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Author Topic: Come to Join the Club  (Read 5019 times)

JohnO

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Come to Join the Club
« on: September 19, 2014, 11:30:43 PM »
Hello, I've come to join the Getty letter club. I'm being stung for £640 + VAT for an appearance of a rights managed image that was delivered via an RSS news feed.  >:(

I have spent 3 days stressing over the whole thing. My stomach is upside-down and I haven't been able to sleep or eat properly.

How can I be responsible for something I don't have any control over ? (besides removing the feed - a bit late now!)

thehat

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Re: Come to Join the Club
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2014, 04:25:59 AM »
Hi JohnO,
You have come to the right place. I know how you feel. I had exactly the same reaction. I think most of us have been "caught" unknowingly by one means or another in this. I choose my words carefully. Would any sane person actually go to a stock photo site or Google and take an image with a watermark on it clearly showing it is copyright. These images are just floating around, no watermark id, for the unsuspecting to pick up, use and "get caught". Draw your own conclusion here, but is it part of the business plan? There are millions of them like fishing lures. It is designed to do to you exactly what it is doing...scare / intimidate you into making the payment to get them off your back, them using the copyright infringement thing. Get to know how they operate. Realise they are doing this to thousands of people throughout the world. They have a MO which they will follow. Get to know it, and you'll know what they will do next, which helps a bit. They've done it to thousands. Don't make any rash decisions. Plan out what you're going to do. Use this forum to gather strength and knowledge from aged sufferers! Don't be tricked into thinking they're reasonable people. They are not. They only want your money. Read Getting Help With Your UK Extortion Letter by Matthew Chan on this forum. Excellent advice.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 04:54:06 AM by thehat »

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Come to Join the Club
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2014, 08:13:31 AM »
I think most of us have been "caught" unknowingly by one means or another in this. I choose my words carefully. Would any sane person actually go to a stock photo site or Google and take an image with a watermark on it clearly showing it is copyright.

You'd be surprised: I've found some photographs from my online archive which have never been licensed to anyone pop up as infringements, where the only way the person could have gotten hold of them was to do a screen capture of the archive page.

I used to have my name appear as a 30% transparent watermark in the lower right corner of every image - the infringers would either use the shot with the watermark, or trim the image so as to remove it from the picture. Using the picture with the watermark in place destroys any claim that you didn't know it was a copyright work, as does any attempt to remove it.

These images are just floating around, no watermark id, for the unsuspecting to pick up, use and "get caught".

Horseshit.

I'm sorry, but the pre-purchase images that you can view on my archives now carry a nice, fat watermark in the center of the image to deter outright theft, but when someone licenses an image from me, it is quite rightly supplied to them without a watermark, and a byline credit will normally appear in some form of proximity to the image in question. Sometimes it's immediately beneath the shot, sometimes it's at the bottom of the article that the picture is used in - and sometimes, especially with select US clients, there's no byline at all (because the US does not have laws on the books regarding right of attribution)

Whenever a search engine such as Google indexes a web page, it will do so "as is", meaning it will link to both the source page, where you can see the shot used in context, and the image itself. So: When Google indexes my archive, it'll show the shots with the watermark in place; when it indexes a page where a client has legitimately licensed the shot, it will show it without a watermark.

Now here's where people fall foul of their own ignorance of the law: a copyright work does not have to display a copyright notice to enjoy protection under law. It's not a legal requirement.

Claiming that an unwatermarked shot which you can right-click, save as via Google is the equivalent of a fishing lure is akin to thinking that you can pick up a new ride by testing the doors of those sitting vacant in a car park and, when you find one that's unlocked and with the keys in the ignition, thinking "jackpot!"

There's a very simple rule to using images: if you didn't create it yourself, or if you didn't get permission / obtain a license for the use, then you might be infringing. If you're happy to take that risk, then by equal measure you might also fall foul of the consequences of your choice.

thehat

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Re: Come to Join the Club
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2014, 06:24:00 AM »
Sorry. Apologies. Point taken. I didn't think that one through...
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 12:02:02 PM by thehat »

JohnO

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Re: Come to Join the Club
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 02:25:48 PM »
Today, I spoke to an IP Lawyer on the phone from a decent looking firm - a free chat about my current position.  The person I spoke to admitted to running a personal blog and said something like "whenever I take an image off Google or the BBC, I always credit them underneath". I hope after our conversation they took some time to reflect on that... I did try to very politely correct them.

So what hope have any of us mere mortals got !??

thehat

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Re: Come to Join the Club
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 09:26:53 AM »
Did this IP Lawyer say anything useful- advise / suggest to you a course of action..etc.???
Have you seen this about rss feeds http://copyright-trolls.com/site/getty-images-targets-ip-lawfirm-lawfirm-fires-back/
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 09:56:31 AM by thehat »

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Come to Join the Club
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 12:22:14 PM »
You're looking at a case that's playing out in the US, using very specific legislation in the state of Florida as the target vector for the law firm's complaint against Getty. To the best of my knowledge, even if their claim is successful, it would only affect Getty's current business in Florida and, even then, it may just mean they alter their collection efforts so as to comply with whatever the court decides.

JohnO

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Re: Come to Join the Club
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 12:52:58 PM »
I have been looking at that case - I sent them a message, but as DavidvGoliath says, it probably won't make any difference.
The IP Lawyer didn't give me anything useful. Without saying too much, I have visited most lines of enquiry. I've been greeted with silence from some avenues - one is quite important and another I'm surprised at (identical use of feeds). I'm sat between my client and Gitty which isn't helpful.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 12:54:45 PM by JohnO »

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Come to Join the Club
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 10:48:36 AM »
I have been looking at that case - I sent them a message, but as DavidvGoliath says, it probably won't make any difference.
The IP Lawyer didn't give me anything useful. Without saying too much, I have visited most lines of enquiry. I've been greeted with silence from some avenues - one is quite important and another I'm surprised at (identical use of feeds). I'm sat between my client and Gitty which isn't helpful.

did you really think you would get any good advice from an "IP attorney" who grabs images from google image searches in the first place...HUGE red flag that this so called attorney is not worth much..
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

 

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