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Author Topic: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.  (Read 6608 times)

basetraining

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Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« on: June 05, 2013, 03:59:06 PM »
Hi everyone.  I have done some reading on this forum and I appreciate all of the info that everyone has given.  I decided to go ahead and respond to Getty with a letter and have now received their response.  It was exactly as I expected it to be.  Would love some feedback on it all.

Background:  I was backlinking a post for a friend and used the same image she had on her post for the little summary I did on the backlink.  Getty came after me (not her) for the image that I copied from her site.  They want $790 in damages.  Here was my response in letter form:

___________________________________________________
To Whom It May Concern:
We have received your letters dated April 9, 2013 and May 10, 2013 with respect to unauthorized use of an image on our website.  We are very sorry indeed for any copyright infringement that may have occurred regarding this matter.  We will provide a little background on the image and post in question so that you may understand how it came to be on our site.
The image in question (image 10181034) was used in url:  http://www.tribasetraining.com/main/exercise-your-friend-or-your-nemesis.  The post using the image (url above) was a backlink post requested by another website.  We used the image that was on the site on the post we were backlinking to.  url:  http://getfitwithnicola.com/exercise-your-friend-or-your-nemesis/
The use of this image has in no way brought us any commercial gain and we have removed the image completely from my site and servers.  We do understand that your letter mentions that removing the images does not release us from any responsibility that may exist to pay for damages.  However, in light of the circumstances of how this image was used we are asking that we at a minimum open negotiation for the amount of the infraction.  In addition, we are asking to see evidence as to ownership or exclusive license of the image in question.

We request the following information to make sure that Getty Images has standing to pursue any claim or negotiate any settlement and to assess whether the suggested amount of the settlement would be reasonable.
1.   A copy or proof of the copyright registration of the image in question.
2.   A copy or proof of paperwork from the photographer that transfers copyright to Getty Images.
3.   The date which Getty Images claims the image entered their library.
4.   Sales records, including all fees, of the image.
5.   The method in which the amount for settlement demand was determined.


We look forward to your response and to coming to a mutual agreement on this matter in the near future.
_______________________________________________________________

Here is Getty's response:

_______________________________________________________________

Dear Ryan Chapman,

 

Thank you for your recent letter, copy attached. As you may know, Getty Images represents the world’s leading photographers and licenses their work to provide visual imagery to its customers. The image at issue in this settlement is a Rights-managed image, exclusively available for license through Getty Images and would have required the appropriate licensing prior to its use on your website. Getty Images has been unable to find the necessary licenses for this use.

To clarify, Getty Images represents the photographer who owns the copyright in the imagery. This representation includes the privilege to license their intellectual property and the obligation to protect it from unauthorized use, known as copyright infringement. Rights Managed images, such as the one at issue, are exclusive to Getty Images and available for license only through our website.

Please keep in mind that the copyright exists the moment the photograph is created.  All copyrights for images represented exclusively by Getty Images are held by either the photographer or Getty Images.  Pursuant to our contracts with contributing photographers, Getty Images holds the exclusive right to enforce those copyrights.

The requested proof that we represent the copyright owner would be made apparent through discovery, should the matter reach the court. We have chosen to try to quickly close unauthorized use cases such as this by avoiding the burden and cost of litigation. As you know, registration are not required with respect to settlement, especially when the damages we seek are based on what Getty Images and its represented photographer have been injured as a result of BASE Training’s unauthorized use and now seeks to be made whole. These damages are calculated by the lost licensing fees, including our costs of enforcement. Had BASE Training not infringed on our represented photographer’s copyrights, we would not be attempting to recover these fees and the added efforts to pursue this unauthorized use matter.

You can confirm that this image is represented by Getty Images by going to www.gettyimages.com and entering the image number 10181034, the image appears under The Image Bank brand. Getty Images is unable to provide further evidence at this time.

 

Absent proof of a valid web license, the balance on the settlement demand presented remains due.  The terms of this settlement offer shall be kept confidential, except as may be required by law.  Getty Images expressly reserves all rights and remedies available under copyright law. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

 
_________________________________________________________

My thought is to respond and reiterate that they have not given me any legal proof that they have rights to the image and then not respond any further. 

Thoughts?
Thanks for any help in advance.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 04:08:06 PM »
a. you admitted guilt in writing...never a good thing, regardless if you are guilty or not..it is up to them to prove their case...you just proved it for them.

b. you threw your friend under the bus...who knows is this site had a valid license...the sharks will be heading over there shortly..

c. getty will not supply you with any information, especially since you "explained how the image came to be on your site"

They will continue to hound you, first Getty, then NCS, then McCormack Legal....just my thoughts
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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stinger

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 04:19:03 PM »
Robert is correct that you did throw yourself and your friend under the bus with that letter.

However, I would continue to re-iterate that a photo on their web site proves nothing, and continue to ask for the five items mentioned in your letter.

I would also make clear to them that you cannot consider this a legitimate request without those things.  Lastly, I would tell them that any further communication on this matter without those things will be considered harassment.  Let them know how you will deal with them for that harassment and then be sure to follow through.  Do not make empty threats for they will see them for what they are.

As an alternative, if you don't want to get into the possible 3 year letter writing battle that may ensue, you should consider Oscar's letter program.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 04:20:58 PM by stinger »

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 05:59:51 PM »
Firstly, you have a measure of my sympathy for the fact you find yourself in this position. What I write below is from my own perspective as a photographer whose own works are regularly infringed upon, so do bear this in mind.

Here's what I can tell you about your situation; the photographer, Chris Cole, is based in the UK... so there's not going to be any registration certificate as there's no copyright registration system in the UK; copyright is automatic at the time of the creation of the photograph.

Getty still can bring an action in the US on Cole's behalf assuming either a) his contract has that provision or b) Getty get his approval prior to filing suit.

Getty aren't going to hand over a copy of Cole's contract to you as that's private and confidential and they've alluded to this (the part where documents would be produced during discovery ahead of trial) but point b) makes that moot anyway.

Also, as Cole is a UK resident, there would be no need for him or Getty to file a registration within three months of first publishing (a "timely" registration) for statutory damages to be sought; Cole will be sending his images to the UK office of Getty, so the country of first publication would be the UK - so Berne Convention terms apply for litigation purposes.

Using a combination of Google's Search by Image function and the TinEye reverse image search engine, I discovered in short order that Getty is indeed the only image library that has this particular photograph available for licensing.

I've looked at the image in question and a one month, low resolution web use license came out at ÂŁ288.00, or approximately $443.71. Getty's claim for $790 will include that "lost" license fee and I note they've stated as such in their reply to you, even if they haven't cited the fee itself.

Whether you personally believe the image is worth that doesn't enter into the equation - it's what the photographer and Getty have set the price point at. Getty will state that image users have the freedom to choose the sources for their images, as well as the price they pay, much like a New Yorker can choose to eat at McDonalds for a dollar, or walk to Serendipity 3 and pay $295 for their extravagant creation. At their core, both are ground beef between two buns... and you could also choose not to eat.

Also, another thing that doesn't factor is the sales history for that particular image: maybe it's been licensed dozens of times, or maybe it's never been licensed at all. None of this factors in an infringement lawsuit - all that the courts assess is what fee the image was offered for license at... and even then, that would only be in a Actual Damages & Profits claim.

I have thousands of photographs in my archives which have never been used by any of my clients; there are 'popular' images that have been licensed many times for varying fees, and I have on occasion licensed a few select photographs for four-figure sums.

I know that you feel stung because your actions in linking to the page on getfitwithnicola.com with the best of intentions and you likely did not realise that you were exposing yourself to liability when you also included the photograph in question... but US copyright law is a "strict liability" tort, which means that your intentions don't factor into the legal process.

I'd also like to touch on the term "innocent infringement" that gets thrown around a lot; this is referenced in 17 USC § 504.

"In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200."

Note the infringer sustains the burden of proving portion: this means going to trial and stating your case infront of a jury.

Also, the court may reduce the damages to just $200... or they might not. There's a mistaken belief held by many that proving an innocent infringement means that the courts will award no more than $200.

The fact is they could award any sum starting at $200, rising up to and including what the plaintiff was seeking (which will depend on whether they're seeking Actual Profits & Damages or Statutory Damages)

Personally speaking - and I cannot stress the personal part enough - I think that offering to settle for somewhere between the "lost" license fee and what Getty are asking for would be a good compromise.

The other replies to this thread are valid too - you could choose to ignore their claim and the demands that will follow, as well as the possibility of suit being filed, for the duration of the next three years (that's the statute of limitations for bringing a copyright action in the US Courts: three years from the date of discovery of the infringement), or you could dispute the claim either directly or via representation of some means.

Just my €0.02 worth.

Jerry Witt (mcfilms)

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2013, 01:45:14 PM »
DvG, I think you are giving some one-sided opinion here. Here are a few replies based on my opinion. (I'm not a lawyer, but I have been studying this for a while.)

Getty still can bring an action in the US on Cole's behalf assuming either a) his contract has that provision or b) Getty get his approval prior to filing suit.

Indeed they can. But at least one US court has determined that they would be precluded from collecting statutory damages and/or attorney's fees for any infringement occurring before registration.

Quote
Getty aren't going to hand over a copy of Cole's contract to you as that's private and confidential and they've alluded to this (the part where documents would be produced during discovery ahead of trial) but point b) makes that moot anyway.

That may well be their decision. However the O.P. is within their rights to demand such documentation. Getty could ask for a confidentiality agreement and the O.P. could sign that. However by not making this vital information available will prevent a business owner from deciding if this claim is legitimate or not.
Quote
Also, as Cole is a UK resident, there would be no need for him or Getty to file a registration within three months of first publishing (a "timely" registration) for statutory damages to be sought; Cole will be sending his images to the UK office of Getty, so the country of first publication would be the UK - so Berne Convention terms apply for litigation purposes.
Again, courts in the United States appear to disagree with you.

Quote
Also, another thing that doesn't factor is the sales history for that particular image: maybe it's been licensed dozens of times, or maybe it's never been licensed at all. None of this factors in an infringement lawsuit - all that the courts assess is what fee the image was offered for license at... and even then, that would only be in a Actual Damages & Profits claim.
Not true. If an image has never been licensed and you can show the court dozens of examples available for license at a fraction of the price being sought, the court will weigh this in determining the value of the image. One cannot simply state, "oh that one, we were trying to license that one for $10,000."
Quote
I have thousands of photographs in my archives which have never been used by any of my clients; there are 'popular' images that have been licensed many times for varying fees, and I have on occasion licensed a few select photographs for four-figure sums.
Oh boy... here we go with the hamburger analogy again...
Quote
I'd also like to touch on the term "innocent infringement" that gets thrown around a lot; this is referenced in 17 USC § 504.

"In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200."

Note the infringer sustains the burden of proving portion: this means going to trial and stating your case infront of a jury.

Also, the court may reduce the damages to just $200... or they might not. There's a mistaken belief held by many that proving an innocent infringement means that the courts will award no more than $200.

The fact is they could award any sum starting at $200, rising up to and including what the plaintiff was seeking (which will depend on whether they're seeking Actual Profits & Damages or Statutory Damages)
The O.P could also discover that the stock company did not have exclusive rights to the image. (We don't know because the contracts are not provided.) The judge may decide this was just a blog about health and fitness and he MAY find it was Fair Use. (A long shot, but possible.) The point is that although you say a court proceeding could lead to a charge of $200 and up, I am pointing out that the real range is $0 and up.
Quote
Personally speaking - and I cannot stress the personal part enough - I think that offering to settle for somewhere between the "lost" license fee and what Getty are asking for would be a good compromise.

The other replies to this thread are valid too - you could choose to ignore their claim and the demands that will follow, as well as the possibility of suit being filed, for the duration of the next three years (that's the statute of limitations for bringing a copyright action in the US Courts: three years from the date of discovery of the infringement), or you could dispute the claim either directly or via representation of some means.

Just my €0.02 worth.

Personally my number would be $350. And that is because the O.P. basically admitted to using the image right off the bat.

and that's my 2¢.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 01:48:01 PM by Jerry Witt (mcfilms) »
Although I may be a super-genius, I am not a lawyer. So take my scribblings for what they are worth and get a real lawyer for real legal advice. But if you want media and design advice, please visit Motion City at http://motioncity.com.

SoylentGreen

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 05:06:47 PM »
With regard to DvG's posting; it's fairly detailed, but pretty flawed.

In fact, DvG sounds a LOT like that Helpi/Photographer person that used to troll on here with that "strict liability tort" horseshit.
While it IS a "strict liability tort", the plaintiff MUST PROVE that he/she owns and has registered in the content in question in the US.
Next, there'd have to be a foray in court.  The plaintiff would have to "win" to have any hope of getting a settlement.
THEN, and only then comes "liability".  Please DO NOT put "liability" before "Proof", lest you look like a filthy troll.

Without a valid, correct registration with the US Copyright office, neither the owner of the content, nor Getty stands to gain much at all.  Period. 
Additionally, keep in mind that even if "exclusive rights" are conveyed to Getty, SOMEBODY has to properly register the content in question, otherwise there's nothing to be gained in court, or otherwise.
Keep in mind that Getty has lost in the past because of non-existent registrations, and faulty transfer of rights.
If they can't prove that they own the content outright, or have the actual content owner enjoin the suit, they lose every time.

If you intend to sue in a US court, US Copyright Law supersedes Berne.
It's my understanding that US infringement claims are decided by a judge, and not a "jury".

IF Getty or anybody else refuses to provide proof of registration to a US resident accused of infringement, then it's simply "copyright trolling".
End of story.

S.G.


« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 05:17:41 PM by SoylentGreen »

lucia

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2013, 12:48:44 PM »
Here's what I can tell you about your situation; the photographer, Chris Cole, is based in the UK... so there's not going to be any registration certificate as there's no copyright registration system in the UK; copyright is automatic at the time of the creation of the photograph.
Copyright is also automatic in the US. However, statutory damages require the photographs to be registered. As far as I am aware, there is no exemption for artists who happen to work in other countries.  So, even though failure to register will not vitiate copyright in the US, it will affect the potential that heavy damages will be levied.  This is where discussing the issue with someone like Oscar who practices in the US can matter.

Getty aren't going to hand over a copy of Cole's contract to you as that's private and confidential and they've alluded to this (the part where documents would be produced during discovery ahead of trial) but point b) makes that moot anyway.
No. But as previously noted: Getty could write their contracts with a caveat that permitted them to show the contract when they approach a suspected infringer. It appears they don't do so-- that's their choice, not an immutable law of the universe. Also: They could request the photographer to grant permission.

Getty being unwilling to provide information that matters during settlement negotiations might influence a judge. Also: if the contract is flawed, Getty will lose in court.  A person negotiating can bear this in mind given that Getty has in the past been very sloppy with contracts.   If Getty does not show the contract, the person who receives a letter can decide what risk they are taking. If Getty provided an iron clad contract, they would be more likely to just settle.


Also, as Cole is a UK resident, there would be no need for him or Getty to file a registration within three months of first publishing (a "timely" registration) for statutory damages to be sought; Cole will be sending his images to the UK office of Getty, so the country of first publication would be the UK - so Berne Convention terms apply for litigation purposes.
That might hold if they are going to sue in "international court". But in US courts, judges apply US law.


Using a combination of Google's Search by Image function and the TinEye reverse image search engine, I discovered in short order that Getty is indeed the only image library that has this particular photograph available for licensing.
This is not as foolproof as you might think. Some photo sites block spiders from crawling. In those cases, TinEye will not find the image. However: if the images is only Getty, then that's going to be a factor in Getty's favor.

I've looked at the image in question and a one month, low resolution web use license came out at ÂŁ288.00, or approximately $443.71. Getty's claim for $790 will include that "lost" license fee and I note they've stated as such in their reply to you, even if they haven't cited the fee itself.
In court, Getty will need to show that they actually have licensed images for the fees they demand.   If they do get those fees, then this fee will be in Getty's favor. If it turns out that many of the images are never licensed... not so much.  Once again: this would be a risk the accused infringer would be having to consider.

Whether you personally believe the image is worth that doesn't enter into the equation - it's what the photographer and Getty have set the price point at.
No. In court, the market sets the price point. Getty is going to have to show the images do sell to someone for that price.  This may seem like a distinction without a difference. It would be if everything is listed near a real sale price. But you need only take out a search for collectibles on ebay to realize that virtually identical items are listed at a huge range of prices and if you watch the higher listings they don't sell. (They will often be relisted-- and still not sell.)  I know this because I have a 1960s era formal china set and want to accumulate platters, gravy boats and so on.  The Lenox Rhodora gravy boat listed at $153 here will not sell.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Lenox+rhodora+gravy+boat&_sacat=0&_from=R40
(Chances are the $50 ones won't sell either.  They might at Christmas, but not now. I have a watch on these, waited 6 months and bought one for $20.99. I was the only bidder.)

Getty will state that image users have the freedom to choose the sources for their images, as well as the price they pay, much like a New Yorker can choose to eat at McDonalds for a dollar, or walk to Serendipity 3 and pay $295 for their extravagant creation. At their core, both are ground beef between two buns... and you could also choose not to eat.
Yes. But you are arguing by analogy and others are likely more apt. For example: Say the person listing the gravy boat for $153 finds no one to buy it at that price. Suppose that after the listing closes, the person listing the item  breaks their gravy boat. Now suppose being insured, they submit a bill for $153 to their insurance company. The insurance company is likely to notice that I bought an indistinguishable gravy boat for $20.99 only last week. So the established value is closer to $20.99.  Failing that they could notice that several gravy boats are listed near $50 today. So, a replacement can easily be had for $50. No judge is going to insist the insurance company pay $153 merely because the owner of the gravy boat was not willing to part with it for less. They will find a fair market price which is going to be somewhere between $20.99 and $50.  With that money, the person could buy a gravy boat and then continue to try to sell it for $153. (They will likely continue to fail. Though, with ebay, you never know. Some people don't understand the system and do buy at ridiculous prices. It's not the majority of buyers though.)

In your analogy about the restaurants, the only reason the market value of the burgers at the restaurant is accepted as $295 is because customers are buying them. If no one is buying the a burger, the chef puts on on a table in front of the lone waiter who has decided to chow down having been given free burgers as a 'perk' for working at the restaurant, and the UPS guy drops a package on the burger, no court would award the restaurant $295 in damages for the loss of the burger would not be the 'market value' even if that was the list price on the menu. (I'm not even sure a judge would award the restaurant $295 if it was a customer's burger. They likely would if the customer had to leave and so didn't pay for dinner-- resulting in an actual loss. But they might not if the customer waited for a replacement burger.)

Also, another thing that doesn't factor is the sales history for that particular image: maybe it's been licensed dozens of times, or maybe it's never been licensed at all. None of this factors in an infringement lawsuit - all that the courts assess is what fee the image was offered for license at... and even then, that would only be in a Actual Damages & Profits claim.
I believe you are simply wrong. If a company could be shown to have a listing service that posted items -- or even categories of items at prices resulted in zero sales a judge would take that into consideration. Because the judge considers the actual damages and profits not just an amount the photographer or Getty hoped they could make (if only there were any consumers who would buy at that price.)

Though I would defer to Oscar's judgement on this, if the dispute were to reach court and the issue of damages is raised, the judge would want to Getty to show that either
(a) this specific photo does sell at the listed price,
(b) this photographers photos sell at the listed price  (say at least 3% in that authors catalog?) or
(c) at least a sizable number of images in the collection  sell at the listed price .

Evidence of (a) would carry the most weight in favor, (c) less. Of course, amount of time the images is listed would matter to. (Even a good image might not sell in only a few days. But an individual image listed for 5 years with no sales? Or a photographer listing 50 images for 5 years with none ever selling at the list price?  The first would be proof the listed price is not the market price for that image. The second would constitute proof the listed prices is not the market price for any of the images.  The photographer would not be 'damaged' at the level suggested by the listed price because no one will buy at that price.


I have thousands of photographs in my archives which have never been used by any of my clients; there are 'popular' images that have been licensed many times for varying fees, and I have on occasion licensed a few select photographs for four-figure sums.
Yes. But you can show (b).  Many of the images in your archives sell and for large sums. Moreover, based on previous thread, you often have contracts in place when you shoot photographs. This matters even if no one later buys the image

I'd also like to touch on the term "innocent infringement" that gets thrown around a lot; this is referenced in 17 USC § 504.

"In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200."

Note the infringer sustains the burden of proving portion: this means going to trial and stating your case infront of a jury.
Yep. (Though possibly just a judge. Juries aren't required in all court cases). But note: this is a limitation of statutory damages. Getty won't get those at all unless the image was registered. So, if the images wasn't registered, the infringer doesn't have to prove this burden because there will be no statutory damages. At. All.

As for the rest: I don't disagree though I might quibble about the appropriate amount to offer. (After all: I dispute the notion that the market value is whatever someone asks. Asking price is not sufficient to establish a market value in most venues: housing, collectibles and so on. Sales prices do.)
 I think in cases where an infringement occurred, you know the photographer did take the photo and so on, some settlement is appropriate.  It's not clear what that should be-- knowing sales prices and whether it's registered would help pin that down both as a matter of fairness and estimating the risk of loss should Getty sue.

SoylentGreen

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 03:15:32 PM »
Great responses to obvious troll DvG.

I'd like to add something.
It's technically true that Getty (and others) don't have to provide proof of registration or contracts to those that they accuse of infringement.

But, this tactic only works if they can scare the accused into paying without them ever seeing any proof.
Obviously, many people simply don't pay unless they receive verifiable proof of wrongdoing.

Even more importantly, no lawsuit will make it to court without proof, which must be submitted before trial.
Otherwise, such a suit would likely be rejected in a summary judgement.

S.G.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 06:04:00 PM »
You know you miss helpi SG  ;)
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

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SoylentGreen

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2013, 06:26:25 PM »
I miss him like a Getty class action lawsuit thread. lol

S.G.


Oscar Michelen

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Re: Thoughts on my Response to Getty Images. Next step.
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2013, 09:44:58 PM »
As I was reading DvG's post, I was getting ready to write a lengthy point by point response, but Jerry, SG and lucia nailed it perfectly.  Getty would not be able to claim a penny above actual damages in a US lawsuit as the image was not registered in the US copyright office at the time of the alleged infringement. Therefore, if you believe the license fee is $350, then you should say they can only get $350. But contrary to DvG's assertions, the license fee is not the "be all and end all" of  the damages issue. Many infringement cases involving licensing fees, say that is a factor for assessing damages but that courts should also look at the availability of other similar works and their costs, the use made by the alleged infringer and even whether the infringer would have paid the licensing fee demanded. While Getty does not have to provide the items demanded  by the alleged infringer, I don't think a Federal court would be very open to this type of pre-suit negotiation. They would likely fault Getty for expecting people to hand over money to settle a claim without seeing the basic elements of their claim. It's like having someone who rear-ended your car pay what ever you say your estimate says without showing him the estimate or telling him who did the body work.     

 

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