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Author Topic: McCormack Threats Continue  (Read 3176 times)

ECA317

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McCormack Threats Continue
« on: November 17, 2014, 12:09:19 PM »
In 2004 I wanted to create a website but didn't have the skills necessary to do so.  I literally typed "free website templates" into Google and was able to find a website that allowed me to download a website template.  I think all I needed to do was take a marketing survey in order to obtain the template.  At the time I was beginning to learn FrontPage.  I never got around to creating the website but I did have it saved on my hard drive.  Fast forward to 2009. I needed to create a website that marketed my freelance programming skills.  While in the middle of a frustrating attempt to create a website, I found the website template I downloaded back in 2004 and just decided to use that to save myself some time.  I also liked it better that the one I had tried to create.  To make a long story short the template had a banner with two images that are small and barely noticeable.  They are so generic in nature that I barely noticed them as they are a part of a background in the banner.  I just thought that they were pulled from the Microsoft clipart that is a part of FrontPage.  Well, it turns out that Getty through their SpyBot found the images and have claimed damages of $2,200.  I got the first letter two and a half years ago.  I made the mistake of engaging them, I never admitted guilt.  I asked for proof that they owned the rights to the images back in 2004, but they refused to provide any copyright proof of any kind.  Although I didn't tell them this, I refuse to pay them without proof given that over the last few years photographers have sued Getty for distributing their images without their permission.  Given the current landscape it seems crazy to pay them anything without proof.  The demands are exorbitant given the lack of intent and the actual images themselves.  I hadn't heard from Getty/McCormack in about a year, but just got a letter last week making the same demand for $2,200.  I guess my question is whether anyone else has had a similar experience and if there is any advice for me going forward.

stinger

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Re: McCormack Threats Continue
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 12:32:44 PM »
  • Take down the offending images.
  • The Statute of Limitations is 3 years from the time Getty discovers the mis-use.  If their first letter was 2.5 years ago, you only have 6 months left.  If you have server logs, you may be able to find when picscout crawled your page which would be proof that Getty may have known of the issue more than 2.5 years ago.

It is my belief that over the years Getty has changed their policy with respect to images.  There are lots of years here between the time you got the image and the time they accused you of misuse.  In that time, Getty has gone public, then, private, at least once, and possibly more.  How they distributed images in 2004 is different than how they do so today.  They have removed access to copies of certain web pages prior to 2009 on the wayback machine.  My thought is, if I were in your shoes, I would wait out the SOL.  If Getty should file anything, I would give them hell, but I don't expect they will as, they must know the images that are frequent offenders and must suspect that they were complicit in seeding the market with those images.

Good luck.  Their is lots of good info on this site to educate yourself about Getty.  Take advantage of it and don't worry to much unless they actually do something.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: McCormack Threats Continue
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 01:40:01 PM »
I concur with Stinger on this, you are almost there, just hold on 6 more months. 
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

Oscar Michelen

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Re: McCormack Threats Continue
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 09:53:51 PM »
Just wanted to clarify that the safest date for the start of the three year period is not when Getty sends you the letter but when you take the images down. As for how to deal with McCormack, there are tons of posts about Tim and his demand letters on ELI. Read, get educated and reach out for help if want assistance 

stinger

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Re: McCormack Threats Continue
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 08:52:02 AM »
Thanks for that clarification Oscar!

 

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