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Messages - Bill-McRae

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Hi David

What I'd say to you is that maybe it's about time this industry moved into the 21st Century in the same way that iTunes has revolutionised music downloads.  Getty et al still act like the purveyors of some sacred stone and instead of embracing the new digital world, they fight against it.  The fact that they cling to outdated models does nothing to benefit honest people like can be seen in this forum's post

My suggestion would be to collaborate with other photographers and create your own website(s).  You not only free yourself of other companies' commissions, but have more control over your output, plus you will find that 'small people' like me would welcome your work and gladly pay for it, because you're one of us.  To create a niche, and also profit for yourself, you make sure that your content is always fresh, so that you can accept that after a few months your images will be copied to the hilt, but people will pay for something that no one else has.

Getty can exist in their world promoting exclusive images, but how many images actually fall into that category?  The majority of us want high quality images that are representative of our brands and if the cost is reasonable, payment is not an issue.  If you create strategic partnerships with marketing companies (large and small) you can not only secure good licensing terms, but bespoke work as well.

Great content does float to the surface, but there are ways to see good, honest people profit from their work in a structure other than the one we currently have.  This is an opportunity and I do sincerely hope you take it.

DavidVGoliath, I don't think you'll find many people on this forum (me included) who would dispute your right to make a good living from your work.  The problem is more about Getty's arrogant, obnoxious attitude that appears to be more about their bottom line than it does about protecting your livelihood.

If you have experience in this field, it would be very interesting to get your opinion on how much of the money being billed in these letters actually goes to the original photographer.  Is the original photographer even informed of these actions?

I got mine from a website offering free stock images and pointing this out to Getty along with the law, seems to have stopped them in their tracks.  In case that's not enough, I have also identified the image on countless websites, several of which are offering it for free download.  This would arguably show that I was not being ignorant of licensing, but instead was well informed (albeit incorrectly) that the image was license free.

Getty's only recourse would be to demonstrate that I've made commercial gain from the use of the image, which I very much doubt they would be able to prove.  Another point is that they were billing me for over £900, but if I'd purchased the image from them it would have only been £550.  Frankly I'm surprised that companies like Getty exist when images of an equal quality can be licensed from istockphoto for a fraction of the price.

UK Getty Images Letter Forum / Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
« on: April 23, 2013, 02:29:25 PM »
I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned before (sorry if it has and I've missed it).

This is section 97 of the Act

Provisions as to damages in infringement action.

(1)Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him, but without prejudice to any other remedy.
(2)The court may in an action for infringement of copyright having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular to—
(a)the flagrancy of the infringement, and
(b)any benefit accruing to the defendant by reason of the infringement,
award such additional damages as the justice of the case may require.

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