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Author Topic: Need an opinion on a letter I received.  (Read 49324 times)

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #75 on: September 02, 2014, 02:04:53 PM »
When you state "I sourced the images" does that mean you obtained a license to use them? Just not having a website or taking down the site will not make this go away. You really should have gotten educated before" you contacted them, as you basically threw the ball on their side of the court, and they have already come back at you.. DO NOT speak with them, as if you are not educated you will likely tell them things they can use against you.. as far as your name and address, they probably pulled it form the domain whois info, which is likely outdated. Safe photos are either ones you create yourself, ones in the "public domain" ( not the same as royalty free!) , images that are availalbe via creative commons or images you obtain a license to use by purchasing them.
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..

Jerry Witt (mcfilms)

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #76 on: September 02, 2014, 11:07:24 PM »
Yeah, "sourced the images"... I don't know what that means.

Although I may be a super-genius, I am not a lawyer. So take my scribblings for what they are worth and get a real lawyer for real legal advice. But if you want media and design advice, please visit Motion City at http://motioncity.com.

Oscar Michelen

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #77 on: September 24, 2014, 03:25:41 PM »
Not making any money off the site will not be a defense and unless you "sourced" the images to a licensed vendor and paid for the appropriate license you likely will not have a defense to an infringement claim if the sue. Sanders Law does drop lawsuits on occasion as this thread has shown so be mindful of what you say to them and how you proceed. The first thing is to solidify how when and where you acquired the relevant image(s). 

ryan321

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #78 on: September 29, 2014, 01:40:36 PM »
Hi all,
It is regarding a social gossip website.  Sanders contacted me about images of celebrities that were showing up on the forums from BWP Media.  Users had hotlinked images from a large online news website and were just making general and gossip conversation about them (this website does not allow uploading).  I asked a friend about this and was told they are just attempting to extort money.  I've done some research around on this website and others and I'm up in the air about what to do about this.  I haven't contacted them.  Any advice about these people?

Jerry Witt (mcfilms)

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #79 on: September 29, 2014, 05:28:02 PM »
If your users truly hotlinked these images from another source, you have nothing to worry about. Search the site for "hotlinking" and especially pay attention to posts by Lucia and Oscar.
Although I may be a super-genius, I am not a lawyer. So take my scribblings for what they are worth and get a real lawyer for real legal advice. But if you want media and design advice, please visit Motion City at http://motioncity.com.

JLorimer

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #80 on: September 29, 2014, 08:19:32 PM »
I wouldn't worry at all if the images were hotlinked from other sources. It just goes to prove a theory most of us have had all along...they have no idea where the images come from.

stinger

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #81 on: September 29, 2014, 08:55:37 PM »
Lucia and Oscars posts will give you the reasoning why hot linking shouldn't worry you.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #82 on: September 30, 2014, 09:06:06 AM »
If users have no way of "uploading", then it's pretty safe to assume that the images in question were indeed hotlinked.
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..

ryan321

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #83 on: September 30, 2014, 05:45:32 PM »
Yes, all the images are hotlinked.  Thanks for the responses.

David_3

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #84 on: October 01, 2014, 06:02:42 AM »
A relative of mine recently received the letter from Sanders Law, PLLC. After reading this thread and some related materials, I have advised my relative not to respond to the letter or to contact Sanders. The letter listed 8 infringements but I noticed that a single copyright application number was used, so perhaps it is just a single infringement as the copyright appears to apply to a collection of photos. Half of those photos listed were duplicates so at most it would be 4. After the letter was received I made sure that the site has been taken down. The article in question containing the photos was a news article and as such the reproduction may qualify under the fair use defense.
Quote
'The Copyright Act allows
the unauthorized use of a copyrighted work “for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple
copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research." from "What You Need to Know Before Bringing a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit"' by Stefan Mentzer.
In this case, the initial infringement occurred BEFORE the copyright registration date and continued until the letter was received. And copyright registration occurred more than 3 months after the initial work was created. Based on these facts and my interpretation, I have hope to believe that statutory damages would not apply according to the theory presented in this article:

http://www.ipinbrief.com/ending-confusion-re-statutory-damages-i/
Quote
"Copyright holders mistakenly assert they are entitled to statutory damages for an infringement that occurs after they registered their work, even when this infringement continues a pattern of infringement that began before registration."
Oscar, would you care to comment on whether these interpretations sound reasonable, and what if anything I should be advising my relative to do from this point going forward? Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 06:07:32 AM by David_3 »

JLorimer

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #85 on: October 01, 2014, 12:13:08 PM »
Quote
The article in question containing the photos was a news article and as such the reproduction may qualify under the fair use defense.

Many things we think fall into fair use often do not. I wouldn't count on it. It's hard to say without actually seeing the article.

Quote
n this case, the initial infringement occurred BEFORE the copyright registration date and continued until the letter was received. And copyright registration occurred more than 3 months after the initial work was created.

This doesn't mean they still cannot seek damages for copyright violation. Registration only allows for statutory damages, which can be significantly higher than normal damages.

Personally, I would not ignore a paper letter. I would ignore an email, but not something sent in the mail, no matter how unprofessional it looks. Some will disagree, especially if it was not sent via registered/certified mail.

Spend some time reading around the forums and educating yourself a little more. This may only be the beginning.

JLorimer

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #86 on: October 01, 2014, 12:18:03 PM »
This post is just an update to document the general knowledge we have about Sanders. One person I have been speaking with recently sent Sanders a response letter. In it, she requested the actual URL of the image files instead of just a general URL that does not indicate the source. To my surprise, they did respond with direct URLs to the images in question.

To those who are receiving letters from Sanders, it is important to note that they may be stepping up their game a little bit. This information alone is not damning evidence. You should still press them and make them provide the necessary proof before discussing money. I believe they are responsible to provide considerably more evidence than this. Keep in mind that if they play ball and provide all that you ask for, it may be time to consider trying to work out an honest settlement.

David_3

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #87 on: October 01, 2014, 06:44:28 PM »
JLorimer, thanks for your reply. After looking into the source for the page in question, it looks like all the pictures were linked to the original site, and not uploaded to my relative's site. From what has been said recently, it appears that linking to an image is more favorable for my relative than uploading the image.

JLorimer

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #88 on: October 01, 2014, 10:48:49 PM »
Quote
JLorimer, thanks for your reply. After looking into the source for the page in question, it looks like all the pictures were linked to the original site, and not uploaded to my relative's site. From what has been said recently, it appears that linking to an image is more favorable for my relative than uploading the image.

In this case, I would totally ignore them.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Need an opinion on a letter I received.
« Reply #89 on: October 02, 2014, 12:29:16 PM »
Quote
JLorimer, thanks for your reply. After looking into the source for the page in question, it looks like all the pictures were linked to the original site, and not uploaded to my relative's site. From what has been said recently, it appears that linking to an image is more favorable for my relative than uploading the image.

In this case, I would totally ignore them.

Or consider filing a bar complaint & state attorney  complaint with whatever bar associations they are members of, it should be on them to do some simple fact checking before trying to squeeze money of out of anyone.
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..

 

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