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I am being sued for copyright infringement by photography company boxist.com

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by VisionMaster, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. #1
    I need a legal advice because I think I am being sued for copyright infringement.

    When i need images to use in my website I always use google search, and I understand as a website owner I have to deal sometimes with copyright complaints from many annoying photographers, so whenever i get DMCA letter, i always comply and I remove and replace the images, and this is always the end of the story, and I never had any troubles.

    I got an e-mail while ago from some photography company "Boxist.com / Photographer: Sam Mugraby" regarding an image that I am using in my website with the following demands: "Cease and desist demand and offer to settle copyright infringement claim", they are asking 200$ for the image which they claiming copyright for it, and they say they wish to resolve this matter directly without a court action, I asked for a proof of copyright, and apparently they have own the image and it's registered with the copyright office, so I have removed the image, but there no way I am going to pay this amount of money for a photo that I will not be using! so removing the image is the best they can get from me.
    SEMrush
    Few months later, I have received a "LETTER OF INTENT TO SUE" with more threats and demands, their settlement price has multiplied by ten because they say have a lawyer involved now, I read on some forums that the best way is always to ignore such letters, so I have ignored the letters.

    Now, I just got served a (SUMMONS IN A CIVIL ACTION and COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND) notifying me that the complaint has been served and listing the date of the first court appearance for the lawsuit !!!!

    Can they sue me for that?, I have done nothing wrong, it just a picture, there is no harm done here, it's not my fault google images is showing the image, people can view and download images from google for free, they should go after big companies such as google, not me ! also was no copyright symbol on the image, and i have removed the image from my website when i have been notified, do I need to see lawyer now? is it safe to ignore the court summons and things will just go away?
     
    VisionMaster, Mar 24, 2021 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Agent000

    Agent000 Prominent Member

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    #2
    You stole a copyright image and used it illegally!!! Of course you have done something wrong and of course they can sue you. Its totally your fault. You are a thief and should be treated accordingly. Your ignorance of copyright law is astounding.
    Yes, you need to get a lawyer. Ignoring the summons will only make it worse.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
    Agent000, Mar 24, 2021 IP
  3. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #3
    You sound like a complete wanker. Seriously. It is really hard to protect the intellectual property of people who create digital products. We've probably all used images against the TOS but the photographers aren't "annoying" when they stand up for their rights.

    From memory of my husband's run-in with Getty $200 was cheap. They dropped their price but they didn't back down. You're faced with a choice - lawyering up at some horrendous hourly rate or paying the $200 and never going to their site again.
     
    sarahk, Mar 24, 2021 IP
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  4. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #4
    You need to get a lawyer and then get a clue. The court summons is real and if you ignore it, it likely will result in a summary judgment against you (YMMV based on your local laws.) Once you pay the fines and legal costs, you then need to take steps to understand that what you did was wrong, both legally and ethically.

    Start this important process by thinking about the example of shoplifting: did not the store put that product you shoplifted right on the shelf in plain view where everyone can see and reach it? Isn't it the store's fault for making it so easy to steal the product, so they should be blamed for the theft, not you? Sounds a bit silly, doesn't it? Now re-read your argument as to why you did nothing wrong by stealing images.
     
    jrbiz, Apr 6, 2021 IP
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  5. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #5
    My goodness, all those annoying photographers who pout and whine when someone steals their work and takes food off of their table! And to make matters worse now you'll have to deal with an annoying lawyer and an annoying judge.

    My heart pumps purple p**s for you.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Apr 6, 2021 IP
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  6. EvoWRZ®

    EvoWRZ® Notable Member

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    #6
    Internet is free, if they look for sue they should start with suing google first. If they think it is you who did it then they pretend to be Google, more like scam email to me.
     
    EvoWRZ®, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  7. Agent000

    Agent000 Prominent Member

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    #7
    Your ignorance of copyright law is as bad as the original poster
    Why? Google did not steal the image and use it illegally.
    It wasn't a scam.
     
    Agent000, Apr 7, 2021 IP
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  8. EvoWRZ®

    EvoWRZ® Notable Member

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    #8
    I`m pretty much sure it is a scam, any funds related via email is 100% scam, there no mistake about it.
     
    EvoWRZ®, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  9. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #9
    The OP was "served" a court summons. That means he was physically identified and handed a paper summons by an authorized official. This is real.
     
    jrbiz, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  10. EvoWRZ®

    EvoWRZ® Notable Member

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    #10
    This is 100% scam e-mail, it has $ in the body under or before 200 we need nothing more to confirm scam e-mail being scam above scammers. Lawyer is not officer to ticket me.
     
    EvoWRZ®, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  11. Agent000

    Agent000 Prominent Member

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    #11
    FFS! They got served a summons!! That is NOT an email.

    If this is fake are you prepared to put your money where your mouth is and bail them out for ignoring the summons?
     
    Agent000, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  12. EvoWRZ®

    EvoWRZ® Notable Member

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    #12
    Them is the e-mail sender being in issue. I received scam like e-mail with $ and some 200 body inside it... why try to rip me off dear.
     
    EvoWRZ®, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  13. Agent000

    Agent000 Prominent Member

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    #13
    Do you even know what served with a summons means?
     
    Agent000, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  14. EvoWRZ®

    EvoWRZ® Notable Member

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    #14
    No legal knowledge in me i don`t study it never so it is negative. I would`t reply to it like OP did, just junk it and also keep the image.:)
     
    EvoWRZ®, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  15. mmerlinn

    mmerlinn Prominent Member

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    #15
    So, you are TELLING the OP to KEEP a STOLEN image. That makes YOU an ACCESSORY to a CRIME. That means YOU can ALSO be hauled into COURT for THEFT. And IGNORANCE of the LAW is NO excuse.

    YOU are an ADMITTED THIEF so heads up to anyone on DP. Protect yourselves from this THIEF and do NOT buy from nor sell to him.
     
    mmerlinn, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  16. DaEmma

    DaEmma Peon

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    #16
    Let me give you an advice from someone who know a bit about copyright laws, Yes they can sue you, and "IGNORANCE of the LAW is NO excuse." and this will be an expensive lesson to learn how to respect the (annoying photographers) as you called them, and the first thing you should do is to get a copyright lawyer, this matter is serious, and the penalties for copyright infringement is very stiff.

    It's infuriating how many people don't know the basics of copyright laws, Just because you were able to find an image on Google, it doesn’t automatically give you the right to use it in whatever way you see fit, If you want to use an image, permission or a paid license has to be obtain from the ORIGINAL author or in the case of images, the original designer or photographer. If you hold the belief that what is on the internet is free, this belief, which is only a belief will land you in more problems than you would think.

    The fact of the matter is, you broke the law, and a cease and desist letter is not a scam, it's an option to avoid court battles and expensive attorney fees, and ff the matter can be resolved amicably at the beginning then it is always the preferred approach, Just because you don't always get caught, just because some people don't defend their rights, just because you are one of thousands doing something illegal doesn't mean it is right and doesn't change the law.

    In practical terms, a cease and desist has no real legal weight. However, but its fulfills an important function in any legal process. It establishes that they have told the offender about their violation. the offender now cannot claim they didn't know they were in violation.

    If they do go straight to court, they have to make sure that they are prepared to explain to the judge why they didn't choose to try and work things out with a cease and desist letter. If a defendant can show they were unaware they were violating copyright laws, they may be awarded less in damages. However, if they can show that they have notified the defendant with a cease and desist letter and the defendant refused to comply, their damages award could increase in the lawsuit.

    From what I understand they own the image and they have it also registered with the US copyright office, which means (they will get statutory damages), statutory damages are damages that can be awarded by a judge or jury to a copyright owner in a copyright infringement suit. They are called “statutory damages” because the range of damages is established by the statute, specifically section 504 of the Copyright Act. Statutory damages are usually up to $30,000 per work, as determined by the court. However, the damage amount can be increased up to $150,000 per work if the infringement is found to be willful (intentional).

    They have offered you a very generous settlement option before filing a lawsuit against you, and you the one who refused to pay the 200$ for the image, so they will use this failure against you in court now, you should know that many attorneys have developed business models built upon accepting low-value infringement claims on a contingent fee basis. In these cases the photographer is not required to pay upfront — and usually very high — retainer fees but, rather, agrees to pay 45% to 60% percent of any award, either by court decision or through settlement, plus various costs incurred by the attorney as part of the litigation.

    The problem here is that there are too many thieves, yes, someone who takes from another without permission is a thief! You have left them no other choice but to take legal action and to go after you, so for all you that think stealing images and content is harmless, you can be sued for all royalties, triple damages and future damages, and if you have no money, the courts will take your car, home, and any future earnings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    DaEmma, Apr 7, 2021 IP
  17. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #17
    Just in case anyone was wondering

    upload_2021-4-8_12-53-35.png
     
    sarahk, Apr 7, 2021 IP
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  18. abcyesn

    abcyesn Well-Known Member

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    #18
    question for OP, is the summon an email or a letter mailed to your house?
     
    abcyesn, Apr 19, 2021 at 6:07 PM IP
  19. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #19
    Looks like it was an email
     
    sarahk, Apr 19, 2021 at 6:25 PM IP
  20. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #20
    Actually, the email came first according to his post. The OP said that he was then "served" a "SUMMONS IN A CIVIL ACTION and COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND" and that would have been physically handed to him by an officer of the court.
     
    jrbiz, Apr 20, 2021 at 4:24 AM IP