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Author Topic: Getty and LCS letters  (Read 4073 times)

StunnedMullet

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Getty and LCS letters
« on: February 05, 2016, 07:01:07 AM »
Hello!
I run a small travel company, and last month launched a new-look to our site, and it was pounced upon by both Getty AND LCS for various images (7 in total) that they allege we have infringed.

This forum has been enormously helpful in getting me to calm down and not panic, so thank you all for that!

I have read the forums and watched the videos, but am still unsure of my next steps, and my overall strategy.

There appears to be some conflicting information about whether or not I should even reply to these letters/emails.
Some points to note:
1. The LCS letters demand payment, whereas the Getty letter is much smarter, and requests me to get in touch to discuss, without (yet) asking for a fee. Has anyone else received this sort of letter/email?
2. I did not post the photos myself, so I don't even know if we have infringed,but the crazy thing is that with the Getty letter, they allege 5 infringements, and on two of them, the images are not even the same as they show on their screenshot of our website (they are of course very similar, but for example, the ones that were on our site had a boat and a helicopter respectively, whereas their images do not)
3. Another of the Getty images has been reproduced online literally thousands of times, as it is so iconic...available as a free wallpaper download, etc...not sure if this is any defence?
4. One of the LCS images I cannot find on the website of Design Pics who they claim to represent  - is that weird?
5. The other LCS image I can find (for which they are demanding £1,300!), but it is also available through other licence holders e.g. LCS is not exclusive - regardless, I don't hold the licence, but does the fact that it is non-exclusive help me?   

From what I can glean, my strategy should be:
1. remove all potentially infringing photos from website and server - done
2. ignore the emails/letters for the time being......stonewall them as much as possible...perhaps respond only when it gets referred to the 'debt' collectors?
3. when I do respond, do so by registered letter and not email or phone
4. (I might be able to get a lawyer friend to write a letter on my behalf) but even if not, ask:
•   who holds the copyright
•   is the copyright registered
•   who holds the rights to enforce the copyright
• demand that they provide me a copy of the agreement between themselves and the photographer (redacted only where necessary) to prove to me that they own the copyright or the exclusive rights to mange it.
• demand monies from Getty/LCS for downloading and copying my website for commercial gain
5. Wait and see

How does this sound?

Any advice about the earlier queries are appreciated too!

Thank you!

stinger

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Re: Getty and LCS letters
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 09:06:42 AM »
Looks like you've done some reading and have a good strategy in place.

Bear in mind that they have software that found your potential infringements.  They aren't really sure.  They are on a bit of a phishing expedition.  When people contact them to defend their use of images, the trolls glean useful information.  They immediately find out if they have the right contact.  They may learn a bit about the contact's ability to pay.  So my advice is follow your plan, but minimize contact as much as possible. 

And keep reading.  The more you understand the history of these trolls and their behavior, the more confident you will be in your defense.

StunnedMullet

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Re: Getty and LCS letters
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2016, 12:24:27 PM »
Thanks Stinger,
This is really helpful.
I do not have the ability to pay, so will keep ignoring, at least for the time being...and if I can get a lawyer friend to write a letter, is this best done early on, or leave that as long as possible, do you think?

And given your experience, one other question:
- I am considering contacting one of the photographers directly, explaining it was inadvertent, had only been up for a few weeks, and asking for their permission to use it...bad idea, or have you ever heard it working?
Thanks again!
Chris   

stinger

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Re: Getty and LCS letters
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2016, 01:15:10 PM »
If you don't have the ability to pay, you have nothing to worry about.

They will likely figure this out and choose not to sue.  If they do make the mistake of suing, they still have nothing to gain.

I would table the idea of having an attorney contact them.  Unless the attorney you know specializes in this type of law and is well known.  If that's the case, it might scare them off.  But they are very good at convincing other attorneys that their client ought to settle.

I have never really approached this from the photographer point of view.  Have no idea what they would do.  It seems that if the photographer truly has given the rights to pursue copyright infringement to Getty, the photog cannot call them off.  But I've heard that often, Getty claims more rights than have legally been given to them.

What you need to realize is that nothing has happened.  And most of the time, nothing will happen.  Rare is the instance where they file suit.  Unless they do, it is all bluster.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Getty and LCS letters
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2016, 08:44:29 AM »
I'll just add to forget abut the whole thing they downloaded your site for commercial gain, that won't get you anywhere..

as an FYI you should block picscout from accessing your servers in the future, there are several posts on this topic in the forums somewhere.
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..

StunnedMullet

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Re: Getty and LCS letters
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 06:27:27 AM »
Thanks again Stinger and BuddhaPi. I will find out how to block Picscout!

 

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