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Author Topic: Higbee Letter about Copyright Spam on inactive forum on deleted website  (Read 944 times)

ddm

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(Hello All - I just recently found this website, so please forgive me if this question has been asked before.)

About one year ago, I received an email (from I believe Getty?) stating that I was using their copyrighted image on my website. Given that all images on my website were taken by me, I thought this was crazy.

In doing some digging on my Wordpress-built/Godaddy-hosted website, I figured out that there was a forum that came as "part of the deal." Although I did not make use of this forum nor did I link to it on the website, I guess it somehow still existed if you typed in for example "www.mywebsiteexample.com/forum" (or whatever).

On this forum, there were hundreds of pornographic spam posts by the same spam-bot user that were against my terms of use and obviously unrelated to (and unwelcome on!) my family-friendly, real estate related website. Immediately, I deleted them all, "dis-activated" (?) the forum, and blocked and reported the offending user. I forwarded the information attached to the offending-user account to Getty and never heard anything else. Shortly thereafter, I decided not to renew and deleted the entire website because I never received any traffic.

Fast forward to the last 2 months or so, and I received a letter from Higbee & Associates as well as a voicemail stating that I owed money in damages for the use of a copyrighted image on my website with a photocopy of the alleged image (I believe this to be unrelated to Getty) - for a website that no longer even exists. I have since received a few additional voicemails (for images I didn't post [but did delete AND report as soon as they were posted] on a forum that was never active/visible [except obviously to bots] on a website that no longer exists). I thought they figured this out and moved on, but I've received another voicemail today about a "pressing legal matter."

I really want to say if I were required to appear before a judge and explain this, Higbee & Associates would be laughed out of court - but I suppose stranger things have happened?

 

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