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  1. #701
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    I fully support Getty images and can't stand when someone does not value the work of other artists.
    I think it's kind of funny people expected a simple cease and decist. Like it's ok to steal until you get caught.
    If you can't be bothered reading the full thread please do bother to comment. Many of the people in this situation got the images from what they thought were legitimate sources!

  2. #702
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    Hi

    I'm so glad I found this thread. Our story - same as everyone else - 18,000 plus demanded from Getty.

    To cut to the chase - anyone in the UK who has had one of these letters I urge you to contact Lime One (www.limeone.com - 0161 776 4533). They have successfully 'put an end to the communication' between Getty and the recipient of the letter in about 16 cases. I got this information from this site so thanks to those who posted it.

    They would need to see the letter before they can do anything - they charge this on an hourly rate of around 100. Their comments were that in many of the cases to date Getty were claiming exclusive licenses to images which had been found elsewhere.

    Hope this helps

    Macropod

  3. #703
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    Hi Macropod,
    That's very positive news. Were LimeOne able to help you and if so what did they do?

  4. #704
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    Hi again

    The demand was actually sent to my client - we immediately said we would pay as he was not at fault. We are a web company who do not and will not condone using copyright images and we never have. However we employed a freelancer at a time when we were very busy and he supplied the photos which he said came from his CDs of digital images.

    I spoke to someone at Lime One today and explained the situation. She told me that as the demand was addressed to the client they would have to deal with him direct, so I have passed him the details and he will be phoning them in the next few days. Fortunately he is okay about the whole thing (so far!) and doesn't want us to have to pay, so is prepared to fight. I believe that Lime One write a letter but until the phone call is made I won't know for sure.

    We usually use iStockphoto (boo hiss that it now belongs to Getty) but looking at our account today I see we can't get individual receipts to prove to the client that we paid for these images. It's a real problem as we have historically used images from Morguefile and Stock Xchang but now I've heard the stories on this forum I'm beginning to think that we can't risk this either.

  5. #705
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    The ones in question in my case were Istockphoto and Photodisc, very old and licenses sorted out by a design firm that has since gone bust (the going bust was nothing to do with image licensing I have proof and assurances from them but not specifics, besides which the rights probably passed on to Getty without me realising it after Getty bought those companies.
    Seeing as the original entity no longer existed then the license ceased to be valid. I had no idea the company had gone bust.
    Some of the images in question aren't quite the same either but Getty aren't listening to reason.
    I've already followed a course of legal action but I'd be very interested to see what LimeOne do.

  6. #706
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    Macropod wrote:

    "Hi

    I'm so glad I found this thread. Our story - same as everyone else - £18,000 plus demanded from Getty.

    To cut to the chase - anyone in the UK who has had one of these letters I urge you to contact Lime One (www.limeone.com - 0161 776 4533). They have successfully 'put an end to the communication' between Getty and the recipient of the letter in about 16 cases. I got this information from this site so thanks to those who posted it.

    They would need to see the letter before they can do anything - they charge this on an hourly rate of around £100. Their comments were that in many of the cases to date Getty were claiming exclusive licenses to images which had been found elsewhere.

    Hope this helps

    Macropod"

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

    I too would like to know what Lime One accomplished for you. The fact of images being available from multiple sources is hardly a surprise, nor does it have any effect on the copyright ownership or Getty's authority to distribute and enforce Copyrights.

    G & C have many images available through them which were once distributed elsewhere. Most of their work is exclusive, meaning only they are authorized by contract to market an image, during the finite term of the deal with the artist. Many images (commissioned as work-for-hire) are owned outright.

    Where you got it(them) is immaterial without your name (and any client's) on a proper license. If you got it(them) from a Third Party who falsely represented, in writing, that the subject image(s) were licensed to you for use, you have a great case against the third party; none at all against G or C. Images received from thieves are no less stolen...

    IMHO, there's little any law firm can do for you except prolong your false hopes and increase your costs. I would urge all to view any promises with the utmost skepticism; all save the promise that you will be invoiced for the law firm's time & postage.

    If 180 days elapse without further action from G or C, then the communication might be opined as 'at an end'; less and you may conclude only that you are waiting for the next (escalated) move.

    I would be very reluctant to involve a client in waiting for the next shoe to fall. They are unlikely to be amused and very likely to hold you accountable for the delays and increased costs.

    Only a written agreement with G or C proclaiming that "The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties." would prove the issue 'at an end'.

  7. #707
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    Look Infringed666,
    it seems to me that what you are failing to see here is that there are people here who have tried very hard and paid a lot of money to ensure that they DID NOT INFRINGE anyone's rights or material.
    I and others here are upset at the idea that someone may think we have stolen something when that was never the intention.

    Do you really think the law is black and white, that it is unquestionable and that judges have truth spectacles and wave magic wands?

    You are talking to people who never intended to do any harm. Many who believed that they had proof that they weren't doing any harm.
    Now these people are very upset by this situation and all you are doing is rubbing salt into the wounds.
    Try to consider someone else's perspective for a change, someone who's also in the right.

    You are shouting "Thief" at your neighbour, your buddy, YOUR CUSTOMERS. These are not criminals.

    Where as Getty and Corbis have acquired the licenses for images, discovered that people were using them and that due to their acquisition probably don't have the correct license for the image and...

    GETTY and CORBIS ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION.

    Taking advantage of Joe Schmo so that Getty can earn some extra cash, not only that but they are trying to use the definition of the law in order to extort these ordinary people.

    They are threatening, they are telling half-truths, they are acting just as bad as loan-sharks. The people on this forum aren't heroin addicts, stealing to try and get their next fix, they aren't criminals, they are individuals and business owners who have been wrongly done to by at least one person and by far the biggest wrong dooer's are Getty and Corbis.

    If Getty and Corbis were being REASONABLE as any decent, international company ought to be, they wouldn't let people use unlicensed images for six months and then send them a threatening bill afterwards, nor would they ask for extortionate amounts for the images and they wouldn't hide behind the parts of the law that suit them. No they would be open and honest, which they aren't.

    Decent and reasonable is a cease and desist letter along with a civilised discussion about payment and licensing. It isn't sending a debt collector without a court order, that's harassment and it smacks of loan-shark and bully-boy mafia tricks.

    The law is usually intended to protect the consumer, that's because consumers not only vote but also generate tax and governments who approve laws find taxes useful.
    The consumer or end user in these cases are the people using the images, so believe me there are laws that protect the end user, the consumer.
    Also there are laws designed to protect the owner of property/product (property/product can be sold and therefore generate tax), protecting them against theft.
    So we have a conflict between consumer and product, the law obviously isn't clear cut as there are parts which protect both parties. This isn't a criminal/police matter so the only ways to deal with this are:

    By settlement/mutual agreement
    By court for a judge to decide.

    In court a judge uses the law to guide him/her when deciding what is REASONABLE.
    They consider whether what each party did was REASONABLE.
    They then decide on a REASONABLE outcome.

    Were Getty REASONABLE in, after noticing the use of their images, allowing end-users to have them for six months without notifying them?
    Do you think Getty's letters are REASONABLE, they threaten, they do not disclose the whole truth, they do not disclose the whole of the law (Getty only offer references to the parts that suit them)
    Do you think that sending a debt collector without a court order is REASONABLE.
    Do you really think a judge would find the whole think entirely REASONABLE?
    I very much doubt that they would, and because of this even if a judge decides that the end user has broken the law I'm sure they would find that the end-user has:
    Tried to establish usage rights as far as is REASONABLY possible.
    That as is more than REASONABLE, the end user, upon being informed of the possible licensing issue, has removed the images immediately.
    That the end user has tried to explain the situation in a REASONABLE manner to Getty.
    The judge will either throw it out or award REASONABLE damages which will probably be actual license prices (i.e. much lower than Getty are demanding) and perhaps some costs (REASONABLE costs) all-in-all even if the end-user lost a court case it would probably cost them less than Getty's invoice.
    But seeing as I'm sure a judge would find Getty's behaviour wholly UNREASONABLE as well as the fact that there are laws protecting the end-user, I don't believe a judge would rule in Getty's favour.

    If these go to court, the law is not black and white and a judge has to find what they believe to be reasonable, going on the above what do you think will happen in court?
    Getty's lawyers know this and so does Lime One I'm sure.

    So it is very, very worthwhile that people use a lawyer like LimeOne to represent them against the bully that is Getty.

    And I'll tell you something else! I'll bet that in most cases here, if we were put in touch with the photographer who took these images and is under contract to Getty we would be more than happy to pay them the money they have missed out on, even though it is Getty's fault in many ways and not ours that they haven't had their money.
    I'd happily pay the photographer what they are due.
    I will not give in to Getty's bullying and attempted abuse of the law.

    If you work for Getty I understand why you have said the things you have said.
    If you are a photographer you shouldn't be angry with us, we are normal people not criminals, we have been badly done to just like you have. We would be happy to sort this out reasonably, but Getty are abusing their might.
    Getty have now gone and tarred the photographers/licensed photograph image. They are putting end-users off the idea of licensed photographs.
    I have licenses but in Getty's opinion and by their narrow interpretation of the law the licenses aren't valid.
    So that means that we can no-longer trust licenses or suppliers of photographs.
    All because of Getty.

  8. #708
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    AMEN!

    I wish the best of luck to everyone that is involved in this bs.

  9. #709
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    Getty have now gone and tarred the photographers/licensed photograph image. They are putting end-users off the idea of licensed photographs.
    This is an important observation. How much long term harm have G and C done to the photographers who supply the images? How much harm have they done to the copyright laws? How many people worldwide are looking for ways round this as we speak?

    They forget that they are largely dealing with Webmasters. This includes lots of people who are media savvy. As Ionisedlight says, we are not big time criminals. If they go ahead with prosecutions against little guys like us (win or lose) we do have the power to make it universally known.

    To the vast majority of people it makes G and C look really sleazy and verging on corrupt. What harm will this do to their "good" names?

    (Forget about infringed666. Look at her handle she is obviously a plant who flits in and out of here trying to panic people into paying).

  10. #710
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    So has anyone in the uk received...

    1) a certified letter? (all mine were just sent regular mail)
    2) anything from the court?

  11. #711
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveUK100
    So has anyone in the uk received...

    1) a certified letter? (all mine were just sent regular mail)
    2) anything from the court?

    Dave, I think I am right in saying that no one here has yet reported receiving a certified letter or anything from the court. I have not heard of anyone anywhere else who has done so either but we would obviously be very interested to hear from anyone who has?

  12. #712
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    As I've said before I don't condone image theft, support the right of the photographer to be paid for their work, and am unhappy with the way this is all being pursued with those who have what they believed to be legitimate images. I've been discussing this with developers elsewhere and what is becoming clear is that there is a danger of Getty and Corbis effectively turning themselves into a monopoly.

    The upshot of all this is that people are going to be too scared to get their images anywhere else, resulting in the collapse of other legitimate stock sites. A photographer who sells through anyone other than G&C will see no return on their work so they will be forced to sell direct or go through G&C themselves.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
    Site - under construction - again

  13. #713
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    I agree, but it would actually be a duopoly.

    This whole situation has implications far greater than those which affect those who are being pursued.

  14. #714
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    Picky picky.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
    Site - under construction - again

  15. #715
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    More like an oligiarchy actually. Which is just as dangerous.

  16. #716
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by kosh View Post
    With sites like sxc.hu and a dozen others, I don't understand the need for copyright infringement. You can get images without paying for them, and you can do it legally!

    Oh well, it's probably good that Getty does this. As they do it, they will push their potential clients away, and send them all to lower cost alternatives.

    -Tony
    Thanks Tony

  17. #717
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    infringed666

    Just out of curiousity, I have been following this thread from day 1 - kind of like a soap opera! From that perspective, it appears that infringed666 jumps in whenever an effective method is discussed, as a distraction. In this case, it was the limepoint connection.

    Just an observation - look closely at what is being discussed just before her posts! I believe before that screen name, there was another poster doing the same thing.
    Don't let the dogs out!

  18. #718
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    Briardlady, I agree with what you've said about Infringed666, they really seem to want to put people off and force them into despair, just like Getty do.

    There have been others on this forum too, most likely Getty.

    There is no need for anyone here to despair as for the most part Getty are really trying to push their luck. Unfortunately some people have been taken in and been scared by the Getty threatening letters and have paid; because of this Getty still pursue people although it seems to be more pester or rather, harass, than pursue.

    If the other poster you are referring to is me, I'm not sure what I've said that makes you think that. I have a big fat demand from Getty sat in my drawer, so believe me I'm in the same boat as most people here and I would like to know more about how other people are dealing with the situation in the UK and US.

    Explaining on this forum how people have got Getty off their backs is very useful for all of us. It isn't useful for Getty because they won't be able to use the information to change tactics; after-all if one person gets rid of Getty then Getty already have that information regardless of this forum.
    Getty know how we can get rid of them; now we all need to know.

    If Getty have any idea what's good for them they should stop pursuing small businesses/hobbyists as for every $1 they squeeze out of a poor small business they loose $10 in bad publicity and bad feeling.
    They should go after the companies that are selling Getty images and at the same time make their images harder to take from their web site and use without a license (like most other image libraries do, a decent watermark would do for a start). It seems to me that their biggest problem is people selling on and people re-using without license.
    They need a different approach other than harassing small-business, harassing their customers/potential customers.

    Getty must be losing customers hand-over-fist at this rate.

    Come-on lets get Getty off our backs and force them into protecting their interests without harassing us.

  19. #719
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    Getty must be losing customers hand-over-fist at this rate.
    Why?

    This has had no publicity. It has been going on for some time and the first I knew about it was when I got my letter at the beginning of December. We must be realistic about the effects this will have on Getty and Corbis, which so far is probably zero (apart from filling their coffers with cheques from those who have paid).

    Where it will have an effect is when they try take some little guy to court. This will get publicity and then it will have an effect. As I said in message 709, they are dealing with people who know the media and how to use it here.

    Methinks this is why they have not proceeded against anyone yet.

  20. #720
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    Had my 'final notice' letter from Getty yesterday. It was sent in an envelope with their Seattle US address printed on it, the letter inside was from their London Office and the copy of the bill once again referred to Irish VAT.
    Blatant abuses of the VAT and Company law regulations.

    I published a statement a while ago on my sites to the effect that a bot operated by or on behalf of picscout was strictly forbidden and would be deemed to be hacking. Since then Picsbot has revisited my site at least 7 times. In fact every time I upload a new image. The police have intimated that if they receive enough complaints they will consider referring this issue to the CPS with a view to a prosecution of Getty and/or Picscout under s1. of the Computer Misuse Act. (i.e Hacking) It matters not that you have not used codes or robots.txt files so long as you have published a statement to the effect that the use of picscout is strictly forbidden i.e its similar in effect to posting a 'this is private property' notice accross land. In addition to any criminal prosecutions it will entitle you to sue Getty/picscout for violations of the Act - maybe a class action by all of us.
    Therefore I urge those on this forum to publish a.s.a.p. a notice - anywhere on their site - restricting the use of picsbot. Keep an accurate record of when it visited.

    Finally to get back to the distracting infringed who said
    'Nor does it have any effect on the copyright ownership or Getty's authority to distribute and enforce Copyrights.'
    Completely erroneous. The fact that it is widely published every where else helps establish a defence of belief that the images were in the public domain.
    Also infringed if you had bothered to check the accounts of Getty you would realise that as a photographer you are being ripped off. They are collecting possibly millions in infringement fees without declaring all or any of it to the photographers they purportedly represent.

  21. #721
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    sorry to return to the Irish issue however in April 2006, Getty images acquired Ireland-based Pixel Images Holdings Limited, the parent company of Stockbyte and Stockdisc. Their Irish company 'GettyImages international limited' was set up to consolidate and administer this acquisation and had absolutely nothing to do with the supply of the images referred to in their invoices. In other words firstly they are falsely and illegally claiming Irish VAT and secondly they are hiving off infringement damages into accounts over which the photographers are denied access. (if you are a photographer reading this then check your paperwork and you will find you can only access the accounts of getty Images Inc not getty Images International which is an entirely seperate company. Moreover the chances of the copyright being assigned to the Irish company (at the time the infringement took place) are going to be nill because even now they are being sold by getty Images Inc. In other words they are not owners of the copyright - a fact which to date they have repeatedly refused to prove by failing to produce any copies of legal assignments or details of the image dates or details of where those images were shot. No wonder they are so quick to try and settle the issue with the manchester solicitors.

  22. #722
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    dummy20 #720

    Quote Originally Posted by danny20 View Post
    Had my 'final notice' letter from Getty yesterday. It was sent in an envelope with their Seattle US address printed on it, the letter inside was from their London Office and the copy of the bill once again referred to Irish VAT.
    Blatant abuses of the VAT and Company law regulations.

    I published a statement a while ago on my sites to the effect that a bot operated by or on behalf of picscout was strictly forbidden and would be deemed to be hacking. Since then Picsbot has revisited my site at least 7 times. In fact every time I upload a new image. The police have intimated that if they receive enough complaints they will consider referring this issue to the CPS with a view to a prosecution of Getty and/or Picscout under s1. of the Computer Misuse Act. (i.e Hacking) It matters not that you have not used codes or robots.txt files so long as you have published a statement to the effect that the use of picscout is strictly forbidden i.e its similar in effect to posting a 'this is private property' notice accross land. In addition to any criminal prosecutions it will entitle you to sue Getty/picscout for violations of the Act - maybe a class action by all of us.
    Therefore I urge those on this forum to publish a.s.a.p. a notice - anywhere on their site - restricting the use of picsbot. Keep an accurate record of when it visited.

    Finally to get back to the distracting infringed who said
    'Nor does it have any effect on the copyright ownership or Getty's authority to distribute and enforce Copyrights.'
    Completely erroneous. The fact that it is widely published every where else helps establish a defence of belief that the images were in the public domain.
    Also infringed if you had bothered to check the accounts of Getty you would realise that as a photographer you are being ripped off. They are collecting possibly millions in infringement fees without declaring all or any of it to the photographers they purportedly represent.
    Out of curiosity, does the '20' stand for your age, IQ, or both?

    - Many images are distributed through multiple channels and on a non-exclusive basis. The IP copyright laws protect them equally, wherever they came from.

    - Your last paragraph amounts to an unambiguous accusation of massive fraud. Were there any grownups moderating this list they wouldn't be amused by being implicated in your potentially defamatory and libelous charges. In that 'ptogs also read the list, you're disparaging Getty's trade and good reputation!

    Were I Getty, you might look forward to some letters which will make the ones you already have look like Valentines.

    While you're thinking '20', you might set aside an extra $20k or two for legal bills. I'm sure Lime One would love to hear from you, probably send a car.

    BTW, any judgements recorded against you can not only toast your credit rating, but haunt you in the form of Liens and/or Attachments against present or future assets. Don't take my word for it in the UK, but true enough in the US.

    For those wondering how my holidays went, very nice thank you. Still wearing my tan from Puerto Vallarta; paid for BTW, by 40% of an 5 figure infringement settlement (through Corbis).

    I really hope you've lifted one or more of my images! I need one of those 16Mps Nikons.

  23. #723
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    In order for this discussion, to continue to exist and continue here, the conversation has to remain civil.

    As a reminder - personal attacks, arguements between forum members, and other forum guideline violations will not be tolerated. Thank you.
    Matt Mickiewicz - Co-Founder
    SitePoint.com - Empowering Web Developers Since 1997
    Follow me on Twitter.

  24. #724
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    Well said Matt!

    The whole tone of the thread is affected by these unnecessary attacks. Let's keep it on topic.

  25. #725
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    What's the latest on this, we received a legal notice from Getty requesting 1600 .... The image in question was purchased as part of a web template a few years ago ...... Is there an A B C guide to follow that's been established when dealing with these demands from Getty ???

    Thanks .......


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