctor to have your heart checked to see if it has turned black.

    This is the post I wanted to make (some time ago) in response to those people that only joined the forum to extend Getty's interests (but I did not want to give them direct audience - they don't deserve it) and bash those who they assume - with no personal knowledge of an individual's circumstances - that they are a thief.

    There is only one Robber Baron involved here and it ain't Mom & Pop!

  18. #343
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    Quote Originally Posted by fillydeva View Post
    I have about 30 web sites that I designed and several used thumbnail size pics from Getty where they didn't say there was a charge for them. In the past year I have paid out approximately $8000 in charges for the use of them. Even though they were removed 2 years ago as I got new pics from the owners.
    Hi Fillydeva - just a curious question - if the images were removed over 2 years ago how did Getty trace back that far and know that they had been used on the site - surely I would have thought that if you had removed them some time ago how would they know? Or had they already trawled the sites with their picscout software and had proof?

    Thanks

  19. #344
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    german getty victim with some infos about picscout

    hello folks,

    first of all i need to say .. I AM GERMAN ...
    so you see not only american, canadian and uk citizens are being charged by getty !

    forgive me, if my english is a little rusty .. if you find misspellings, you can keep them

    I hope here are also some other germans, who received this (GETTY RECHNUNG)
    invoice like me.

    they charge me including + 21% irish VAT .. around 2100€
    for one single .. tiny thumbnail ! the size if the picture is 110x160 pixels
    a printable size of 0.9 x 1,4 cm ... (0.4 x 0.6 inches)

    wow, so every 8 pixels cost 1€ (1.2$) .. or every single pixel 11 eurocent
    that’s a discount !!

    holymoly … is this lawful ??? is there no limit for this ?

    i opened a small business in july 2005 ..
    For the website I took a template from one of the thousends free template pages.
    In this template was their “photo” thumbnail …
    it looked more like a background ornament/drawing than a picture coz of the
    cropped, metal framed, template styled poor low quality
    if you know getty website .. it is smaller than the thumbnails they
    use for advertising their large photos.
    I was just too lazy to get it of …since I never liked it .. I wish I had…

    Well, I didn’t earn any money in that 6 month I had to close the business.
    And I closed the website after been online for only 4 WEEKS !
    I was slow and didn’t think I need a website in the first month …

    The web domain still belongs to me .. and I use it as a family homepage now.
    jan06 I took the old company website offline and replaced it by a family homepage
    without any pictures at all.

    In oct06 I received one of the wellknown getty invoices.
    Blablabla .. pay 2000€ or face the law … well, I checked my website, couldn’t find anything
    changed, no pictures .. but their tiny little thumbnail was on the invoice …
    first I thought “ignore that crap invoice” …and did nothing
    now I received the 2nd letter … again sent from the usa but with London adress

    Now I wonder if there is still no case known where getty sued anyone ?
    So many invoices and all get payed ? I am not sure what to do ..
    first I will ask online lawyers today for 1st advice.. to negotiate, pay or ignore them

    I wished I live in the usa .. so your laws would protect me,too.
    since at the time the invoice reached me the website was gone for month .. almost a year …
    I did not even need the 10 days rule … and even google doesn’t know anymore it ever existed
    No cache .. nothing

    Another point of view is .. my website was offline, and some kind of robot “picscout” managed
    to sneek in and sniff around in my “offline” files ?? what kind of business is this ?

    I have some knowledge of networking, and so I found out that they scanned my website like
    hackers/criminals .. the picscout robot (www.picscout.com is afaik gettys hacking contractor)
    seems to use some stealth technology .. It never shows up in any logs or identifies itself in any way.
    I cant find the date when they scanned me ...

    maybe someone has a tip what ip’s to look for ?

    I found the following ips:

    82.80.249.198, 82.80.249.169, 82.80.249.199, 82.80.249.196, 82.80.249.197, 82.80.249.202

    use by the picscout robot .. (I guess so) since it came from dcenter.bezeqint.net who is known
    to be picscouts ISP. There are some webmasters already hunting that robot …
    Since that is illegal use of the owners bandwith !!! I guess in the usa someone could sue them for this
    Maybe you check your weblogs for this IPs also .. and see they leave no other fingerprints …
    very illegal in my eyes !!

    And getty itself checked back on me in November and December.
    http://www.picscout.com/Reports/Report.aspx was in my logs ..
    so I guess, getty uses picscouts online database here to check if we removed the fotos/pictures …

    Can someone confirm this ? maybe you know what date your website was scanned and what
    date you received your invoice ? lets collect all infos we can get .. to file !

    Maybe someone could tell us what happened after he ignored 3 oder 4 or even more of their
    letters/invoices ? if there ever happened anything …

    My case is fresh but I will keep you posted


    If there is any german reading this, I like to talk to you by mail … beefeater@online.de

    Falls andere deutsche solche RECHNUNGEN von GETTY erhalten haben, würde ich mich über eine email freuen.
    Last edited by gettyvictim-de; Dec 11, 2006 at 08:46.

  20. #345
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    I know personally that Getty spiders archive.org to find older violations. I have seen 4 - 5 year old images get hit with this same thing. I recommend you check the archive.org website, and fill out a request to remove your site, if you got a letter about old images.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zappman77 View Post
    Hi Fillydeva - just a curious question - if the images were removed over 2 years ago how did Getty trace back that far and know that they had been used on the site - surely I would have thought that if you had removed them some time ago how would they know? Or had they already trawled the sites with their picscout software and had proof?

    Thanks
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  21. #346
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    Nervous..

    Quote Originally Posted by SallyM View Post
    tban, as far as your question as to which line to take, I would take neither - just lie low and don't communicate with them at all. Before Getty could take any legal steps they would have to make sure that you had received notice from them, in writing and by registered post. If you disappear off the face of the earth, who are they gonna sue ?
    Sal
    Hi Sal
    Thanks for your help - my plan at this stage is to lay low as you suggest, but I'm planning my response when the inevitable collections notice comes (I'm expecting this in Jan). Although I can ignore this also, I'm nervous about if they try and take it to court. They dont have my personal name, thank God, only my website name and my address from the whois record. (I've now changed it to a false address for future). Do you know can they take an address to court or does it have to be a named person. ie my website is not a registered business so no record of it at this address - was for whois record only. Can they take a website to court? If a court order comes to my address - can I still ignore it? If I ignore the court order and they win by default, can I as a resident at the address be ordered to pay up by the court? Or am I safe as long as they dont have my personal name? These are my concerns..

    Any help from you or anyone on this would help calm my nerves..

    Thanks

  22. #347
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    Angry Is this all true

    I am getting harassed by Getty Images with threats and financial invoices for 2 images that I downloaded from "open sites". They are demanding thousands of UK pounds.

    Having read the content of this thread I believe that I should simply reply "screw you".

    Either Getty Images have taken images off my site and said they are their's or they have a bogus "open site" to entrap people. My site is for a very small club and I was careful not to use copyrighted images. They have the club address (UK) from the website and have sent letters to us of which our landlord handed one to a club member. I replied by e-mail stating that I was sure that the images were obtained from the public domain. They replied demanding that I pay them although dropping the amount by 25%. The club doesn't have anything like those amount of funds and we can't afford a solicitor. The two, tiny, images have been removed from the site.

    These letters and e-mails from Getty Images are making me physically ill so what should I do.

    Help please.

  23. #348
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doplar View Post
    I am getting harassed by Getty Images with threats and financial invoices for 2 images that I downloaded from "open sites". They are demanding thousands of UK pounds.

    Having read the content of this thread I believe that I should simply reply "screw you".

    Either Getty Images have taken images off my site and said they are their's or they have a bogus "open site" to entrap people. My site is for a very small club and I was careful not to use copyrighted images. They have the club address (UK) from the website and have sent letters to us of which our landlord handed one to a club member. I replied by e-mail stating that I was sure that the images were obtained from the public domain. They replied demanding that I pay them although dropping the amount by 25%. The club doesn't have anything like those amount of funds and we can't afford a solicitor. The two, tiny, images have been removed from the site.

    These letters and e-mails from Getty Images are making me physically ill so what should I do.

    Help please.
    Tell them what site it was you got them from, and tell them you got them free - actually, how does anyone know Getty own the images they say they do, and what's stopped the photographers from having sold them, or copies of them - in the past before selling to Getty, or slight variations of them, or the same picture from a different piece of film, in the past before Getty 'claims' ownership took affect - has anyone asked 'when' they took ownership.

    A photograph's history couldn't possibly be tracked back to the absolute time it was taken, they'd need a water-tight affadavit from the Photographers that the pictures (and/or variations of them ... photographers regularly take several snaps of one picture), only saw the light of day when they were sold to Getty - and that doesn't cover the people who do the film-processing, or any other third party handling the goods .. how many? how longs a piece of string?

    So they want you to feel scared, afraid - everything your worst nightmare might be .. because the real issue is that they've got a lot to prove before they can take you to court and win, so scaring you ino paying is there only option - in fact, short of proving you pulled the picture directly from their server .. I honestly don't think they've got a leg to stand on.

    Hear that "Getty" ??? .. not a LEG TO STAND ON !!!!

  24. #349
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    Quote Originally Posted by tban View Post
    Hi Sal
    Thanks for your help - my plan at this stage is to lay low as you suggest, but I'm planning my response when the inevitable collections notice comes (I'm expecting this in Jan). Although I can ignore this also, I'm nervous about if they try and take it to court. They dont have my personal name, thank God, only my website name and my address from the whois record. (I've now changed it to a false address for future). Do you know can they take an address to court or does it have to be a named person. ie my website is not a registered business so no record of it at this address - was for whois record only. Can they take a website to court? If a court order comes to my address - can I still ignore it? If I ignore the court order and they win by default, can I as a resident at the address be ordered to pay up by the court? Or am I safe as long as they dont have my personal name? These are my concerns..

    Any help from you or anyone on this would help calm my nerves..

    Thanks
    They can't take an address to court, it needs to be a recognized legal entity, such as a person or duly incorporated company - websites cannot act like a legal person, therefore they cannot be made or held responsible for actions that would require it to be a legally recognized entity.

    In your case - the best form of defence, is by saying nothing and being nobody ... take a leaf out of any book on politic's.

    If any document show up, and they're not in your name or the name of your company if you happen to be one - return to sender, person / address unknown ... simple, just make sure you wipe all your prints off the envelope before mailing it back to the postal service.

    If any documents show up with your name or that of your company, take them immediately to your attorney - but that's not going to happen, then they've got to prove you as an individual or company had/have a relationship with a domain ... and that's just science fiction.

    Always use domain privacy, god only knows what lunatic's like Getty will think up next to try and scam you out of pocket. For now its only Getty, who and what next if they manage to set a new precedence.

  25. #350
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    12 days since Getty told me "we will get back to you tommorrow"...
    No further letters or calls.


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