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Author Topic: Getty Images v. Motamedi (Injunction: Ex-employee sharing secrets w/ competitor)  (Read 6344 times)

Matthew Chan

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In yet another unusual Getty Images case, we have a Getty ex-employee of 16 years, Roxanne Motamedi, living in Los Angeles (VP Global Entertainment & Partnerships) who is being sued for allegedly sharing Getty trade secrets and inside information with ex-COO of Getty Images, Nick Evans-Lombe. Nick appear to be trying to be a competitor to Getty Images in his new firm, Silverhub Media in the UK.

Getty Images sought a restraining order and injunction to prevent Motamedi from contacting Getty clients, employees, and further sharing any Getty inside information with anyone. Further, Getty Images sought to obtain ALL devices owned by Roxanne and her husband as well as ALL her email account and other social media accounts to seek out Getty-related information. (Yes, it sounds pretty invasive. I have mixed feelings on the matter.)

Information being sought by Getty within Roxanne's online accounts include strategy plans, business plans, client lists, reports, financial information, contracts, text messages, emails, and instant messages. 

Based on declaration statements from many VIPs in Getty Images (CEO Dawn Airey, COO Craig Peters, Corporate Counsels Elizabeth Vaughan, Jonathon Ames, VP Human Resources Anne Hatcher, and Sr. Info Security Analyst Tom Blikre to name a few.), there appears to be a very dismal view of Roxanne.

While I have downloaded and read many of the court documents, there are still many I still have not read or reviewed yet. But what I have downloaded and read is very eye-opening and reveals Getty Images in a way that few outsiders (including ELI) know about.

Based on the declarations and exhibits, it appears Roxanne was careless and reckless in regards to her use of the Getty corporate email system. It appears she sent and forwarded MANY emails she should not have done to her PERSONAL email account as well as Nick (ex-COO of Getty) in UK.

The exhibits show how very peculiar so many Silverhub Media agreements and contracts seem to mirror and match those that Getty use. It strikes me as being nearly impossible for Silverhub Media to have created such similar documents without having obtained copies from Getty.

One exhibit shows a purported Silverhub employment agreement to compensate Roxanne a base salary of $350K plus annual bonus, benefits, and equity participation. (This is just a guess on my part but Roxanee while at Getty was probably taking in a base salary of around $300K per year!)

Another exhibit shows a Getty employment agreement with Nick Evans-Lombe when he was COO from 2008 to 2013. His base salary as Getty COO was $500K! It does not include a potential bonus of 60% of the salary ($300K). It also does not include equity participation and other employee benefits.

My guess is that current COO Craig Peters is making at least $500K/year in base salary but it is likely more to be $600K-$700K in 2017.

Other interesting nuggets in the exhibits which I both quote and paraphrase:

1. Getty considers Adobe and Shutterstock to be their remaining significant competitors.  Getty regards most of their "historical competition is in decline and in need of distribution to survive."

2. Getty views "Simplicity" as the future in many areas such as model (royalty-free), search (no barriers between editorial and creative), subscriptions, offerings, pricing, workflow, and messaging.

3. Getty acknowledges existing customers as the base but growth is driven by small-purchase customers of less than $200/year fron non-traditional geographic markets.

4. Interestingly, Getty views long-term competition from outside the industry through social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

5. Getty feels they are lagging to their competitors in new customer acquisition due to expanded advertising and geographic focus targeting e-commerce, small-purchase customers.

6. Getty makes mention on benefiting from the Corbis transaction (creative and editorial)

7. Getty uses Office 365 Microsoft Outlook as its enterprise platform for email. Apparently, there is a feature for a "litigation hold" which preserves all mailbox content including archives, deleted items, and original versions of modified items.  (The moral here is be careful how to use corporate email systems.)

Docket: https://www.scribd.com/document/339883759/Getty-Images-v-Motamedi-Docket

Complaint: https://www.scribd.com/document/339883755/Getty-Images-v-Motamedi-Complaint

Temporary Restraining Order: https://www.scribd.com/document/339884528/Getty-Images-v-Motamedi-Temporary-Restraining-Order

Transcript of Preliminary Injunction: https://www.scribd.com/document/339883988/Getty-Images-v-Motamedi-Transcript-of-Preliminary-Injunction-Hearing

Order of Preliminary Injunction: https://www.scribd.com/document/339883952/Getty-Images-v-Motamedi-Order-of-Preliminary-Injunction

There is more to come...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 12:50:17 AM by Matthew Chan »
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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I was contacted out of the blue by someone who did not identify himself but supposedly wanted to update me on this case. That same person seemed to object to my "editorializing" and made some veiled insults towards me claiming I wrote the post to "benefit me commercially". Seriously?  This is the "GETTY IMAGES Letter Forum". We discuss many things relating to Getty Images here! Some people are too focused on this one post.

I reread my post. I don't see a lot of "editorializing" here. I think perhaps some people should move on and let sleeping dogs lie. Someone should do research into the "Streisand Effect" phenomena.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 11:59:32 PM by Matthew Chan »
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.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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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

 

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