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Messages - Jerry Witt (mcfilms)

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 42
Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Picrights & AFP Copyright Infringement
« on: September 13, 2018, 10:28:20 PM »
I noticed that.

If I were the original poster, I wouldn't be looking to pay them money. I would start insisting that this installation was my original artwork, that the photographer did not get my permission to take the photo, and that I insist that they take it down from their licensing catalogue immediately. Furthermore, I would ask that they preserve all previous licensing records for this image while I retain a lawyer. I'd make it clear that I intend to seek compensation for the sales of the photograph of the installation and ask for contact information for the photographer.

I have a whole second phase of attack in mind too. But I'll save that for another time.

I just came across another photo sharing site with gorgeous images:

No. That's a bad idea. Google does not offer “licenses”, it just filters images by the “labels” it claims to have found along with any images. This does not grant you the actual right to use the images. I have found ton's of images that are labeled as free to use by Google, but actually require attribution and a share-alike policy. (That means you also have to share whatever you are using under the same free terms.) There are also many pages that mix public domain or free to use images with licensed images and Google being automated, could easily mis-categorize these images. 

I did spend some time and broke down many sites that offer free and public domain images and under what circumstances. Check out my post at:

Hey Matthew,

Thanks for sharing my blog post. I share stuff infrequently and this was one that took me the better part of  day to put together. Sourcing affordable images is very challenging and I hope people find it helpful.

I will check out soon.

I'm going to disagree with you guys. I think if you are careful about choosing your Creative Commons image providers, you CAN find images that are safe to use. You can also find images that are safe to use that are not under the Creative Commons license but are free to use because they are in the public domain OR the image creators have specified that they are free to use. Some of these require a photo credit, some do not. In many cases the sites rely on an in-house or small group of vetted contributors.

It's funny this post showed up today because I just completed a blog post that specifies free photo resources that I feel are safe to use as long as one carefully follows their rules and documents their sources. It's a long article and a big list, but I would welcome feedback:

Is it possible that you might end up using a photo shared by someone that does not own the copyright? Yes. But I would argue that it is just as possible that you could license a photo for a few bucks from a paid site and they don't have the actual rights to that image either. In both cases you will have to document how you came to use the image and why you believe you had the right to use it. A cheap stock company will offer you a receipt, but they are not going to indemnify you against any legal action. A photo sharing site is not going to indemnify you either, but I would argue that in the event of a claim, you would be able to make a strong case for using the image based on you documenting the site that provided the image.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: ELI is 9-years old!
« on: July 11, 2017, 04:24:06 PM »

Thank you Matthew and Oscar and everyone else that contributes to this site. I've been coming back here for over six years now. Although I am in the clear from my original bogus claim, I am committed to helping other people deal with scammers trying to take advantage and rip off people because they made a mistake. I'd say ELI (and the people that contribute) made a HUGE difference in the ability of copyright trolls to pull a fast one.

Nevertheless, my buddies own blog was hit with a $5000.00 settlement claim but somehow got to talk them down to a mere $250 bucks after providing paperwork that he didn't make much from his acutal day time job through tax returns and such.

This tells you all anyone needs to know about image copyright trolls. Their prices are over-inflated until they determine that you are not actually able to pay these over-inflated prices. At that point these "valuable right's managed images" are magically marked down 95%.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Image in Public Domain Copyrighted?
« on: June 28, 2017, 10:44:59 PM »
We HAVE had instances of Getty Images trying to sell a license to an image already in the public domain. They even tried to enforce a claim on someone a few years back.

I worked on a television show and they were about to buy a very expensive license to about a half dozen World War 2 images. I found these same images available in the public domain courtesy of the US government. Even though I had to jump through a few hoops with the network legal department, if felt good to deprive these hucksters of several thousands of dollars and save the production that money.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Pixsy demand email
« on: June 11, 2017, 04:30:35 PM »
I just want to say that I, for one, enjoy DavidVGoliath's counter perspective. I don't always see eye-to-eye with him and some of his positions are downright infuriating. But it IS useful seeing things from a photographer's perspective.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: School tutor
« on: May 27, 2017, 05:24:41 PM »
You can also do reverse image searches in any web browser using TinEye:

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: I am confused- respond or not
« on: May 18, 2017, 08:23:25 PM »
@blackcat831 -- You wrote:
I have no problem doing the paid phone call to Michael Chan or the defense letter program too. I don't have time to write a million letters, I wear too many hats as it is. I am more than happy to pay professionals for their valuable time to help me with this, as the stress of it hanging over my head is much more damaging.

First of all, so you know, it's Matthew Chan.

Second, I took the subtext of your post to say, "Look, I'm to busy for this sh#t, just tell me what's going to fix it." Sorry, but it's not that easy. There are many paths you can take when dealing with this. One is to simply pay the man. Sorry if that seems brusque.

I post on here because I feel the "business model" of Getty Images is dishonest and I'd like to help see their con stopped. But when someone seems to be too busy to read the posts and get up to speed on the nature of the scam, I guess I get short.

I would HIGHLY suggest you set up a phone call with Matthew. He'll figure out the details of your case, talk you down from making a rash decision, and probably save you hundreds of dollars.

Good Luck!

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: I am confused- respond or not
« on: May 18, 2017, 02:11:17 PM »
It sounds like you are their ideal target victim. Sure, call them up or email them, ask them how much and pay them, Boom! You're done. My guess is that they will quote you between $700 and $800 because, remember they had to hunt you down and contact you. That takes time. They might even see if they can tap you for $1200.

On the plus side, you wont have to deal with writing letters, and the slim chance that they will file suit. On the minus side, you'll have to deal with the knowledge that you got fleeced for several hundred dollars.

GWB1, you seem like a really smart fellow. I believe you can make your ministry a really undesirable candidate for a lawsuit WHILE not admitting any guilt. The general rule is usually to ignore these things and hope they go away. However, I think the course you are considering based on what you've learned about Higbee's track record is smart. You don't need to over-engage. When you ask them to forward your offer to the client and they come back to you (and they surely will), be ready to press them on HOW the client responded. Also if you asked for proof of copyright registration, insist on that before any further conversations. And continue to drive home how silly the idea of suing a ministry with few assets is (and how bad it may look for all concerned).

Also, if they DO decide to file against you, be prepared to "out yourself." By that I mean, publicly reveal your organization, what good works you do, and what impact their claim would have on your ministry. Get vocal and active on social media, talk to people every chance you get.

Matt often talks about being willing to get your hands dirty when dealing with these... uhhh individuals. I think this would be a perfect situation to do it.

If this was posted on and by the small non-profit ministry web site, you may want to consider that the organization is "judgement-proof". That is, even if they go through the trouble of filing and appearing in court AND win, what do they hope to gain? If the ministry has no real assets and not much money, even if they win, they lose. Even if the court decides in their favor and awards them money, depending on the structure of the non-profit, they are going to have a very difficult time collecting.

If it were me, I wouldn't hire an attorney (except maybe Oscar). I would prepare a dozen similar images and the current pricing for them. I would tell them that you are a judgement-proof, small non-profit. I would point out that the organization is prepared to go to court if needed, but would prefer to avoid it.

Finally, I would point out that suing a small non-profit ministry may prove to be a public relations nightmare for their client. I would make a fair offer to settle. And I would insist that they share ALL this information with their client. It is important that you tell them that they must share your offer, your intent to appear in court, and that you intend to be very publicly vocal about them suing a ministry, with their client.

But that is just what I would do.

Greg, your letter is sheer perfection.

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