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  1. #676
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Large scale litigation like this takes a lot of time to prepare. I was the plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit a few years ago. Trust me, it takes a lot of time to get the ball rolling, before the paperwork is filed with the Court.

  2. #677
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    How can so many professionals hold different opinions on this problem.
    Because they all specialise in different areas. You can't expect someone who normally deals with divorces and property to be up on copyright law. There are far fewer copyright specialists around so the chances of you finding one on the off-chance is slight. They'll all give you their opinion and take your money though.
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  3. #678
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    i have had conflicting information from various solicitors and trading standard people, so my plan is now to do nothing and see what happens. I cant pay the bill, i have offered to settle for the amount of the image if i can pay in small installments but i was rejected. If it goes to court i can legally show i do not have the funds to pay so they will have to resort to breaking my knee caps.

    Anyone any updates over the weekend? Any more contact?

  4. #679
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    You can't expect someone who normally deals with divorces and property to be up on copyright law.
    Correct, but I also would not expect them to advise on problems when they are not qualified to do so. This is unethical and it follows that with so much different advice several of them must be wrong. This is really not on.

    (BTW no further movement here)

  5. #680
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    HELP! got over 6k bill from Getty Images

    Hello all,

    We are located in the USA and after getting into the office yesterday I saw a certified letter from "Getty Images". I opened it up and was shocked at what I was reading. I did a google search and found this forum. Our company hired a web-design company to do our website along with our logos, biz cards and other marketing work. We have taken the photos off the site already but while I called them after I got the letter they still insisted I pay the balance which they offered a 15% discount. IT came to around $5500. The webdesign company we used was hired via "Elance.com" and is located in "India", but after looking at their website today, I see they have a location and phone in the states but after calling the number it sounds like its being transferred over-seas and is picked up by an indian person with a bad english accent. THe bottom line is I am pretty sure i'm going to have trouble getting the webdesign company to fess up, but I had no willful intention to take the Getty images, i wasn't even aware of the images being stolen. This is 100% on the web-design company we hired.

    Has anyone got any good sugguestions on how to handle this. I plan on writting them a letter just stating that we have taken down the photos per their C&D letter and that the website was done by ...., Inc located here and they represented that all the work was properrly licensed, and that they should contact them.. WOuld that be sufficent?

  6. #681
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    mm1250 there are no shortcuts here. You are going to have to read through this very lengthy thread if you want to know the history of this case but it's better doing that than just paying the money. There are lots of valuable posts throughout about how US law applies in these cases.

    Suffice to say that this has been going on since at least as far back as last July and no has yet been prosecuted.

  7. #682
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    The first thing to do is don't respond to the "invoice" (don't even call or email them).

    The second thing to do is check the correspondence you received. Is it addressed to you (the person) or the company? This will make a HUGE difference in what course of action you choose to take next.

  8. #683
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    I had 2 client sites hit with the letter. The first site was a public company. This made me a little nervous. I didn't want the public company getting any bad publicity surrounding this mistake. We haven't used Getty or even visited the site for our images, but somehow 3 images from one site and 1 image on another are claimed by Getty. Anyway, after getting the same response everyone else had in this thread, we consulted our Lawyer. He instructed us to go ahead and pay Getty the going amount on their web site and not to pay the exuberant fee they wanted in their letter. He additionally advised us to put on the check "account in dispute / paid in full" . Once Getty cashes this check, they have accepted this resolution. Well, they cashed the check which was for about 1/3 of what they were demanding. The lawyer also stated Getty is not entitled to any monies above the amount they normally charge since they do not have any incurred damages.

    Now, knowing that Getty accepted this amount which is far below their demands tells me that these demands are bogus and fear mongering. So, this second demand of the other account, will be ignored completely.

    Note: I still do not understand why Getty doesn't protect their images better. By either putting on a Ghost watermark or at least a good digital watermark, I sure many of us could have avoided any of this in the first place. There should be no reason for them to release any photo unmarked without payment from the user/client. This is a stupid practice and borders on entrapment. Getty's explanation is not marking the image allows their clients to display the image to the potential buyer. Well that's BS. I think anyone could make a decision on an image even with Getty written across or along the bottom of the image. Someone needs to get Getty to stop this practice. It is obvious that Getty won't do it since they are making money on extorting designers, websites and others. Some sort of court order is probably the only answer.

  9. #684
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    The first thing to do is don't respond to the "invoice" (don't even call or email them).

    The second thing to do is check the correspondence you received. Is it addressed to you (the person) or the company? This will make a HUGE difference in what course of action you choose to take next.
    I am curious, what type of difference will it make?

  10. #685
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Well, for one, if they sent it to you personally but want the company to pay for it, it's not a legal "invoice". Second, should the "invoice" were to go to collections, who it was sent to (you as a person, or you as the company representative) will determine which set of collection laws (here in the US anyway) are applied to you.

  11. #686
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    Ahh, thanks. Do you happen to know what the major differences are between corporate and personal collections? ie, the letter i got was sent to my company, but i responded to the collection agency with a letteri know was citing laws regarding personal collections. Even since i havent heard anything back.

  12. #687
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    I was a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against a pair of collection agencies a few years ago. That particular litigation was filed against the defendents, who were accused of engaging in unlawful and predatory personal collections practices. You'll find a post I wrote about the FDCPA back on page 7 (I think) of this thread. Either page 6, 7, or 8, but it's there.

    I have no experience with corporate collections law, however.

  13. #688
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    "The first thing to do is don't respond to the "invoice" (don't even call or email them)." Dan, I disagree with you on this.

    I think it is important to acknowledge any correspondence. Asking for proof of ownership or proof of exclusive rights for licensing the image is vital.

  14. #689
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    Has anyone here got a Certified letter from Getty images? I had mine come in Certified. THis btw was the first letter they sent.

  15. #690
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Based on what I've read, it's definately a first for them.

  16. #691
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    what does this mean exactly, Certified?

  17. #692
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    Question Our story

    I was searching for a similar problem on internet and came across this thread.
    Our story:
    We are an India based company complying with all ip laws since our inception in 2002. last week one of our client in UK received an invoice from Corbis for about GBP 1350 for illegal use of an image. Sure enough, client contacted us immediately. We have our own licensed library of about 3 million stock images among which about 2K were from ultravertex.com The claimed image was from ultravertex license, and when we searched on about ultravertex.com we came to know about their and corbis dispute. Ultravertex.com is Ghost Company. We informed client to let corbis contact us for proof and we can provide proof from ultravertex.com purchases and they have already won the suit against them. We are yet to hear back from corbis.

    We had removed the image in question immediately as well as all the images from ultravertex collection from various client projects (whooof! 5 days and 3 man working on identifying this. Finally we removed it from about 15 client sites). Itís a very bad experience for us as we have to go through this hassel and top of that the reputation of our company was questioned by clients.

    Lets see what they reply.

  18. #693
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie_A View Post
    what does this mean exactly, Certified?
    AFAIK : Certified means, sign required post.

  19. #694
    SitePoint Zealot spinball's Avatar
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    If you're a company hit with a Getty demand, make sure you read your agreement with your web development company. Our agreement states that once the client gives final approval to launch the site, the client is fully responsible for all content on the site. If you approve an image, you take responsibility, whether you provided it or not. Don't assume the web design company should take responsibility.

  20. #695
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    kbi911,

    You are to be commended for your forthright response to this unhappy situation! All involved with the use and protection of Intellectual Property should be as conscientious and proactive!

    The experience of many here serves to awaken all to the need for scrupulous attention to the provenance of images copied or worse, passed on for profit.

    Relationships between suppliers and clients are made of glass and easily broken.

    A Third Party defense is the best there is with respect to Getty or Corbis. In the US, anyway, demonstrating due diligence and good faith caps the available statutory remedies, (up to US$150k plus costs), at a minimal level, (my best understanding). You're still on the hook for actual damages, (the fee you would have paid up front plus any fees collected) but G or C are likely to accept prompt payment of these and forgive the statutory crap.

    kbi911, Perhaps you wouldn't mind answering a few questions:

    - Does your Client Agreement immunize your firm against infringement claims?

    - Does it clearly state that it is the client's responsibility to obtain proper permissions from the Copyright owner(s)?

    - Do images distributed by your firm contain embedded IPTC metadata identifying the © owner(s) and contact info?

    Thanks again for your positive actions and attitude!


    Infringed666

  21. #696
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infringed666 View Post
    kbi911,

    kbi911, Perhaps you wouldn't mind answering a few questions:

    - Does your Client Agreement immunize your firm against infringement claims?

    - Does it clearly state that it is the client's responsibility to obtain proper permissions from the Copyright owner(s)?

    - Do images distributed by your firm contain embedded IPTC metadata identifying the © owner(s) and contact info?

    Thanks again for your positive actions and attitude!


    Infringed666
    Thanks for these great questions.
    1) No and YES. We take responsibility of IPR for our supplied content only whether image or code.
    2) Yes, where ever required with in client agreement.
    3) We do not distribute images but use them in client projects with in our license agreemnt from aquiring company. However by this incident we have now started keeping record of which image is used where in which project to trace the accountability if any claim arise in future.

    Here is a very small portion of client agreement term for very small projects we do

    1. Contents and photographs of product / company would be provided by you for website designing.
    2. Copyrights liability for your provided content and photographs will be yours.
    Last edited by kbi911; Feb 2, 2007 at 05:54. Reason: adding quote from our agreement

  22. #697
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    Guardian Article, 2/1/07

    A useful overview. You need to register, but it's free and some here are in the story:

    http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia...002907,00.html

  23. #698
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie_A View Post
    what does this mean exactly, Certified?
    This means the letter that came required a signature while being delivered. Once signed, the proof of delivery is sent back to the sender where they now have proof that the letter was actually recieved.

  24. #699
    SitePoint Guru Webinsane's Avatar
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    I fully support Getty images and can't stand when someone does not value the work of other artists.
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  25. #700
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    I think it's kind of funny people expected a simple cease and decist. Like it's ok to steal until you get caught. Otherwise, what incentive would there be for people to pay for anything? It does seem like they're coming down a bit hard though.


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