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1
Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: School tutor
« Last post by Greg Troy (KeepFighting) on March 22, 2017, 08:05:23 PM »
This is typical Getty Images, it doesn't matter what you say it is just about the money with Getty. I think you made a good choice in filing a complaint with the Washington state Attorney General's office and they will probably leave you alone after this. Either way I would just ignore them they are not going to take you to court over this especially when they know this was through Vista print.
2
Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: School tutor
« Last post by Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi) on March 22, 2017, 05:30:00 PM »
IF it went to court, I doubt the fair market value would even get mentioned...file for dismisal on the grounds that vista prints holds a license for their clients..end of story... this won't go anywhere, I'm inclined to think they won't even contact you again.
3
Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: School tutor
« Last post by Figaro14 on March 22, 2017, 12:18:22 PM »
I did contact Vistaprint, and they told me to let GettyImages know that they have a license for all images they provide for their customers.   

I followed up with GettyImages when they rejected my offer to say that Vistaprint would be in contact with them and if they did not dismiss this immediately and continued to contact me, I would consider it harassment and take the appropriate action.

It probably will do nothing, but I've gone ahead and filed a complaint with the Washington Attorney General and with the Seattle Better Business Bureau.  Just an FYI:  GettyImages has an F RATING with the Better Business Bureau and dozens of complaints filed against them already according to the BBB page. 

I will hold tight and not contact GettyImages any longer.    I continue to find thousands (no exaggeration) of similar public speaker images that sell for $10 - $33.  I assume if this were to go to court, the issue of "fair market value" would be important to the case.  (Who in their right mind would pay $815 for a $12 image????)
4
Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: School tutor
« Last post by Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi) on March 22, 2017, 11:01:47 AM »
If the image was indeed offered up via Vista Prints gallery for use, contact Vista Print, and have them deal with it directly for you.
5
Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: School tutor
« Last post by stinger on March 22, 2017, 09:31:06 AM »
There are lots of choices.  First off, don't panic.

Ignore any deadlines they give you.  They are phony anyway. 

Take the time to learn your options by delving into the Getty Forum here.  Only you can decide what you can stomach.

Cease all contact with them till you have decided your plan to deal with this.  They use what seems like normal negotiation communication to phish you out.  They have already learned that you are a real person and how to contact you.  They have an inkling that you might have a conscience or be legally averse.  Deal with them only on your terms.
6
Getty Images Letter Forum / School tutor
« Last post by Figaro14 on March 22, 2017, 09:01:41 AM »
I am a retired teacher and I tutor grade school and high school students in my retirement years.  I maintain a webpage for my students through the Vistaprint Company.  On February 16, 2017 I received in the mail what at first I thought was “junk mail” with a return address from the Getty Images Company in Seattle, Washington, but when I read it, I saw that had an old photo capture from about a year ago of the webpage I had first made.  This page was no longer in operation.  They had singled out one small photo and claimed the photo belonged to them and I was in violation of their copyright.   I became very concerned and contacted them at their email address.  I told them 1.) The page no longer appears.  2.)  I received all my images from Vistaprint’s image gallery – the gallery that Vistaprint makes available when you subscribe to its web services.  I received back an email stating that I owed GettyImages $815.00 for the use of the image.  This amount seemed unusually high for an unremarkable generic image of the back of a  public speaker, so I investigated their site and found that hundreds of similar images were for sale for anywhere from $12 to $33 per image.   I replied with a polite letter offering a settlement of $20 based on their costs.   The company told me that they would “make this all go away” if I bought one of their annual subscriptions at a cost of around $1000.  My other choice was to pay the $815 or they would sue me.  They declined my offer. 

I am aware that one can only ask the “fair market” price of anything and I asked why they would seem to think that this one image was worth 1000 times more than other similar images.   They did not explain their reasoning only that they owned the image and that’s what they charge.

I began to think that this sounded like an extortion racket.  Should I pay them or wait to see what happens?  This is very distressing! 
7
You will be fine, save your money.  Getty will not go after you over this.  Just ignore them.
8
Hansmeier is now being investigated for bankruptcy fraud. It looks like his bankruptcy discharge will be reversed given the fraud involved.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170318/00521636943/things-looking-even-worse-prendas-paul-hansmeier-bankruptcy-fraud-deck.shtml

It is unbelievable reading his story.  I am not sure I could even attempt to get in that much trouble if I wanted to. You heard of compound interest in financial circles?  Well, he is getting compound interest in the legal world.

How many different ways can this guy be stupid? The guy just didn't know when to quit.
9
LCS & Getty Images are one and the same..
It could possiblt fall under "fair use", but a judge would be the one to decide this...they aren't going to sue you over this.
statute is 3 yrs from date of discovery ( or date of first demand letter)
if you ignore, it you willlikely get some follow up demand letters / threats for the next 3 yrs...

Paying for the letter program is your choice, i highly doubt they will persue this over 175.00, it will cost them 495.00 just to file..not worth it to them.
10
I am not a big fan of phone communications in these matters as I think written communications offer a more controlled response and you are less likely to say things you shouldn't.

Also, a lawsuit is generally inconvenient for most people. However, there are a few situations where a lawsuit is nearly meaningless especially when it is filed for the sole purpose of motivating a settlement. A counter-suit is only applicable if a lawsuit were to occur.

Some people have taken to getting a declaratory judgment ahead of any possible lawsuit but that is mostly people who have some money to spend on lawyers.

I tried calling them and asked for Samantha Clemens, the person whose name was on the threatening letters. They would not put me through to her without my "Case/Reference number" which I refused to give until I spoke to Samantha Clemens. When I said "I am recording this conversation" the curt answer was "We decline authorization to be recorded" - End of conversation. In the meantime, I had a friend contact Minden pictures directly to ask about the cost of licensing the image in question - answer $50 (yes Fifty) for 1 year and $200 for up to 5 years.
I simply ignored LCS threatening emails and letter and have not heard back from them. (it's been a couple of months now).
I earn a living from copyrighted material and totally understand the need to protect it. But LCS is into extortion not protection. They need to be fought. Is there no way to counter sue them for extortion?
Again, thank you Mathew for keeping us informed.
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