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Author Topic: Reply referencing "The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 " & Getty Response  (Read 5049 times)

BSM

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Ok, I’ve been dealing with this for over a year now. They sent us 2 letters without a sending us a take-down notice sent first for two small images of hands shaking we got from a hosting companies website we were reselling for back in the day. When we received the first letter we removed the two images and contacted them saying the following:

Hi,
I received a letter demanding payment for 2 photos we had on our website which we got off the net. We were not aware they were copyrighted and we made no profit from the use of these 2 images. We are also a small home based business which even if we wanted to pay the amount we could not. We have now removed the images in question, with our apologies. Why was a take-down notice was not issued as per DMCA? I also don’t recognize your invoice as valid or legal. As to this issue we have removed them from our website and will no longer use them. We consider this issue closed.

Please Read:

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48)
“97.—(1) Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him, but without prejudice to any other remedy.”
“It is an offence under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 to harass of debtors with a view to obtaining payment including the issue of letters which convey a threat or false information with intent to cause distress or anxiety.”

The response we got from Getty was this:

Thank you for your attention to this matter, we are in receipt of your
letter dated January 08, 2008. Getty Images understands you are a small home based business and may have been unaware of copyright law. We are willing to work with your company in order to come to a fair and amicable resolution.

Unfortunately, that fact that your company made no profit from our
images is irrelevant, Getty Images only provides imagery but does not
take responsibility for how many hits your website receives or how much
profit your company makes. We are in the business of licensing
photography and we are looking out for our photographers well being.
A cease and desist notice was included with the settlement demand,
because of our contracts with our photographers, we must also come to a settlement agreement as well as have you remove the images in question.

The Patents Act of 1988 I irrelevant as Getty Images is not seeking
statutory damages, at this time Getty Images is only seeking to come to
an amicable settlement in order to pay back the photographer for his
work, and our third party for policing our imagery. We are in no way
seeking statutory damages.

Getty Images appreciates the removal of its represented images from your company’s website. However, removal of the images in question solves only part the issue, as Getty Images will continue to require full payment of the invoice to settle the matter and avoid further escalation.
Please be in touch with our department so we may come to a quick and amicable resolution.

As a result we were called by a company called NCS Recovery which is a collection agency. When the woman told us of Getty demanding payment for this we told them it is against the law what they are doing and she said how is that possible? When I told her:

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48)

“97.—(1) Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him, but without prejudice to any other remedy.”

“It is an offence under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 to harass of debtors with a view to obtaining payment including the issue of letters which convey a threat or false information with intent to cause distress or anxiety.”

Her reply was this is not a depth collection that they are calling to just settle this matter with Getty. We told them the matter was settled when we removed the 2 images in question and we are not paying a dime. She replied ok thank you for your time.

My advise to you is read the (C) law, they are required by law to send a removal letter first, by not doing this puts them in violation of the (C) Act.

Oscar Michelen

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Thanks so much for the post. I just want to remind our readers that you are talking about British Copyright Law and not US copyright Law.  While there are similarities, and innocent infringement is dealt with much differently than intentional infringement also in the US,  The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 does not apply in the US.  I like the way Getty completely ignored that the law you cite specificially states they have no claim for damages if the alleged infringement was innocent. I also can't believe that they are stating that they are not seeking statutory damages as they claiming those damages in the US. You should be aware that my search indicates that they have never filed lawsuit in the UK either. Thanks again for the post and keep up the good fight!

 

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