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Author Topic: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains  (Read 12807 times)

Angry Welshman

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Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« on: June 27, 2013, 09:29:24 AM »
Hey all
I've been poking around here for a week or so cramming as much as possible into my head and having fun learning law obviously due to receiving one of them infamous "stand and deliver" letters from getty.

The picture in question has been used on a small store website, taken from a forum where it had been flipped (whether to hide it in a vain effort from picscout etc I do not know) and found via yahoo images. It was accidently left on the website when It was created until we could take our own.

we have been charged the usual £1300, However my questions are what path do I follow in regarding this?

The "Getter letter is illegal due to missing important info" route?
The "ignore it completely" route?
The "Offer them a small sum to make them go away without admitting fault then ignore all further correspondence as we made the offer" route?
Or (my personal favourite)
The "Ask for proof of copyright and affidavit that the photographer has not made the images available anywhere else (for free or for sale) and ask for how they came to that cost" route.

Do I bring up the 6 month waiting period between them discovering our use and informing us (therefore inflating their claim?)
Do I also bring up that any funds they ask for should be to recoup their losses, not for their betterment. (this isn't compensation)
Both of which would be frowned upon in court.

Just a few ideas bouncing around my head.
Any help would be hugely appreciated.
Thanks all
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 09:32:06 AM by Angry Welshman »

stinger

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 11:00:49 AM »
Welshman, as you have certainly discovered, there are many routes you can pursue going forward.  You have certainly done a good job of beginning your education with respect to this topic.

In my opinion, which route you choose to pursue, should be dictated by two important factors:
  • The actual facts of your case. 
    • What can they prove?
    • The number of images involved?
    • The likelihood of them actually coming after you, rather than just threatening?, etc.
       
  • Your temperament and pre-disposition to the activities to follow.

You have certainly denoted some options in terms of paths.  My best advice to you would be Do not let their artificial deadlines dictate your actions.  Take whatever time you need to fully understand the facts of your case, your opponent, and the strategies open to you.  Make your choice with conviction (not out of haste).  Stick to your guns.

And if you have any energy left over, do your part in letting the world and your lawmakers know about digital image trolls and the tremendous toll that they take on the world's productivity.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 11:02:36 AM by stinger »

Couch_Potato

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 11:33:58 AM »
Best advice I can offer if you are going to respond is tell them no more than the absolute minimum in order to make your point. Don't confirm where the image was obtained and don't admit to anything.

I wouldn't make an offer unless I was provided proof to bring the claim. Who would do this anywhere out in the real world?

Angry Welshman

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 11:41:53 AM »
I will admit, yes we did have the one pic on our website, however I do get the feeling that the "ask for proof of exclusive copyright" is the best route to go down, followed by ignore and just save all the other "discussion" point I have in case they play hard to get  ::). All sent via snail mail of course.

I have also filled in all the hm petitions etc I can find already stinger  ;)
I've also come to the conclusion as well to work at my own pace and reply when I'm good and happy. They can dance to my tune rather then vis a ve.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 11:44:46 AM by Angry Welshman »

brianjclark

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 05:24:52 PM »
Don't forget if they have sent you a snapshot of your website showing the image, they have also infringed your copyright for content, design and layout.

Now that's a copyright infringement and I'd bet you could prove how much they benefitted from it! (exactly the amount they are trying to extort). I'm sure everybodys terms and conditions state no copying, storage, reproduction or exploitation for gain!

So you are dragged over hot coals for an image accidentally obtained by mistake but they purposefully and with full intent and flagrancy took a copy of your website and infringed it.

Oh my days!

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 08:35:35 AM »
Don't forget if they have sent you a snapshot of your website showing the image, they have also infringed your copyright for content, design and layout.

Now that's a copyright infringement and I'd bet you could prove how much they benefitted from it! (exactly the amount they are trying to extort). I'm sure everybodys terms and conditions state no copying, storage, reproduction or exploitation for gain!

So you are dragged over hot coals for an image accidentally obtained by mistake but they purposefully and with full intent and flagrancy took a copy of your website and infringed it.

Oh my days!

Snapshots, screen captures and like would NOT constitute copyright infringement, and I would noteven go there and mention this, it's been discussed many times in the forums..
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..

Angry Welshman

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 09:09:18 AM »
Thanks guys, at the moment all I'm trying to find now is a sample of a "getty reply letter" to get an idea of how to set it out etc.


stinger

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 10:02:09 AM »
Most people on this forum advocate that you make your letter yours.  That's why you will not see a lot of form letter examples where you just fill in your company name and signature.  Each cases details are different.  It is more work for Getty and their ilk to have to deal with different specific cases.  Otherwise, they would just say, "if we receive this form letter, answer it with our form letter 352B".  Some will argue they do that anyway.  But it plays against them because their form letters are often not on point.

That said, I believe their are some good discussions and examples of what should be contained in a response on this forum.  Greg Troy's thread, "An experiment against Getty" comes to mind as a place I might start looking for ideas.  It is a long thread, but full of good examples.

Angry Welshman

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 12:00:06 PM »
I'm not after a "copy and paste" solution. I was just after something to see how others have done and worded it to get an idea, and more importantly confidence. I argue with everyone, but I'm yet to argue with a "legal department" (I use the term loosely)  ;D

brianjclark

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 06:47:11 PM »
Don't forget if they have sent you a snapshot of your website showing the image, they have also infringed your copyright for content, design and layout.

Now that's a copyright infringement and I'd bet you could prove how much they benefitted from it! (exactly the amount they are trying to extort). I'm sure everybodys terms and conditions state no copying, storage, reproduction or exploitation for gain!

So you are dragged over hot coals for an image accidentally obtained by mistake but they purposefully and with full intent and flagrancy took a copy of your website and infringed it.

Oh my days!

Snapshots, screen captures and like would NOT constitute copyright infringement, and I would noteven go there and mention this, it's been discussed many times in the forums..

I have been through quite a lot of the forums but haven't yet found the ones you specifically mention - the forums have become quite extensive and I'm only just on the scene!

I'm guessing you are meaning this comes under fair use. Did you mean any more by "I would not even go there". Are you foreseeing pitfalls in even mentioning it?

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 08:33:57 AM »
yes "going there" or playing "Getty infringed by copying my site with a screen capture", will not get you anywhere, it would simply be refuted by them..You'd be better served to argue items that at least have a chance of standing up in court..

Heres one such thread: http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/getty-images-letter-forum/a-non-lawyer-idea-about-'the-letter'/
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 08:36:27 AM by Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi) »
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..

Couch_Potato

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 04:37:33 AM »
I would imagine Getty prioritise cases where they feel they are dealing with somebody unprepared and may more easily part with money.

Never put anything in a letter to them that you aren't sure is correct. If you tell them that they infringed your copyright by taking a screenshot of your website then they'll know they are dealing with somebody who has no clue about copyright infringement.

From everything I've seen on this site the people who get their facts straight and let Getty know they aren't a pushover are the ones who never hear from them again.

Angry Welshman

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2013, 08:23:20 AM »
Hey all,

Just an update letting people know I have decided to call out their "exclusivity of copyright" (a redacted version of course) and a few other pieces. Just waiting now for their response. I shall keep you all up to date when the usual auto response arrives.


Angry Welshman

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2013, 05:41:04 AM »
So just a quick update regarding this. After poking around on DK images, it appears the image is also for sale on there  ???

Now I know the image on getty is labelled as "part of the DK collection". Surely that negates gettys claim of copyright, as the so called infringement would be with DK and not getty themselves? :o

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Getty extortion letter. Picking peoples brains
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2013, 08:05:01 AM »
So just a quick update regarding this. After poking around on DK images, it appears the image is also for sale on there  ???

Now I know the image on getty is labelled as "part of the DK collection". Surely that negates gettys claim of copyright, as the so called infringement would be with DK and not getty themselves? :o

When folks become a "Getty Contributor" the artist / photog ALWAYS retains the copyright, the contract allows getting to license the images "exclusively" and protect the copyright on behalf of the artist. Also part of the contract states that for "Rights managed" images the artist cannot sell the same image elsewhere. Looks like what we have here is one of two things.

1. The artist photog, is no longer associated with Getty ( plenty of them have been leaving as of late) and Getty is still selling the image or trying to collect on the image when they have no right to. We've seen this once before, the artist was contacted and was not happy that Getty still had his images for sale, when the clearly did not renew the contract.

2. The artist / photog may be double dipping, by allowing Getty to license the image, while at the same time selling the image on their site or possibly other sites..

Herein lies the issue, who is Getty to say that you did not purchase the image directly from the artist? It's not up to you the end-user to prove your innocence, it's up to getty to prove your guilt, and they would also have to prove the image in question is registered and registered properly, and it probably isn't, which iin turn means they would only legally be able to collect a very small amount, if anything.. The whole schem is based on fear of being sued.
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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