Click Official ELI Links
Get Help With Your Extortion Letter | ELI Phone Support | ELI Legal Representation Program
Show your support of the ELI website & ELI Forums through a PayPal Contribution. Thank you for supporting the ongoing fight and reporting of Extortion Settlement Demand Letters.

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Engel Nyst

Pages: 1 ... 6 7 [8]
This Jonathan Thomas guy is apparently proud of what he does.

You might want to research whether his firm has filed any lawsuits.  It is difficult to make money pursuing $1000 claims through our court system.

Apparently he was involved in a settlement for 6-figures:

buzzle. com, the website mentioned  looks like a space using many images, probably from many article writers.
The lawsuit is this:,_Inc_v_Buzzlecom,_Inc,_et_al

Thomas writes for ImageProtect, and is CEO of Clear Arts. ClearArts is the name under which they developed some new (?) application that crawls the net for content.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Emails from attorney's for Fameflynet
« on: August 01, 2016, 06:10:15 PM »
Don't freak out, it's pointless and they don't give a damn. Notice they claim your usage was commercial, which according to you wasn't, they seem to not have verified anyway.

Read around, and keep in mind, they haven't proven anything at all yet. They may or may not have copyright over the images, they may or may not have registered the images,  the claim of thousands is not backed by anything. I would look for the images on the web, to figure out where they're available and for what price, just for my information. It might be that celebrity images have unusual prices, but cool off, it might equally happen that a non-commercial fan page has some potential of fair use.

No matter what, though, you should remove the images for now.

Here is a 2014 story of a photographer who terminated his contact with Alamy, but Alamy, in apparent violation of the contract, didn't bother to remove his images:

There were "operational reasons" why it was too difficult for them, apparently. The photographer explains his belief that Alamy was infringing his copyright, continuously, even after repeated requests to remove his images. I don't know what happened after 2014, he mentions photography was more like a hobby to him so maybe he wasn't inclined to deal with a lawsuit.
But this public blog shows that Alamy didn't care before about having proper rights for images they host, even though they knew they don't have the right.

Awesome, Robert. Anyone else who has been ripped off, particularly on her photos, might be able to help. Because they've been lied in her name on her work. I'm not sure if some of you may remember, but I believe there are posts here on this forum, about a photographer who donated her work through the Library of Congress, and Getty or others pretending copyright over the work. I'm on the road and have difficulty searching at the moment.

What I'm getting from Getty's statement is that Carol is suing the wrong company, that she should be pursuing ALAMY. I have not looked into the alamy connection and whether or not getty owns them, they certainly own LCS and picscout...another issue Getty did not address was the fact that over 18k images appeared in the getty library and on their website. Give their past loss, and when this whole extortion thing comes to light in a court-room, I think Getty will have a rough time of least I hope they do!

If Getty owns LCS, then I believe it's correct to sue Getty.

Then, as you said, Getty distributed the images under their own name anyway and claim they own them.

Geekwire reported the statement Getty made yesterday. Here it is:
We are reviewing the complaint. We believe it is based on a number of misconceptions, which we hope to rectify with the plaintiff as soon as possible. If that is not possible, we will defend ourselves vigorously.

The content in question has been part of the public domain for for many years. It is standard practice for image libraries to distribute and provide access to public domain content, and it is important to note that distributing and providing access to public domain content is different to asserting copyright ownership of it.

LCS works on behalf of content creators and distributors to protect them against the unauthorized use of their work. In this instance, LCS pursued an infringement on behalf of its customer, Alamy. Any enquiries regarding that matter should be directed to Alamy; however, as soon as the plaintiff contacted LCS, LCS acted swiftly to cease its pursuit with respect to the image provided by Alamy and notified Alamy it would not pursue this content.

In other words:
- Getty jumped immediately on the public domain dedication. Their contention will be that Carol lost the right to enforce her copyright
- "standard practice" - that Getty and others can distribute public domain content. This forgets that the instrument of gift doesn't actually enumerate distribution among the rights being granted, and, that Getty DID claim copyright over thousands of Images
- note that Getty doesn't admit LCS and Alamy are its alter-egos
- claims that LCS stopped pursuing Carol, but forgets it sure as hell didn't stop pursuing alleged "copyright infringement" on many other people and images.
- as noted here, Getty makes clear that it's going underground, in private, to dispute Carol's rights, try to minimize the egregious parts of this whole situation, and try to reach a settlement.

I found exhibit B, the gift to the  public, and well, as I thought, almost everything will depend on its interpretation:

In the first page, Carol says she gave title to the library of Congress. and that she dedicated the collection to the public.
I have no doubt that Getty will argue that she no longer has standing, because she no longer has title.
However, the document continues by placing conditions on both the library and the public: it says that the public is entitled to make a reproduction, provided that it credits "library of Congress, Carol Highsmith Archive". That is a condition of the  permission to reproduce. There are other restrictions too (not too relevant in practice, but they show that this instrument of gift didn't relinquish all rights unconditionally: even the library has permissions for particular purposes, not anything goes).

It will not be easy, but at first sight, I think Carol might prevail. The document shows that she intended to never sue over copyright, as long as credit is given. I don't doubt, reading it, that she never contemplated the possibility of reckless misattribution, and she surely didn't intend to allow that.

But it's problematic. Getty lawyers will be all over the public dedication text, to argue she has no standing. Several possible solutions:
- bring more evidence from the time when the gift was made, that no one contemplated any chance that this text will be interpreted to mean that she lost all rights to enforce proper attribution (so interpret it as a nonexclusive license requiring credit),
- peruse any extortion letter for DMCA takedown language, and add 512(f) to causes of action;
- get some monkeys to do legal research to find other ways to express the egregious situation we have here (fraud, misleading, torts),
- join the Library of Congress as plaintiff (the instrument miight be interpreted so that the library holds title?)
- look into earlier/all cases of (c) misuse and add a cause and/or add arguments for the judge to consider them here.

Terms on the photos seem to be public domain. That's not helping Carol's suit for (c) infringement, because if the photos are indeed public domain, no one has standing. But the misuse remains.

There's also a potential 512(f) if Getty/LCS demanded anyone under DMCA to takedown Carol's photos.

Info about her photography gift:

At this stage I have a couple of comments:
1) I wish Ms.  Highsmith adds to the complaint copyright misuse.  Because this case could help establish good law on it. It is a misuse of copyright to use the copyright you have over a work to wrongfully claim copyright over public domain work or otherwise works or fields that are not under your copyright.

2) I haven't read yet the terms of the donation to the library of Congress; almost everything relies on that license. The complaint says reproduction and display were free for the public, and sues for distribution. That seems right, if the license of the collection supports this.
She also sues for infringement of the right to authorize those actions. I'm not sure this will work; if it will work, I think it's like misuse (guilt not of authorizing, but of claiming wrongfully that people are not authorized until Getty/co purportedly gives them rights.)

I don't have the exhibits attached to the complaint, either, if anyone can find them it would be awesome if you link them.

Quote from: John Walmsley link=topic=4421.msg20205#msg20205 date=146t
That is, where a single copyright holder has contracted with two libraries for each to market the photo and for each to be able to pursue infringements on his behalf

In the meantime, I suggest to google "Righthaven" and/or "bare right to sue".

The core issue is simple: one can be an enforcement agent, but this agent can't enforce copyright in court.
Unless the agent has exclusive rights. Any division of the copyright rights (reproduction, distribution, etc) would work, but that means that the agent *is* a (c) holder.

An entity w/o some exclusive rights under (c) doesn't have standing.

Very interesting lawsuit has just been filed:

Carol Highsmith gave her photos to the public to display for free. Getty/LCS/Alamy grabbed 18,000 photos, and for years claim that they have the right to license them, and pursue alleged infringements of her photos. Many times Getty doesn't even credit her, and claims of course copyright over the work.

Note that Getty/LCS sent *her*, to the photographer, an extortion letter over her own photo. At which point it seems she looked into this madness and how Getty misleads people into paying up with no right to enforce (c), and eventually is suing Getty under 1202.

UK Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Question if I May
« on: July 12, 2016, 11:25:30 AM »
Getty/others don't know if a license exists, unless we're talking about images they have exclusive rights to and know history before they got exclusive rights to them.

In the letters I've seen, they do insert a small phrase saying that if you have a license, then attach it for them to see. Mind you, the letter is 99% threats and implications of unlicensed use, and 1% this small phrase.

I do think it is a lot of times like shooting in the dark for all images they don't have exclusive rights to, and maybe some for which they now do, but didn't have in the past. Remember there have been cases when a human clearly never LOOKED at the accused website, instead Picscout found an image and their system automatically sent a demand letter.

Pages: 1 ... 6 7 [8]
Official ELI Help Options
Get Help With Your Extortion Letter | ELI Phone Support Call | ELI Defense Letter Program
Show your support of the ELI website & ELI Forums through a PayPal Contribution. Thank you for supporting the ongoing fight and reporting of Extortion Settlement Demand Letters.