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  1. #451
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    I got mine from a PC Magazine cover disk years ago, and of course I can't prove it, but neither can they prove I didn't.

    The first tenet of British law is that you are Innocent until you are proven guilty.

    If any of us go to court, We are Innocent, they have to PROVE our guilt.

  2. #452
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    I am a bit concerned about continually ignoring them. Would it not be the case that this could work against us if it did go to court?

  3. #453
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    I responded to my first letter the same day I received it. In my response I made no mention of the invoice but said that I had removed the 2 images I had from my website.

    I subsequently received a second letter some 2 months later saying I had not responded. If their admin system is so bad that they cannot correctly file a letter I sent, I saw no mileage in wasting yet another stamp in responding to the second letter.

    In my humble opinion, (and that of many others in this forum), this "punt" by Getty is purely a mindgame, to see who is scared enough to pay their vastly inflated invoices.

    The sum of £5,000 that is the yardstick for a UK Small Claims Court action applies to most of the cases on this forum. The majority of us have received a spurious (in my opinion) invoice from a sum of less than that amount; therefore the case would have to be dealt with in the SCC. It is not worth their costs to put an expensive legal team into each and every instance; they would cost more than they can get back. Also, if they were to LOSE just one case, a precedent would be set.
    Last edited by Yet Another; Dec 22, 2006 at 11:08. Reason: typo

  4. #454
    SitePoint Zealot NinjaNoodles's Avatar
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    It seems that only people in the UK are affected by this virus. Do US copyright laws provide us with an immunity?

  5. #455
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    AFAIK, not really.

  6. #456
    SitePoint Zealot NinjaNoodles's Avatar
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    Well, doesn't the US require a C&D letter?

  7. #457
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    Booler Question:

    #452 Booler:

    "I am a bit concerned about continually ignoring them. Would it not be the case that this could work against us if it did go to court?"

    You should be, Booler. They're serious about now being your opportunity to negotiate, offer your best innocence theory, any mitigating factors, accept whatever discount they offer, arrange payment terms.

    My experience is limited to the US of A, where:

    If it goes forward, they have to up their costs, increase their stake starting probably with;

    - a request for process of service, name and address where they can serve you,

    - they have to prepare the suit, lay out the allegations, claims,

    - pay the court filing costs, file the suit,

    - have subpoena served,

    - negotiate, usually by letter & phone with your counsel.

    - very rarely send a lawyer to judicial conferences/hearings, appear in court.

    Their suit filing will include:

    - a copy of the contract with the shooter, (unless they own the © outright, as they do in many cases). The contract gives them the right to pursue infringements in angecy/photographer joint behalf.

    - a copy of the © registration Form VA, proving the prior registration, qualifying them to seek recovery of legal expenses and costs, on top of both the 'actual damages' (fee you would have paid if in front of the use instead of behind) and Statutory Damages, up to US $150,000, (in the most flagrant cases).

    - their contract with Picscout,

    - Picscout's Report, screen capture, authentication, whatever they do to prove you, or a client used the subject image(s).

    Consider that they have the evidence, or it wouldn't have gone this far. If it does come before a judge, your safe bet is that you will lose.

    Whatever your plans are for the future, all the credit reporting agencies will show you/your firm with a judgment against you. How many years does that take to go away?

    If you knowingly put C or G to the added trouble, you will almost certainly pay them for the pleasure.

    I think they are dead serious in telling you: 'pay us now or pay us later'.

    Notice, please, I haven't yet touched on your direct legal expense if you take the 'to-the-wall' approach so popular at this forum...

    Please, before forcing them to go to the next level, ask an IP lawyer what they will charge you to respond to the suit and represent you as defendant. I'm positive they will want more than G or C does.

    The DIYS approach, MHO, will just get you a larger debt and a judgment.

    As to 'not having the money', I'm sure terms can be arranged, so long as you are acting in good faith. Or you can accept a court lien on your property...

    Hope you find this helpful.

    Infringed666

  8. #458
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    UK Update

    I thought you might just like a update, I got my first Getty letter at the end of Sept 06, I wrote back informing them I had proof that I got the image from another source years ago, a PC mag disc, again I canít 100% prove it, but the image they have listed in their image bank is not totally the same as mine. The one I have has more picture content, I also sited Section 97 etc of the UK act they say I had broken and of course removed the image.

    Getty ignored my letter and sent another identical demand letter at the end of Oct 06. I ignored this after finding this forum/thread.

    Getty then sent me an email on at the start of Nov 2006 with my letter scanned in as PDF and just dismissed it and rambled on (as they do) about still wanting money etc. Again I ignored this and followed this thread.

    Since then (6 weeks ago) nothing else received.

    I did get one strange call the other week wanting to speak to the owner of the business claiming they were from some Drug Line. The caller display number of 01782 442920 does not exist. This may or may not be related.

    I dare say it might still end up with the dodgy Morton Smith debt collectors in Jan 07, but if that is the case I already have a long dispute letter ready to send to them and quote Section 40 of the UK Administration of Justice Act 1970 etc etc to them.

    I for one will forget about this now and enjoy Xmas. Merry Christmas to all. (except Infringed666)

  9. #459
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    Well Put Dons Boy!

    As I have said previously, I look forward to my day in court, If Getty has the balls to actually go that far with any of us.

    A Verry Happy Christmas to all in the thread, (less Infringed666 of course). Look forward to the holiday you are going to have to pay for yourself!!

  10. #460
    SitePoint Zealot NinjaNoodles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dons Boy View Post
    I for one will forget about this now and enjoy Xmas. Merry Christmas to all. (except Infringed666)
    Hahaha, well put.

  11. #461
    SitePoint Addict Racer_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinball View Post
    Just a warning to everyone that may be using or has used unauthorized images from Getty. They are making a big sweep of sites and sending out bills when they find one of their images being used without permission. They are charging $1,000 USD per image. They are pursuing the site owners for this money. They are not sending out warnings. They do expect to get paid. If you have unauthorized Getty images, take them down.

    A fellow designer just had 2 of his clients busted. One for $2,000 and the other for $4,000. The client wants the designer to pay since they weren't aware of him grabbing the images from Getty. Getty's stance is that it's the clients fault. Either way, not good business.
    What company would pay these bills?

    Companies have to have lawyers issue "cease and desist" letters before they can sue. All a company has to do is take down the offending image after they've received notice from the pissed-off party.

  12. #462
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    My experience is limited to the US of A, where: ...
    Infringed666 why don't you keep your opinion to yourself? Why offer me advice when clearly you know nothing about UK law?

    This thread is not where you should be so why don't you just go waste your time elsewhere, no one here is listening to your nonsense. You seem to think that we are criminals, which is just stupid and you are in a minority of one.

  13. #463
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Why don't you all just ignore him then? Obviously if he's trying to start a flame war (not saying he is), it doesn't help to fan the flames, if you know what I mean.

  14. #464
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    well said Dan. Infringed's post as usual has no legal reference to support his/her points. As for a contract with Piscout -lol lol. I really hope they do as Picscout effectively hacks your site. His/her poison is like Getty's claims - made anonymously and total BS.

    I see more free getty images are flooding the net:-) they really have shot themselves and their greedy photographers in the foot with these inflated and spurious claims.

    Booler asked 'I am a bit concerned about continually ignoring them. Would it not be the case that this could work against us if it did go to court?'

    It only affects the issue of legal costs and it depends on whether they have sent letters by fax/recorded delivery (i.e. they can prove they wrote to you) or whether you have written to them in response. If they have not already provided proof of WHEN and WHERE the image was shot then i really do not see how they can ask for costs because these two items are crucial to determine whether or not you have a defence. (for all you know the image maker could have been dead for over 60 years or the image could have been published after you had published the image)

    Its intresting i still have not received any details from gettyimages as to who (i.e. which company has legal capacity) is actually claiming. To date it has come simply from 'GettyImages' who for legal purposes are a non-entity which is annoying to the various teams who are ready and waiting to start multi-million dollar disabilty discrimination claims against Getty and their photograpers. btw anyone noticed how Getty are quickly and desperately changing their site attempting to make it comply with legislation. Getty if you reading this -- its too late:-)

  15. #465
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    Just a thought, those of you in the UK with insurance policies check to see if they provide legal cover, quite a lot do.

    Second, get down to your local Citizens Advice immediately after Christmas and ask to see someone regarding this. At least then you'll have a legal opinion on the whole thing, rather than just speculation, which will allow you to take an informed decision as to what to do next.

    My thoughts would be that as long as you have proof of where you got the image, then Getty should be going after the supplier rather than yourself, but I'm not a lawyer. Those without proof, if you think you remember where it came from, try getting in touch with them and see if they can trace it. Otherwise, if you still have the original image stored then put the image name into Google image search and see if you can track it down.

    Getty is a major Corp. and has billions to play with, if they're dead set on making examples the fact that what they recover might be less than the cost to recover it won't stop them. If I was in your shoes I'd want to know exactly where I stand.

    Whatever you do though, try and forget about it for the next few days. I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Getty/Corbis free New Year.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
    Site - under construction - again

  16. #466
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    btw anyone noticed how Getty are quickly and desperately changing their site attempting to make it comply with legislation. Getty if you reading this -- its too late:-)
    Don't forget the wayback machine will allow you to check out old versions of the site but it might be advisable to grab some screen shots in case they manage to get it removed from the archives.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
    Site - under construction - again

  17. #467
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    'Getty is a major Corp. and has billions to play with'

    so had Enron:-)

    Infringed your posts are worthless propaganda intending to lure honest hard-working people to fill your pocket. You are insulting the intelligence of everyone here. Getty and Picscout are sitting ducks and are centred in the scopes of a lot of people:-)

    The stock markets work and thrive on rumours:-)

    La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid:-)
    sally

  18. #468
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    Received a Getty nasty-gram as well

    Hi all,
    I received a nasty-gram from Getty yesterday as well. One image ($1,300 invoice) on a website that was a hobby and a website that I was going to be shutting down. I was waiting until my vacation days next week to do so. Now, there's timing! It was the last website that I had to shut down and then I was going to close up the company (just a sole proprietorship).

    I have had this image so long that I don't remember where in the world it came from - at least since 2003, although I think it was longer. I don't steal images so I must have been under the impression that it was given freely. I have other images on the site with a link back to the author as that was their policy. I think I'll scrap all images I have ever used so that something like this doesn't have a change of ever coming up again.

    A very merry christmas to me, I guess. bah-humbug!

    J.

  19. #469
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    Happy Christmas All (Ignore getty for a day or so)

  20. #470
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    Honestly, if I ever gotten a letter I would just ignore them. If I responded to every letter I got from some stupid company I would have to hire a full-time lawyer.

    No business is going to take you to court for $x,000. The lawyers, time, bad PR, etc are not worth it. Just ignore it and they will go away. Who cares if they send you to collections.... It is not like they have your social security number.

    Also, a lot of people here are from the US. If I got a letter from some british company for a measley few thousand dollars I would respond with a big LOL.

  21. #471
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    Hi everyone,

    About 2 months ago i received a letter from getty Images demanding £2904 for two images i had completely forgotten were on my site. On (bad) advice i settled to pay getty £2,468 and they confirmed the issue of the two images had been dropped.
    About 2 weeks ago i received another letter from getty Images claiming £7,260 for another 5 images which i had removed from my site a long time before i received their letter.
    I am not going to pay. I have read through all this forum and i now see that i was stupid to pay them in the first place. Now they are chasing for 5 images which i uploaded to my site 4 years ago and which they claim were still on my site last July. I asked them why they had pursued me originally for only 2 images and they said it was their policy to pursue all image infringements regardless of whether other image claims may have been settled.
    In my case i have absolutely no idea were the images came from as i simply cannot remember - it was 4 years ago and i have a site which handles over 3000 images. I may have downloaded them from a disc or a blog but one thing i am sure about i did not download them from getty.
    I am not a thief and i never intentionally infringed copyright as i never knew those images were protected as there was no watermark or copyright symbol. I feel i have been robbed of £2,500 by scum who have come back for more. Moreover i cannot set off against my tax or vat the money i originally paid as it was not the proper VAT rate nor was it to a 'registered company or individual with rocognised legal status.' (quote from H.M. Customs & Excises)
    From my experience it you have had a letter from getty - DO NOT PAY !!!!!!!! otherwise they will only come back and pursue you for more. I have since learnt there are other vital ingredients missing from their claim to make it stick in court - so once again DO NOT PAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. #472
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    This is very worrying and it clearly makes the whole process look even more suspicious.

    I have since learnt there are other vital ingredients missing from their claim to make it stick in court
    Can you share these ingredients with us?

  23. #473
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    Corbis Wins $20 Million Judgment in image theft

    Check this out guys, Corbis mean business:

    http://www.lightstalkers.org/corbis_wins__20_million

    They just won a big court case. So I imagine Getty will be chasing up payments too. They mean business.
    I have a friend who use to work for them and they are ruthless businessmen. They will use the best lawyers to destroy you.
    They will think nothing of bankrupting you as legally you have nothing to stand on. You used there images without consent.

    The **** is going to hit the fan.

    Also I'm sure if you are registered with a debt agency you can't get credit for loans and mortgages. I use to work in mortgages and it happened all the time. Bad debt means bad credit history. Try getting a loan now.

  24. #474
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    Hi all,
    I'm a photographer and wanted to jump in with some clarification on US copyright law. I am not here to flame and I do believe that Getty is being overbearing, to an extent, on some of the smaller fish that have infringed or received images through a second party as part of a web package.
    That being said, some of the comments have been made with little, if any, thought.

    What would the position of the forum members here be if someone downloaded a site you had spent hundreds of hours designing, changed the text to personalize it and called it their own? What would be your response if they told you they didn't know any better or that they had searched (a little) to find out who designed it and when no easy answer was available, used it anyway? You'd look at them like they were stupid.

    In the States, the copyright is established at the moment of exposure and can only be given away in writing. Period. Every single photo you find at any place on the web, under US law, is copyrighted. Don't confuse this with registration. Registration allows heavy penalties to be imposed for infringement and may be filed up to ninety days AFTER publication. Getty and many other agencies don't watermark because the design and ad agencies don't want to deal with it in their comps.

    As for licensing an image at different pricing for China vs. the US or Europe, that is no more a legitimate argument than the price of a house in New York, London, or Fiji. It's a different market with different values. As web designers, you should be intimately familiar with licensing images. (Worldwide, country, region, primary use or secondary use, etc.) You owe that to your clients.

    No one has ben arrested in connection with the improper use of photographs because under most circumstances, it's a civil not criminal matter. In truth, nothing has been stolen, the photographer and Getty still have the image, there is simply an infringement here.

    A major issue that has not been addressed has to do with image licensing. From the viewpoint of the photographer, when I license something to a client, I have to be able to tell that client how the image has been used previously and assure them that it's not going to show up in a competitive market. When you design a site that includes photos, what would you tell your client if the business down the street was using the same image. Would you lose that client?

    When I do a brochure for a client, I require the client to to take responsibility, by contract, for any photographs they may provide me.

    For those who say the value placed on photography is too high, feel free to invest $100,000 of your cash (and twenty years of experience) to create your own photos. After all, it's easy, you say. If you don't like the price, use your creative skills to find a solution rather than complain when you're found out.

    Just let me end this by saying, most of you would not consider scanning an image out of a magazine to use in a web site (quality aside). Why would some of you consider seeing something on the web and deciding to use it without permission? I know some of you are in a bind because of other peoples actions, but it's clear by some posts that there are individuals here that think the rules don't apply to them.

    Jim

  25. #475
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    MrBankrupt

    As previously cited on this forum that case involved re-selling thousands of images – it was flagrant and half the defendants never turned up or were subsequently found.

    ‘What would the position of the forum members here be if someone downloaded a site you had spent hundreds of hours designing, changed the text to personalize it and called it their own?’

    If it was not flagrant i.e. they could prove they acted in good faith then all I would ask is for them to take it down. I may just be a mother selling baby clothes however before motherhood I trained in programming and I know that years of research and development goes into any project. The difference in this case is, as (advertised on Picscouts own site) Getty have embarked on an income generating exercise by making extortionate demands on those who acted in good faith.

    ‘Consider seeing something on the web and deciding to use it without permission?’

    Thats the whole point – the majority of us here never saw it on the web and in my case spent a considerable amount of time and effort checking to see if it was.

    As for the analogy to houses that simply cannot apply to the web as the web has a global reach and is not confined to a particular street or location. People in Alaska can see the same image just as easily as those in Australia - so that analogy just does not work as people in Australia cannot physically walk through the door of a house in New York but they can view the New York based image.
    The fact of the matter is Getty are ripping people (and its own photographers) off – the wrong people! Trust me, GettyImages are finished. Period.
    sally


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