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Author Topic: Lapixa copyright email received by client  (Read 6965 times)

web_dev_chick

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Lapixa copyright email received by client
« on: October 18, 2018, 05:53:15 PM »
Hi, All!

I'm curious about an email that a former client of mine received. I built a website for her about 18 months ago and used several images that I licensed through my account with Adobe Stock. She received an email this week from a company called Lapixa, who is claiming that one of these images is an "unauthorized use" of their client's work.

The email mentions "In the interest of avoiding litigation we would like to offer you a retroactive license to cover the use which has already occurred on your website, subject to compliance with the following conditions by November 8, 2018" with said conditions including removing the image from the site (which I have already done) and paying a "retroactive fee" of around $450.

I'm not entirely sure what to do. Adobe Stock does allow for transferral of license to employer/client, so do they have any kind of a case here? While I am no longer doing work for this client, I still want to keep former clients happy, because, you know, good references and all that.

Thanks for the help.

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Re: Lapixa copyright email received by client
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 06:40:40 PM »
You said you licensed it so the license is under your name and website, not your client.  So that is probably how the situation got flagged. It seems to me you just need to explain the situation of what happened. The image was obtained legitimately by you on behalf of the client. This happens frequently with contractors and their clients.  Get your proof of purchase/receipt where you did this.  It also helps if you are not using the image anywhere else.

Let us know how it turns out.

Hi, All!

I'm curious about an email that a former client of mine received. I built a website for her about 18 months ago and used several images that I licensed through my account with Adobe Stock. She received an email this week from a company called Lapixa, who is claiming that one of these images is an "unauthorized use" of their client's work.

The email mentions "In the interest of avoiding litigation we would like to offer you a retroactive license to cover the use which has already occurred on your website, subject to compliance with the following conditions by November 8, 2018" with said conditions including removing the image from the site (which I have already done) and paying a "retroactive fee" of around $450.

I'm not entirely sure what to do. Adobe Stock does allow for transferral of license to employer/client, so do they have any kind of a case here? While I am no longer doing work for this client, I still want to keep former clients happy, because, you know, good references and all that.

Thanks for the help.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 06:58:03 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.

web_dev_chick

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Re: Lapixa copyright email received by client
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 07:50:22 PM »
I appreciate the reassurance. I did provide her with the info/invoice on my site subscription and when the image was licensed and downloaded. Unfortunately, Adobe Stock doesn't provide much more than that for the images licensed through a monthly subscription, but hopefully it will do. I have not used the image anywhere else.

I'm very frustrated by all of this as I try to be super careful about only using images I have downloaded from stock sites with a purchase or subscription. Is there any way to prevent this from happening again? Or do I just have to continue to be prepared with documentation as needed?

And I will certainly post if I hear anything more from her on this.

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Re: Lapixa copyright email received by client
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 04:23:08 PM »
I have not heard about this Lapixa firm before.  Do you mind emailing it to me at matt30060 / gmail so I can have a look at it?

I appreciate the reassurance. I did provide her with the info/invoice on my site subscription and when the image was licensed and downloaded. Unfortunately, Adobe Stock doesn't provide much more than that for the images licensed through a monthly subscription, but hopefully it will do. I have not used the image anywhere else.

I'm very frustrated by all of this as I try to be super careful about only using images I have downloaded from stock sites with a purchase or subscription. Is there any way to prevent this from happening again? Or do I just have to continue to be prepared with documentation as needed?

And I will certainly post if I hear anything more from her on this.
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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Re: Lapixa copyright email received by client
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 12:29:36 AM »
A Lapixa letter was submitted to me for review so I had the opportunity to read it over.

Lapixa has a website and a contact page: https://lapixa.com/contact/

Based on the letter and website, Lapixa appears to be a German-based operation. However, they are claiming 25 New Chardon St, Boston, MA as its U.S. presence.  Based on this alone, most people in the U.S. don't have to worry too much about it. The name "Serge Licht, CEO" is signed on the letter.

Based on the one Napixa letter, they are asking payment for a "retroactive license" plus an "administration fee". I have never seen an "administration fee" in addition to a retroactive license fee before.

Another thing that Lapixa does is source "FotoQuote" which Lapixa claims to be "the industry standard photo pricing guide." The only thing I could find on FotoQuote is that it appears to be software developed by Cradox fotoSoftware.  Without seeing the software, it sounds to me anyone can buy the software and upload any kind of values into it.  As such, it does not strike to me as any real measurement of market value of any given photo.

In the context of ELI discussions, market value of photos are NOT what is listed on any website. It is actually what any given photo has been sold for. Of course, that is generally inaccessible to the public because the public never really know what prices real customers pay for any given image or in some cases, an image was ever sold at all!

For people in North America, I do not see Lapixa demand letters as any real threat at this early juncture. Things could change in the future but for now, this is my first awareness of Lapixa.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 12:18:20 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.

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Lapixa copyright email received by client
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2018, 11:00:45 AM »
Another thing that Lapixa does is source "FotoQuote" which Lapixa claims to be "the industry standard photo pricing guide." The only thing I could find on FotoQuote is that it appears to be software developed by Cradox fotoSoftware.  Without seeing the software, it sounds to me anyone can buy the software and upload any kind of values into it.  As such, it does not strike to me as any real measurement of market value of any given photo.

Myself, and many of my peers, rely on FotoQuote as the backbone of our licensing calculations, and their pricing engine is "baked in" to the professional photo hosting/sales platform Photoshelter, which is used by tens of thousands of working photographers worldwide, so (in my opinion) it's quite fair to describe the baseline fees they suggest to photographers as being industry standard, in the same way that other software tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, PhotoMechanic etc. are also commonly in use by tens of thousands of working shooters around the globe.

kingkendall

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Re: Lapixa copyright email received by client
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 10:15:23 AM »
As far as I'm concerned a software that determines the market value of a photo is bogus.  What determines "market value" of anything is the laws of supply and demand, not a software created by a photog organization to artificially create a market value.  for their worthless photos. 

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Lapixa copyright email received by client
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 07:14:04 PM »
As far as I'm concerned a software that determines the market value of a photo is bogus.  What determines "market value" of anything is the laws of supply and demand, not a software created by a photog organization to artificially create a market value.  for their worthless photos.

Salty, much?  ;D

Not to disabuse you of your notion but, as I said, tens of thousands of photographers just like me use fotoQuote and swear by it. Why? Well, their own website explains (emphasis added)

"Unlike other sources of stock photo prices based on solely on surveys, often with unverifiable data, fotoQuote’s prices were based on actual sales records.

The original 1992 prices in fotoQuote were based on research done over a 6-month period. To get accurate prices we reviewed thousands of confidential sales records from national stock agencies and photographers all across the US. We built a price grid and then checked back with experts in each category to be sure the prices were accurate. As a last step, we again checked the prices against thousands of actual sales records from agencies and photographers.

Since 1993 fotoQuote has been the stock photography pricing standard in North America. Often, when we would call photographers or agencies to check on their current prices for an update we would be told, “hang on, I’ll look it up. They were looking it up in fotoQuote!

For this latest version of fotoQuote we spent a year looking at every source of pricing that we could find. We spent a lot of time contacting photographers, going through the pile of notes and feedback from our customers, and scouring web sites and forums. We wanted to see what kind of problems photographers were having with pricing, and what kind of solutions were being suggested to solve them."

Matthew Chan

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Re: Lapixa copyright email received by client
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 12:29:59 AM »
DvG,

Let's assume you are correct about fotoQuote and its usage. For most letter recipients and even myself, we have no context to judge it one way or another. Thus far, we only have your word on this supposed industry standard. Maybe folks in European photo industry know about it.  But it is new to us here on ELI. I can tell you that here in the U.S., where most of the discussions are focused on, there isn't a person in the last 10 years that has breathed a word or passed any info about fotoQuote.

So, that seems to me, that in the U.S., the folks sending out demand letters either don't know about fotoQuote or it has little or no basis in this particular market.

I certainly have no reason to believe that anything you stated is incorrect. But I can't just go by "DvG told me this, so everyone needs to believe it." There is no disparagement intended but people on defense need to be skeptical and question everything in these letters. After all, they are using these letters to squeeze questionable money out of people.  After all, I think it has been shown there is a lot of dishonesty and misrepresentations used in the pursuit of many alleged infringements.

If there are links and info sources about fotoQuote you want to share with us, by all means, post it.  There is an info vacuum on fotoQuote. I only did a cursory Google search and found very little of any meaningful significance.
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.

 

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