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Author Topic: Getty in the UK  (Read 22802 times)

nixlyn1

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Getty in the UK
« on: March 04, 2012, 04:35:15 AM »
Dear Matthew

Just to let you know that in the UK our team is doing much the same as you www.copyrightinfringement.org.uk with solicitor Liz Ward.

We now have a video with the link  which is also on our website.

I know you get a lot of contact from the uk too so it would help if you can let these people know about us!

Best Regards

Nick Bloomfield
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 11:04:43 PM by Matthew Chan »

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 06:06:13 AM »
Nick,

Respectfully, from what I can tell from your website, you are NOT doing the same as what we do. It is not even close. While it appears you have a solicitor working with you to help provide a working solution to Getty Images letter recipients that need help, the main focus appears to be selling a template letter program for letter recipients to use starting at 150 British pounds ($237.50 US Dollars).  From what I understand, there will be some background legal support in the use of these letters but essentially letter recipients are self-representing.

What ELI does is much larger in scope. It is first and foremost an advocate website that openly fights and challenges extortion letters of all kinds. Secondly, we highly encourage widespread education of the relevant issues.  Third, we have established an online community,document library, and video archive read by hundreds of people to increase the awareness of the issue but also help letter recipients defend themselves by directing and educating them to issues they need to understand.

Certainly, I brainstormed and worked with Attorney Oscar Michelen to develop the Defense Letter Program in 2008 which actually provides solid legal representation. Quite frankly, we are proud to say that it is an excellent value ($195 US Dollars) that has been unmatched in the U.S. since its inception.

It has only been very recently that I started providing 30-minute telephone support calls for those who want and need it. And very soon, I will be releasing our Special Report that will include advice on how to write defense letters. But more importantly, I feel that people need to know and understand more than simply sending out sample or template letters.

I don't want to sound critical of your efforts because it appears you are offering more than anyone else has in the U.K. (that we know of). But quite frankly, at 150 British pounds ($237.50 US Dollars) for self-representation template letters, you have created a category all your own. We have nothing of that equivalent higher pricing except for full legal representation by Oscar. For us, we try to serve a larger number of people and we try to keep prices at a nominal level wherever possible. 

I don't want to say what you offer isn't of value because value is relative. But if you really want to offer greater help to the U.K. community, might I suggest starting an online discussion forum and educate others in the legal issues specific to the U.K.?  You certainly are not required to. But if you don't, your website simply comes across as opportunistic where you and your solicitor are there just to sell your product.  And anyone else who doesn't buy your product is left out in the cold.

Admittedly, Oscar and I are very unconventional in how we operate and how much we openly share.  Some people might say we are crazy to do so.  We are so crazy that we know the major stock photo companies read our forums also. I know this because I see the web traffic logs.

We have a passion for the positions we stand for.  We have few secrets. While we certainly cannot freely give our personal time away on a one-on-one basis anymore, we continue to contribute to the larger cause through our legal research, analysis, editorials, blog posts, videos, and our online credibility and influence.  WE have even established relationships with other copyright troll fighting websites who do it for the sheer passion of the mission.

We are more than willing to send U.K. letter recipients to your website but I would only do so conditionally simply because there appears to be nothing else available.

Your post will be seen by our U.K viewers but they will also see my constructive comments about how you and your solicitor might better serve letter recipients in the U.K. community beyond simply selling Letter Templates for $150 British pounds ($237.50 US Dollars).
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 06:08:50 AM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

nixlyn1

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 09:36:55 AM »
Hi Matthew

I apologise for saying we are doing the same thing as you. I was so keen to get the video information out there that my post was a bit short and perhaps misleading.

What I would say is that we are 'fighting' getty and their obnoxious letters in the UK. I myself am a 'victim' and when I found copyrightinfringement.org.uk and eventually met them it was the first time that I felt that there was somebody there to help!

I offered to help them with both website and video work so that the message could be spread. I take no payment for this but obviously the solicitor and company need some finance to keep the whole project going.

We are in the process of redoing the website and the offer involved but I would stress that Liz will be defending participants on a no win no fee basis should it come to that so there is perhaps more to the offer than at first appears. Also the template letters will continue to be supplied for the two year period. We are also offering an enhanced service where we will do the letters from the company as opposed to supplying them to the participants.

I don't believe that yet another forum would be that helpful as a, you have an excellent forum on this site and there are many more in the UK. What tends to happen is that after a while the whole thing starts going round in circles and then forum members start abusing each other. The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses UK) forum is a case in point. Then you get the Getty 'moles' attacking. One on the FSB forum who appeared to be a Getty mole called themselves 'Bambi' which was quite amusing.

Anyway, I apologise again for appearing to offer what you do but personally speaking, although the cost may be higher here than the service you are offering I still feel it is worth offering.

Best Regards

Nick
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 02:28:56 PM by Matthew Chan »

SoylentGreen

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2012, 12:55:12 PM »
Good discussion as usual.

The thing about the ELI forum that is particularly good is that while we all have our own opinions which may differ slightly at times,
a great deal of proof and references are commonly provided to back up opinions and arguments.

While I don't think that there has been very much "trolling" on the ELI forum (by Getty or otherwise), there have been a handful that cropped up from time-to-time.
These people went away fairly quickly, as they couldn't back up their statements with anything of substance.
Indeed, anytime that I read that something "always" happens, or "never" happens the other way, I'm thinking "troll".

For me, the greatest single concept that's come out of ELI and actual court cases is that even the legal community has gone from, "no matter what, you've infringed",
to "better check out the whole story carefully".
Additionally, we've seen that even average people can and will fight to the bitter end and win (Righthaven).

While the contributors here don't get "paid" in the traditional sense, I must say that I've enjoyed how butthurt these stock image companies and photogs are.
I mean, don't cry me a river, just register your images and stop scamming people.

Here's what my facial expression has been during my entire foray with this:



S.G.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 02:28:36 PM by Matthew Chan »

Khan

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2012, 02:06:16 PM »
Information is the key word. I have seen a couple of lawyers. The best lawyers are not worth a penny if they do not have the right information. This forum gives you tons of information which you can use yourself or give it to your lawyer which will help him to defend you properly.  But you always have to do your share as well
Start with the basics and do not anticipate that G.I. is doing a proper job. They are just greedy.

nixlyn1

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 02:19:19 PM »
First of all - whoops!!
I made a mistake on the video I posted earlier and had to take it down and edit then repost! The link is now

I have already imbedded the new video on the website copyrightinfringement.org.ukso all is ok!

Secondly, thanks to Soylentgreen for your comments. I'm glad that you reminded me that troll is the word - I had forgotten.

Thirdly to Khan - I appreciate your comments and agree that a lot of solicitors are not that good but I would say and you can listen to the video that in the UK Liz Ward is at the forefront of her field with regard to Intellectual Property Rights and particularly the situation in the UK with Getty.

It is probably not relevant but after I first met her I was so impressed that I introduced her to a friend of mine who was suffering with an ex-employer in an unrelated field. To say that she is a 'tough cookie' is a bit of an understatement and the ex-employers case was thrown out with costs awarded against them!

This may sound weird but on one level I would like Getty to take me to court because I feel confident that they would never get the outrageous amounts of money they are demanding!

Matthew Chan

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 02:27:40 PM »
Hello Nick,

As I said in my post, my comments were meant to be constructive in nature. For years, we waited patiently for help for the Canadian and UK community hoping that someone would step up.  We made some early attempts to help but ultimately gave up because it seemed no one was interested in the "thankless" job.  Certainly, neither Oscar or I felt qualified to help the UK audience. There were enough cultural differences that we, as Americans, would lack credibility in any statements we make regarding the situation outside of the U.S. And so, we have stayed largely silent on international issues.

However, as you pointed out, we do get a fair amount of international visitors and there are various threads that were created by prior visitors.

I respect that you were a Getty Images victim and commend you for taking the initiative to do what you have done thus far. As I said, it is far more than what your UK counterparts are doing. I would be the first to tell you that I questioned whether I wanted to keep the ELI project alive especially the last 2 years.  Not so much now because I have a lot more clarity. But from late 2009 to - late 2011, I can share that I seriously entertained the thought of closing down ELI and just letting people fend for themselves. I was getting worn down by all the help requests. However, Oscar encouraged me to keep it going. It was only around Nov-Dec. 2011 that I got clarity around the ELI project.  All the crazy time and late nights I was putting in to manage and grow the whole ELI network had to stop (or greatly reduced) or there had to be more money coming in (to offset the insane hours I was putting in) than the small amount of Paypal contributions coming in. So I understand the money issue as it relates to the ongoing work to help others. I also understand that the lawyers/solicitors have to be paid some nominal amount for their involvement. I don't claim to understand the intricacies of your template letter system, the 2-year support, and the "no win, no fee" provision but I would love to hear more of how it all works.

But feel free to expand on it here if you like.  You have a large and interested audience here. :-)  It sounds like an interesting approach and a different perspective which we welcome.

Regarding your comments about other discussion forums, I can see your perspective with the various forums in the UK especially the FSB forums.  The problem with the FSB forums is that it appears to be a small business forum which caters to a very wide audience of which the Getty issue is one of many being discussed. While there is a moderator there, he does not have a vested interest nor the subject matter expertise to jump into steer, guide, or moderate the conversation. Further, it appears his role is to "balance" both sides of the conversation.  And because you have different factions warring in the discussion, it becomes this ugly, runaway train.

Here on the ELI Forums, we are clearly focused on the extortion letter scheme and helping letter recipient victims.  That has been a big part of our mission.  We do not prohibit photographers, stock photo agencies, or lawyers from the "other side" from posting or participating in the discussions but I think it is self-evident that our forums would be a "hostile" and "disagreeable" audience to get involved in. It certainly doesn't help when all the moderators and members of the defense team are mostly on one side of the issue and not the other.  I believe all of this has acted as deterrents to their participation.

I have participated in online discussion forums before, as well as started and run them, before the ELI Project ever began. I will tell anyone that in the early stages of forming an online community, it can be a thankless, time-consuming job. What I do know is that a discussion forum doesn't just grow by itself by throwing it out in the open. It requires nurturing and participation until it starts having a life of its own. Even when it has a life of its own, the moderation style and guidelines have a strong influence on who it attracts, who posts, and how people post/respond.  Good posts with a high signal-to-noise ratio are rewarded.  Baiters, troublemakers, trolls that don't contribute to the overall conversation are highly discouraged and even put down.  But don't confuse legitimate difference of opinions/perspectives vs. people who do a hit-and-run number simply saying outrageous things without substantiation. These get weeded out quickly. I am happy to say we continue to maintain a reasonably high signal-to-noise ratio here. Certainly, he have our share of snarky posts, humor posts, and side comments.  But for the most part, I am happy to say most people stay on track without too much intervention.

That is why some of the other forums look chaotic, unfocused, and simply a bloody mess. In any case, you are welcome to share what you are doing.  I do agree with you that what you offer is worth sharing. If I didn't, I wouldn't have drawn attention to this thread by commenting on it or engaging you in this open discussion. We are happy to have your solicitor come on these forums and expand upon what she is doing with her program. My advice is don't pitch us.  This audience is very savvy to such things.  Just openly and honestly educate and inform us, the referrals will take care of itself.

Right now, from what I can see, there needs to be more "openness", clarity, and explanation of what the various letters are for and the specific topics they deal with and how your entire program works.  And if there are specific legal talking points, it would be nice to know those. You don't actually have to put up the actual letters to do this. It sounds like I am asking for trade secrets but I will tell you that people are much more trusting when they know what they are getting.  We also happen to practice what we preach too.  You may lose a sale or two for do-it-yourself types but you will have advocates that will sing your praises for being open. We get a crazy amount of incoming links from all kinds of websites I never knew existed. It really is an honor when people do that for your website without being asked to.

A few days ago, I released an extensive outline of my upcoming special report. It was meant to be informative and to solicit feedback of topics I might have missed. And yet, inadvertently it became a marketing piece because I have already gotten several positive reactions of how expansive and detailed that outline was.  I didn't get the feedback I was looking for but I did get MORE interest in people wanting to get a copy.  LOL.

Anyhow, we will certainly pay attention to your website and monitor it and your offerings to the U.K. audience. Legitimate tools to help extortion letter victims are badly needed there.  Thanks for sharing your story and engaging us.  We are sponges here so our ears are open to any behind-the-scenes story you want to share.  :-)


Hi Matthew

I apologise for saying we are doing the same thing as you. I was so keen to get the video information out there that my post was a bit short and perhaps misleading.

What I would say is that we are 'fighting' getty and their obnoxious letters in the UK. I myself am a 'victim' and when I found copyrightinfringement.org.uk and eventually met them it was the first time that I felt that there was somebody there to help!

I offered to help them with both website and video work so that the message could be spread. I take no payment for this but obviously the solicitor and company need some finance to keep the whole project going.

We are in the process of redoing the website and the offer involved but I would stress that Liz will be defending participants on a no win no fee basis should it come to that so there is perhaps more to the offer than at first appears. Also the template letters will continue to be supplied for the two year period. We are also offering an enhanced service where we will do the letters from the company as opposed to supplying them to the participants.

I don't believe that yet another forum would be that helpful as a, you have an excellent forum on this site and there are many more in the UK. What tends to happen is that after a while the whole thing starts going round in circles and then forum members start abusing each other. The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses UK) forum is a case in point. Then you get the Getty 'moles' attacking. One on the FSB forum who appeared to be a Getty mole called themselves 'Bambi' which was quite amusing.

Anyway, I apologise again for appearing to offer what you do but personally speaking, although the cost may be higher here than the service you are offering I still feel it is worth offering.

Best Regards

Nick
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 03:13:39 PM »
@Matt - I think you did not get the feedback you were looking for because you covered every topic under the sun in your table of contents, I think I can speak for most if not all ELI members / users, that this report will be spot on,  offering answers to most questions in every facet in a succinct well written manner.
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..

nixlyn1

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 07:04:59 PM »
Hi Matthew

We are currently rewriting some of the information on the website which, hopefully will be up in the next few days. I will also be away on business so I will not be able to reply very quickly to any questions but I think it would be a great idea if Liz was to write a piece which I will ask her to do for the following reasons;

1, I am not a solicitor / lawyer and am not in a position to give advice.
2, I think that Liz is very cautious in what she says (She is a solicitor after all!) and she is concerned that Getty don't pick up too much of the strategy in terms of what we are trying to achieve and how we go about trying to beat them.

I can say that the defence is not a million miles away from what you do in the US and one of the advantages (I Believe) under UK law is that the courts will apply what they consider to be just damages and it is highly unlikely that the thousands and thousands mentioned by 'trolls' and others would be applied.

One of the issues that really bothers me and did back in 2009 when my client first received the dreaded letter was the number of people on the web who were advocating totally ignoring the Getty letter. I think that the courts will always look down on someone who has never responded to the letter. My original letter was cobbled together from what I had seen on the web and a bit of UK law. This worked until July last year when I received a new demand from a UK solicitor who was acting on Getty's behalf. This was when I found copyrightinfringement.org.uk

It seems that Getty have approached a number of solicitors in the UK, probably on some kind of commission basis, to attack locally. These solicitors seem to be free to adapt their approach to suit their own interpretation of the situation and can vary a bit in method and wordage.

Anyway, when I return from my trip I will have a chat with Liz and see if I can ask her for some comments.

Thank you very much for your understanding.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 11:05:23 PM by Matthew Chan »

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 12:47:32 AM »
Hello Nick,

I would say that you don't have to be in a position to give advice. But perhaps, you will be in a position to give an "informed opinion" and let others decide if your opinion if of value. I think, over time, your opinion will become more valued because of your ongoing involvement.

Regarding caution from Liz, I understand this attitude from lawyers/solicitors in general. I would say that there is a balance in "giving everything away" vs. informing others. The fact of the matter is, as Getty Images gets more of those template letters as responses, they will gain insight and become wiser to them. There is nothing that can be done about that. They will naturally craft an inevitable counter-response. The only way to start combating that is to have a UK mindshare and the open exchange of ideas and insights. If not, there is too much burden placed on your or the solicitor.  We try to assist Oscar by escalating new issues and news to him.  NO lawyer can see and know everything, especially cutting edge cases.  The ELI community feeds him information. He, in turn, feeds us his legal opinions back. It is a nice symbiotic relationship.

I would also say that exclusively making the fight a legal matter takes the power away from an average citizen and plays into their hands. Certainly, being in the dark legally is foolish but entirely relying on legal arguments or the legal system plays too much into their game for my taste. That is why I stared the ELI forums to begin with and harnessed the power of publicity, search engines, blogs, social media, social publishing, video marketing, and brand creation. The infrastructure is in place for any letter recipient to get their message out and to fight back. Some have used our resources, others stay in hiding which is their perogative.

Having the best legal argument will not be sufficient defense against ongoing harassment or the possibility of a lawsuit.  Those recipients who have not been sufficiently informed/trained to alternatives outside of the legal and court system could find themselves ill-prepared. There are actions and strategies that non-solicitors can execute that no solicitor could ever endorse. I categorize those as "back pocket" tactics used when traditional arguments and civility fails.

One thing you and I agree upon is the danger of the wholesale notion of simply ignoring the letter and hope it goes away. I saw this line of discussion frequently in the FSB forums. The trouble with that is (as you pointed out) that it leaves you in a very unpleasant and unattractive position if you "get found". It doesn't paint you in a very good light. For many, it is very difficult to stay hidden so long. Even so, that strategy makes it look you committed some kind of severe crime.

I am certainly no expert in UK laws but I have to believe there are provisions for self-representation. Perhaps there are books on the subject?  I also have to believe there are areas of vulnerability with UK solicitors such as U.S. lawyers do with the lawyer-rating websites, online reputations, BBB, and state bar complaints.  U.S. lawyers can be greatly hurt professionally and reputationally if need be. If I was ever burned or attacked by a lawyer and wanted payback, I know what I would have to do.  It is sort of like having your own nuclear bomb.  You never want to have to use it because it hurts all parties.  But if some lawyer would not back off of me and were going to take me down, I may as well set off the bomb and cause as much collateral damage as possible and them down with me.  It is a powerful "back pocket" tool/tactic for those situations where legal arguments itself will not prevail.

I am guessing that solicitors in the U.K. are very cautious and do not want to fall into public or agency scrutiny either. I believe UK as a culture is a bit more conservative than Americans.  That conservativeness, in my view, can be used against offending, unscrupulous, and heavy-handed solicitors.

The extortion letters we have shared and revealed in the U.S. may not get the lawyers disbarred or reprimanded but they are VERY embarrassing and do not paint the issuing lawyer in a good light. It is helpful that they display so prominently in the search engines. It has bothered them so much, we have gotten veiled threats and DMCA takedown notices only to have them put up again by a counter-notification letter.

Certainly, I could have hired a lawyer to combat all this but then ELI could not exist because the legal fees would be too much to bear. And so on many matters, I have learned to self-represent.

Your template letter program will be a valuable tool for UK letter recipients but I predict that there will be some degree of ongoing support since you say that various solicitors have their own customized letters. That is why education in the relevant issues is paramount otherwise new and unexpected extortion letters will throw people into a tizzy if they don't conform to a preset structure.

Lawyers have a tendency to want to do everything in person. While it is nice to provide personal service, it scales terribly and there is no leverage. It can only escalate your fees and help fewer people. If you are serious about really helping the UK community, you will likely have to spearhead those efforts. Even in the U.S. there are relatively few lawyers that understand leverage and scalability. Most only understand the billable hour.

Anyhow, I understand that your project is secondary to your full-time endeavor. However, if you keep us (or at least me) in the loop of what you are doing, I am willing to extend ELI support to your efforts. But I don't publicly endorse anything that I don't fully understand.


1, I am not a solicitor / lawyer and am not in a position to give advice.
2, I think that Liz is very cautious in what she says (She is a solicitor after all!) and she is concerned that Getty don't pick up too much of the strategy in terms of what we are trying to achieve and how we go about trying to beat them.

I can say that the defence is not a million miles away from what you do in the US and one of the advantages (I Believe) under UK law is that the courts will apply what they consider to be just damages and it is highly unlikely that the thousands and thousands mentioned by 'trolls' and others would be applied.

One of the issues that really bothers me and did back in 2009 when my client first received the dreaded letter was the number of people on the web who were advocating totally ignoring the Getty letter. I think that the courts will always look down on someone who has never responded to the letter. My original letter was cobbled together from what I had seen on the web and a bit of UK law. This worked until July last year when I received a new demand from a UK solicitor who was acting on Getty's behalf. This was when I found copyrightinfringement.org.uk

It seems that Getty have approached a number of solicitors in the UK, probably on some kind of commission basis, to attack locally. These solicitors seem to be free to adapt their approach to suit their own interpretation of the situation and can vary a bit in method and wordage.

Anyway, when I return from my trip I will have a chat with Liz and see if I can ask her for some comments.

Thank you very much for your understanding.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 03:45:37 AM »
Hi Matthew

You do make some compelling points - so this is how I see it;

1, Whilst we produce template letters - they are all personalised to the specific circumstances e.g. in my case I am the website designer and I was very keen to relieve the clients of the Getty stress and so was able to use some legal terminology to ensure that Getty came after me. It was interesting that the UK based solicitors who came after me did not appear to have any copies of previous correspondence that I had with Getty direct. As many people have surmised I believe it to be a 'numbers' game of speculative invoicing. All the correspondence form them was poorly structured and packaged.

2, This does not mean that you are safe if you ignore. As previously mentioned the British courts would probably take a dim view of people who ignore due legal process. There was one 'case' in the North of England where I believe that although the accused took the images down they ignored the correspondence. They 'settled' on the court steps so that the case was never tested in court. Even if you respond aggressively, as I did, there is no guarantee that there will be a final end to it as I found out two years after I thought it was all over. However, I don't think that the courts in the UK will appreciate a 2 year gap for no reason plus ignoring the original correspondence.

3, Evidential proof provided by Getty. We all know that one of the key areas of defence (In both the UK and US) is the demand for proof of ownership by Getty that the images have been properly registered. Currently, they do not seem to be in a position to provide this but they are not stupid and it may well be that all this time they have been busy properly registering these images.

4, There is an argument that you should be taken to the small claims court which has a maximum limit of £5,000. However, due to the nature of the claim it is much more likely that any test cases would be heard in a much higher court.

5, There is a general assumption - with which I agree to some extent - which is that Getty will never take anybody to court as the resulting decision will immediately set a precedent. I think that there is a lot of truth in this as Getty have so much to lose should any decision go against them.

6, So, the basic elements of defence are;

a, Taking the images down.
b, Admitting the offence but offering a much more reasonable amount per image.
c, asking for proof of ownership of the images

There is the usual legal framework around this but in essence this is what is covered. Copyrightinfringement.org.uk have ways of of making these letters more effective and will cover your correspondence for up to 2 years.

I want to talk about the no win no fee but need to confirm wording with Liz the solicitor.

I know that many people are shocked, distraught and incredibly upset when the letters are received and, even if the images were originally purchased correctly Getty don't care unless you can provide proof.  They don't care anyway and tracing the origin of these letters is incredibly difficult. Getty have acquired a huge number of photo libraries in the last few years - why?
The obvious answer is to use with their picscout software to find innocent users of these images and then claim back large amounts.

Where I take slight issue with you Matthew is in the case of self-representation. I am sure that you are excellent at this but most people would not survive in a courtroom atmosphere in the UK. I can be pretty aggressive myself but recognise that you want the right person attacking with knowledge.

I agree that many solicitors don't have either the knowledge and/or the 'fire' to do this but I think it is important to try and find one.

It is interesting regarding the reputation of solicitors. In the UK we have the SRA the solicitors Regulatory Authority and in theory you could complain to them if you felt that a solicitor was behaving unethically. I think that would be a big job.
There are ombudsmen and the like but frankly they have not proven useful in most cases as this is such a specific allegation and a complicated area - copyright law and the web.

I must go now but will happily respond to any queries!

nixlyn1

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2012, 04:04:54 AM »
In my previous post I made a mistake it should have read "tracing the origin of these images" - not letters!
Sorry.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2012, 06:48:40 AM »
Good discussion, I hope the UK version of the letter program works to the benefit of the UK recipients!

One item that does not sit well with me is:
"b, Admitting the offence but offering a much more reasonable amount per image."

I don't think one should ever give this to them, it is an automatic win for them, here in the states it is up to them to prove these allegations..
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..

nixlyn1

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2012, 07:38:02 AM »
Hi Buddhapi

This maybe terminology but in the UK ignorance of the law is no excuse and I think that in some cases, like mine where I right-clicked on small google image icons I had no idea that I was not allowed to use the images. They were of Australia and an image of the world as this was a travel agents site so they were small images for illustrative purposes.

Anyway, I can't and won't deny that I used them so the only questions are;

1, Did I get any financial reward = no!
2, Would I be prepared to pay a reasonable financial penalty - I found very similar images on istockphoto and others for less than £10 each - yes, I would. I would even have considered paying a fine of say £100 per image - I would never expect to pay nothing for a mistake, however genuine, that I made. As a matter of fact I only received a total of £500 for the whole website - which was done for a friend of a friend.

However, I would pay nothing to someone who can't prove that they have rights to charge for using an image and likewise I will not pay huge amounts to someone who is using the whole situation as a ploy to make money!

I understand your reticence and in many cases people did think that they did have the right to use an image but unfortunately can't prove this anymore because they don't have receipts and/or the image was on a template or the website designer doesn't care etc

In other words there are a huge variety of reasons why people are being approached by Getty and these have to be pursued individually. I can only speak from a personal perspective but I am not scared of Getty and am happy to stand before a magistrate/jury and put my case.

My view is that in an English court they will have to prove the value of the images and support their case for damages as they will have to prove that I sued these images for financial gain - which I did not.

This does mean that the letters to getty have to be carefully worded and which, despite my aggressive stance, I am happy to have a lot of legal  support behind me.

Khan

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Re: Getty in the UK
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2012, 09:02:46 AM »
I tend to stick with buddhapi. Admitting something to someone who can’t support his allegations properly or is not willing support his allegations is no good idea. Just think who they are: They are not the state attorney or the judge. They are just people you do not know personally and who you despise because of their conduct and attitude. Look at all the cases against Getty Images they do not  admit anything (never) :-X.

 

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