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Author Topic: An Experiment Against Getty  (Read 104448 times)

bondnj

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #210 on: March 30, 2013, 12:23:07 PM »
Greg,
The combo of the WSBA response in #22 and the #31 complaint are pretty damming. I haven't heard anything recently but the Associations will be next when I do...Thanks for all that you do!
Tony

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #211 on: March 30, 2013, 07:01:11 PM »
You are very welcome Tony :)

Greg,
The combo of the WSBA response in #22 and the #31 complaint are pretty damming. I haven't heard anything recently but the Associations will be next when I do...Thanks for all that you do!
Tony
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

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Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #212 on: March 30, 2013, 09:20:06 PM »
I received the fourth CD in the mail today, it had been misdirected as I thought and was sent to a Law Office in California who was nice enough to forward it to me.

I saw something interesting in complaint number 36, if you go to page 5 of the complaint you will note that the letter recipient called the actual artist to apologize for using the image.  I found what the artist said very interesting and informative, he said and I quote…..

Quote
“He appreciated the call, informing me that the legal use was out of his hands, and noted that he “wouldn't see any monies from any lawsuits anyway”

So in other words, Getty says sign with us, give us exclusive rights to the image, we have control over when and how we pursue any alleged infringements and if we do pursue and collect we keep it all and you get nothing.  I am still trying to get my hands on one of the contributor agreements so I can verify this and many other things I have heard complaints about from artists.

Another interesting item I have noted in the more recent responses to the Attorney General’s office is that Getty has started putting their confidentiality/non-disclosure clause at the bottom of their responses.  I can’t help but wonder since they know that I post the complaints if this is to try and keep me from posting their responses and letters. They should know anything submitted to the Attorney General becomes public record and is fair game, but they have nothing to worry about as the letters are all boilerplate and I remove them and just leave the meat so you all don’t have to read the same responses over and over again.

One final item, complaint number 40 is a perfect example of why this is called “Legalized Extortion”, the complainant said …..

Quote
I was in a panic and so sent the payment by creditcard. Now that I've had time to reflect, I am outraged at this company for engaging in what I believe are predatory business practices and bullying.

Here are the complaints off the latest cd:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180058/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-36

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180064/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-37

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180068/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-38

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180071/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-39

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180073/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-40

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180075/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-41

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180078/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-42

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180080/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-43

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133180081/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-44
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

--Greg Troy

stinger

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #213 on: March 31, 2013, 09:53:21 AM »
If it is true that the photographer does not see dime one from any lawsuits, this gives Getty and even larger incentive to seed the market with photos.  If they license them, the photog gets paid a portion of a small amount.  If they seed the market and sue, Getty gets to split a large amount with McCormack.

I want to start a campaign to get Oscar seated as U.S. copyright judge and czar (to use this administration's vernacular).  Then he could ride in on a white horse and throw all these crooks in a federal pen.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #214 on: March 31, 2013, 10:35:38 AM »
I don't know if it is true or not, that is why I really want to get a hold of an up-to-date contributor agreement.  This may also be part of the reason why Getty claims confidentiality and refuses to provide a copy of the agreement when requested. 

That would kind of make sense though, if Getty is talking about protecting the artist rights and the artist should be compensated for their works (which they should, just not at extortion levels), you request proof and they send you an agreement that says Getty gets it all and the artist gets nothing their whole story goes up in smoke.  We would be left with what this is, nothing more than a business model to grab as much cash as they can.

If it is true that the photographer does not see dime one from any lawsuits, this gives Getty and even larger incentive to seed the market with photos.  If they license them, the photog gets paid a portion of a small amount.  If they seed the market and sue, Getty gets to split a large amount with McCormack.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

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stinger

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #215 on: March 31, 2013, 11:08:23 AM »
Can't one of us take a photograph and put it up on getty and take a look at their photog agreement?  They have to let the photog see it, don't they?

Kyle Shaw

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #216 on: April 01, 2013, 10:56:08 AM »
I know it's suggested to read the posts already left to acquire answers to questions, but there are so many threads and posts here, the effort would be like finding a needle in a haystack. So here's my situation. The office I work for had a website designed by a friend of the owner, he used free images found online with no visible attachment or ownership claim (sound familiar?), and several years after a letter came from Getty. It was ignored at the behest of the boss, who said the amount was ludicrous and was determined it was a Phishing scam. But just to be safe, the photo was removed within days. Every 3-4 months another Getty letter came revisiting the same issue, all we're ignored. Then after a quiet period, maybe 6 months, a McCormack letter came. Every few months since another has followed and the last stated it was their "final warning"! All of McCormacks letters have been ignored as well. From what I've seen this is the best response...don't give them anything to work with, such as a response, a worried phone call, etc...am I right? Since the last letter said final warning, what will be their next step? Anybody? Will they send a certified letter? Should I ignore that? Will they call? Should I not return those calls? E-mail? Ignore those too? Since they have (apparently) never taken a case to court, can I just go on ignoring them and have no concern? This has been going on for, I think, about 3 years. I heard there is a statute of limitations of 3 years, but what "exactly" does that mean, and not mean? Could someone shed some light on that for me, and tell me if just ignoring them has been shown to be most effective. People ask all the time on these threads if someone has been taken to court, what happened, etc. If all these guys are going to do is bluff, bluster, and lie, then I will just keep ignoring them. I'd rather not answer them in any way! I'd just like to know what to expect going forward from someone's experience based on what I've done so far and where I am in the process. Perhaps one of you can send me (a URL perhaps) to the proper thread(s) for answers to this. Thanks in advance for any answers.

stinger

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #217 on: April 01, 2013, 11:08:09 AM »
If it is one photo, I doubt that they will sue.  I am not sure if they will sue for 100 photos.  In my  opinion, their letters are a phishing scam - under the guise of protecting their copyright.  They try to learn whatever they can and get the "mark" to incriminate himself.  To lose a case in court, would put a large damper on what they collect under the guise of protecting their copyright - so they work hard to collect money out of court.  Previous cases have indicated that they do not have their legal paperwork in order to win in court.

The statute of limitations under the DMCA runs 3 years from the time they first discover the copyright infringement.  It would be good to keep the first letter which is the earliest date you can prove the infringement.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #218 on: April 01, 2013, 11:31:37 AM »
I know it's suggested to read the posts already left to acquire answers to questions, but there are so many threads and posts here, the effort would be like finding a needle in a haystack. So here's my situation. The office I work for had a website designed by a friend of the owner, he used free images found online with no visible attachment or ownership claim (sound familiar?), and several years after a letter came from Getty. It was ignored at the behest of the boss, who said the amount was ludicrous and was determined it was a Phishing scam. But just to be safe, the photo was removed within days. Every 3-4 months another Getty letter came revisiting the same issue, all we're ignored. Then after a quiet period, maybe 6 months, a McCormack letter came. Every few months since another has followed and the last stated it was their "final warning"! All of McCormacks letters have been ignored as well. From what I've seen this is the best response...don't give them anything to work with, such as a response, a worried phone call, etc...am I right? Since the last letter said final warning, what will be their next step? Anybody? Will they send a certified letter? Should I ignore that? Will they call? Should I not return those calls? E-mail? Ignore those too? Since they have (apparently) never taken a case to court, can I just go on ignoring them and have no concern? This has been going on for, I think, about 3 years. I heard there is a statute of limitations of 3 years, but what "exactly" does that mean, and not mean? Could someone shed some light on that for me, and tell me if just ignoring them has been shown to be most effective. People ask all the time on these threads if someone has been taken to court, what happened, etc. If all these guys are going to do is bluff, bluster, and lie, then I will just keep ignoring them. I'd rather not answer them in any way! I'd just like to know what to expect going forward from someone's experience based on what I've done so far and where I am in the process. Perhaps one of you can send me (a URL perhaps) to the proper thread(s) for answers to this. Thanks in advance for any answers.


yup there are many posts to dig thru, all of the info here is FREE so YOU can make a decision what is best for YOU and your situation.. I will say if the first letter from getty came more than 3 years ago, they can't do squat..and it would be safe to tell them that the statute of limitations has expired.
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

I have a few friends around here..

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #219 on: April 01, 2013, 09:21:31 PM »
Okay, here is the last batch of complaints filed against Getty Images with the Washington State Attorney General’s office.   I think getting this information out there is making a difference as when Robert asked for all the complaint the AG’s office had on Getty he got 57 complaints, now less than a year later there have been 54 complaints filed since Roberts’s request.

I plan on composing a letter to the WA AG providing this information along with the number of BBB complaints against Getty and other information I have gleaned inquiring what the tipping point is when the AG’s office will take action to stop Getty’s current business model.  In January the complaints were coming in at a rate of almost 1 a day!

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515803/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-45

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515808/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-46

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515811/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-47

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515813/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-48

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515818/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-49

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515821/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-50

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515827/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-51

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515830/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-52

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515833/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-53

http://www.scribd.com/doc/133515842/WA-State-AG-Complaint-New-54
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

--Greg Troy

starmanalpha

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #220 on: April 02, 2013, 12:11:02 PM »
Greg & everyone else... thank you for your excellent work on this site.

I have a web design client that received an extortion letter from Getty for a 100px wide image used as a blog preview image. The information you provided will be helpful in writing a response for this client - who is freaking out because of this.

I have been involved in a couple of other intellectual property cases and having spent tens of thousands on attorneys I have learned a great deal about the subject. I don't know if this is shared elsewhere in this forum (I've only had 4hours on so far!) but these facts might help someone in deciding how they will respond.

  • A copyright case going to trial in Federal Court (US) will likely cost $80,000 and up. This is for atty costs, discovery, etc. I had a case that never went to trial - in fact it was never filed. It still cost my company $20,000 just to have attorneys searching the Library of Congress and doing our own investigation and even a brief negotiation.

    This is the real reason they are not going to trial. It is the reason the RIAA chose a few cases to make examples out of and did not peruse 26 million people that downloaded from Napster. The RIAA is no longer suing either... they realized that was counterproductive.

    One more real cost to consider... even if Getty were to get a judgment against you (disregarding their cost in doing so) collecting would be a whole other situation. The cost in employees, additional court filings, jurisdiction, etc. would cost far more than the $1000 or so they seem to be after. Again, in strict business terms no worth it.

    Consider this when assessing the real nature of their threat.
  • Consider the "Fair Use" defense... in my clients case the image was used on a blog. While they are a business, the blog is journalistic and educational in nature. Over 99.% of the visitors (and it's a small site) are not even able to do business with them which calls into doubt any claims Getty makes about the commercial nature of the site and any true damages. You can read about fair use here: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
  • Getty does not itself have accurate records of who has licensed their photos. Over the years (since mid 1990's) my company has licensed hundreds of photographs either in collections or individually through Getty or one of the companies they acquired - Photodisc. I checked today and Getty has record of just ONE image that is licensed by us!

    On a real business level, we simply don't have record of licences for many of these images - stuff gets lost, deleted, etc. in the course of 15 years. Point being we are simply not sure... so Getty's actions have sealed our decision not to use Getty under any circumstances. (We generally don't like to use stock photo's but sometimes that's the least expensive option.)
  • Look for pervasiveness... while yes you are liable for the violation of a copyright - even unintentional - there is a difference between going to Getty's site and stealing from them knowingly and accidentally picking something up from what you thought was public. (Copyright law does make a difference between intentional and unintentional infringement) In the case on my client a 5 second Google search found hundreds of copies of this same image (actually slightly different than the one in their catalog) on sites - some having publish dates over 4 years ago. The point here is that as others have pointed out, it will be much harder for Getty to make the case it aggressively pursues infringement when you a simple mortal without the tools of PicScout can find so many similar cases. This only makes their case harder.
  • Fight... as this whole site is dedicated to it I just want to reiterate that you fight their claims. When they respond with boilerplate write the AG's and other listed in this post. Make noise. If you look at the simple numbers, Getty is looking for the easy money, not a real legal fight. They use the same intimidation tactics third party collection agencies use (many illegal for debt collection). The debt collectors do it anyway because they know you don't have the money (and probably not the will) to take them to court.

    But by fighting you cost them money. Every letter they have to send to you, an AG, the BBB costs the time of someone even to read it. At some point they will just give up. And even supposing they don't you have a case for defense (provided you have a few things you learned in this forum) and even if they win a case, collecting will be something else. I'm sure they have a calculous for the negative PR that would generate and will fly under anything that truly damages their extortion business model.
Again, thanks to everyone here for the great work.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #221 on: April 02, 2013, 07:44:45 PM »
Welcome to the forums starmanalpha,

I can tell you first off that if you have a web client Getty will not care what you have to say and will continue to pursue your client as the end user. You have a couple of options in your situation, first you can write the letters yourself and have your client send them because as I said Getty will have nothing to do with you in less you are to pay the full amount to them. Second you can retain Oscar and your client will not receive any further communication from Getty and you will not spend thousands of dollars. Third, you can retain another lawyer to handle it for you and lastly you and your client can just ignore the letters.

If this is over one image I can tell you that to date Getty has never sued anyone over the use of a single image here in the states. There last lawsuit for copyright infringement that they filed was Getty V Advernet where Getty sued Advernet for the use of 35 images and ended up winning the case by default by bankrupting Advernet. On the next hearing date when Getty showed up and there was no one on the Advernet side the court rendered a default judgment to Getty. The court then looked at the evidence submitted so far in determined that there was issues with every single image’s documentation that would preclude Getty from collecting any monies on the images. So Getty won but they collected nothing.

I am glad to see that you are joining the fight, continue reading as there is a wealth of knowledge contained here in the forums. Please keep us posted as to your progress and how things go.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

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Oscar Michelen

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #222 on: April 03, 2013, 11:46:29 PM »
Kyle and starman - stinger's response is on the money.   It is highly unlikely they will sue you.  Starman is also correct in that one of the main reasons Getty doesn't sue is that since their images are not registered at the time of the infringement, they cannot recoup their legal fees (though starman - I find your figures are way high even by NY standards). Both of you should look into the letter defense program offered on this site which stops all the noise for $195. - once they receive a letter from me they cannot contact you directly any further. 

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #223 on: April 09, 2013, 07:25:43 PM »
Note: In fairness of reporting and trying to make sure I am accurate with my facts, complaint 31 may not be legitimate, Getty Images has just sued Virtual Clinics for copyright infringement and if it is proven in court that this is a false complaint and Virtual Clinics did commit willful infringement I will remove it from this list and it will not be included in the stats.  You may read the complaint Getty filed here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/135014487/Getty-v-Virtual-Clinics

I will keep you posted as the trail progresses.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

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bernicem77

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Re: An Experiment Against Getty
« Reply #224 on: April 09, 2013, 08:04:47 PM »
I am looking at the copyright applications. Did Getty just obtain the copyright 3 weeks ago? Am I reading that correctly? Many of the photo's were taken  5 or 6 years ago but the copyright is effective March 4, 2013 and March 13, 2013 and some of them are just applications for copyright.

The original complaint to the AG was in 2012.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 08:16:19 PM by bernicem77 »

 

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