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Topics - The-Gobbler

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Just stumbled upon this:

It seems the DMCA is up for public comment.  The trolls are already out there commenting as I found this on a troll's twitter stream.

Reckon it's a good call to leave some commentary.  I would gladly help spread the word if people know the right way to go about this - 1000s of troll victims commenting would go along way I would imagine!

Getty Images Letter Forum / EFF will be doing "copyright week" Jan 19-22
« on: January 08, 2016, 05:50:34 PM »

Possibly of interest to folks: will be doing a whole series on copyright law, discussing trolling of various types from Jan 19-22.  Seems like something worth tuning in for.  I had a good conversation with their team last week and they tell me they are also actively working on influencing legislation to, among other things, reform statutory minimums for infringements and other troll-friendly problems with the law. I don't have any real details on that but hopefully there will be good discussion later this month!


I've read that an "innocent infringement" defense isn't possible if the image happens to be properly copyrighted.  Is that just a hard and fast rule? Seems like a very easy way for the troll to guarantee a minimum of $750 income off their trolling system no matter what. No?

Also it seems kind of disingenuous, as an innocent infringer obviously wouldn't have had any idea the image was copyrighted one way or another!

Getty Images Letter Forum / Defining the "date of infringement" ...
« on: November 02, 2015, 06:52:24 PM »

Hi guys.  Hypothetical here:

Lets say you've got an old ass blog post from 2005 with an image on it.  The troll discovers it last week.

Is the "date of infringement" the date last week that the troll discovers it, or is it the date on the blog post from 2005?

(obviously, just because the blog post is dated 2005 doesn't always mean it was posted then as many people back-date things... but strictly speaking lets assume it *was* posted in 2005)

Getty Images Letter Forum / Advice for writing a disclaimer?
« on: September 09, 2015, 04:33:52 PM »

Okay, and thanks very much for everyone's help around here!

I run a pretty well read blog and have a lot of writers (100s) who have contributed over the years. Most of these are unpaid guests, a few are paid on occasion for special circumstances.  Most do their own writing without a great deal of oversight on my part. I have very strict rules about using images and ask them to clearly cite sources and so on.  In over 20,000 posts and 10+ years we've had exactly 2 incidents of copyright trolling - I mention this because I think it speaks highly of my commitment to doing this right.

Anyway... the first time I panicked and paid the troll.  Now we're on a second incident and I'll be damned if I do it again. 

My understanding based on everything I've read here is that I should be protected by the "safe harbor" clause of the DMCA on the grounds that images are not posted by me, no one is making money (in most cases) off posts, and I've immediately complied with the take downs I've received.

What I need help with is pretty simple - can someone recommend an experienced attorney who can look at my legal disclaimer page and verify that I've got my bases covered in terms of whatever legalese needs to be there to make this clear? Would Oscar be a good guy to do it?

Many thanks!

Getty Images Letter Forum / In the event of an actual lawsuit....
« on: September 08, 2015, 04:03:26 PM »

Just hypothetically... if a troll wins a suit they can force you to pay their "legal bills" whatever made up number that happens to be.   But if *you win* can you reciprocate with them covering your costs?  Or does it only go one way?

Getty Images Letter Forum / Do Trolls Talk to Each Other?
« on: August 26, 2015, 06:45:33 PM »

I'm pretty sure trolls read this message board, but I'm curious, do they talk to each other? Like, if you make the mistake of paying one, do the others somehow know about it and smell blood in the water and then come pecking?  I paid a troll (perhaps stupidly) and then all of a sudden two more popped up.  It makes me paranoid that they publish something somewhere that says "there's a sucker here".

That said, a more realistic theory is that this industry has just hit full force and they're all just trying extra hard to attack while they still can, while their legal loophole is still open.

Any thoughts?

Getty Images Letter Forum / Pixsy
« on: August 26, 2015, 01:29:36 PM »

Looks like Pixsy is now getting in on this game.  Anyone have any experience dealing with them?  They actually seem far more reasonable than the others. They demand only $200-$800 in their initial email (this is based on 4 different people I've been talking to lately).  Although it's still ridiculous, they seem to be behaving far more rationally than, say, Masterfile.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Publicly Shaming Trolls?
« on: August 06, 2015, 02:41:53 PM »

As a publisher with a reasonably well read blog I feel empowered to shed some light on this copyright troll issue.  We had our own back and forth with a troll last year which I ended up (perhaps foolishly) settling with.  At any rate, I'd very much like to publish some of the email exchanges I had with these clowns as part of a series of articles simply as a way to illustrate their tactics, aggression, and expose their idea of ethics.  Basically I want to shame the industry for what it's worth.

I know a lot has been republished here despite troll's claims that such things are private and so on. Curious if there is any real risk in angering the troll post settlement here.  I'm guessing no, since I never signed anything promising to keep it private, but it would be helpful to hear best practices on this!

Getty Images Letter Forum / Any new news on Masterfile?
« on: August 05, 2015, 02:34:03 PM »

The consensus here on the board is that Masterfile is among the trolls most likely to be aggressive and actually sue people.  Still almost all the stories here are at least 3 years old.  I'm wondering has anyone dealt with these guys in recent months? Last thing I can find on the boards here is a reference to a suite in 2011... anyone seen evidence that they are stepping up their aggression or actually suing people?


Hi guys, so I filled out this form:  And paid the $115 to become a DMCA agent for my site. 

This was over 6 weeks ago and I've received no communication and the check I sent appears to not have been cashed yet (still stunned these people use checks, but that's another story).

Anyway.... is this normal?  Am I supposed to receive some kind of confirmation?

Getty Images Letter Forum / Does the letter writing service still operate?
« on: September 26, 2014, 05:54:44 PM »

Hey guys, I've sent in my stuff to the letter writing service 2 weeks ago with a couple follow ups and never got a reply. You guys still doing it? Or just swamped?

Getty Images Letter Forum / Question on how an actual lawsuit works...
« on: September 25, 2014, 07:48:42 PM »
Howdy.  Well, it's been 2 weeks since my last communication with my troll, I've take a lot of steps to protect myself, consulted an attorney etc...  Fingers crossed this will all pass, but I'm curious if anyone knows how an actual lawsuit would manifest.

ie, in California, if these guys actually decided to pursue a lawsuit do they just mail something to me declaring it? or do they have to physically send some guy to "serve" it.  If they do decide to take some kind of action, how long do these people putter around before doing so? ie, if another 2 weeks goes by can I let out my breath? a month?


So, newbie here, I've looked around the site for a while but hoping this merits something relatively new. If duplicative, I appologize:

I've gotten one of these letters, very standard, they want $1400 for "licensing".  This is not Getty, it's some random photographer I won't name working through a law firm we'll called "Firm X".  One of my writers got the image from god knows where, probably google.

Anyway, I immediately deleted the photo in question and apologized rather politely to them telling them the following:

"Hi guys, sorry about the delay, we removed the image in question as you requested. I have no idea where that image came from, and we have no interest in infringing on anyone's copyright.  Rest assured we follow very strict guidelines with our writers about using only images that fall under creative commons license and are free to use. As you know, the internet is crawling with millions of badly or mis-labled images and I can only assume that that the writer in question made use of the image in error.  It was removed immediately following your first letter.   We do not have any need to license anything."

To which, naturally, they tell me their client would still like to be compensated and they're happy to set up a payment plan for me (how nice!), and that litigation will begin in 90 days.

Anyway... question one is - should I respond immediately?

This is the response I'm considering, curious what you folks think. I am also thinking about cc'ing the client directly, though that might be obnoxious :-)


Dear Firm X - thanks for getting back to me.  I understand your client's concern, but I'm sure he's also saavy enough to know that images do get mislabeled on the internet from time to time, especially images as old as the one he's referring to. Our author got this image from a very old creative commons search and, assuming it was indeed your client's image, then that search result was obviously in error.   On the extremely rare occasions when this has been brought to our attention, we immediately remove the image as we have no interest in running commercial imagery. It is not in our business model to profit off anyone's images nor have we profited in any way from the apparent use of the image in question.  We do not think it's ethical to pursue compensation for something that we didn't even know we had done and I suspect your client would not be pleased to find out he is paying for what essentially amounts to an extortion racket on your part.   Civilized people understand this and I expect you do as well.

We have never had any relationship with your client, commercial or otherwise, nor do we wish to. Please inform him that we have no reason to license his image but thank him for the offer.
Well? Am I just poking a bees nest?  What are the odds these fuckers actually pursue litigation?


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