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Author Topic: Please help! Demand letter from Destination360  (Read 3157 times)

LAnderson

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Please help! Demand letter from Destination360
« on: August 08, 2018, 07:44:25 AM »
Hi,

I am looking for some help. I have received an email from Destination360 demanding over $2500 for an image used on a site I help manage. The image was sourced under the basis that it was public domain. Being naive, I stupidly didnt keep a record of where we got it. On the site, we give credits for images as to where they were sourced from and/or pay for them.

The site is a non-profit in the sense that we make only enough money via adsense to pay for hosting. The website exists to inform readers and help bloggers reach new audiences.

In their email, they say...

You may find evidence of our ownership at http://www.copyright.gov/records/ for said image under Registration Number: VAu001178696. Your use infringes our copyright under Copyright Law. Attached you will find an invoice with payment options and screenshot(s) of the infringement.

If you do not wish to settle, our lawyer will handle this going forward. In such case, our lawyer will pursue a figure three times higher than the one currently offered.


I have taken the article down and and said I was under the impression it was a public domain image. They have responded saying they will pass this onto their legal team.

The article in question was only viewed about 70 times in the time it was online. The fee of $2500 seems completely disproportionate especially when we make no money from the site what so ever.

After their email, I looked at their website. It says, "If you display advertisements or sell something on your website, then it's commercial use, simple as that. If you're using Destination360 copyrighted content to illustrate an article, sell a product, or service, then it's commercial use."

To re-iterate a point above, we have no commercial intent from the website.

I am in desperate need of help as I have little to no assets (certainly no where near their asking price) and cant afford to borrow. I have also gone through the site and removed any other images that could lead to this again.

Having done a reverse image search on Tinyeye, the image itself appears on over 200 websites. When doing the search on Google (via reverse.photos), it brings up 25,270,000,000 results with the image being available in a varied of sizes.

Please excuse if this post is a bit of a ramble. The whole thing has sparked off my anxiety and when in this state, it is hard to focus.

Please help.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Please help! Demand letter from Destination360
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 12:00:02 PM »
read the froums, get educated. I would tell you not to contact them, but to late for that.. some points...

1. If the site served ads, it generates revenue, hence the comeercial use...amount of revenue doesn't matter.
2. amount of times viewed is irrelevant.
3. how many times the image appears in search results is also irrelevant.

everybody pays something, whether it be in the forms of money, time or energy, only you can decide how to proceed.
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..

LAnderson

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Re: Please help! Demand letter from Destination360
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2018, 12:11:06 PM »
Thanks. I have read through the forum and am trying to piece together the information.

I feel a bit of an idiot for replying to them but I was panicked and it was what I was advised by family to do. I'm really not sure what to do next beside read the forum and just wait to see if they email again.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Please help! Demand letter from Destination360
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2018, 01:57:07 PM »
There are a number of prior Destination360 posts which cover many of the general issues you are asking about that is common to nearly all demand letters. It seems clear you are coming in cold. So you have a lot of self-education to do.

As a general reminder to people....

1. Everything is negotiable if you seek to settle the matter.

2. This applies to many legal matters, not just copyright infringement matters.  Being broke and having little money is actually a benefit in legally matter because it makes your path simpler.  You can't hire a lawyer if you wanted to.  You are not worth suing and there is little money to collect for the work and aggravation involved to the other party. There is very little for you to do because the desired end result is they want money which you purportedly don't have. It is almost a non-issue. They can't take what you don't have.

3. I've not yet seen or heard of any lawsuits related to Destination360 pursuits. I've not yet heard or seen the name of any lawyer that they may have escalated their matters to.  Even if there is a lawyer of some kind somewhere on their behalf, go back to Point #2.

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.

 

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