Thank you so much for the responses. Just to clarify, the business is not shutting down. I tried that to make them go away but obviously had no joy. They state that it will now be passed over to this debt collection agency. It was 1 image which had no getty image writing on it at all so how was I supposed to know? Also I see above that you have asked "Before paying anything they would have to prove to you that they own the copyright or the exclusive rights to mange it, therefore demand that they provide you a copy of the agreement between themselves and the photographer (redacted only where necessary)." Does the below not cover that or is it worth asking them? They may go away!
1. Firstly, this business will cease trading due to illness in the coming months. However, just for clarity please can you send me better evidence that would certify you have registered the image in question with a patent, trademark and or copyright office?
This is not relevant to this matter. Images are protected by copyright the moment they are created. Copyright registration is not required to protect oneâ€™s copyrights, nor did the settlement offer by Getty Images contemplate the statutory damages that you would be responsible for if there was a copyright registration. Any copyright registration for this image will be produced in accordance with a court process that may be initiated if we are unable to come to an agreement on settlement.
please, find the link below to our watermarked version of this image: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/photo/pound-sign-made-of-pound-coins-high-res-stock-photography/158894760
2. As you can imagine I also seeked out legal advice who also want to know why there was an absence of any watermark or copyright logos at the time of acquisition that would have identified the image as being your exclusive property which would have been an affective deterrent and a sign for any company to look elsewhere.
Please, have a look at the FAQ sent to you and especially the part: â€˜The photo did not have a watermarkâ€™
For additional FAQ, please visit http://stories.gettyimages.com/copyright-faqs/
In order for you to fully understand what is about, please, take advise from a copyright law specialist.