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Author Topic: Copytrack extortion letter  (Read 25302 times)

svsanchez

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Copytrack extortion letter
« on: July 27, 2017, 05:28:01 AM »
Hello, I found this forum after I received an email from a German firm called Copytrack demanding the payment of more than 1,800 euros due to the usage of 6 images that were given to us by a travel agent for a small article on our site. The email is written in Spanish (our site is in the Spanish language and the primary public are central american visitors, although the site is hosted in the USA).

I have tried to contact the travel agent asking for the original copies but unfortunatelly I still haven't heard back from her.

My first impression was that this was a scam but I decided to research. Unfortunately Copytrack seems to be rather new so I couldn't find much info and instead I found this superb site, but there doesn't seem to be any info from Copytrack yet.

Meanwhile I have removed the 6 images that they say are theirs, and haven't contacted them.

Has anybody heard of Copytrack? Can they really sue when they are based in Germany, my site is hosted in the USA, and my company is in Central America?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 07:01:52 PM by Matthew Chan »

stinger

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Re: Copytrack extorsion letter
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2017, 08:44:20 AM »
I'm not a lawyer, but I think the costs of filing suit in the U.S. and trying to collect from someone in Central America would certainly discourage them from suing.  What do others here think?

I would expect that having removed the images, they will go away.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2017, 07:13:59 PM »
I would be interested in seeing this Copytrack demand letter. Feel free to email to matt30060 / gmail.

If someone is willing to spend the money and have the determination, almost anything is possible. But the way you explained the situation, a plaintiff (perhaps German or somewhere else, you didn't say) would have to hire a Central American lawyer to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against your company. It doesn't really matter who hosts it.  The theory is the copyright owner (Photographer or image agency) would have to spend the money to sue the infringing party, not the host.

Copytrack would not be the plaintiff but they might help provide referral or resources to the copyright owner. They are similar to other copyright collections firms. They are in it for their 30%-50% commission. See the following link.

https://www.copytrack.com/prices/

Somehow, I just don't see a lawsuit happening here based on the information you have published. Copytrack publishes their process but I am skeptical as to how frequently they will actually file a lawsuit.

https://www.copytrack.com/our-process/


Has anybody heard of Copytrack? Can they really sue when they are based in Germany, my site is hosted in the USA, and my company is in Central America?
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

svsanchez

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 07:26:20 PM »
Wow, what a nice forum with helpful people. Thank you Stinger and Matthew for your replies. I will send you the letter to the email you provided. It's in Spanish, do you need it translated? I'm surprised there wasn't anyone in this huge forum who received letters from Copytrack. I did find a French and a Spanish forum with some people asking about them from late 2016 to-date.

svsanchez

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 12:05:20 AM »
Hello again Mr. Chan, I just sent you the email I received (in Spanish) with the translation to English. I also signed up to the ELI Phone Support Call  :)

Hop to hear from you soon and also from others who have received this type of letters from Copytrack.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 12:47:08 AM »
Hello Svsanchez,

We are primarily an American community but we have a fair amount of Canadian, Australian, and UK readership since all the countries are English-speaking.

We do our best to assist non-U.S. folks but the vast majority of our expertise is clearly based on U.S. practices. But there are many commonalities in the tactics and strategies used outside the U.S.

Any necessary translation I do would be done through Google Translate but that gives spotty imprecise results from my experience.

The one thing that many people notice about us vs. other websites is that we cultivate "out of the box" and unconventional thinking. We also embrace an "edgy", rebellious, -fight-back attitude.  Not sure where that attitude comes from....  ;-)

Wow, what a nice forum with helpful people. Thank you Stinger and Matthew for your replies. I will send you the letter to the email you provided. It's in Spanish, do you need it translated? I'm surprised there wasn't anyone in this huge forum who received letters from Copytrack. I did find a French and a Spanish forum with some people asking about them from late 2016 to-date.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2017, 12:48:22 AM »
Thank you for your submission and allowing me to view my very first Copytrack Demand Letter. I will certainly read, study, and translate it. And I will share it with our team so they are also up to speed.

I have also responded to you via email privately.

Hello again Mr. Chan, I just sent you the email I received (in Spanish) with the translation to English. I also signed up to the ELI Phone Support Call  :)

Hop to hear from you soon and also from others who have received this type of letters from Copytrack.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 12:42:39 PM »
As a side note the OP stated the images in question were "given" to us by a travel agent...This is a huge problem that I see often. Couple of things here.
1. when images are "given" or supplied, there in no way to now if the "giver" owns the images or the rights to said images.
2. many times license agreements and not "transferable"...meaning  IF the "giver" did indeed purchase a license, the terms in most cases state the images can only be used by the licensee and not
'handed down to someone else.

I had a client that owned a shoe store, he was supplied images/logos from the shoe manufacturer..the manufacturer used Getty images for their imagery..My client gets letter from Getty..Shoe manufacturer had to get involved and Getty went away, but it was a pain in the ass for my client.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 12:44:49 PM by Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi) »
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..

svsanchez

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 09:28:23 PM »
Hello, thank you for your comments. What Robert Krausankas said is very important, I had never thought of it: as a webmaster I make websites for customers with online catalogs. They usually ask permission to their providers to copy their photos, but I will have to tell them to make sure they are allowed to do this.

Matthew, I replied to your email.

satoshiwaves

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 01:55:12 PM »
Hi everyone,
found this thread by search engines. I have the same problem. Today I got the same kind of email from Copytrack and they asked for 1300 Euros for an image on a website that I forgot about, it's an image of a muffin on a muffin gallery site. I didn't steal the image but used an automated WordPress plugin to fetch the free images of muffins I thought and this was like 4 years ago, the plugin schedule and post content of a given keyword automatically. I didn't add that image by myself. I have deleted all the images on my website.
Any advice about how I should proceed this? Should I reply to their threat email? They want an answer latest 19th Septemeber they say in that email.

Thanks in advance!

Roxannah

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2017, 03:20:58 PM »
I was contacted by Copytrack and I am in the same situation. I used a photograph of a band I found on their facebook page on an article and credited the author, both in the article and in the link of the photograph. Apparently, this wasn't not enough, and I was hit with the email to buy the photo. I contacted the photographer directly, she said she can't get involved in this issue anymore, as it is out of her hands.

I run a blog that generates no income, and it's not a legally constituted company. It isn't even registered anywhere.... it is just a digital blog. I am currently unemployed and have no assets under my name they can come after, so I have no means of paying the €400 they ask. The blog is hosted in Portugal. I replied saying I sourced the photograph, they didn't care. So I emailed back stating my current situation and I'm still waiting for a reply.

Is a lawsuit likely to happen in this scenario? How did other situations evolve?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 03:22:43 PM by Roxannah »

Matthew Chan

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 08:43:08 PM »
My comments inline...

I was contacted by Copytrack and I am in the same situation. I used a photograph of a band I found on their facebook page on an article and credited the author, both in the article and in the link of the photograph. Apparently, this wasn't not enough, and I was hit with the email to buy the photo. I contacted the photographer directly, she said she can't get involved in this issue anymore, as it is out of her hands.

The photographer doesn't want to get his hands dirty. It is their case and they can handle it anyway they want to if they are inclined. However, they hired Copytrack.

I run a blog that generates no income, and it's not a legally constituted company. It isn't even registered anywhere.... it is just a digital blog. I am currently unemployed and have no assets under my name they can come after, so I have no means of paying the €400 they ask. The blog is hosted in Portugal. I replied saying I sourced the photograph, they didn't care. So I emailed back stating my current situation and I'm still waiting for a reply.

If you don't have enough money to pay a negotiated settlement, then your path is clear. Just ignore it. You can't pay money you don't have.

Is a lawsuit likely to happen in this scenario? How did other situations evolve?

Only speaking for U.S. situations, I have not heard of any Copytrack-originated lawsuits. And you just got done saying you are not able to pay, a lawsuit will not squeeze money where there is none.

I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

satoshiwaves

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 05:13:00 AM »
I was contacted by Copytrack and I am in the same situation. I used a photograph of a band I found on their facebook page on an article and credited the author, both in the article and in the link of the photograph. Apparently, this wasn't not enough, and I was hit with the email to buy the photo. I contacted the photographer directly, she said she can't get involved in this issue anymore, as it is out of her hands.

I run a blog that generates no income, and it's not a legally constituted company. It isn't even registered anywhere.... it is just a digital blog. I am currently unemployed and have no assets under my name they can come after, so I have no means of paying the €400 they ask. The blog is hosted in Portugal. I replied saying I sourced the photograph, they didn't care. So I emailed back stating my current situation and I'm still waiting for a reply.

Is a lawsuit likely to happen in this scenario? How did other situations evolve?

Any updates about your case?

junaid-pakistan

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2017, 09:52:34 AM »
Hey Guy. Feel bad about you. Just so you know the purpose of giving credit is to promote some one elses work and also if its on web it gives them an extra link this its a positive thing seo wise. I have a website and i got same email frm copy track.
When you put a link back or do not change the meta of images it helps them find you easily. Thats what most good people do. Since the main source of income for copy track is to threat people and make money and share it with original photographer so they try their best to get as much from you. In my case my website is just a student project name uniquethingstodo and i had some friends working on it for learning and analytics purpose. I would say remove images if the owner is not happy. Also I have Pakistani Passport but i registered it in Canada. Whatever they dont know alot that i put some ones mobile number in canda just to get a domain in canada name because its good for seo and atil lthey are trying to threat me LOL ! They dont know but i am learning from this also because i am a student. I learnt how companies make money based on fear of others (so i invited them to peoceed because i have alot to peove like i have documents which say the images uplaoded by authors are responsible which are my friends).
Is there any body who actually moved to final step in this process ? Like called by court or website shutdown or something ?

an.stephen

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Re: Copytrack extortion letter
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2017, 03:32:37 PM »
Any update on this?

 

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