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Author Topic: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts  (Read 9013 times)

Magicalmale

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The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« on: December 31, 2012, 02:22:24 PM »
Hi all,

Hadn't heard from Getty for 20 months, thought they'd gone away, and then the Atradius letter arrived to brighten my Xmas.  Several points occurred to me about it.

The letter mentions a case number which I have not seen before. It contains no cross-reference at all to the Getty invoice number nor to any references given in previous Getty letters.  Admittedly it was sent to the same address, and for the same amount, but I don't see why I should be expected to assume anything; if they are demanding money they should be specific about it.

It strikes me, therefore, that a reasonable initial tactic would be to reply saying simply that I do not know of any such case number and so cannot take the matter further.

Secondly, Atradius is by their own admission not a principal in this affair.  They say 'we have been advised by our client' and 'our clients have provided you with a settlement demand' and 'if you do not respond we will have little alternative but to advise our clients to escalate this issue through a law firm'.  So all they are doing is providing a service to Getty Images. 

But despite this, they 'demand payment' 'into our (ie Atradius's) bank account'.  I do not understand on what authority Atradius can demand payment for a debt payable to Getty Images.  And surely it would be foolish for anyone to pay any money to Atradius without having in their hands a legally binding letter from Getty Images to them assigning the debt to Atradius, or authorising Atradius to collect their debts? Such authority surely must come from Getty Images rather than being on Atradius's say-so.  Otherwise people could find that they had made a completely unnecessary payment to Atradius which did nothing to reduce their debt (if any) to Getty Images.

Incidentally Atradius dated its letter 21st Dec and asked for payment within 5 days.  There is only one working day between the 21st and 26th Dec and that doesn't even allow time for the letter to arrive.  I think an OFT referral is called for.

Any thoughts welcome!

Couch_Potato

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 04:25:29 AM »
You should read some of the other threads here which have discussed Atradius and their tactics.

The first thing you should know is they aren't licensed to collect any debts here in the UK. One poster here called them out on that and their reply was that they are pursuing copyright infringement rather than a debt.

I had the same thought as you i.e. why do they ask for payment to their account, especially since they aren't chasing a debt so no debt could be assigned to them. The only people that should be able to pursue anyone for copyright infringement are the copyright holder and the exclusive licensee if applicable, neither of which is Atradius.

However as this hasn't, and most likely will not enter formal court proceedings Atradius won't worry about any of that.

If it were me, I'd reply that they have no authority in this matter and any further correspondence will be binned but ultimately you have to handle the situation how you feel comfortable.

Flatdog

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 07:57:51 AM »
Hi Magicalmale

I am in the same situation, had not heard from Getty in ages. Then I had exactly the same letter from Atradius, same date as well, come through the letterbox. It was clearly meant to ruin my Christmas.  Like you I will probably put in a report to OFT.

I have just joined the forum today so I will check back regularly.

fedup

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 08:09:30 AM »
I have also received this letter around 18 months after I thought Getty went away.

I buy all of my images, but missed one small one by mistake.  Getty demanded a settlement of £1,225 for this image, even though I took it down, apologized and purchased a retrospective license.

They have failed to answer any of my queries and I haven't heard from them for over a year.  Then, I too got the Christmas email from Atradius.

So far I have responded to tell them to get lost, but I've been bombarded with a number of harassing and quite unprofessional emails.

They don't seem to be bothered that the amount they are asking for is arbitrary and not at all commensurate with the value of the license. I'm also not a repeat offender. I'd be happy to pay a reasonable penalty and put it down to experience, but this really is extortion.

Not sure what the next step is.  Any advice would be much appreciated.

Dynazzy

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 12:11:21 PM »
There is no next step. They are chancers. I've yet to see any precedent where they have successfully taken someone to court to recover money for using their images. There are no damages to claim, there is no money lost. They are simply trying to scare people into paying.

By replying to their letters, you're just confirming acknowledgement of their letters, and they will not let it go until they get money from you. The only way this can stop is if you file a counter claim for harassment.

My advice is to ignore them completely. If they call you, hang up. Do no even acknowledge who you are. With any luck, they will get bored of wasting paper/stamps/phone calls on you, but for them, it's probably worth keeping it up.

Magicalmale

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 06:56:43 AM »
Well, I did reply saying we had no reason to suppose we had any debt to Atradius Collections Ltd, that they weren't a licensed debt collector, that they had no authority to demand or receive payment for anything which may or may not be due to Getty Images, and that we knew nothing about the case number they quoted. 

The next thing that happened was that Atradius left a voice message on my business partner's phone but he hasn't called them back. 

Maybe as Dynazzy says we should just ignore them.

Couch_Potato

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 08:17:56 AM »
If you do happen to speak to them tell them to put everything in writing and post it registered mail otherwise it will not be dealt with.

See if they are willing to spend money chasing you.

splashy

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 06:04:46 PM »
We had a 5 day letter months ago - don't get scared by it - you don't have a debt - it's a demand for monies which is unproven.

Getty is in a USA court case at the moment regarding images from Twitter and distributing them as their own copyright.

Unless you see a signed and notarised declaration from the photographer, who holds the copyright, together with a copy of the agreement from between Getty and the photographer assigning EXCLUSIVE rights to Getty, and the image is the same ( there are many similar images available) and you have also demanded monies from Getty for downloading and copying your website for commercial gain, do nothing as you have no proof that any demand is correct.

You could also be kind and sign the official UK goverment petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35814

Note : I am not a lawyer - this is based on experience.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 06:17:59 PM by splashy »

chrisjlocke

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2013, 09:34:18 AM »
Received a letter from Atradius recently, so was just wondering if any of the posters in this thread had any updates.  Have read the forums and seen similar topics, but they seem to start with "Have received a letter..." and then no follow up.  I presume most people either ignore or try and fight it, but where has that got you ... do you hear from them again, or do they just give up and try someone else (who is weak and would pay?)

Nodge

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2013, 06:39:13 PM »
Just to let you know that I received my Getty letter on 23/2/2012. My first reply said that I had taken the image down as a courtesy but that I stated that it was my belief it was obtained from a legitimate source. I received another letter in April 2012 simply restating their demands to which I made an offer contingent on them supplying proof that the image is copyrighted and that Getty either own or have an exclusive licence to it. Getty made no reply to my offer and the next letter I received was from Simons Muirhead & Burton Solicitors on 6/7/2012 demanding payment of £1,722 (an increase from the original £1,230). I ignored that one and I've heard nothing for over a year now. I wouldn't be surprised if I still got a letter in the post one day from Atradius but if I do I'll just ignore that one as well.

John

abbeyvideo

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Re: The Atradius Letter - various thoughts
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 04:18:33 PM »
Just to let you know that I received my Getty letter on 23/2/2012. My first reply said that I had taken the image down as a courtesy but that I stated that it was my belief it was obtained from a legitimate source. I received another letter in April 2012 simply restating their demands to which I made an offer contingent on them supplying proof that the image is copyrighted and that Getty either own or have an exclusive licence to it. Getty made no reply to my offer and the next letter I received was from Simons Muirhead & Burton Solicitors on 6/7/2012 demanding payment of £1,722 (an increase from the original £1,230). I ignored that one and I've heard nothing for over a year now. I wouldn't be surprised if I still got a letter in the post one day from Atradius but if I do I'll just ignore that one as well.

John
   Hi all.  im from Ireland and im in the same boat, just wondering is there any one from Ireland on this forum   j

 

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