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Author Topic: Has anyone been to court - Moreton Smith  (Read 7142 times)

scrumpers

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Has anyone been to court - Moreton Smith
« on: July 11, 2008, 12:16:36 PM »
I have one of these letter and am now being chased by moreton smith in the UK.

I receved the letter december 2007 and nly hard from moreton smith this week.  

My question is has anyone ever been to court regarding this ? I am led to believe in the UK my £2,000 letter would goto the small claims court which you would not have to pay the fees of moreton smith so you at the most would have to pay £2,000 which was the original figure.

I was an unaware party I am a small web developer and I have a reseller account with an hosting company in the UK and they had a set of applications on their website and I switched one on to see what it did and to see if it was usefull.  The default skin of that application had the image in it.  I have tracked it back to the company who is still offering the skin for sale and have passed this info on to getty to no avail.

Oscar Michelen

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Re: Has anyone been to court
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 01:21:51 PM »
Dear Scrumpers:

I can't speak for the UK, but here in the States I have not found an instance of Getty going to court over this matter. In the States, it is unlikely that these matters would end up in small claims.  Getty is not only seeking the monetary damages of  US$1,000 they are also lilkely to sue for "declaratory relief" That is, a judicial order establishing/declaring their right to the image and that the defendant infringed upon it. This would entitle them to file in Federal Court under the Copyright Act. It would hardly send shivers up a small web developer's spine to have to appear in small claims court. It would get a different reaction however to be served with a Federal action in the United States District Court.  

I can't get you advice on British law, so you should try to get advice from an attorney in your area.

Oscar Michelen

adupont65

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Re: Has anyone been to court
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 04:27:32 PM »
Scrumper,
My client in France received a letter from Moreton Smith from the UK and several phones calls after that. This was 6 months ago and he ignored them all. He hasn't heard from them in 3 months now as of yesterday.
Note that there is a "No harassments" law from debt collectors in Europe that protects you.

mudpuppy

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Re: Has anyone been to court
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 02:18:41 PM »
Dear Mr. Michelen,

First and foremost, my commedations go out to you for the service and support your providing here. You are truly an asset to your profession and a much welcomed and appreciated source of support among all of the "Company David's" here.

In reading the above post by you dated 7-13-08, I was wondering if you could either clarify or expound on something? You state:

"Getty is not only seeking the monetary damages of US$1,000 they are also lilkely to sue for "declaratory relief" That is, a judicial order establishing/declaring their right to the image and that the defendant infringed upon it. This would entitle them to file in Federal Court under the Copyright Act."

I have been following this forum closely and this is first I see  you mention "declaratory relief".  You provide a  "definition" for the term, but I was wondering if you could expound on what that implies or could mean for the defendant? For example.... you have mentioned that a suit for copyright infringement could likely result in max ruling of $500/image and a possible minimum ruling of $200/image  for an innocent infringement - based on current copyright laws. What would/could a suit for "declaratory relief" potentially result in for the defendant? I hope my question is clear enough...

Oscar Michelen

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Re: Has anyone been to court
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 05:04:05 PM »
Declaratory relief does not cost the alleged infringer any money. It is an order from the court that states that the item in question (in this case an image) belongs to the plaintiff and does not belong to the defendant.  An entity can even being an action for a declaratory judgment that says an image does not belong to a particular person but rather belongs to the person bringing the action. When I wrote that in July, I did not know (nor would I ever imagine) that Getty had no registered copyright for any of these photos. In order to file for declaratory relief in Federal court as they assert, they would  have to have registered the image for copyright protection. So in fact Getty cannot seek this relief in Federal court either.

mudpuppy

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Re: Has anyone been to court
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2008, 08:25:44 PM »
Mr. Michelen,

Thank you so much for the clarification and thorough explanation. Sifting through all this legal-ese can be a challenge for those of us not well-versed on the legal process. Again - thanks so much for your continued support.

MP

Oscar Michelen

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Re: Has anyone been to court
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2008, 10:09:00 PM »
My pleasure, good luck

 

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