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candles by lisa
26-08-2008, 07:51 PM
Hi all,

Just a quick heads up. I have just been hit by a £1990 bill from Getty Images for use of unlicensed images (2 from my website). I got the images from free to use templates however Getty say that as the end user I should have checked for licensing and that I am liable. Even if you have bought templates the same thing applies. Check with your template supplier and see who has the license

I am taking it to the citizens advice and my solicitor but just to warn all please please please check every image you have as they are using "wayback" to check on your sites images.

Hope this helps - I will let you know how the fight goes.

Cheers

Lisa

:mad:

Focus on Life
26-08-2008, 08:05 PM
Gosh Lisa, that doesnt sound right at all does it? :confused:

Hope you find the right answers from Citizens Advice and/or solicitor or elsewhere if need be - best of luck with it, I'd like to think something can be done about that

Good luck
Shaz x

JBJB
26-08-2008, 08:08 PM
:eek:
OMG!

I'm not sure I really understand what you mean?
You have used some images on your website that what, they own?
How did you get hold of them?
I don't understand?
I'm always using images on my blog (not my website) that I've found using Google Images seach?!

Sparklez
26-08-2008, 08:13 PM
Hi Lisa,

I'll ask my OH for some advice for you. He's been involved in advertising/marketing for years and used to have to buy images from the likes of Getty. Are we talking free to use templates like in a web site builder thing?

Cheers
Carol

candles by lisa
26-08-2008, 08:15 PM
JBJB whatever you do stop using the images from google.

I made the front page of my new website using a web template supplied free - nothing on the site highlighted that there may be copyright issues with the images everything was advertised as a free business download web template.

I got a bill in from Getty for 2 of the images that were on the free template. I immediately took all images off of my website that I did not make myself (which were only the home page). I will attach a thread to another forum that I found it is hugely long but I really would advise having a read through it. I unfortunately am caught up in it if this I really hope this link will help others.

http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=390902

Cheers.

Lisa

candles by lisa
26-08-2008, 08:18 PM
Hi Lisa,

I'll ask my OH for some advice for you. He's been involved in advertising/marketing for years and used to have to buy images from the likes of Getty. Are we talking free to use templates like in a web site builder thing?

Cheers
Carol

Yep exactly that Sparklez. I got them from mommy empire - who I thought would be ideal - particularly trusted them because they were pushing for mothers to go and set up business for themselves. I have got in touch with them but as yet not had a reply.

Cheers.

Lisa

Glitter Queen
26-08-2008, 08:25 PM
OMG thats awful...:o, really hope you get it sorted x

PeggyCrafts
26-08-2008, 08:40 PM
oh my goodness what a nightmare. I hope you get it sorted. If there is anything we on the forum can do to help at all just let us know :)

candles by lisa
26-08-2008, 08:46 PM
oh my goodness what a nightmare. I hope you get it sorted. If there is anything we on the forum can do to help at all just let us know :)


Thanks guys - the name of a very good lawyer !!!!

Please please please check all and I mean all images on your sites. Even old sites you no longer use - they are using wayback machine to check for images. Getty have taken over a firm Pic something or other and they have the technology to find all and I mean all of Getty's pictures on the web. Getty don't watermark their images and it is very very hard to find out about copyright. What I have read you nead to take it that every image is copyrighted unless it states that it is in the free domain.

Cheers.

Lisa

sherrielinda
26-08-2008, 08:54 PM
really sorry to hear about the trouble, hope you get something sorted and from all of us here, thanks for the heads up.

Sparklez
26-08-2008, 08:56 PM
Right Lisa,

I checked with Scott and he says that unless you have actually stolen the images from Getty, there's not much they can do about it. If you got the pictures from a website, or other source, that clearly said that the template was free to use, then it's them that have stolen the images not you. What are you supposed to do, check every image library in the world to see if an image you in a free template is theirs?

Also, many images belong to more than one image library, and some of those will be free in one place and not in another. If the images did 'belong to Getty, they'll be tagged. There is a way to check the tags in Photoshop. If you want a hand with that, give me a shout, and I'll get Scott to check it.

I hope this works out in your favour.

Carol

JBJB
26-08-2008, 08:59 PM
I've just read about 5 pages of the thread that Lisa posted.

The general concensus is, don't pay anything and don't contact Getty because then they'll realise you're taking them seriously.

They do not have any claim to make

They should issue you with a "cease and desist" request (ie, stop using our image) before issuing any demand for payment.

I would go and read that thread - yes it's long, but there is some very good advice on there from 2006 !

Sparklez
26-08-2008, 09:05 PM
Had a look at Mommy Empire, couldn't see the web template thing, I'm guessing you need to be a member for that. Just an idea, I'd go back and check that the template is still available and take some screen shots, that way if it does go further you at least have evidence that you have the images 'legally'.

candles by lisa
26-08-2008, 09:16 PM
Yep taken a screen shot and the image is still on the site. I will post a link to it in a mo If you click on the Custom Candle Template you will see the old one that I used.

Yep Sparklez any help with checking the pics I would love. I tried to do a google search for them but get hundreds upon hundreds I wanted to see who else had them to give out.

Thanks again guys.

Mommy Empire (http://www.mommyempire.com/members/)

Lisa

Ifor-Jones
26-08-2008, 09:20 PM
So sorry Lisa - do hope it all gets sorted out. Seem to be getting some good advice already.

Sparklez
26-08-2008, 09:20 PM
Have PMd you Lisa

Carol

Sparklez
26-08-2008, 09:43 PM
Managed to find the template and downloaded it. Not sure which of the images Getty have complained about, but I checked most of them and none of the ones I checked had any tags, so they have either been stripped out by who ever put the templates together for Mommy empire, or the images have been taken from a screen shot and wouldn't have had any info in them to begin with.

I think when Mommy Empire get your email, they are going to get a fright, Just think how many other people this will affect. There is nothing on their site to say that the images are copyrighted.

I know this is probably all very scary, but I don't think you have anything to worry about, I do think Mommy Empire will though.

Let me know if I can do anything else to help.

Carol

Bea
27-08-2008, 12:13 AM
I'm glad you got some good advice so quickly. Must have been scary to see that invoice!

Maybe mommyempire has paid for the use of the pictures but then they shouldn't allow usage of them, only showcase as examples :confused:

Anyhow this copyright thingy nowadays is so prone to fraud. I wonder if anyone ever paid them without seeking advice.

Tip Top
27-08-2008, 10:43 AM
OMG:o

That is terrible! I think you've been given some good advice but stick to your guns Lisa.

Cheeky devils aren't they?

manda
27-08-2008, 01:48 PM
There was something about this on a business forum last year it looks like Getty have bought up lots of free images so you may of used them when free and since then they have become owned. I don't have the link anymore but I will try to search for it for you.

CeeGee
27-08-2008, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the warning Lisa - hope this works out OK for you.

candles by lisa
27-08-2008, 05:44 PM
Me too if you don't mind the language I am bricking it!!!

I have heard also that a lot of fonts are copyrighted and this could go down the same road!!!

Cheers all.

Lisa

JBJB
27-08-2008, 06:56 PM
I have heard also that a lot of fonts are copyrighted and this could go down the same road!!!

I don't know how they'll do that because there are so many font websites on the internet ... on one site you have to pay for a font, on another site it's free....

Did you read any more of that thread?
Have you heard back from Mommy Empire?

candles by lisa
27-08-2008, 09:51 PM
Did you read any more of that thread?
Have you heard back from Mommy Empire?

Yep JBJB I read the whole thread it got closed in 2007 though. The FSB have a similar thread on their forum too.

Not a ****y from Mommy Empire either.

Cheers.

Lisa

BeadsbyLili
27-08-2008, 10:33 PM
Lisa I empathise - you must have felt awful to get that bullish letter. I even wondered whether it might be a '****' when I read it this morning! I hope it doesnt give you too much stress & that CAB can help sort it out.

urbtaf
28-08-2008, 05:46 PM
This happened to a friend of mine in the early days of the internet, his lawyer sent the letter with all the relevent info to the police, with a compaint that the sender was trying to extort money with menance. I dont know what the outcome was except that his complaint was taken very seriously, and the demand for money was withdrawn.
That was many years ago so the CAB should be able to sort it for you.
Along the same lines I once got a bill from yellow pages for advertising, we didnt advertise at all in those days. It was a ****, but the police said that they estemated that about 10% of large firms just paid it without realising they were being conned, the money being bounced to an account in Africa
I wouldnt worry too much, as I think if you took the image from a site that clearly states that the image is copyright free, then the problem is theirs not yours.
Hope it all gets resolved in your favour, keep us all informed as this sounds like something we could all fall foul of

JBJB
28-08-2008, 08:39 PM
I'm certain things will be ok for you ... are Mommy Empire still "trading"? Are they still offering the templates to people?

candles by lisa
28-08-2008, 08:55 PM
Hi JBJB,

Yep Mommy Empire still trading and still showing the free download with the exact same pictures on too!!! Getty were getting in touch with them and I have e-mailed them with no reply.

What I have heard is Getty are buying up tons of stock then going after people for licensing - please please please I don't want anyone to go through what I am going just now - make sure your images are licensed or better still make sure you take them yourself.

Cheers

Lisa

janetdc
28-08-2008, 10:13 PM
I have been following this thread, although it does not affect me personally, and it is so awful. Did you also know that Getty entered into an agreement with Flickr to buy up some of the images on there? I just was reading some blogs that mentioned it. What a minefield. :o

candles by lisa
28-08-2008, 10:35 PM
It is - you think to yourself there is no way they will bother with me I'm only tiny - but it is the little hobbiests that are getting targeted. They are relying on us being so scared to go to court that we will pay!!!

Cheers.

Lisa

BSM
29-08-2008, 12:06 PM
:pc:

Ok, I’ve been dealing with this for over a year now. They sent us 2 letters without a sending us a take-down notice sent first for two small images of hands shaking we got from a hosting companies website we were reselling for back in the day. When we received the first letter we removed the two images and contacted them saying the following:

Hi,
I received a letter demanding payment for 2 photos we had on our website which we got off the net. We were not aware they were copyrighted and we made no profit from the use of these 2 images. We are also a small home based business which even if we wanted to pay the amount we could not. We have now removed the images in question, with our apologies. Why was a take-down notice was not issued as per DMCA? I also don’t recognize your invoice as valid or legal. As to this issue we have removed them from our website and will no longer use them. We consider this issue closed.

Please Read:

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48)
“97.—(1) Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him, but without prejudice to any other remedy.”

“It is an offence under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 to harass of debtors with a view to obtaining payment including the issue of letters which convey a threat or false information with intent to cause distress or anxiety.”

The response we got from Getty was this:

Thank you for your attention to this matter, we are in receipt of your
letter dated January 08, 2008. Getty Images understands you are a small home based business and may have been unaware of copyright law. We are willing to work with your company in order to come to a fair and amicable resolution.

Unfortunately, that fact that your company made no profit from our
images is irrelevant, Getty Images only provides imagery but does not
take responsibility for how many hits your website receives or how much
profit your company makes. We are in the business of licensing
photography and we are looking out for our photographers well being.
A cease and desist notice was included with the settlement demand,
because of our contracts with our photographers, we must also come to a settlement agreement as well as have you remove the images in question.

The Patents Act of 1988 I irrelevant as Getty Images is not seeking
statutory damages, at this time Getty Images is only seeking to come to
an amicable settlement in order to pay back the photographer for his
work, and our third party for policing our imagery. We are in no way
seeking statutory damages.

Getty Images appreciates the removal of its represented images from your company’s website. However, removal of the images in question solves only part the issue, as Getty Images will continue to require full
payment of the invoice to settle the matter and avoid further
escalation.

Please be in touch with our department so we may come to a quick and
amicable resolution.

As a result we were called by a company called NCS Recovery which is a collection agency. When the woman told us of Getty demanding payment for this we told them it is against the law what they are doing and she said how is that possible? When I told her:

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48)
“97.—(1) Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him, but without prejudice to any other remedy.”

“It is an offence under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 to harass of debtors with a view to obtaining payment including the issue of letters which convey a threat or false information with intent to cause distress or anxiety.”

Her reply was this is not a depth collection that they are calling to just settle this matter with Getty. We told them the matter was settled when we removed the 2 images in question and we are not paying a dime. She replied ok thank you for your time.

My advise to you is read the (C) law, they are required by law to send a removal letter first, by not doing this puts them in violation of the (C) Act.

Want to see more on this topic go here: (Wont let me post URL)

As long as you take down any (c) photo right away they have no legal grounds. Specially proof to take you to court over it because any document showing photos on a website can be doctored. It would have to still be up when they file anything with courts which the notification of take down would be issued legally not how they did it with a bill. Only way they can get you legally is if you did something like the man just arrested for posting Guns N Roses music before it was released, the FBI themselves seen the site, got a court order and took it down with arresting the guy. Getty on the other hand is sending invoices with screen shots of photos. Once you take any (c) photo down there is nothing for them to do to you except hound you with invoices and non-certified legal ones I may ad. Its all scare tactics. Lucky for me I dealt with this type of stuff when I worked for huge media companies in the past. When a company is hurting financially they will do will do anything to save their asses. They just try to scare people and some people fall for it cause they do not know the (c) law. When I personally confronted them on the phone, email and their stupid collections attempt I told them all where to go. Some of them seemed surprised. But like what you think I would fall for this illegal ****? I may be a small biz but I'm not stupid, I know the games, I've seen the games, and I will not deal with the games being pushed on me. I will laugh my ass off when a class action hits the scene for illegal bullying. Then lets see them save their asses.

BSM
29-08-2008, 12:27 PM
Here ya go a lawyer is involved now... There may be a class action coming up..

www dot extortionletterinfo dot com

Sparklez
29-08-2008, 12:54 PM
I have been following this thread, although it does not affect me personally, and it is so awful. Did you also know that Getty entered into an agreement with Flickr to buy up some of the images on there? I just was reading some blogs that mentioned it. What a minefield. :o

Athough they have been buying images on flickr, this is done with the full consent of the individual photographer/flickr member. It's a way for flickr members to make money from their photography.

Copyright applies to all flickr images, you should not be using any photograph from flickr unless it is your own, or you have express permission from the flickr user. No more of a minefield than using any other random image you find on the net.

janetdc
29-08-2008, 02:26 PM
Thanks for clarifying, I am a bit of a technophobe so don't get too involved in all this stuff.:)

Sparklez
29-08-2008, 05:40 PM
Thanks for clarifying, I am a bit of a technophobe so don't get too involved in all this stuff.:)

No bother, I live with a photographer/designer/photoretoucher/advertising/marketing type person, and am also invloved with flickr, so things like this tend to rub off on me. I know more about photography/print/copyright than I ever thought I would, just because of some of the discussions we have at home. Comes in handy sometimes though :)

Carol

JBJB
29-08-2008, 05:58 PM
No bother, I live with a photographer/designer/photoretoucher/advertising/marketing type person, and am also invloved with flickr, so things like this tend to rub off on me. I know more about photography/print/copyright than I ever thought I would, just because of some of the discussions we have at home. Comes in handy sometimes though :)

Carol

I was once told that if you took an image of somebody, and they were recognisable - ie, walking down the street, they don't know you're taking it - you don't have to have their permission to publish said image.
Is that true?

Sparklez
29-08-2008, 08:59 PM
The lack of any cohernt law of privacy in the UK means that photographers are not only free to take photos of people in public places, but can use these photos as the wish, including for commercial gain.- taken from Phoographers Rights in the UK by Linda MacPherson.

If you are selling to an image library they will mostly insist that a model release form is obtained for any recognisable person.

HTH
Carol

JBJB
29-08-2008, 09:26 PM
The lack of any cohernt law of privacy in the UK means that photographers are not only free to take photos of people in public places, but can use these photos as the wish, including for commercial gain.- taken from Phoographers Rights in the UK by Linda MacPherson.

If you are selling to an image library they will mostly insist that a model release form is obtained for any recognisable person.

HTH
Carol

Thanks for that - I don't need it for anything in particular, just remembered I'd been told it once and wasn't sure if the person was pulling my leg.

Sorry -I've hijacked Lisa's thread...

candles by lisa
29-08-2008, 09:58 PM
No problem at all, this copyright thing is a completely mind blowing minefield.

Cheers

Lisa
:mf:

urbtaf
29-08-2008, 11:09 PM
Just a thought, what are the chances of lisa billing Getty for the time spent dealing with this matter?
You could also set a debt collector on them, if they dont pay, Ive used one in the past and the will do the initial contact quite cheap,
When I used one I knew there was no chance of payment, but it screwed up his credit rateing:D

candles by lisa
31-08-2008, 12:57 PM
I did think of that but will sit tight just now and see what there next moved will be - good to know about the debt collector though that's another chanel - if they can do it so can we.

Cheers

Lisa

Sparklez
09-09-2008, 08:53 PM
Hi Lisa,

Any further forward with this?

Cheers
Carol

candles by lisa
09-09-2008, 08:59 PM
Not a word. I was told if I paid by 4th September I would get a discount and only (yep only) would need to pay £1400- well I've not paid and I've not heard from either Getty yet or Mommy Empire and yep they still have the template there to download. Just waiting for my next letter to drop through the letter box any day.

Will let you know when I hear from them next because I have a teeny tiny sneaky idea that this wont be the last.

Cheers.

Lisa