Getty images unauthorised use letter

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Emma Beck, Feb 8, 2011.

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  1. Emma Beck

    Emma Beck UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi - my colleague has a small business and used an image found on Google images as an illustration on her website. She has just received a letter from Getty images demanding almost £600 for use of the image. Clicking on the image on Google images there is no mention of Getty; it simply takes you to a school website. She removed the image immediately and has tried to email and call the Getty License compliance number with no joy. It was an entirely innocent mistake - albeit a stupid one - and is unwilling to pay.
    Has anyone experienced this lately?
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2011 By: Emma Beck Member since: Feb 8, 2011
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  2. crossdaz

    crossdaz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    This is how they operate, if the image has been removed then just ignore them - they are full of threats and bluster.

    Just because an image is on google doesn't mean it is free to use - they all belong to someone. I hope you have learnt an easy lesson. In future use a site like fotolia where you can get decent images for about £1 with no worries.

    Now sit back and wait for all the legal boffins to try and scare you - these things always run into 500 replies saying the same rubbish :)
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2011 By: crossdaz Member since: Sep 3, 2008
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  3. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    This has been going on for ages. years in fact.

    there have been numerous threads on this forum about it.

    In short, she has used someone elses copyrighted image and it has come back to bite her on the backside.

    She can be as unwilling to pay as she likes, but you have just laid it out how it happened, she got it wrong, and will now have to deal with the consequences of unauthorised use of someone elses Intellectual property.

    Do a search for 'sued by getty' you will find all the info you need.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2011 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
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  4. TickledPink

    TickledPink UKBF Contributor Free Member

    79 17
    Don't let OldWelshGuy scare you. A friend managed to land a client in hot water a couple of years ago with Getty after doing the same thing. I advised him to simply remove the image and for the client to write a letter of apology to Getty, explaining the circumstances.

    It's easily done. Few people realise that everything on the internet carries copyright. You must not use anything without prior permission. I know a site where the guy who runs it gets very hot under the collar if people just grab images from the site. He's got eBay to shut down more than one auction that's used images from his site. However, ask him for permission first and he'll almost always give it. Of course, you can't do that with the likes of Getty, but if you want to use an image from someone else's site, contact the owners for permission first and then check where they got the image from.
     
    Posted: Feb 8, 2011 By: TickledPink Member since: Jan 31, 2011
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  5. arcon5

    arcon5 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I wouldn't too quick to dismiss it!!

    Your friend got lucky. What does removing the image acheive in defending their claim? They will have undountedly taken screen shots and what not by now!

    Alot of people have also been successfully sues by them. Ye sure they use alot of scare tactics, maybe a large proportion don't get taken to court -- is that because they don't take it that far or because Getty get a settlement?

    Also -- what does a letter of apology acheive? They don't care how sorry you are or how it came about!!!! Its their job to get paid for it -- not to teach you the different between right and wrong and give you a slap on the wrist!



    If things do hot up you can negotiate the price... look at the getty website.. what would it cost to license the photo if done legally? Then get as close to this number as possible.


    Maybe they won't persue your case...
    Maybe you will be one of the unfortunate sods they do...

    But dismissing it won't acheive much if your the latter.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: arcon5 Member since: Sep 6, 2006
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  6. IANL

    IANL UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    859 189
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: IANL Member since: Aug 13, 2008
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  7. andygambles

    andygambles UKBF Ace Full Member - Verified Business

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    Personally I think you should purchase the image. Even if you no longer intend to use it. At least then morally the creator of the image is getting some recompense for you using it. Then write to Getty stating it was a mistake and you have now purchased the image.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: andygambles Member since: Jun 17, 2009
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  8. IANL

    IANL UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    Purchasing it after the incident will not absolve you from any potential liability. If you are inclined to make a payment make the offer on a full and final settlement basis and send without prejudice.

    Frankly if someone hasn't profited from the use of the image then I would not bother chasing for a fee. If they have profited from it's use then a fee should be chased.

    The publishing world is full of use it and if we get a bill, pay for it. Bigger companies will make a declaration of use normally.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: IANL Member since: Aug 13, 2008
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  9. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

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    There is no such thing as 'innocent use' in the CDPA 1988.

    Getty sells images for web use at rates above £650 often enough for them to get that amount in court.

    Getty have six years to decide whether to take you to court or not. In that time period there is likely to be a new fast track IP court which will make it much, much easier for rights holders to pursue infringers.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
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  10. IANL

    IANL UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    859 189

    I should have "innocent use" in quote marks as it's my term of reference. I accept what you are saying but they also sell images for a lot less. Whilst I accept that people shouldn't do this there are some naive business people around as this forum can show.

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/creative/frontdoor/webandmobileimages.

    I would like to know of any case Getty has brought in UK courts I do not think there is one (this is not a challenge to anyone's assertions, just would like to know if anyone knows of any, as I can't locate any at the mo.)
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: IANL Member since: Aug 13, 2008
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  11. IANL

    IANL UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    859 189
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: IANL Member since: Aug 13, 2008
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  12. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    http://www.out-law.com/page-10367

    £2k in damages, and a reported (elsewhere) £19,000+ in court costs
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
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  13. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

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    You quote for a special offer and only 3 months use. A similar image, girl with video camera,

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    BD8300-001 Licence details Use Web - Advertisement Size Up to 1/2 page Distribution 1 website Start date 9 Feb 2011 End date 9 Feb 2014 Territory United Kingdom, United States Industry Beauty, Personal Care, Holistic Health Treatment Exclusivity : No Exclusivity [​IMG] Contact us for exclusivity [​IMG] Image: Collection: Title: BD8300-001 Stone Twin girls (6-8) playing with video camera [​IMG] [​IMG] Price: £ 935.00 GBP
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
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  14. bdw

    bdw Banned

    6,568 1,269
    The case mentioned above is cited at every opportunity and do you know why? Because it is (AFAIK) the only one (feel free to show further examples). OTOH there are hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who have received these demands and not paid a brass farthing.

    Sorry but I am afraid that this is wrong. I am not aware of a single case that has gone to court, been tried and awarded in Getty's favour by a judge. The JA Coles case was settled out of court. There was no court ruling in Getty's favour - the defendant settled. So it was not a vindication of Getty's position. Clearly this was a unique instance where circumstances were different from the rest.

    Remember that this case happened about 18 months ago. At that time all the "experts" predicted that the floodgates had been opened and that many more cases would follow. AFAIK none did.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: bdw Member since: Aug 13, 2008
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  15. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    I have to agree with BDW, both he and I have been involved in this for many years now. If it is the only case known, then of course it will be cited at every opportunity when someone requests details of any court cases, by virtue of the fact it is the only widely known one :p


    Have to understand that the Cole case wasn't really a 'proper one', and if you read the link that is clear. it was SETTLED but rubber stamped, i.e. no precedent was created. I think that pretty much anyone with even half a brain now realises (as we all did a few years back), that this system is the golden goose, there is no way they will risk slaying it.

    Thankfully legislation is on the way to prevent these cases being forced by the plaintiff into the high court. This will allow people to pretty much halt this practice in its tracks. (thank God)
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
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  16. trader1

    trader1 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 0
    Well I wondered where the sensible lot had gone from fsb and low and behold some familiar names are here.

    I would like to know if anyone has had correspondence from Pinsent Masons and what reply if any they have sent. Feel free to PM if preferred.

    We have just received a letter from Pinsent Masons after hearing nothing from Getty in over 3 years. Pinsent have also kindly added £600 to the charges.

    Thanks
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: trader1 Member since: Jan 24, 2008
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  17. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    I have heard of a new round of letters going out, some as far back as 4 years. but we have not seen a flood of posts here or at the FSB, so I am assuming they are selective letters? it would be interesting to find a pattern between them.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
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  18. trader1

    trader1 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 0

    Hi OWG,

    Good to hear from you.

    I am actually interested in what happens after receiving such letters.

    Interestingly at the time of the first letter the business which never made any money was a sole trader business being transferred and sold into a limited company in 2008 / 9.

    Again this company has not earned any income and has no assets.

    Since the first letter and a reply going back via Limeone nothing was heard until the letter from Pinsents the other day.

    So what happens now? Do Pinsents ever progress things beyond this point? I am sure they would carry out somekind of credit check if they were to actually proceed to ensure they may actuallly get something?

    Any feedback much appreciated
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: trader1 Member since: Jan 24, 2008
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  19. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    Was it addressed to an individual or a Ltd co?

    What did the letter from limeone say? did gettyreply at all? My understanding nis that the basic principle behind the letter was that all correspondence go to limeone. was this the case in your case?
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
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  20. trader1

    trader1 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 0
    The original letter was addressed to the name of the business not an individual but obviously it was still at that time a sole trader business. However it was subsequently transferred over to a limited company.

    The limeone letter was the standard letter they send asking for image licence evidence and stating that any infringement was not deliberate etc. No reply to this letter was ever received from Getty. Therefore nothing for over 3 years till the other day.

    Pinsent have a cc to Limeone at the bottom of letter so assume a copy was sent to them also.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2011 By: trader1 Member since: Jan 24, 2008
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