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Author Topic: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!  (Read 8510 times)

ntawadrous

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I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« on: February 25, 2014, 10:42:41 AM »
Hi there,

I am a Canadian Citizen but originally I am an immigrant to Canada and I happen to use images from the Google Images and I used them for illustration purposes on my blog as I run a blog that teaches about network marketing. 

Honestly, I followed one of the leaders in the industry who I saw in a webinar grabbing the image from Google Images and I just thought it is ok to use.  So, I started using them to illustrate a point about what I write on my blog.  I didn't know anything and I never heard of Getty Images before until last November when I got my first letter from Getty Images asking for $2,650.00 for 3 images that I used.  I was shocked when I got the letter and didn't know what to do at that time as I didn't make money with my blog as it is still new.  All I did was I removed all the images from my blog and I contacted an online attorney and asked him and he told me that this is a common thing going on for a while and lots of people are going through this and he gave me a link to this blog post: http://excesscopyright.blogspot.ca/2008/05/watching-getty-images-watching.html

and they will keep sending these letters to you and I asked what am I supposed to do, he told me to read about it in this blog and just keep ignoring their letters unless they take you to court and the chances are minimal.  This calmed me somehow but again I received another letter from Getty sometime in January and with the same threatening language and I ignored it again until last week I got a letter from NCS IP SOLUTIONS, LLC in Sarasota, Florida with the subject line: This is an offer of settlement and it also has threatening language that if I failed to pay they will initiate court proceedings.

I am so glad I found this forum and I am trying to educate myself as much as I can but I would like to hear from other canadians and how far it got with them.  I am really sick to my stomach and this is affecting all other areas of my life.  Please, if there are other canadians going through the same thing, please chime in with your experience and what to do at this time.  Are there any canadians who have been taken to court for this.  I would love to hear from you please.  I am also open to any suggestions from non-canadians.

Very thankful for this forum and I will keep updating this thread as the matter progresses.

Thanks and Be Blessed,


NTawadrous

lucia

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 02:22:30 PM »
I got a letter from NCS IP SOLUTIONS, LLC in Sarasota, Florida with the subject line: This is an offer of settlement and it also has threatening language that if I failed to pay they will initiate court proceedings.
They are putting that in the subject line because their main business is as a collection agency. If they contacted you in their capacity of collection agency you could just tell them to stop calling you because there is no debt to collect.

Do you live in Canada? If so Getty would most likely be required to file in Canada. (McCormack is pumping up a ruling that he thinks can give Getty the right to sue in Washington State if you don't take down. But if you've already taken down, that ruling won't let them bring the case to Washington State. So you don't need to worry about that.)

Also, if you live in Canada the relevant law would be Canadian. I'm not sure what that is-- but it will be different. So you would have to discover that.  One thing you want to do is look up whether Canada has any sort of "innoncent infringer" or "non-willful" infringement law and see how that might apply to the facts of your case.   But you can almost certainly discount any threats based on American law because you are in Canada.

One thing: Do not disclose an facts that might negatively impact your case. That is: if you don't know something, don't admit it to getty.  In your head practice stuff like 'I don't admit any fault. But I'm willing to negotiate what we can do to put this dispute behind us.  In that regard..... blah, blah".

Avoid any discussions on the phone. If NCS calls you, tell them to send you information in writing. (In this case, you might need to write back.) In fact: I might make the habit of screening all calls so you know if it's NCS before you pick up. Lots of people do this sort of thing anyway.  The fact is: you are not practices at knowing what you want to say and it's possible for someone with practice to get you confused and flustered on the phone. So: no phone.

Good luck!

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 05:28:05 PM »
NCS is a collection agaency, you don't have to deal with them at all, simply tell them to cease any contact or you will contact the FTC as this is a claim, not a debt, if they continue to contact, file a complaint against them..and file a complaint everytime thereafter, they will be fined for every instance under US Federal Law.

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..

ntawadrous

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 10:29:50 AM »
Thanks Lucia and Robert for your input and for the tips.

Lucia, I will never go into an argument via the phone with these people as I am not experienced to handle such arguments over the phone.  I express myself better with writing if I have to.

Thanks a lot and I will be updating this thread with whatever news I will get.

Regards

ntawadrous

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 02:13:58 PM »
Ok guys, I promised to keep updating this thread with any progress.  Today I received this email from the NCS Solutions and it made me really sick.  Here is the content of the email:

QUOTE:

"Subject: Getty Images/Neamat Tawadrous #164013

Settlement Offer: $2,650.00

Our office has already attempted to contact you on numerous occasions to resolve our client’s claim of the unauthorized use of their protected imagery.  Please be aware that copyright legislation provides for strict liability, regardless of your level of knowledge or intent.  You have been previously forwarded the website and URL where our client’s image appeared.  As the end user, your company is ultimately responsible to ensure that the appropriate licenses or rights to the image(s) have been obtained.  Please be aware that if you hired a third party web developer to design your website, your company is still responsible to ensure that the images that appears on your website have been licensed.  Additionally, if you have purchased or acquired images from a subscription service or a website that provides templates you are still liable to ensure that the imagery appearing on your website has been purchased.

Kindly advise of your intention within 10 days.  If we do not hear back from you within that time we will have no other choice than to assume that you do not wish to amicably resolve this matter with our office and we will return the file to our client’s legal department for further evaluation and escalation.

Thank you,

NCS IP Solutions
PO Box 50276
Sarasota, FL 34232
 
T(941)371-9900
F(941)371-9901
 
This is an effort to effect a settlement and any information obtained will be used for that purpose."
UNQUOTE

I was advised by an attorney not to get into any arguments or conversations with them or with Getty and he told me they will keep harassing and he advised to ignore it all until they actually sue me in court.

Any advises or suggestions or feed back.  I would love to hear from you and if anyone in Canada have been sued before, how did it go?

Looking forward to hear your input.

Neamat

stinger

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 05:01:22 PM »
I am not sure what is making you sick.

The thought that some collections company in FL is going to sue you in Canada?  Not gonna happen.  They even say so.  They are gonna tell Getty that they cannot collect.

Will Getty sue you over one image?  Highly unlikely, but possible.  What do they stand to gain?  What might they lose?

I am not an attorney, but I like the advise your attorney has given you.   This is not an issue for you until they sue.  The vast majority are threatened but never sued.  If you have taken down the image in question, I would suggest you not give it another thought.  And you can expect to keep hearing from them for about three years from their first contact.  That is just their business policy.  No amount of writing/cajoling will change their policy.  If you want to stop hearing from them, look into something like Oscar's letter program.

ntawadrous

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 06:20:18 PM »
Thanks Stinger, you really calmed me down and made my night with your response.  I want to say they were 3 images not one but as you said I will not give it another thought until they do sue me if it ever happened.

Thanks again.

NTawadrous

Nina

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2014, 08:10:31 PM »
I never heard from NCS again after I sent a letter to them in 2013 that basically stated the following:
 
1. the amount in question was not a debt but an invalid claim made by GI.  GI provided no proof as requested to validate this claim. 
2. you may not contact me again regarding this invalid claim
3. If your agency contacts me again, you will be in violation of FDCPA and will be reported to the FTC and State Atty General office

Thank you to the ELI website/forum.  It provided all the information I needed to respond to my extortion letters.

My three years passed without incident.  I sent one initial response letter to GI in 2011 requesting validation and ignored the two followup letters from them.  Then in 2013 I received a letter from NCS and sent the above response with no further contact.

Lettered

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2014, 09:02:34 PM »
Nina,

Well played!  And congratulations.

lucia

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2014, 09:36:30 PM »

3. If your agency contacts me again, you will be in violation of FDCPA and will be reported to the FTC and State Atty General office

That's USA, right?

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2014, 12:33:16 AM »
Yes, that is the USA, it is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or something close to it.  Matthew did a great post on it awhile back.

http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/getty-images-letter-forum/fair-debt-collection-practices-act-(eli-highlights)/

Worth the read.
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

Nina

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2014, 06:44:45 PM »
Quote
Well played!  And congratulations

Thank you!  To celebrate the end of the 3 year statute of limitations period, I made a contribution to ELI.

ntawadrous

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2014, 12:56:52 PM »
Hi Guys,

I promised to keep updating this thread with whatever comes up in my case.  I just got another email from the NCS IP Solutions today and here is what it says:

QUOTE:


Subject: Getty Images/Neamat Tawadrous #164013
Settlement Offer: $1,987.50

Our office has already attempted to contact you on numerous occasions to resolve our client’s claim of the unauthorized use of their protected imagery.  Please be aware that copyright legislation provides for strict liability, regardless of your level of knowledge or intent.  You have been previously forwarded the website and URL where our client’s image appeared.  As the end user, your company is ultimately responsible to ensure that the appropriate licenses or rights to the image(s) have been obtained.  Please be aware that if you hired a third party web developer to design your website, your company is still responsible to ensure that the images that appears on your website have been licensed.  Additionally, if you have purchased or acquired images from a subscription service or a website that provides templates you are still liable to ensure that the imagery appearing on your website has been purchased.

If an effort to resolve this situation our client has agreed to reduce their offer of settlement by 25% provided that your payment is received in our office by June 10, 2014.  Kindly forward your check for $1,987.50  to our Sarasota office.  We have attached an ACH form and credit card form to this email to help expedite your payment.   If we do not hear back from you within this time we will have no other choice than to assume that you do not wish to amicably resolve this matter with our office and we will return the file to our client’s legal department for further evaluation and escalation.

Thank you,

NCS IP Solutions
PO Box 50276
Sarasota, FL 34232

 
T(941)371-9900
F(941)371-9901
 
This is an effort to effect a settlement and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

UNQUOTE

I have been ignoring all their letters so far but I kind of feel worried whenever I get any emails or letters from them.

Any input, suggestions or opinions are most welcome.

Appreciate your time.

Be Blessed,


Neamat

stinger

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2014, 02:15:38 PM »
Getty and McCormack IP Law like to play the game of "If we don't hear from you, we will be forwarding this back to (the other party) and recommending legal action."  It's a great way to scare the crap out of someone.  And it must work because they keep doing it.

I, personnally wouldn't worry about it.  I think it is a scare tactic.  I am sure this has happened before.  Hopefully someone with Getty - NCS IP Solutions experience will chime in.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: I am a frustrated and sick to my stomach Canadian!! Help!!!!
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2014, 06:32:36 PM »
I agree with stinger.  I would send NSC a letter stating that it is claim and not a debt and not to contact you again or you will report them to the FTC.

I would consider filing a complaint against Getty with the Washington State Attorney General's Office and the BBB.  I would consider filing the same against McCormack IP Law plus the Washington Bar Association.  Do this only if you feel Getty and McCormack are not treating you fairly or are acting unethically (ie refusing to provide proof of claim to facilitate negotiation).
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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