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Author Topic: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty  (Read 4474 times)

UKHelper

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UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« on: November 27, 2016, 11:20:01 AM »
I recieved a letter requesting >£900 for an image used on my website,

The letter used Getty for the evaluation and to come up with the figure. I bought the image as a royalty free image on an online market place over 5 years ago. They claim that they have the copyrights to the image and I don't have a license. Also claim that I've profited from the use of the image.

I am going to send them a return letter asking for them to prove they have the copyright. The photo is not in the intellectual copyright database, Is there any legal laws or terminology that I can use to warn them off. As you can imagine this is very stressful for me, I have 2 days to reply I'm glad I found this forum just in time. They have sent the letter to over 20 businesses, as I was able to find other people using it via google image search. I called them up and they have spoken directly to the "legal team" who also told them the name of the company they represent.

The letter was signed by "legal team" but they claim to be a trading style of a real limited company. Thank you for everyone's help, :-)

stinger

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 12:42:46 PM »
There's a lot of good information in this forum.  Read as much as you can.  Don't let the trolls pressure you.

Why do you only have two days to respond?  Because they say so?

If you purchased a license, do you have proof?

There are lots of ways to handle this.  Get educated to make your best solution.  I know it is difficult because of the stress.  Breathe.  Read. Breathe. Absorb.  Make a decision on how you want to handle it when you are ready.

UKHelper

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 02:37:40 PM »
There's a lot of good information in this forum.  Read as much as you can.  Don't let the trolls pressure you.

Why do you only have two days to respond?  Because they say so?

If you purchased a license, do you have proof?

There are lots of ways to handle this.  Get educated to make your best solution.  I know it is difficult because of the stress.  Breathe.  Read. Breathe. Absorb.  Make a decision on how you want to handle it when you are ready.

It was 2 weeks they gave me, took me time to find this forum. Really glad to be here. 

The proof I have is the online marketplace sent me via email a zip file of what the seller included when I purchased royalty free images from him. He himself is no longer active so I cant ask specifically where he got them but he has over 3,000 positive reviews.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 04:04:38 PM »
I would not fret, if it were i me, i would reply to them, that you purchased the images in good faith, and that you have proof. ( don't supply this to them) The onus is on them to prove their case..you purchased it in good faith , have the zip file, which you can present if they choose to file suit. I would also tell them that that you will be invoicing them for any further time you have to invest in this issue....
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..

UKHelper

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 08:17:32 PM »
I would not fret, if it were i me, i would reply to them, that you purchased the images in good faith, and that you have proof. ( don't supply this to them) The onus is on them to prove their case..you purchased it in good faith , have the zip file, which you can present if they choose to file suit. I would also tell them that that you will be invoicing them for any further time you have to invest in this issue....

Thanks Robert, I this is inline with what I'm thinking of doing. Whats different about my case is that the company sent the demand letter to my customer who advertises on my website. So accusing him of copyright infringement but I own the website and he never instructed me to create the website. Should I get him to send a letter back saying he's not liable and to chase me about the infringement. They are not aware of me at this point and not aware of my customer, only the company name he's been trading under, that's the name that was addressed in the letter.

Should I specific how much I would be invoicing them for?

Thank you Robert really appreciate your help!

UKHelper

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 06:00:19 AM »
Also is it reasonable to suggest that if a letter does not come addressed to an individual or is not sent registered then it is safe to ignore/bin it?

DavidVGoliath

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 04:50:26 AM »
Also is it reasonable to suggest that if a letter does not come addressed to an individual or is not sent registered then it is safe to ignore/bin it?

Nope; first-class post is quite a valid method of communication, and it's even deemed appropriate for the service of letters pertaining to court proceedings - just see https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part06 for clarification.

UKHelper

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2016, 02:09:01 PM »
Also is it reasonable to suggest that if a letter does not come addressed to an individual or is not sent registered then it is safe to ignore/bin it?

Nope; first-class post is quite a valid method of communication, and it's even deemed appropriate for the service of letters pertaining to court proceedings - just see https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part06 for clarification.

Thank you very much for this, how can they prove they sent it though?

DavidVGoliath

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 03:47:50 AM »
Thank you very much for this, how can they prove they sent it though?

Well there's a paradox for you: though first class post is commonly accepted as a method of legal communication, there's no way to actually prove a letter was sent or received in this manner; it's presumed to have been delivered on account of the way in which Royal Mail (as a statutory corporation) is mandated to operate.

If a claimant wanted to absolutely prove that a document was sent, then using a signed-for service would offer an additional layer of confirmation - it's certainly the way that I do business for important matters, but it's not a legal requirement.

Matthew Chan

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 11:47:53 PM »
David is correct that advance notification is generally not required for any legal action to occur.  It is a courtesy, not a requirement. In any case, there is little incentive for people to file lawsuits when they can squeeze money through letters.

If you want to ignore it, just ignore it then.  But to me, it is not a good use of time to have someone prove they sent the letter. There is no requirement to do so and it is easy for them to send you another one and another one which they will do anyhow until you decide to pay. They will persist and escalate as much as they can short of filing a lawsuit to intimidate you to pay.

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.

victim2

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Re: UK Copyright infringement Letter using Getty but not Getty
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2017, 07:55:03 AM »
I think a wise course of action would be to communicate with the claimant and tell then you have purchased a licence. You should tell them from who and when you obtained the licence.

There is every possibility that the claimant is muddled over who has and has not already purchased a licence. If you can show a valid licence their claim is stopped dead in its tracks.

The fact that they they have contacted 20 other users of the image is not relevant to your defence. Indeed if any of the claims are valid, the claimant may say this illustrates the extensive damage to their business and therefore additional dissuasive damages should awarded pursuant to the Directive  2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the council  of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Do be aware that because somebody sold you a licence they may not necessarily have had the rights to do so. The internet is full of websites offering to sell or give away the rights to works which they do not own. Wallpaper sites are particularity notorious for this. The legal principle of Nemo dat quod non habet applies and if you purchased a licence that was not valid, your use would be an infringement and you would be liable for damages. Relevant UK case law would be David Hoffman  vs Drug Abuse Resistance  Education (UK) Ltd  [2012] EWPCC 2
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWPCC/2012/2.html


If you have been sold an invalid licence then you can of course probably recover any damages you pay out from whoever sold you the licence. This underlines the importance of obtaining image rights from reputable sources as you would find it quite a challenge to receive damages from an anonymous  Ebay seller or  wallpaper website based in China or Panama etc.

If you are facing a genuine claim for infringement then my advice is the same for copyright infringement as for any other civil dispute, which is try to reach an out of court settlement. Ignoring a legitimate claim is a high risk strategy. If they are bluffing, you win and its cost you nothing. If they are not bluffing and they issue a claim in the High Court then you will be sitting on a whole load of costs which you could have avoided. If you ignore a case that is issued you could end up with a judgement by default and a very expensive visit from High Court Enforcement Officers. The best bet is to talk to the claimant, see if they have a valid claim or not or if you have a valid defence or not. If you have a valid licence then they have no claim.  If the claim is valid then negotiate a settlement. The earlier you do this the less legal work the claimant will have done and the more likely he or she is to accept a lower offer.  Jaw jaw is better than war war !

Disclaimer: I am not a Lawyer.

 

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