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Author Topic: What to expect when filing a complaint with the Attorney Generals' Office  (Read 2107 times)

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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This post relates directly to filing a complaint against Getty Images with the Washington State Attorney General.
Other states may have different systems and or methods. At some point there will be a thread dedicated to "crafting" a compelling and purposeful complaint. I use the word "crafting" because you don't want to just create a form letter complaint, but more on that later.

After reviewing literally hundreds of pages of complaints, it is clear how the system works, and there is a lot to be learned from these documents..
I will add some of my own comments and thoughts after each section / complaint excerp.

Without further ado let's get right down to what to expect when you file your complaint against Getty Images.

You can file your complaint here: http://www.atg.wa.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx
I prefer the "By Mail" option, as I think good old snail mail carries a little more weight..

Once you submit your complaint you can expect a response from the AG Office similar to the following, confirming reciept.
( these excerps are from actual complaints, and have not been re-dacted as they are a matter of public record)
http://copyright-trolls.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/complaint_process_1.pdf

Comments: The single most important portion of this excerp is the 3rd & 4th paragraphs, do not request them to settle this for you, it's not their job, and your complaint should not contain any questions, but just the facts clearly spelled out, again we'll get into this more in an upcoming thread.

At this time The AG office will also notify Getty Images that they recieved the complaint, thus giving Getty Images the opportunity to address the complaint.
http://copyright-trolls.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/complaint_process_2.pdf

NOTE: it is not mandatory or required that Getty Images respond in any way, they may chose to ignore the complaint, but if they do it will be reflected in the public record.

Comments: The following line of this notification is the main purpose for using the filing of a complaint with the attorney generals office, not to settle your dispute but rather to bring attention to the ways of Getty Images.
"However, complaints may indicate a pattern of unfair or deceptive trade practices warranting further attention by our office."

If Getty does not respond in a timely manner the AG will send off a gentle reminder to Getty Images, at which time they will generally respond as can be seen in these excerps from a complaint.
http://copyright-trolls.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/complaint_process_3.pdf
http://copyright-trolls.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/complaint_process_4.pdf

Comments: As noted from the other complaints, this is your standard boiler plate form letter from Getty Images, the only thing that generally varies are the concerns mentioned in the initial complaint. As with the letter ricpients, getty continually goes on the assumption that if they state the image is on their site it is therefore theirs, they offer no documentation to back this up either to the recipent or the Attorney General.
The last paragraph is I'm sad to say somewhat humorous, as it alsway claims the complaintant has not raised any valid defenses. While at the same time Getty has not shown and proof of their claims and continues to do so. They automatically throw the letter recipient / complaintant into the "guilty" category. This last paragrahs continues to state that Getty image "will continue to work with" the recipient.. What they are really saying here, is that they will continue to hound the recipient for money and threaten to escalate the matter..We seen this 100's of times over.

Getty Images probably spent a good amount of time coming up with this form letter, so that they covered their bases, but did not include anything that might raise an eyebrow at the AG office, which is just more reason to have a well crafted , attention getting complaint in the first place.

At this time the Attorney general will notify the complaintant of Getty Images response with a standard boiler plate letter, as well as notifying Getty Images that the response was sent off to the compaintant, thus closing the case.
http://copyright-trolls.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/complaint_process_5.pdf
http://copyright-trolls.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/complaint_process_6.pdf

My next endeavor will be to start commenting specifically of some of the 57 complaints, there certainly are some good nuggets worth commenting on, as well as parts we can use going forward in creating that compelling complaint to the Washington State Attorney General.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

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stinger

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Well done, BuddhaPi!  Some good information here.  And knowing how Getty is going to respond can help one in drafting their complaint.

 

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