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Author Topic: Help! Debt collection letter arrived  (Read 21088 times)

Mulligan

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2012, 01:13:32 PM »
No proof = no money.

Here in the states, copyright troll and collection lawyer Timothy B. McCormack of Seattle, Washington, does exactly the same thing. He sends out a few letters demanding more money than Getty's original demand, knowing that many people will freak and pay if they get a letter with a LAWYER letterhead on it (oh, scary!) and think, "Oh, Getty's really serious about this. They've hired a lawyer. I better pay."

The point is, the slime-encrusted lawyers and collection agents working for Getty for a percentage of the settlement do not have legal proof to demand money because if they did have it you can be sure they'd present it from the get-go.

Like Robert said, tell them to pound sand.

RyanM

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2012, 03:40:18 PM »
Whilst it may not be totally relevant as someone has stated in another post that this isn't considered a debt as there is no contract between myself and Getty, they have sent a settlement demand, the letter received from Atradius Collections implies by their name and content of their website that they are a debt collection agency, however, interestingly according to the Office of Fair Trading's public register their licence has lapsed.

Application / Licence Details
Licence Number:0590150
Licence Status:Lapsed on 07/09/2011
Current Applicant / Licensee:
Business Name   Company Registration Number
Atradius Collections Limited   3429221
Categories:
Credit reference agency
Debt adjusting/counselling
Debt collecting
Right To Canvass Off Trade Premises:No
Trading Name(s) (Current):
Atradius Collections
Issued Date: 07-Sep-2006
Legal Formation:
Body Corporate (incorporated inside UK)

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2012, 03:47:31 PM »
even more reason to report them to the proper folks over there!! Do it today, DO IT NOW!

Whilst it may not be totally relevant as someone has stated in another post that this isn't considered a debt as there is no contract between myself and Getty, they have sent a settlement demand, the letter received from Atradius Collections implies by their name and content of their website that they are a debt collection agency, however, interestingly according to the Office of Fair Trading's public register their licence has lapsed.

Application / Licence Details
Licence Number:0590150
Licence Status:Lapsed on 07/09/2011
Current Applicant / Licensee:
Business Name   Company Registration Number
Atradius Collections Limited   3429221
Categories:
Credit reference agency
Debt adjusting/counselling
Debt collecting
Right To Canvass Off Trade Premises:No
Trading Name(s) (Current):
Atradius Collections
Issued Date: 07-Sep-2006
Legal Formation:
Body Corporate (incorporated inside UK)
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: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2012, 08:01:39 AM »
I did a little more digging on Atradius and can see why they aren't on the register in that guise. They are now based in Amsterdam and 'passport' their services into the UK using EU law.

This is the information I've found.

ATRADIUS CREDIT INSURANCE N.V.
DAVID RICARDOSTRAAT 1
1066 JS AMSTERDAM
THE NETHERLANDS
Company No. FC02138

UK Establishment Details
UK Est. Number:   BR004651
Name, Address:    GERLING NCM
3 HARBOUR DRIVE
CAPITAL WATERSIDE
CARDIFF
CF1 6TZ
Date Open:   01/10/1998
Closed(Y):   
Type of Business:   EXPORT & DOMESTIC CREDIT INSURANCE

Oversea Company Info
Registered at:   CARDIFF on 01/10/1998
Country of Origin:   NETHERLANDS
Parent Registry:   TRADE REGISTER, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY OF AMSTERDAM NL
Registration Number:   33024388
Legal Form:   LIMITED COMPANY OF ORDINARY STRUCTURE
Number of UK Establishments:   1 Open
Documents held at Company / UK Establishment office:   BR004651
Required to publish accounts from:   / to /
Accounts delivered to:   20111231

Unfortunately for them to passport in they have to register with the Financial Services Authority. It would be very easy to make life difficult for them by complaining about them to the FSA for their unfair debt recovery practises along with complaining to the office of fair trading particularly highlighting the 5 days to pay.

Their FSA number is 203118.

RyanM

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2012, 08:44:37 AM »
I've spoken to the FSA who were very helpful. Having briefed them on the background and read the letter received to them, they went away and checked with another division and believe that the services Atradius Credit Insurance N.V. are authorised to 'passport' to the UK do not cover the work they are conducting on behalf of Getty and referred me back to the Office of Fair Trading who indeed confirmed that Atradius Collections Ltd's licence on the Consumer Credit Public Register has expired. Therefore, I have gone back to Atradius asking them to confirm, based on the above, under whose jurasdiction and what entity they are operating under.

Couch_Potato

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2012, 09:07:23 AM »
Cheers Ryan and well done for following up with the relevant authorities.

Let us know when you hear back. Have the OFT suggested any action they can take on your behalf?

RyanM

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2012, 09:38:42 AM »
The OFT cannot take up individual cases and would have to look in to the company further to check whether they need a licence to do what they are doing, it may be the case that they can behave in this manner unregulated. If that is the case I intend to take it up with my local MP.

They said that anyone experiencing issues with Atradius should report them through their complaints process, although they won't assist on an individual basis they will add it to any intelligence they may already have on the organisation and take action as necessary but they need as many complaints as possible.

RyanM

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2012, 12:48:08 PM »
The following reply to my email was received today:


First of all I wish to clarify that we are pursuing your for copyright infringement, we are requesting settlement for your infringement and not a debt, we do not need a licence for this.

Furthermore you have already been informed that the agreement between our client and the photographer is confidential. You are not entitled to see it and it is subject to data protection laws.

Our client has confirmed that they represent the photographer and have supplied full image details which should be more than sufficient evidence.

The charge being made is a set fee that applies to your infringement. It’s roughly based on the image size and use.

As you didn’t purchase the item correctly and legally in the first place you cannot now expect to pay its current listed price. Furthermore the prices listed now will not be the same as the prices listed when the infringement occurred.

Rights-managed or rights-controlled images are licensed based upon several variable factors, such as price, placement and length of use. They generally average several hundred pounds to license.  An unauthorised use is not priced in the same way as a previously arranged and properly licensed image sale. The settlement amount also accounts for the losses incurred as a result of the unauthorised use, including, but not limited to, lost licensing fees and use of third-party services.  Getty Images has incurred additional losses as a result of the pursuit of the unauthorised use.

Our client has had to invest heavily in encoding software and search tools because of companies such as yours which claim they are freely able to use any image they come across on the internet. Due to this our client is fully entitled to recover the expenses they incur to trace infringers websites.

You should be aware that copyright exists upon the moment of creation. The mere existence of an image protects it under copyright law.  Getty Images represents the photographers who own the copyright in the imagery.

The accidental use of an image does not excuse the user from copyright infringement. As you may know, it is the responsibility of the end user to ensure that any content that is copied, publicly displayed and/or publicly distributed does not infringe any copyrights.  Regardless of your company's intent, it is still liable for the unauthorized use of Getty Images represented content.

Despite reliance on a third party, such as a web designer or web host, the end user of the copyrighted image is liable for the display of the imagery on their website.  The third party has the option, but not the legal obligation, to settle on your behalf.  Due to the fact that Getty Images does not have a claim against them, they are unable to send official correspondence to them directly if they are unable or unwilling to settle this matter on your behalf.

Clearly it is within the interests of all concerned to avoid legal action if possible as these proceedings are costly to both sides, However, if we do not receive payment for the use of the image we will have little alternative but defend our clients right to payment for use of their image.  We hope you will take this into consideration when responding and we look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2012, 01:23:37 PM »
Are they a law firm, licensed to practice law??
"First of all I wish to clarify that we are pursuing your for copyright infringement, we are requesting settlement for your infringement and not a debt"
Where is the proof? just because they say they represent someone does not make it fact
"Our client has confirmed that they represent the photographer and have supplied full image details which should be more than sufficient evidence."
Roughly based?? WTF is that about, DEMAND they tell you EXACTLY how they come to this number.
" It’s roughly based on the image size and use."
They have not proven you did not purchase the image correctly or otherwise, it is on them to prove this claim.
"As you didn’t purchase the item correctly and legally in the first place"
You should demand a complete breakdown of the "losses incurred", in other words a complete sales history of this image..and they still have not proven "unauthorized use.
"The settlement amount also accounts for the losses incurred as a result of the unauthorised use."
Getty thenmselves elected to purchase PICSCOUT, and again don't let them "accuse" you or your company of anything, they have not proven their case.
"Our client has had to invest heavily in encoding software and search tools because of companies such as yours which claim they are freely able to use any image they come across on the internet. "
again, show me the proof!
"Getty Images represents the photographers who own the copyright in the imagery.
Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the UK have an "innoncent infringement law"
"The accidental use of an image does not excuse the user from copyright infringement."
They like to shove this in your face it seems...
" Regardless of your company's intent, it is still liable for the unauthorized use of Getty Images represented content."

Atradius Collections = just another troll company using scare tactics to get folks to send them money for no good reason...I'd be willing to bet whomever dradfted this piece of rubbish did not have the balls to sign a name to it!!


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: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2012, 06:57:33 AM »
Well, thanks to that reply from Atradius I think you can firmly tell them where to go.

UK law is quite clear: "Only the owner of the copyright or exclusive licensee may bring an action for
civil copyright infringement"

Copyright holder: Photographer
Exclusive licensee: Getty (although debatable)
Not a copyright holder or exclusive licensee: Atradius.

You mentioned your letter was the same as the one earlier. Having checked that Atradius requests that payment is made to their bank account, not Getty's. They also offer a payment plan which Getty do not do. All of these point to debt collection.

If, as they state, they are pursuing you for copyright infringement then quite simply they cannot and have no right to unless they can produce documentation assigning them that right by the copyright holder (the photographer, not Getty).

Tell them not to contact you again unless they can provide proof they have the right to chase this.

taniyam13

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2012, 06:13:55 AM »
Robert Krausankas is right. It was some mistake. If you have confused that what do you want. You can get help by court.

e12345

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2012, 10:09:19 AM »
Hello,

I am in a similar situation with Atradius and I have already replied asking about the copyright ownership, however they ignored this and have pestered me with calls and emails.

Can you please advise on what to do next?

Couch_Potato

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2012, 10:51:46 AM »
Easy,

Tell them not to contact you by any method other than in writing. Make them send you letters. If they don't send it recorded delivery bin it.

If they do send it recorded, refuse delivery and have it sent back.

I don't believe they have any legal right to pursue you for copyright infringement because they are neither the copyright holder or exclusive licensee so I don't see why you should extend them any courtesy unless they can prove otherwise.

RyanM

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2012, 05:36:47 AM »
I responded to their email as follows:

Thank you for your response.

I am afraid however, that I take issue with several of your points;

1. You claim you are requesting settlement for an alleged copyright infringement. Atradius is neither a copyright holder or exclusive licensee and as such, unless you provide me with documentary evidence that you have been assigned the right to pursue this claim by the copyright holder (in this case the photographer, not Getty Images), then I do not consider you to have any right to pursue this matter.

2. You consistently fail to provide any proof that Getty Images is in fact the exclusive licensee of the image in question. I do not accept your, or your client's word as sufficient evidence, nor do I accept your claim that it is protected by client confidentiality and that I am not entitled to see it.  Put simply, it is for your client to demonstrate fully their right to make this claim and failure to do so leaves them with no claim at all.

3. You claim that the settlement demand for the alleged infringement is "roughly based on the image size and use", and "the settlement amount also accounts for the losses incurred as a result of the unauthorised use." Firstly, again, in your failure to provide documentary evidence that your client is the exclusive licensee you have not proven unauthorised use, and, secondly I do not accept 'roughly' calculated figures. I must insist that you provide a full breakdown of the calculated costs, neither Atradius or Getty Images are Judge and Jury and cannot simply pluck figures out of the air, they must be fully substantiated.

I look forward to your response and viewing the documentary evidence I have reasonably requested and have every right to see before I am to believe there is any merit to this claim.

-----

I got the following reply this morning:

As you have failed to deal with this matter in the correct manner and persist in wasting time asking for information which is irrelevant, we are not willing to discuss the matter with you any further.

As you know it is the end user who is liable for the imagery on their site. The end users claim will be against you as the web designer and we will advise them to seek legal advice on how to deal with you.

The fact remains that you did not obtain a licence to use the image.

Please do not contact us again unless you have the correct licensing information for the image. Any further communication that does not include relevant licensing information will be ignored.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2012, 06:32:43 AM »
hahaha, put this in your files, just in case you need it ( which I doubt) a judge would love to see this. If I were you and I understand this correctly, you might want to contact your client, as they seemingly will be gunning for them now, I would advise your client, to send them the exact same letters you sent them. direct your client here to the forum, so they can see how this bogus collection agency acts..
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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