Received a Letter from Burness Paull Threatening to pay for an image Copyright from PicRights..

Discussion in 'Legal' started by MTS24, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. MTS24

    MTS24 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Hi All
    Any advice on this please? I received a letter from Burness Paull today alleging that they had sent another letter previously asking us to pay a settlement fee of over £750 for an image on our website.
    Basically, we had built a website using an overseas freelance web developer who had built this website for us which had all images included as part of our web development.

    We were never made aware that the image on the website had a copy right as the web developer had told us that it was all part of the fee we paid to them and there is no way we can find him again as he would probably not even bother to answer since he is based on in another country.

    So, as soon as I received their letter I simply went on our website and deleted that image and then replied to them stating the fact that our website was built by a freelancer and he had charged us for the entire website and I also said to them that we have now deleted the image.

    However, I am not sure what next because Burness Paull has threatened to take legal action alleging we did not answer to their first letter which is a nonsense as we had never received a previous letter.

    Furthermore, from my point of view, as soon as they told us that their client PicRights own the copy right, we simply deleted the image from our website.

    Any advice on this as there is no way I will pay a single penny and I believe we all deserve the right to be given the opportunity to do the right thing which is to delete the image or pay for it and in this case we simply deleted that image.

    Any advice on this please?
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2020 By: MTS24 Member since: Oct 20, 2020
    #1
  2. Alan

    Alan UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    6,654 1,832
    Your website, your responsibility. Legally you are in the wrong as far as I understand, I'm not a lawyer though. I suggest you negotiate.

    ...edit... first of all double check it is not a scam and they do actually own the copyright
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2020 By: Alan Member since: Aug 16, 2011
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  3. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,575 1,223
    Negotiate the best deal you can and pay it. If you used an image on your site, and deleted it once you realised, then the deed was done and the IP court system historically support the copyright holders, especially when they have attempted to contact the owner of the publishing medium - as in your site. They'll probably come down in price if you negotiate - this is the usual thing. The most prolific company are Getty Images who routinely take people businesses to court and usually win.

    You did not exercise due diligence in checking the ownership - what could you use to mitigate in court. Not knowing is not good enough. The courts however do know the value of images on websites, so any ludicrous claims get adjusted for reasonableness - but you did do it? You could let the court make the decision, but perhaps best to talk first.
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2020 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
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  4. kulture

    kulture UKBF Legend Staff Member

    8,152 2,261
    Pay up before it gets ugly. Try to negotiate a lower fee, but in the end you owe them. You could perhaps stall and ask them to prove that they hold the copyright and that this is a genuine invoice and not a scam, but this should be done carefully as it may increase the bill and your end up paying more. Forget about "not a single penny"
     
    Posted: Oct 20, 2020 By: kulture Member since: Aug 11, 2007
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  5. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,534 540
    So what's you're problem?

    These posts crop up every so often, always a one post wonder. All too many otherwise sensible people get taken in.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
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  6. MTS24

    MTS24 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Thank you for your advice.
    I cannot understand that for a simple image they would ask £750+ and as I mentioned, the web developer had purchased this entire theme with the images on them and it is practically not possible or extremely laborsome to get every image checked on a website that a developer builds and lets you believe it is all OK. If for example they came with £10 or £50 then yes, not worth wasting time but 100s I will fight for it I think.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: MTS24 Member since: Oct 20, 2020
    #6
  7. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Legend Full Member

    5,078 2,252
    Do it on the cheap and, yes, it will cost you more. :) :)

    If you were too thick to check that your website was legally compliant that's your problem, not the fault of the person who owns the image.

    So?

    You used somebody's image without permission. They want to sue your ass. I hope they do.

    If everybody took the attitude you do - that removing the image makes everything better - it would be a disaster.

    It's like saying that a burglar is okay as long as he returns the goods if he gets caught. And if he doesn't get caught then good luck to him and he can keep the goods.

    Your arrogance is breath taking. You stole someone's property ...and now you're taking the moral high road like you were in the right all along?
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #7
  8. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,037 1,981
    Welcome to the real world - as a business owner you are responsible for everything!
    You can fight them if you have time and budget. They have a big office full of experienced people who do it for a living.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
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  9. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,534 540
    I think you're talking to one of them.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
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  10. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,653 9,974
    Unless the site comes with full details of each image and associated permissions assume you are not permitted to use the images (and any other resource on the site).
    You will lose.

    You should now realise why getting sites built on the cheap is a false economy.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #10
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    25,434 3,103
    You spend time and effort creating an image.
    Someone steals it and uses it.

    Of course you want recompense.

    Now the person using it has deleted it. But they happily had use of it for a time.

    You now get to pay. Can be 750 now. Can be more in court. Face it you did not bother to make sure the images were indeed able to be used without payment. It's not an uncommon problem.

    You could take it up with the person you paid to create the site but that's between you and them, nothing to do with what you are being chased for.

    Pay up or negotiate and pay up or hold your ground and pay up possibly a few times higher amount including fees and costs.
    Your choices are limited when using images stolen from others.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #11
  12. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    25,434 3,103
    Yet still your responsibility to check.
    Ideally when getting a website built you provide images you know can be used or get details of what images are used and permissions.
    Saves all this hassle.

    Now if you think you should only pay a smaller amount, negotiate.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #12
  13. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,653 9,974
    No they didn't.

    You have been given the advice you sought: pay up and then check all the other images on your site. I suspect there may be more than just this one.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  14. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,575 1,223
    Copyright sadly ALWAYS brings out indignation. I'll try to diffuse with a related story.

    I just got my PRS settlement - PRS, the people who like Getty Images get slagged off endlessly for doing what they are setup to do - provide creators with income.

    I got one on the list dated back to 2017. That's a bit odd, so I clicked a bit, and discovered a track I had recorded a few years ago - Don't let the sun catch you crying - an instrumental slower version. I delved further and found the theatre. More Googling on that date and I discovered that the song had indeed been played as the intro to a music show. The band were Gerry and the Pacemakers. I got £6.96, and so did Gerry.

    Three years ago, somebody used my 'product', and I got the money I was entitled to. Copyright is what it is - a commodity to be traded.

    The image we're talking about here was visible to millions of people for a short period up until it was noticed. A day? A week or a month? How much is that worth until you removed it? I swap images on my website very frequently - but I still used them.

    Your anger should be directed to the idiot you paid to design and build the website. It was their responsibility, and they fell short. Remember that every UK college or Uni teaching this stuff normally has a module or at least a few sessions on copyright. You used an OVERSEAS web developer? Did you really expect somebody (and please say it wasn't India - where their internet practices are so widely known to be shabby) to adhere to UK laws?

    Seriously - I would recommend you run EVERY image on your site through a reverse image search to check that none of the others are stolen. Getty are VERY active, but take a while to spider everywhere. It's vital that your images are cleared and you keep the sources. Some images on people's websites even have the original owner's details in the metadata. No wonder they get caught!

    The only exception I make on image clearance is where I buy a product from a manufacturer, and use their images of the product on my site. This is should formalise, but I don't because their images sell the products. I've never heard of a manufacturer taking action, so this is one I risk.
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
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  15. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,349 876
    Unfortunately you are responsible for your business and for making sure that the people you hire are abiding by the law. If they don't you are free to sue them to recover any money you lose as a result of their actions.

    Equally the owner of the image is free to require payment for he infringement of their rights.

    But you have already use the image and the copyright owner is allowed to recover any money lost as a result (as well as costs and possibly other penalties).
     
    Posted: Oct 21, 2020 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
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  16. Accounting Controls

    Accounting Controls UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 1
    Another stance is to go back to the web developer who used the picture on your site. It was he who chose this and he who should have either checked or he may well have paid for permissions to use it? Check with the developer who built your site. If he billed you for the website development then it is he who has the responsibility. You paid him for his expertise in developing your site.
    Jane
     
    Posted: Oct 22, 2020 By: Accounting Controls Member since: Oct 22, 2020
    #16
  17. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    25,434 3,103
    That would be a different issue from dealing with payment or non payment for the picture on this claim.
    OP may not even find it worth chasing developer for lost money.
     
    Posted: Oct 22, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #17
  18. johndon68

    johndon68 UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,448 635
    He indicated in his original post that, in his opinion, chasing the developer wasn't an option:

    "there is no way we can find him again as he would probably not even bother to answer since he is based on in another country."

    John
     
    Posted: Oct 22, 2020 By: johndon68 Member since: Nov 2, 2009
    #18
  19. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,575 1,223
    Negotiating the price down is your only possible path - sorry.
     
    Posted: Oct 22, 2020 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #19
  20. kulture

    kulture UKBF Legend Staff Member

    8,152 2,261
    Or just pay in full and spend your time chacking all your other images to avoid further similar invoices.
     
    Posted: Oct 22, 2020 By: kulture Member since: Aug 11, 2007
    #20