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Author Topic: Received Letter From DeBoer IP  (Read 8403 times)

dh

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Received Letter From DeBoer IP
« on: September 06, 2013, 10:19:10 AM »
I have a plugin for WordPress and on this website I had a demo store to show how the product worked. I had grabbed some images off of Google Images several years ago. I got a letter in April about one of these images. I took the image down immediately. In the letter I received, they demanded $1810 and did post the copyright records for the image. I found ELI and decided to ignore the first letter. Especially when I received the letter and the address was handwritten (very poorly). I have now received a second demand letter and they are down to $780.

I've been looking at information about Innocent Infringement and it seems to me that since there was no way to find out that this image was copyrighted and that the image itself appears on hundreds of websites without any watermark, that this should pretty clearly be a case of innocent infringement.

My question: would it be better to ignore the letter or to engage with them? (This image was displayed to the user as a 50px image and I just can't believe that they'd actually go to court over such a ridiculous thing.)

(I also have tried to sign up with the Oscar's letter program but have not had any response to two emails.)

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Received Letter From DeBoer IP
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 11:09:19 AM »
Hard to say how this will go, being as we have never heard of DeBoer IP before, chances are good you'll just end up on the Merry-go-round like many others. Innocent infringement would only come into play IF it went to court, which is highly unlikely, the chances of the image being properly registered is also unlikely...they just want your money and will continue to harass you one way or another.
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

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dh

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Re: Received Letter From DeBoer IP
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 12:08:29 PM »
They did send a proof of copyright from the copyright office, but it's just a form that says: "Webshots Uploads" and some dates. "This group of photos appears within www.webshots.com". It's all from 2004. Can they just do something that generically? There doesn't seem to be any proof presented that this photo itself was specifically copyrighted.

Sigh.....

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Received Letter From DeBoer IP
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 01:36:01 PM »
I sent you a pm, chances are good the image is not properly registered, but we would need to see the documentation they said to know better.
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..

james231

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Re: Received Letter From DeBoer IP
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2014, 10:22:26 AM »
We just waited out the first letter and then the offer price dropped in half. I would suggest either ignoring the letters entirely or getting a friendly (an inexpensive) attorney to write a reply. They clearly don't want to go to court with this, so putting an attorney on this will help resolve quickly.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Received Letter From DeBoer IP
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 08:14:32 AM »
We just waited out the first letter and then the offer price dropped in half. I would suggest either ignoring the letters entirely or getting a friendly (an inexpensive) attorney to write a reply. They clearly don't want to go to court with this, so putting an attorney on this will help resolve quickly.

It should be noted, if you're going to hire " friendly" lawyer (inexpensive), this lawyer should be well versed in copyright law, we've seen it dozens of times, where someone hires a friend of a friend who is an injury attorney, or business attorney and it doesn't usually go very well.. The defense letter offered from Oscar Michelen, is not priced to be an affordable solution, but Oscar is a highly regarded and experienced IP attorney, not many of these trolls want to go up against him.
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..

lucia

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Re: Received Letter From DeBoer IP
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 02:27:50 PM »
Puzzling. I remembered "webshots" as the site that hosted many of Vincent K. Tyler's images.  I discussed webshots /Tyler here http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/hawaiian-letters-lawsuits-forum/free-baitpapers/msg4501/#msg4501

At that time, Webshots (2008), those uploading to webshots were presented a TOS that I archived here:
http://www.webcitation.org/64aiwTYIg
Quote
We are unable to license Webshots images to third parties; if you would like to use any of the images, you will need to contact the photographer directly through a link under the image on our website. Those needing assistance contacting the photographer or artist's representative, please contact photoeditor@webshots.com.
This sounds like web shots is NOT the exclusive representative for the photographers-- and so would not be able to sue on their behalf.

Quote
Grant of License

When you post or transmit Content on or through Webshots you grant Webshots, its parent company AG, their affiliates and partners a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, sub licensable, royalty-free license to use, store, display, publish, transmit, transfer, distribute, reproduce, create derivative works of and publicly perform that Content on and through each of the services provided by Webshots. Your photos and other content are your property and will only be used by Webshots in the same way they have always been unless you give us permission to do something else with them. The changes to the Terms reflect the change in ownership, not a change in use of your content. This license shall apply to the distribution and the storage of your Content in any form, medium, or technology now known or later developed. You may remove Content you have posted on or through Webshots at any time. When you do remove your Content, this license will automatically expire.

So here, the image creator would be licensing Webshots to do something.  But it's a non-exclusive license. So, I think this means Webshots can't sue on the part of the person who uploaded the image.  Webshots would have to claim to own the copyright themselves. But if so, presumably, they have a copyright on a compilation-- and all the complications entailed in that.

Mind you-- the language above is 2008. I don't know what it was in 2004. Also, Webshots might have been buying images outright in 2004. Who knows? 

We really won't know the validity of any copyright claim by Webshots unless they sue someone. Given the language in 2008, I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out their ducks are not in a row. But who knows?

 

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