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Author Topic: Higbee and Adlife  (Read 1896 times)

conviser

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Higbee and Adlife
« on: July 11, 2017, 08:49:46 PM »
I've spent over an hour reading information but couldn't find much on Higbee and Adlife. I received an email from Higbee stating I infringed on their clients Adlife photo rights. I looked at the attached document and noticed the image I used had a creative commons license and properly attributed back in '15. The letter also indicated that Adlife received copyright registration in 9.16 and they believe I infringed on their rights exactly the next day. The image online now has a reserved indication. So basically I used the image 18 months prior to their registration of copyright.

I can't believe this is happening where an image was used as a CC and attributed. Then, a "marketing" company buys that image, registers it, and then looks for small time blogger to extort $2,000 from.

I researched Higbee and seem to be a legit firm that specializes in "protecting artist's rights." But what happens if all they are doing is representing companies who buy old stockphotos and claims rights then tries to extort money from a use that predates their registration?

What do you do about this?

stinger

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Re: Higbee and Adlife
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 09:03:53 AM »
It seems to me that they will never take their claim to court against you because they absolutely have to know that a competent judge will not put up with what they are doing.  Therefore, it strikes me that they are trying to scare you into paying them something (for nothing).

Some people will hold their ground and fight.  Others will cave and pay.  Still others, thinking the fight will be long and expensive, negotiate to a price they think will cost less than the fight.  Which one are you?

There is plenty of information out there on the internet about Adlife's history and tactics.  I think the more you learn and arm yourself with information about their history, the more likely you will choose to fall in the first group.

But I'm just a guy who watches this stuff from afar and despises how copyright trolls use the system to take advantage of honest folks.  So take this comment for what it is worth.

victim2

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Re: Higbee and Adlife
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 06:27:42 AM »
There is no requirement in the UK for Copyright Works to be registered and indeed in the UK registration serves no useful purpose for either claimant or defendant.

Its not clear from your post whether this involves a change in the ownership of the copyright, or merely a change in which company is enforcing it on behalf of the copyright holder. If there was a change in ownership of copyright after the image was first copied it opens up interesting possibilities for which there is no case law to answer. In all likelihood your liability for the act of copying would be to whoever owned the copyright at the time the work was copied.  Unfortunately copyright is not just about copying and the mere unauthorised displaying of an image is a contravention of section 20 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988, Infringement by communication to the public  . https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/20 Thus the Copyright Holder has a valid cause of action right up to the day the image was removed from the web.

With regards to Creative Commons, if the copyright holder gave up certain rights by issuing  a creative commons licence, he or she cannot rescind them. If you complied with the copyright holders licence he or she has no valid claim. Unfortunately there are very many copyright works uploaded all over the web by people who are not the copyright holder and offered as creative commons or in other ways as free to use. These unauthorised creative commons licences are invalid and you would still be held viable. If that was the situation you would have to pay the copyright holder damages but you could claim those damages back from whoever claimed to be giving you an invalid licence. Its still worth saving the creative commons licence as evidence and use it as a mitigating circumstance in any settlement negotiations.

Because of the number of invalid unauthorised creative commons and other free to use licences, use of such works for free is very high risk indeed and something I personally wouldn't do.


Matthew Chan

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Re: Higbee and Adlife
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 01:37:11 AM »
I tend to agree with the sentiment that use of Creative Commons is risky. I don't recommend it.
 The user needs to beware.
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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