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  1. #726
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    Energy level there is no ABC guide because no one knows for sure what to do about it. Several lawyers have been consulted and they have provided conflicting advice. As I see it the only way we will really know where we stand is if and when someone gets taken to court.

  2. #727
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    Update Feb 07

    Quick update, it is now 3.5 months since last/2nd/final Getty demand letter and 3 months since last contact which was an email I got from Getty. If any dodgy debt collectors contact me I am primed and ready to dispute it on the grounds of the legality of the demand letters/VAT details/Copyright ownership, s97 etc etc. Obviously I have removed the image, set up IP blocking on the site, removed site from the Way Back machine etc etc.

    energylevel, I suggest you read back over the whole thread and form your own view of what to do. My image was also from a website template years ago. All the information you need is contained in the thread. Contact or post if you need any help/advice.

  3. #728
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    After doing some homework, as far I understand it UK law says that they have to prove that I have knowingly stolen the image in question to claim damages, as I am unwittingly an innocent party in this, if they pursue it further after I notify them of the circumstances then that will give me grounds for a claim against then for defamation of character as they will A) be calling me a liar and B) saying I have deliberately and knowingly stolen the image (which I haven't of course).

    Are there any official websites that have been set up yet to get a community of disgruntled victims of these despicable letters from Getty together, I'd be glad to put some input into something like this, I think Getty need as much negative PR as possible and it would also be a good starting point to discuss possible counter claims against Getty for their actions.

    I will be meeting with my lawyer next week who is a specialist in web law and I will post back here with his professional opinion, I intend to turn the table on Getty because I am disigusted with their approach, by all means ask me about the image politley and assume innocent before guilty, I would have galdly removed the image and apologised even though I i did NOT knowingly use an image without the applicable licensing.

    Whay are Getty requesting compensation back-dated, I would have been more than to remove the image any time ??
    Last edited by energylevel; Feb 10, 2007 at 15:14.

  4. #729
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    Has anyone contacted PicScount and asked for an official response from them for information about:

    a) Blocking their bots, a specific list of IPs, IP range and useragents

    b) And specifically if they obey the Robots Exclusion Protocol

    ?????????????????????

  5. #730
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    Why would they adhere to exclusion? The whole point of Picscout is that it's searching the web for specific images. That's what they do. There are similar search bots (Copyscape for example) for content checks. They're going to look at your site whether you want them to or not.

    It's a bit like being in your car, driving at 90 mph in a 30 zone with a sign in your rear window saying "Police Ignore". Not going to happen is it.

    You can block Google and co because it's no skin off their nose if you don't get into their search results. Entirely your choice.

    Even if Picscout did adhere to robots there's nothing to stop them listing out sites blocking them and having a human visit your site to check for the images.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
    Site - under construction - again

  6. #731
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuckRUs View Post
    Even if Picscout did adhere to robots there's nothing to stop them listing out sites blocking them and having a human visit your site to check for the images.
    Think of a website as private property. The owner gives the public conditional access based on compliance with accepted principles (such as robot exclusion) and T&Cs. Those T&C often exclude commercial usage or have limited commercial usage terms with exclusions such as financial exploitation of the service. By not respecting the robot exclusion and/or T&C you are effectively a hacker (ie trespassing on private property) and therefore susceptible to criminal law. At least, that's my non-informed understanding.

  7. #732
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    I haven't seen this in any pages of this thread, so i'll ask it anyway.

    Does the bot look for image sources then read the image file, then match it up with ones in there DB? If so, then why not add a small mark on the image, or change contrast etc so the file is different?

    Even if Picscout did adhere to robots there's nothing to stop them listing out sites blocking them and having a human visit your site to check for the images.
    You could display a cover-up page to the bot, so they don't know if it's not the one displayed normally.

    Think of a website as private property
    Completely agree with you there, however be careful how you word that, as images are also private property

    also not sure if anyone else has written this, but i'll ask it anyway. What if you were to display a notice at the bottom of the page mentioning copyrights to images from getty?
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  8. #733
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    Arkinstall, if you know your image is infringing, you should remove it not try and hide it. What you are suggesting would put you into the guilty without a doubt side of this argument. Once informed, you should remove the images, not try and play games.

  9. #734
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    What he probably meant to say was "what if you acquired an image legitimately, but do not want PicScout to suck down more bandwidth than a freeloader who eats everything in the fridge yet doesn't pay any rent? Would this be a viable (and ethical) thing to do?"

  10. #735
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    I've come across this...

    "Now Corbis is taking a web site to court for using one of its photos without paying, having detected its watermark. There’s nothing wrong with the picture technically, but it’s hard to imagine anybody actually using it if they knew they’d have to pay for the privilege. Corbis says the picture is worth over £1,000 and is now suing the site."

    The full article is in this link - http://www.itweek.co.uk/itweek/comme...tray-copyright

  11. #736
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tristana View Post
    I've come across this...

    "Now Corbis is taking a web site to court for using one of its photos without paying, having detected its watermark. There’s nothing wrong with the picture technically, but it’s hard to imagine anybody actually using it if they knew they’d have to pay for the privilege. Corbis says the picture is worth over £1,000 and is now suing the site."

    The full article is in this link - http://www.itweek.co.uk/itweek/comme...tray-copyright
    Tristana this should probably have been in the Corbis thread? I would post it there but it's your baby

  12. #737
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    I don't believe a legal class action is something that actually exists in the UK. Does anyone know if there is anything similiar in legal terms so a group of individuals can collectively take action against a company ??

  13. #738
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    I understand that a joint action can be taken by a group of common defendants against a common claimant but don't take my word for it. All I know is that the company representing me have clients who are being claimed for much larger amounts and several of them are part of a joint action in defence.

  14. #739
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    I quote from Images post above:

    "We will find and we will take individuals to count over images used without licenses. When was the last time your took some food and ate it without paying or ate at a restaurant and walked off?"

    Actually - the law in the UK with regard to food in a restaurant is as follows....

    All you legally have to pay for any food you are served in a Restaurant is an estimation as to the raw materials cost of such food. If you are not satisfied with any aspect of your meal, that is a course of action you may take.

    Taking this into the context of this thread - If your employer had merely billed us for the usage of the artworks in question - more of us probably would have paid up and said no more about it. It is the fact that extortion is taking place that people are not paying - and remember - all it takes is one of us to win a court case - and your employer will lose all of them.

  15. #740
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tristana View Post
    I've come across this...

    "Now Corbis is taking a web site to court .....
    I'll bet you any money that this is a journalist 'flowering' a story on the basis of a Corbis letter or a web site owner being a bit alarmist. This article does not support the claim that Corbis is taking anyone to court nor does it provide any evidence of such.

    Sal

  16. #741
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    Sal, I emailed him to ask for more details but he has not yet responded. If he does I will of course post the result.

  17. #742
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by IncrediBILL View Post
    Well boys and girls, someone asked me to look into this problem last week and I think I found information about PicScout

    Check your log files, see if you find something similar, especially if you've been served.

    Please let me know if you can confirm my findings.
    I reviewed my detailed web traffic logs and just confirmed that picscout scoured my website in mid December 2006. A week or so later I received my first set of documents w/ the letter of demand from them.
    It shows that they hit my site twice in Dec. No other months show their name. This is what shows up on my log: "http://www.picscout.com/Reports/Report.aspx". I cannot pinpoint an IP for them though.

    Does anyone know if picscout will scan a website as well as it's external links to other websites?


    Join new Getty discussion here: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/gettycrackdown


    .
    Last edited by cdn; Feb 16, 2007 at 21:53.

  18. #743
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    To quote Yet Another - "and remember - all it takes is one of us to win a court case - and your employer will lose all of them."

    This is not true. To date, the RIAA has sued over 10,000 people for copyright infringement and each case is unique.

    I feel Infringer666 is right. The fact that Getty and Corbis have stopped communicating with us is because they are preparing their paperwork.

    Ladies and gents, start preparing your defences because it looks like we are going to have to fight in court. By the way, I'm going to ask for a jury trial. I'm not having a biased judge decide on this.

  19. #744
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    Private photographer taking possible legal action

    Guys,

    So sorry but way to many pages to read and find the answer here.

    What is the bottom line. I am a web design / webmaster. A local photographer who took photos for my client then burned them to dvd, gave them to the client in turn client giving to me to crop and put on their web site I builit for them. Photographer is seeking payment for his work and may hold me liable...

    Photographer emails me and says "I am the copyright holder and have not licensed the images for any usage at this time pending completion of the transaction. If after xx the transaction is "not" complete then I will request that you remove the images from the site within five days or I will consider actions that focus on your company's unauthorized usage of my copyrighted images."

    When I initially put the images I had no idea if they were paid for or not of course., After reading about Getty, Getty emails the domain name owner and tells them to pay which I mentioned to this photographer, they don't send a notice to the webmaster for an invoice. He says legally I am the one who put the images up so he can come after me. I told him it's the clients website and domain and the client owns that and it's the clients responsibility to remove those items.

    What would you say or do if you were in the middle, yes I know take the images down but what I mean is how to handle this with my client as I am not going to jepordize my relationship as I have recurring income with them and also legally want to do the right thing too...

    Guess I need to add a clause in my contract that if a client sends me content or images they must hold the license to that and if I am contacted that they are not the licensed owner then I have the right to remove that item. Of course if I am not the webmaster anymore I would say it's reasonable that I am not legally responsible and cannot remove those items anyway.

  20. #745
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    The Perfect Third Party Defense

    cmec123 wrote:

    "What would you say or do if you were in the middle, yes I know take the images down but what I mean is how to handle this with my client as I am not going to jepordize my relationship as I have recurring income with them and also legally want to do the right thing too...

    Guess I need to add a clause in my contract that if a client sends me content or images they must hold the license to that and if I am contacted that they are not the licensed owner then I have the right to remove that item. Of course if I am not the webmaster anymore I would say it's reasonable that I am not legally responsible and cannot remove those items anyway."

    cmec123,

    Sounds like the tog is having a hard time getting paid or even reaching agreement with the client. If tog's paperwork is together, there will be a clause in the invoice to the effect: "No usage rights are transfered until fees are paid in full."

    If your paperwork is together with your client, your T&Cs will have a clause saying something like: "You warrant that all materials provided by you have been properly licensed, that use by my firm in carrying out our assignment does not infringe the rights of third parties."

    It appears your client jumped the gun, and the tog is leaning on you in hopes of forcing a settlement. It seems that the extent of your responsibility would be to notify the client of the contact and asking for instructions.

    This might be your position:

    "I have been contacted by ____, threatening legal action over use of _______. I must remind you that it is your responsibility to insure that materials provided for use by me are properly licensed for the purpose. (Quote T&C if applicable.)

    "Please advise me. I should point out that the images have been on your site since mm/dd/yy, and are, technically 'Infringed' until settlement is made with the Copyright owner or agent. Taking them offline won't alter this. Should I take them down or await advice of settlement?"

    If your present T&Cs don't fully immunize you, you might include something like: "I cannot accept responsibility for the actions or omissions of others."

    The tog has no meaningful quarrel with you as a third party service provider. (Had you provided the images, you'd be on the hook, but since you didn't, you're in the clear, mho.)

    Tog, like many at this list, is making it up as they go along, with no competent legal advice. When and if they retain a real IP lawyer it will be to make formal demand of your client, just like Getty's or Corbis': "Pay us (normal fee x 3 or so) now, (and make the use legal) or pay us more later."*

    If and when tog gets that far and still can't get settlement, the next step is a lawyer's letterhead advising of intent to file suit unless settlement is made; generally including the request for the contact info for "Process of Service".

    You might be included in this round, at which point you might need a lawyer's (one hour) letter to establish your third party innocence defense. In the USA, a valid Innocence Defense would have the effect of capping any damages at a few hundred bucks; meaning effectively that any settlement from you can't possibly cover the costs of winning.

    You'd only be in on this as window-dressing/tree-shaking, if at all, and probably wouldn't last into the actual suit filing, if any. Many matters are settled at this point, unless a profit driven lawyer is calling the shots, and/or there's a six figure settlement at issue.

    Actual filing escalates everybody's legal costs exponentially. Only rarely are there facts in dispute which actually reach trial. Many matters are settled between lawyers (overseen by a judge) just before a trial date is reached.**

    cmec, I don't think you want to take any action beyond (written formal letter, not email) informing your client of the situation and refusing any responsibility or liability, politely as you can. I don't think 'an abundance of caution' requires anything more.

    If you were to act by taking the images down without client's written instruction it might be interpreted as an admission and acceptance of complicity & responsibility.

    Again, I'm only licensed for Latrine Law. Don't accept anything I say as other than fragmentary, imperfect understanding. I've been through some of this many times as a plaintiff, but other aspects are pure heresay and conjecture. Check everything with a proper solicitor, preferably one without a profit incentive to raise unrealistic expectations...

    * BTW, C&D (Cease and Desist) letters/orders are very seldom used in Infringement Chasing. In order to file one of these, the Plaintiff needs put up a substantial Cash Bond, to cover the lost income and costs of compliance in the event Defendant wins. (My fragmentary understanding).

    ** Tristana, et al, Several lawyers quoted here have 'ball-parked' the cost of defending an IP suit as US$30k. I doubt they included the expense of actually 'Going to Trial'. A good question for that law firm who several here apparently have retained. A Jury Trial in any of these cases would be Day Dreaming; fodder for a reality TV show, 'Bambi vs. Godzilla'?

    BTW, T: Some attorney advised you to delete a slew of posts, made it into the Guardian article, et al. Some of the deleted posts were quoted elsewhere and no doubt exist in the big DB in the sky.

    Weren't the deletions kind of like High Lighting potentially actionable speech? Does your counsel also advise you that the archives of this site are probably subject to subpoena, or accessible through other archives? Does the same firm lead you to expect a Jury Trial? Oh dear, what to wear...

    All should be very careful whose advise to act on, myself included.

    Pardon for straying from the thread. Good luck, cmec!

    HTH!

  21. #746
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    Thumbs up

    Infringed666, your comment about what to wear to my Bamby jury trial is just so funny!!!!

    BTW: I really regret having deleted my comments. I also regret having removed the photograph from the server and removing the site from the wayback machine.

  22. #747
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmec123 View Post
    Guys,

    So sorry but way to many pages to read and find the answer here.

    What is the bottom line. I am a web design / webmaster. A local photographer who took photos for my client then burned them to dvd, gave them to the client in turn client giving to me to crop and put on their web site I builit for them. Photographer is seeking payment for his work and may hold me liable...

    Photographer emails me and says "I am the copyright holder and have not licensed the images for any usage at this time pending completion of the transaction. If after xx the transaction is "not" complete then I will request that you remove the images from the site within five days or I will consider actions that focus on your company's unauthorized usage of my copyrighted images."

    When I initially put the images I had no idea if they were paid for or not of course., After reading about Getty, Getty emails the domain name owner and tells them to pay which I mentioned to this photographer, they don't send a notice to the webmaster for an invoice. He says legally I am the one who put the images up so he can come after me. I told him it's the clients website and domain and the client owns that and it's the clients responsibility to remove those items.

    What would you say or do if you were in the middle, yes I know take the images down but what I mean is how to handle this with my client as I am not going to jepordize my relationship as I have recurring income with them and also legally want to do the right thing too...

    Guess I need to add a clause in my contract that if a client sends me content or images they must hold the license to that and if I am contacted that they are not the licensed owner then I have the right to remove that item. Of course if I am not the webmaster anymore I would say it's reasonable that I am not legally responsible and cannot remove those items anyway.
    Are you a freelancer webmaster?
    If so, then you completed the project/contract. It's the clients website, not yours. Even if you were employed w/ the client f/t, it's STILL the clients website, not yours.
    The only way the photography could come after you instead of the client, is if they went to court.
    The images should be taken down from the website. That goes without saying if they were not paid for.



    Join new Getty discussion here: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/gettycrackdown


    .

  23. #748
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    For those of you that are angry about this. Be sure to always do your photographic image research via a Google or Yahoo search. Be sure to click on the ad to go to Getty for your research. This costs Getty money and the money goes to Google and Yahoo who are doing their own copyright fights. Costing businesses money ensures change!

  24. #749
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    Over on the Corbis thread we are looking at letter reference numbers to try to get a handle on the extent of this problem. If you have had a Corbis letter from B&M have a look.

    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...=1#post3288614

  25. #750
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    In our situation, the things are getting in favour of corbis i.e. we said client to go ahead and pay to corbis for their demand and we will reimburse the money to him. In our situation the image was used on client site unknowingly that it was pirated by ultravertex.com from which we had bought the license. Although corbis won case against this ghost company and settled with templatemonster and others, how do end-user like us protected? The reason we wanted our client to pay is to avoid any legal proceeding which we may win but at the cost of precious time and too much of lawyer fees. The problem is they sue to client which is in UK.


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