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Messages - scraggy

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I am happy to report that Marot Images (Getty’s representative in Israel) has dropped their lawsuit against me.

Quite simply, it was absurd of them to claim that they owned the copyright! In almost all cases, the photographer retains his copyright, even in Getty’s standard contract with photographers.

In my opinion ( and I am not a lawyer) , the absolute most that Marot Image could have claimed is that they represent Getty, which has an exclusive licensing agreement (which they didn't according to the photographer himself!) with the photographer.

Even under these circumstances, both Getty and the photographer should have been added as plaintiffs, and they were not. The photographer wasn’t even mentioned, and Getty only allows Marot Image to sue “in its own name” (according to the agreement between them).

I am not a lawyer, and my opinion should certainly be checked with a lawyer, but it would seem to me that even if Getty had an exclusive license, whilst they could theoretically sue someone in Israel, it may be that Marot Image has no such right, as the right to sue may not be a transferable stand alone right in copyright law (see Righthaven in the USA). Clause 54 of the Israeli copyright act states clearly who has the right to sue over a copyright infringement.

So, to conclude, here are some key words in Hebrew   ×ª×‘×™×¢×” משפטית מראות אימג גטי
so that my comments will be found by Israelis.

If anyone in Israel receives a warning letter, take a deep breath, and show the above to your lawyer. Or look up the real copyright owner on the Internet (the Getty site often lists the name of the original photographer), and ask Marot Image why they believe they own the copyright ( if they claim this as they did in my case ) and not the photographer himself.

Best of luck to everyone!

My name is Ian Cohen, from Jerusalem - איאן כהן

מידע נוסף על מראות אימג וגטי אימג ניתן למצוא כאן
More information in Hebrew can be found using the above link

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Getty in Israel
« on: September 27, 2011, 08:26:33 AM »
The photographer of the image in my lawsuit took photographs over a 20 year period, then wrote a 275 page book, and went to the bother of registering his copyrights in the American Copyright Library. Let's face it - he would not wake up one morning, and transfer ALL his rights to an unknown company in Israel.

I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the most they ( Marot ) could claim is that they received the RIGHT TO SUE from Getty,  that has AN EXCLUSIVE LICENSE AND RIGHT TO SUE from the photographer ( which he denies). Plus, the Righthaven decision may make such a transfer illegal in any case.

In my case, Marot's main claim is that they own the copyright.

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Getty in Israel
« on: September 27, 2011, 12:44:27 AM »
It is no longer a waiting game - I have 14 more days to file a letter of defense.
I already sent them all the evidence to explain their error!

Getty Images Letter Forum / Re: Getty in Israel
« on: September 26, 2011, 11:47:38 PM »
Let me clarify. There are two issues here. One concerns copyright ownership in my personal case. I spoke to the photographer personally, who told me that he had NEVER given an exclusive license to anyone, and certainly never assigned his rights! At most, he says that he had given National Geographic a non-exclusive license. Moreover, he published a book, with the image in my case appearing within the book, which he registered in the United States Copyright Library, including “ all text and photographs”! The photographer, therefore, remains the only person on earth with the right to sue anyone! Marot Image claim that THEY THEMSELVES own the copyright, without offering any explanation as to why that may be the case.

The laws are practically identical in both countries. Here, an exclusive license holder could sue, but they would have to add the copyright holder to the lawsuit. Here is a link to the Israeli copyright law of 2007 – in English  -

Of particular relevance is clause 54.

The second issue concerns the people in Israel who have settled out of court with Marot Image, whose only link to an alleged infringement ( in my case ) is that they claim to be a Getty franchise, with a power of attorney to sue received from Getty. I am certainly not a lawyer, but even assuming Getty held an exclusive license, including a clause allowing them to sue, then Getty could  sue themselves, but they would still have to add the photographer ( the copyright owner ) to the suit ( as they have done in the UK ) . But here in Israel, they have supposedly ( in my case ) transferred this right to sue, as a stand alone right, to MAROT IMAGE. To the best of my knowledge, the transfer of this right has not yet been tested in Israeli courts, but opinion here is that we would follow the American rulings ( see Righthaven )that the right to sue is not one of the exclusive rights in clause 11 of the Israeli law, and therefore cannot be transferred alone.

Thank you all for your input.


I live in Israel ( hence the Hebrew above ), and I have been sued (not just threatened, but actually sued), for $27,000 for having one image on a website.

But it is not Getty that has sued me, but a local company (MAROT IMAGE) that claims to be Getty’s exclusive representative in Israel. אם מישהו רוצה לשאול שאלות, הם יכולים לכתוב לי ( If anyone has any questions, they can write to me)

Marot Image has included in the lawsuit a letter signed by a Marek Wystepek of Getty Images that supposedly gives Marot the right to “take any legal actions” IN THEIR OWN NAME!

I wonder if the recent Righthaven judgment that the "right to sue," is not a transferable right under copyright law” would apply to Getty’s supposed transfer of such a right to an Israeli company.

In my case, the single image in question is registered to the photographer himself in the United States copyright library, yet Marot Image claims that the “ copyright and all other rights” belong to them, which is clearly not the case!

If the transfer of the "right to sue" alone is illegal under American law, then maybe Marot has no rights at all.

Same issue would perhaps apply to any country in which Getty has a “local franchise”!

Can anyone add any light to the above?

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