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Author Topic: PicRights.com  (Read 64366 times)

Jafer

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2019, 08:00:53 AM »
Hello all,

I have just received a letter claiming that I have infringed on copyright laws that has been sent from PICRIGHTS on behalf of Agence France-Presse (AFP). I have contacted them(Picrights) where they referred me to their website and mentioned that my company was using images from Getty which led to their immediate removal from my website. I removed the photo as the price of paying for the images is rather high as I searched on getty images where other images were being sold for 385 pounds. I have tried to clarify this with all the agencies involved, who have repeatedly forwarded me to an email. After suspecting that this was a fraudulent letter I researched this and this thread has led me to believe that Picrights who have contacted me is simply a scam.

The line at the bottom was suspecting which was addressed from Anne Sinclair which is what some other users here have also received. As there is no registration within the UK of this company I have difficulty believing this is a genuine claim. I believe my two options are to contact AFP to see if there is an actual ongoing dispute or to simply ignore the letters from Picrights. The first letter I received today led to me contacting picrights who were requesting monetary compensation which I am unwilling to do at this point. Could anybody who has ignored similar letters confirm if further action was taken before I contact Agence France Presse. I am hoping that my removal of the images from my website is sufficient to not warrant any further action. Any advice regarding this would be greatly appreciated and I am able to provide further information about this if required. I am currently under the assumption that if I ignore them they will not pursue this further but I feel that simply ignoring them is likely to have severe consequences which is the main reason for my post.

Thanks and any advice whatsoever would be appreciated. Also, it may be worthy to note that a letter of "Cease and Desist" was not sent by them and the first contact they made was the demanding of payment rather than a warning, which further increases my doubt.

Keeping It Real

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2019, 03:50:53 PM »
Jafer

I'm still a newbie on here also, but not new to the extortion game having dealt with several myself.  You asked if you should ignore them? My answer is yes in my opinion since it worked well for me in all my circumstances.  And trust me they got pretty aggressive, including phone calls and snail mail. I ignored all of it.  Removed the images and went dark. 

The only problem that you may have is you didn't actually ignore them since you stated you contacted picrights from the first contact.  That is not truly going dark.  Now they know you have received their demand and know you are concerned no matter how you slice it.  You gave them the bait to continue to pursue you and they more than likely will.  Will it go anywhere if you stay dark from here on out?  Probably not, but the key to going dark is to never respond. 

Remove the offending image and ignore all else.  That is my best advice having dealt with similar over the past few years.  All went past the SOL and am currently waiting out another, but they have already gone over 3 weeks since the last weekly emails I was getting for a month before the holidays.  I actually held the license on mine but iStock either lost the license or deleted it once the company sold to Getty.  Not all is what it seems in all cases.  Ultimately, you'll need to decide if you have the guts to go silent and ride out the harassment. 

Best luck
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 03:57:22 PM by Keeping It Real »

Jafer

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2019, 07:50:45 AM »
Hello there,

Appreciate the response thank you so much for the advise. My issue is that they will proceed to take this matter further and if in the unlikely event it is a genuine letter I may be better off dealing with the issue sooner than later. Given your experience with dealing with similar extortion letters would you be able to identify if it is genuine or not based on the following details about the company demanding the payment and my situation:

Picrights appears to be working on behalf of a legitimate company called Agence Frances Presse which has the address of 11,13 Place De La Bourse, Paris, 75002, France (note I am in the UK so this is a foreign address and the letter was received via Air Mail but with a return address of JE1 1JP which falls outside both jurisdictions). However, the address for picrights itself is disputable but I have obtained details from company house that states the company that is registered in the UK Borehamwood WD6 1JN despite a different address on picrights website which lists Switzerland, Canada and only a PO Box in London  which is a different postcode to the registered company. Also it has one person (only) listed who is a French national by the name of Anne Quiliet and a capital valuation of 100 GBP which indicates this may be an illegitimate company only setup to extort money.

If it helps the following should be noted:
1. Somebody else organized my website for me where they mentioned there was a variety of sources for free images which was used, rather than copyright protected images which picrights is claiming.

2. The bank details provided has been on various documents I have researched which involve copyright disputes from other firms not just Agence Frances Presse, that uses the exact same bank details which is rather suspicious (NATWEST  SORT CODE 50-00-00 ACCOUNT NUMBER 29729785 PICRIGHTS). However, this could be genuine if picrights receives all the money on behalf of the company they are representing.

As there are conflicting addresses and two different names used within the claims I am struggling to figure out if this is a genuine claim as I do not want to put my company in a predicament that will result in further legitimate claims. However, I will not give in just yet given the nature of the scams reported on this thread so any response from you or anybody else who has dealt with similar issues would help alot and provide me with peace of mind. If I do choose to ignore them and go dark from here on out would there be any consequences given my initial contact with them?

Again, thank you so much for taking the time out to consider my issue and providing a response.

Keeping It Real

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2019, 11:13:33 AM »
Jafer,

Why would you want to give away your money even if the address or letter is legit?  All of mine were legit contacts and I stayed dark.  The layout of the letter is the same standard tactic these agencies use.  Yours is not special.  They all demand payment, they all show the image to make their claim.  Remember this is a claim by someone, not a legal order or judgment against you. 

In regard to someone else designing your website, doesn't matter, you are the owner of the site which makes you responsible party.  Not to be disrespectful, but the tone of your letter has a great deal of worry emphasized.  Perhaps you are unable to withstand their aggressive tactics to scare you into paying when you aren't even sure if they actually represent the image holder. 

If you are uncomfortable or the events give you a gut ache, then by all means pay it.  Just remember when you do something like that, you play into the hands of these image trolls.  You are a number and it is a numbers game.  If you succumb, then you were part of the low hanging fruit for them to go after.  I just heard from my troll again today after her not sending anything for over 3 weeks.  To give you an example of how you are just a number not worth notating important facts, in her latest letter to me she states the image in question is still up, yet in her letter dated first week in January, she states the image is down, but I still owe the $300.00.  I am no one to them but an easy mark if I were to give in. 

Plus the kicker is I owned the image in question purchased through iStock, but they sold to Getty and my license for this image mysteriously disappeared along with a few others.  What you should realize is the images may have been Royalty Free or not, can't say, but as has happened with me what was once a Royalty Free image became magically a Rights Managed image returned to the private party that may or may not have had a beef with Getty taking over iStock and decided to remove the licensing they had with them.  Who knows, but I won't be a pawn in their extortion game.

As in the past with these trolls, the letters get further apart as this one did and they will continue to do so, I am confident.  The dollar amount they are seeking is less than it would be to hire a legal rep, travel to my jurisdiction and file a lawsuit.  It is about weighing likelihoods with critical thinking.  Do your research as you have been doing and then decide what you can handle and cannot handle.  If you lose sleep over this stuff, then pay.  If you can gut it out and await the next troll letter and simply store copies without responding, then do that.  It is really about you and only you can decide what makes you sleep at night.

did some editing with time frames, not to mislead, but to not place exact dates due to this site is known to be monitored by these image trolls.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 02:48:13 PM by Keeping It Real »

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2019, 06:47:54 PM »
Good advice KIR, well said.. to the op, the letter is real, and everyone "pays something" sometimes it's money if  like KIR stated, you can't take the pestering, sometimes its simply time waiting out the SOL.. Remember this is a CLAIM, not a judgement.. I'm fairly sure if I claimed you owed me some amount of cash, you wouldn't just pony up..don't be the low hanging fruit..
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..

Jafer

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2019, 09:09:29 AM »
Thanks for the update I appreciate the feedback.

1.Currently they have offered a 20% discount so assumed it would be best to further this discount to see where it goes but I will cease contact after viewing this thread.
2.If there are court summons, do I have the chance to settle just before it actually goes to court?
3. It was unintentional, so image has now been removed. I am able to withstand their tactics but just so I am well aware & prepared I am just following it up


As you actually purchased the image you are probably in  stronger position to refuse any of their demands as you have legitimate grounds to base your views on.

Keeping It Real

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #66 on: January 31, 2019, 10:42:41 AM »
Hi Jafer,

You are on the right track with ignoring them.  Just hang in there once they realize you didn't fall for their discount offer, they will get pesky since you have had initial contact with some negotiating.  They have not shown proof they actually represent the artist or that it was not available before as a Royalty Free Image.  They have not proven you did anything wrong. 

As I stated in my last comment to you, mine began as a Royalty Free image and reverted to rights managed.  It also does not matter that I purchased it.  The license is gone after the Getty image takeover of iStock.  So without proof of my license then I am in same boat as anyone else that receives these extortion emails.  That is why I never respond but make sure I am not using an image they make claim to that is has become rights managed.  I have also learned a lesson in this and that is "to copy all of my old licenses" to prevent loss again.  Example, Fotolia was just purchased by Adobe and I will not continue with them as they are too expensive for imagery.  They have all of my licenses but disclaimer states, they won't promise to maintain them in the future.  So now I have copies of everything.

I recommend this to anyone that purchases images.  Never rely on the company to maintain your data of purchase.  Good Luck and hang tough!

Jafer

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #67 on: February 05, 2019, 07:36:05 AM »
Alright so as far as it seems I feel that ignoring them may solve the issue in the hope that they give up but could I ask if anybody reading this has ever had a lawsuit that has moved in the direction of actually going to court? (From Picrights preferably) If so, what were the steps in involved and how likely is it the court will accept their view rather than mine?

I appreciate all the feedback given as it has reassured me a great deal!


kingkendall

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Re: PicRights.com
« Reply #68 on: February 06, 2019, 10:33:11 AM »
The last thing a copyright troll lawyer wants is to see the inaide of a court room at trial.  That's not the business model.  They want the law hanging fruit, the people who get freaked out and pay up because they're so afraid of getting sued.  They want people who are fearful.  Which one do you wanna be?  Stop panicking read the forum and learn.   

 

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