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Advice on copyright infringement

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Chios, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. #1
    I have been involved in some social media campaign and we hired a graphic designer on the internet to create a gif (moving image). That gif was posted in my client's google plus page and 8 months later a lawyer comes up and says the picture used is my client's and you have to pay this fine 1600 euro.

    Of course neither me or my client knew that the image was copyrighted but as soon as we got the email we removed the image from the google plus page
    SEMrush
    the laywer's last explanation was
    what would you suggest we do ... since we did not even know that this was an image copyrighted in the final
     
    Chios, Sep 28, 2017 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Sarah Lauren

    Sarah Lauren Peon

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    #2
    It's quite simple. Contact the designer or the company you approached in the past. They will surely provide you with the copyright protection document or any proof for that purpose. Otherwise, you can sue them for providing you a gif or image that belongs to someone else already.
     
    Sarah Lauren, Sep 28, 2017 IP
  3. Chios

    Chios Well-Known Member

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    #3
    @Sarah thanks for the answer
    I am not really looking for a solution that involves sueing anybody
    The graphic designer is a small freelance designer who has not even heard of this document that you are talking about so I am assuming he does not have such a document ... heck I don't even know what this document is about (is there a sample somewhere so I can understand what it says)
    Lets assume that he does not have ... what else can be done other than starting sueing each other

    EDIT: Or lets say its actually his own (I have not seen proof from the laywer that the image is HIS clients) what should the designer do ... how do you prove that something is yours when it comes to an photograph ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
    Chios, Sep 28, 2017 IP
  4. Sarah Lauren

    Sarah Lauren Peon

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    #4
    Okay, Let's do it this way. There are several online libraries which contain all the prototype images and vector graphics including Shutterstock, and others. What you can do is to ask your designer to share his credentials of that account so that you can claim that you purchased this account from Shutterstock, etc. and it is legit to download all the vectors and graphics from these platforms as those images and files belong to them and no one can case any copyright infringement at all. On the other hand, it might be possible that your designer googled or find it online for free on the internet and made edits in that particular graphic emblem and it that is the case then maybe the lawyer is right in some way. But I would suggest to verify it before taking any step further.
     
    Sarah Lauren, Sep 29, 2017 IP
  5. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #5
    You are being sued, and you do not even know who is suing you
    other then some mysterious attorney showing up with his hand out....?

    This does not sound suspicious at all, ROFL...

    normally, you would get a cease & desist order so you can make
    things right, if not, then a lawsuit is normally filed....

    have you validated this attorney to be legit?
    Do not do anything over the phone or make promises...
    he needs to send you everything in writing...

    I do not pay people just because they have made claims
    that I owe them, I fell for that trick when I was abit younger....

    1: are sure this is an atty, he can not even write a proper sentence....
    2: This does not sound like the language of an attorney...

    Validate, verify, validate, verify...
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
    dscurlock, Sep 30, 2017 IP
    sarahk likes this.
  6. Chios

    Chios Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Thanks @dscurlock for your answer ... I actually did my homework and think this is a real attorney and contacted the reported owner of the photograph (who is a photographer) and confirmed he is given the attorney the OK to start processing this claim so its not a scum trying to get money out of thin air. But in any case we are not sending any money since we did not make any money of from it.

    Thanks also @Sarah Lauren for your comments as a matter of fact the designer don't remember were he found it because it was almost 1 year ago ...

    I have an extra question if anyone knows
    The attorney and photographer are in Germany but me and my client and graphic designer are in Greece
    Can the a German court order me/my client and photographer to go to Berlin for hearings ?
    If yes do we have to pay for the expenses of the trip and accommodation ?

    I think the court order has to be given in our country of origin so I don't think they will overtake such an expensive endeavour to claim a few hundred dollars
    (since we did not sell the graphic directly it was only used as graphic/image on a posting in social media)

    any more thoughts on this would be appreciated
     
    Chios, Oct 1, 2017 IP
  7. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #7
    What does your lack of revenue have to do with you stealing an image?

    Your designer needs to wise up quickly. I'd expect any reputable training company to teach designers how to reference their work - this is not a new problem!

    If he genuinely created the image he may have some drafts still lying around with appropriate timestamps.

    I had a problem years ago where I made a logo using an online logo tool when knocking up a site for our local tennis coach. He got sued and I had to scratch around trying to find the site I'd used. I don't know how it got resolved but I imagine there was a bit of straight talking.

    I'd get on the phone to the lawyers and start by saying you don't understand how the mix up happened, how you've tried to put things right, how you've acted in good faith. With any luck the lawyer will instruct the client to back off.

    If, however, the client is Getty Images you can kiss goodbye any chance that they'll walk away quietly. You can talk them down to their standard royalty fees - but they normally contact you direct and don't bother with lawyers.
     
    sarahk, Oct 1, 2017 IP
  8. Sarah Lauren

    Sarah Lauren Peon

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    #8
    Well, I am glad you appreciated my input. Although, I have no idea about this extra question that you've asked. So good luck ahead.
     
    Sarah Lauren, Oct 2, 2017 IP
  9. Pamela Turns

    Pamela Turns Active Member

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    #9
    Online copyright has never been more confusing, but you still need to abide by it.
     
    Pamela Turns, Oct 2, 2017 IP
  10. Afraz Alam

    Afraz Alam Peon

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    #10
    Copyright Law is so comprehensive and varies so much between countries, that it would be impossible to include it all in one post. If you would like to know about the copyright laws in countries like USA, UK, Canada, France & more, you may want to read this post.
     
    Afraz Alam, Oct 4, 2017 IP
  11. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #11
    It depends if those countries have agreements with each other, of course they would want the fight
    in their court system, and you would want it in your court system. I know if I were to sue someone
    out of country, then my changes of getting anywhere greatly diminishes. You could signup to
    Avvo and ask that legal question there for free.

    people often think think if you sue someone then you have to fight them their home state, that is not always the
    case, legal stuff is BS, and other times I deals on the legality of the case. I just read about one case where he
    wanted to case to stay in his state, however, he did not win his claim, and now has to fight the case in the other
    parties state, which can turn out to be more expensive, and it is not convenient to fight a case out of your area.....

    You are asking him to talk to the lawyer of the opposition, and he should not.
    Never talk to the oppositions lawyer as or the plaintiff as he could find himself deeper in the hole.
    He should consult a local attorney that could assist him better; maybe find a local
    lawyer that offers a free consult, then go from there (if it goes anywhere at all...)

    He certainly needs to consult an attorney on international law.
     
    dscurlock, Oct 4, 2017 IP
  12. Sumit_Singh

    Sumit_Singh Active Member

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    #12
    The email you got was real or sent by someone for fun? You have any proof about it, that was the real email? Before removing the images you should have to contact to your graphic designer for this purpose because the gig was created by your graphic designer and you have to talk to them first. After that, you should look for further actions.
     
    Sumit_Singh, Oct 4, 2017 IP
  13. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #13
    You're in Greece, they are in Germany... What jurisdiction does German court have in Greece? Probably NONE.
     
    qwikad.com, Oct 4, 2017 IP
  14. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #14
    which is so expensive he might as well pay the licensing fee and a nominal amount for legal expenses and be done with it.
     
    sarahk, Oct 4, 2017 IP
  15. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #15
    Personally, I am not so sure I would; If I got a threatening legal letter from another country,
    then I most likely would just discard it, and if they wanted to fight me then they can
    fight me in my own court system which would be very costly for them, over a mere $1300?
    I certainly would not just pay them off because they are demanding $1300, and from I
    am seeing, then I am pretty certain I would not pay it, and would let them take it
    to the next level if they really think the expense level is worth it for them....

    I would say, let him prove his case in my court jurisdiction...
    and if my court says I owe him $1300, then so be it....
    (actually getting money is another story....)

    I certainly would not lose sleep over this...
    But this is just me....
     
    dscurlock, Oct 4, 2017 IP
  16. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #16
    My experience with the doggedness of Getty is maybe colouring my perspective. Husband: who are these Getty people, me: <facepalm>
    We don't know who this lawyer represents so can't do research on how they've treated others who have erred.
     
    sarahk, Oct 4, 2017 IP