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Author Topic: Template Monster  (Read 7196 times)

aconfino

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Template Monster
« on: January 29, 2012, 03:18:39 PM »
I wanted to encourage others with my story regarding the dreaded Getty Image letter.  I've been designing websites as a side business for 10 years.  I've always been careful to use stock photos and have used template monster layouts as a starting point for many clients.

One of my former clients sold his company and the new owner received a letter from Getty.  Needless to say the new owner was very upset and let me know that he was seriously considering paying Getty and suing me for damages plus his legal fees.  (I received more than one email from his lawyer).  To add insult to injury, the last time the disputed image was on his site was nearly two years ago.  To make a very long story short, I was able to trace the image back to a template I purchased in 2005 and managed to get a copy of the invoice from Template Monster (whose customer service very helpful).  Once I produced the receipt, the next day Getty Images dropped the case.  This entire ordeal lasted two months and caused everyone involved a great deal of stress.

To sum it all up: Getty sells rights to their libraries to many third parties such as Template Monster but acts as if they don't.  Getty would like you to believe that if you can't produce an receipt from www.gettyimages.com you are a thief and will end up in court.  It is deplorable that Getty waited nearly two years to dispute the image and that I had to prove my innocence with receipts from over seven years ago.  This is a complete scam.

If you are going through this ordeal, you have my sincere sympathy.  Please don't reward Getty's detestable business practices buy paying the extortion letter.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 03:21:47 PM by aconfino »

Peeved

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Re: Template Monster
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 03:37:14 PM »
So glad to hear that it all worked out for you. Imagine if you had not found the receipts. Another despicable example of "extortion" at it's best!

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Template Monster
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 03:57:08 PM »
Template Monster signed an agreement with Getty Images AFTER being sued by Corbis for using unlicensed images in their templates. I heard or read somewhere a suit from Getty was in the works, but they entered into an agreement before hand. Part of this agreement is that they (TM)settle any issues directly with Getty , which has not always been the case .

From the TM site: Important info: In case you receive a copyright claim from Getty images about the alleged unauthorized use of images in a website based on template you’ve purchased from us, please be sure to contact us at steve.chizmar |at| templatemonster.com. Our legal representatives will handle the issue for you.


Basically TM was infringing on copyrights not only of Corbis, but Getty, and others.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 04:55:33 PM by Matthew Chan »
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..

Oscar Michelen

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Re: Template Monster
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 07:26:29 PM »
TM has long had the policy that they will handle Getty claims on behalf of folks who used their templates - provided however you can prove you purchased a TM template. Thats the problem - so many people do not keep track of those purchases and cant find the proof when they need it. 

havenotreceivedaletter

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Re: Template Monster
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 08:20:59 PM »
Most people, myself included I am sorry to say, do not save receipts or keep track of things.  That can very well be a serious downfall.

kenc

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Re: Template Monster
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 12:25:59 PM »
Good news, after forwarding screencap proof-of-purchase info from (template site) to (image site that sends out letters w/bills), their contact person got the case closed within 2 weeks.  It's quite irritating, this whole mess.  Would've been better to just get a C&D from them, to responsibly respond to; if they had moved forward I would've had our atty filed both AG complaints and FTC complaints vs (image and template sites), repeatedly, until this was resolved in my favor.  I'm notoriously litigious, having won multiple cases; I would very likely have filed a class action using Righthaven case precedent vs (image site) as well, had they persisted.   

Thanks guys for running this site, it provided some peace of mind during this now thankfully-over ordeal.   Lesson learned: never use images in templates again on sites, only use licensed ones from specific stock photo sites (and save proof of purchases).  And (image site) if you're reading this; come on, just send C&Ds vs outright claims for thousands of dollars, (like Righthaven did, see where it got them? New case law precedent is not in favor of the "bill them without C&D" biz model, so it wouldn't hold up in court, imho).   I respect IP rights and spend a fortune on RF content, I'm one of the good guys, got caught up in this "I used a template in good faith, then got a letter even though I had no idea the template company was using uncleared images".  A judge would've found in my favor, and I'd have countersued for lost work time + atty fees + damages via class action.   Anyways, I hope the voice of reason prevails moving forward, for everyone's sake.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 12:35:27 PM by kenc »

 

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