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I'm being sued after a purchase for this forum - Help!

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by colin008, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. #1
    I purchased some female model images from a member of this forum many months ago and built a website around the images. I never put Google ads on the site because there was too much flesh and never got around to adding any other form of adverts, nor was i selling the images. however I'm being sued with about 12 other people by the real owner of the images.

    The first i knew about it was October 08 when i received an email from my hosting company, saying they have disabled my website for copyright reasons...

    Just this week i receive a summons, the Plaintiff's complaint for damages for violation of copyright, demand by jury trial.... Copyright act, 17 U.S.C.

    I'm don't know weather to personally reply, seek professional advice or ignore what is happening since I'm not a company and I live in another country...

    Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.
    SEMrush
     
    colin008, Feb 6, 2009 IP
    SEMrush
  2. wisdomtool

    wisdomtool Moderator Staff

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    #2
    At this stage, it will be best if you can get yourself some professional advice. I would advise not replying yourself unless you are confident of your legal knowledge. Any mistakes in your replies can easily be used against you with devastating effects.
     
    wisdomtool, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  3. colin008

    colin008 Active Member

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    #3
    I'm also wondering if i should also try to get in touch with some of the other defendents.
     
    colin008, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  4. Mega B

    Mega B Well-Known Member

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    #4
    CAB would be the best move at this moment in time and well worth a fiver to put in the kitty on how to move your problem forward.
     
    Mega B, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  5. koan

    koan Well-Known Member

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    #5
    Wow that sucks. But if you're from another country... I guess that protects you a bit? Let it be a lesson not to buy images from some loser in a forum. Go to real web sites that sell these things.
     
    koan, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  6. kingyman123

    kingyman123 Banned

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    #6
    While buying images, make sure they own the entire copyright over it. people who sell copyright contents without permission, dont buy from them. why taking risk and later getting sued.
     
    kingyman123, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  7. colin008

    colin008 Active Member

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    #7
    I have searched and see many posts that ask questions about copyright, but i've not read one where there was an actual case being brought against some one thats why i post this so people can read what happens in the real world when copyright Images are used with out the owners consent.

    Yes NeuroToxic your right i will call citizen advice.

    Mega B, what is CAB?
     
    colin008, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  8. Mega B

    Mega B Well-Known Member

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    #8
    @colin008 CAB is short for Citizens Advice Bureau.
     
    Mega B, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  9. 2012gifts

    2012gifts Guest

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    #9
    I would suggest that you seek legal advice, however I would think it would be best for you to just not reply to them. You live far away, they know they did not experience damage or losses due to the use of the images on your site. They are being asses. Using images on a non-profit site, a fan site, or even a small profit site does not result in damages to anyone. People do not see an image on your page and automatically refuses to buy something from the owner of the image in which they have never heard of. The people suing are just starting nonsense, trying to scare you and I do not think they will waste money and resources trying to get you extradited.

    Thats my thoughts on it, good luck to you
     
    2012gifts, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  10. Rezo

    Rezo Well-Known Member

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    #10
    They are most likely trying to scare you...Someone actually demanded 150,000$ from me for stealing his article. 2 years passed and nothing yet ;).

    P.S: the article was written by someone here on DP...
     
    Rezo, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  11. Sem-Advance

    Sem-Advance Notable Member

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    #11
    It helps before posting, if you read the OPs post in its entire length,

    He has received a summons ,,,,it's past trying to scare him....:eek:
     
    Sem-Advance, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  12. Karen May Jones

    Karen May Jones Prominent Member

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    #12
    If you haven't commercialized the site with ads or sold the pics, you've not made a profit, you were a victim. You should remove the images, explain that you bought them, count your losses.

    Also, you should call the scammer out in general chat to warn other buyers.
     
    Karen May Jones, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  13. colin008

    colin008 Active Member

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    #13
    I would love to think it would actually blow over but the paperwork I have received is from a firm of Lawyers, It has a case number etc, I've checked online and the case is real. The Image owner has already incurred costs by appointing a Lawyer and demanding a jury trial..

    Yep, I'm sure I need professional advice ASAP.
     
    colin008, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  14. Taylor French

    Taylor French Peon

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    #14
    There are a lot of people selling things here they have no right to sell. Rule #1 in buying, do your due diligence. Were you supplied with a model release when you purchased the images? If not, that was your first mistake. I know it doesn't help you with your current situation, but in the future, you should never buy photos of individuals without a proper model release, unless you buy them from a reputable stock photo agency.

    It still won't always protect you from people who bought images and received a model release form, then resold them without permission, but it will be less likely that you would get scammed if the seller could provide this. Because everyone who photographs a person (unless the photos were taken in public) should be getting a signed model release. If they don't have it, they either don't have rights to the images, didn't know what they were doing as a photographer, or didn't do their own due diligence when they bought.

    IANAL, so you should definitely seek legal advice, but in this case I would take the photos down and consider it lesson learned. Good luck.
     
    Taylor French, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  15. Kirsty H

    Kirsty H Banned

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    #15
    Blimey. Sorry to hear that. As already advised, seek the help and advice of the Citizens advice bureau - and because your UK, I might be wrong but I think you would be entitled to legal aid too.
     
    Kirsty H, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  16. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #16
    Most people still don't have a clue even after reading the entire post.

    My advice: Stop posting about it here and contact an attorney. Anything you post here could be used as evidence so be careful what you write.
     
    browntwn, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  17. hostlonestar

    hostlonestar Peon

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    #17
    People do realize the US has an extradition treaty with the UK right? The plaintiff can pay all the costs to have him extradited and then tack that onto the suite as well. 2012gifts, do you know anything about copyright law whatsoever? You seem not to really understand how the legal system works, and therefor are not qualified to give this guy advice. So don't. He is well past the stage of someone trying to scare him. I hope the OP took the images down right after getting the notice. I would advice you, the OP, to get a hold of a lawyer, and tell the lawyer your story. Then have the lawyer contact plaintiff lawyers, and see if you can work a deal. As you did purchase them, from someone you assumed to be the copyright owner, you may get lucky, and they may drop the suite against you. You may have to give any information you have about the seller to them. You could try to strike a deal on that account. And if they're reasonable, they will work with you. I don't know what the CAB is (I know what it means, just not exactly what it is) but it seems like its a free defense service. Just remember, you get what you pay for.

    Also 2012gifts, any legal fees will be attached to the amount the suite is for, so they have lost money with someone else selling their intellectual property.

    People really need to stop giving advice on matters that they have no clue about.
     
    hostlonestar, Feb 6, 2009 IP
  18. colin008

    colin008 Active Member

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    #18
    Thank you hostlonestar for some good advice and interesting points.

    As you say i don't want to give too much information away, but two of the other 12 defendants are hosting companies that had the images stored on their servers and in the server memory...

    Does this type of case happen very often in the US? and if so.. i wonder what the outcome was...!
     
    colin008, Feb 7, 2009 IP
  19. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #19
    I think you are not correct at all.

    Since when did extradition laws cover mere civil legal matters and not just criminal? You think you can extradite someone to the US for a civil matter? Where are they kept? A hotel? For how long, trials can take years?

    Do you have anything that you can share that would support your bizarre contention?

    Yeah, I wonder that after reading many of your posts in the legal part of the forum.
     
    browntwn, Feb 7, 2009 IP
  20. hostlonestar

    hostlonestar Peon

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    #20
    I was talking more along the lines of a criminal trial (copyright is also a violation of Federal Law and under certain circumstances it is possible for them to be tried in a federal criminal trial.

    What exactly do you mean by this comment? Hate to break it to you, but I have quite a lot of knowledge on things when I talk about them. You do not know very much about me if you think I don't, considering most of my posts are agreed to..........

    Also, you don't know anything of my background. I know quite a bit about copyright law (at least US) as I deal with it and read on it daily. Also, criminal law, considering I investigate federal felonies and have for quite a few years, I believe I am able to comment on that too.
     
    hostlonestar, Feb 7, 2009 IP