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Is "Getty" Getting You Down?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by purplepixi, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Jonnyboy

    Jonnyboy Peon

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    #41
    I'm aware that they use Moreton Smith but show me an instance where Getty has pursued a recent infringement to court?
    SEMrush
    As far as I read, they sell the 'debt' to Moreton Smith who then screw / bully / blackmail people into paying but what happens if someone tells Moreton Smith to clear off? Moreton Smith can't take the infringer up for not paying a debt, as the 'debt' is disputed and Moreton Smith has no legal support to take action.

    Jonny.
     
    Jonnyboy, Oct 6, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #42
    I don't know what you mean about "can't take the infringer up"? Collection agencies don't ever have power to take any kind of criminal action.

    It sounds like you have had some personal experience with taking Getty Images - Is that why you registered a new name to post?
     
    mjewel, Oct 6, 2006 IP
  3. Jonnyboy

    Jonnyboy Peon

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    #43
    Yes, I found here via a Google search as I also have an infamous 'love' letter from Getty for one image on my site (now removed) that a web designer (long gone) had used. Their mates at Moreton Smith have been in contact in the past but I'm not going to doing anything about it.

    Jonny.
     
    Jonnyboy, Oct 6, 2006 IP
  4. jedweb

    jedweb Peon

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    #44
    I don't understand why people would use Getty Images, or even why they need to use free images when places like IStockphoto have such extensive libraries of extremely inexpensive images. I guess it's because they don't know about it but if you need images, it doesn't take long to research online and find that out.
     
    jedweb, Oct 8, 2006 IP
  5. Asheville

    Asheville Guest

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    #45
    Getty....I just got a letter from them...I bought an event that had a website from someone and that someone had a designer make the sight.....the designer said they got those photos from clipart....im not sure what to do...
     
    Asheville, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  6. innocent

    innocent Peon

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    #46
    I have received those same demanding letters that many of you have. I have done nothing wrong and I refuse to let a company harass me or anyone else like they are doing. This has "class action lawsuit" written all over it....per the legal advice I have received. If you want to make some noise....PLEASE, PLEASE send letters and make phone calls to your local Attorney General's office, to the Washington State Attorney Gen. office, the Washington Better Business Bureau and to the local and/or national media. Unless we ALL start screaming about this to whoever will listen.....they will not stop. How can they harass people who have done nothing wrong...simply caught in the middle? How can they send you an invoice to collect on a debt if they are NOT licensed debt collectors and you have never signed a contract with them? Check with your local government offices and find out if Getty is even licensed to do debt collection in your state. If not, they can and will be fined by these entities!! The local governmental offices WILL get involved if you will let them know what is happening...
     
    innocent, Oct 13, 2006 IP
  7. Dorim

    Dorim Member

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    #47
    The same thing happend to me and hundreds of other people.
    I have ignored my Getty letters and have no intention of paying.

    Here are some other Getty posts that may help and a forum devoted to Getty's scare tactics:

    http://fightinggetty.proboards104.com/index.cgi
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=550522
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=390902&page=1&pp=25
     
    Dorim, Oct 17, 2006 IP
  8. WebmasterPost.com

    WebmasterPost.com Active Member

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    #48
    I'm so sorry to hear what happened PurplePixi. I'm not a lawyer so the advice I give should not be taken as from a lawyer.

    My advice is:
    Getty does indeed have laywers on staff, and they do indeed take big business to court occasionaly for copywrite infringement, if they think it is financially worth it.

    However, most of the time they do not. Their work is done by paralegals sending out thousands of notices like you got to intimidate you and scare you into paying them. It does look like they succeeded in intimidating you.

    In reality, it would cost them too much to engage a lawyer in the UK to take you to court or to take most of the thousands of people they contact to court. Like any business, Getty does a cost/benefit analysis before they go to court and they would clearly see they would loose money in going after you. Their laywers are overworked as it is.

    First off, don't lose any more sleep over this, they will not sue you.

    Secondly, as someone suggested, explain that you were lead to believe those images were in the public domian, that you are sorry, and that you don't have any money.

    They might try a little more intimidation, but know that you know that that is all it is, you're all set.

    Good luck!
     
    WebmasterPost.com, Oct 19, 2006 IP
  9. versus2

    versus2 Well-Known Member

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    #49
    Can they take action against one who is not a UK/US citizen ? Will/Can they actually sue one from the other parts of the world ?
    Not that i have anything with them (didn't even know what Getty is before i read this post), but i find it interesting..
     
    versus2, Oct 19, 2006 IP
  10. WebmasterPost.com

    WebmasterPost.com Active Member

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    #50
    Getty is big business, they will have copyrights in the UK as well so they could take her to court if they wanted to. But they won't spend the time and money to sue someone without the possibility of a payoff.
     
    WebmasterPost.com, Oct 19, 2006 IP
  11. robertn72

    robertn72 Peon

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    #51
    I too have had an invoice from Getty. I do not advocate any breach of copyright, but we were not aware of their copyright ownership. The images were provided by a third party web designer. Under British law, I understand that you cannot claim for damages for breach of copyright if the person breaching the copyright was unaware that copyright existed. Also, there is some doubt as the validity of their VAT invoice and the legality of the debt collection of these invalid invoices. I have seen a number of blogs and forums from worried people who have received similar invoices. I would like to set up a defence group where we all club together to hire a lawyer to give us advice and take action on our behalf, as a group. If we could get say 50 people and we all contributed £50, we would have £2500 to pay a barrister or lawyer to nip this in the bud. If anyone is interested, please let me know via the forum initially so I can get an idea of whether to proceed.
     
    robertn72, Nov 1, 2006 IP
  12. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

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    #52
    As Robertn72 is unkown on this forum, I would be happy to get involved with this. I will blog about this and see what we can do to get people together.

    Robert please Pm me your email address and we can discuss this further. If you are in the UK (which I asume you are) give me a telephone number and I will call you.
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Nov 1, 2006 IP
  13. supermazox

    supermazox Peon

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    #53
    hi, i also recieved a letter from getty

    my website is nonprofit/noncommercial...i just set it up one summer to use up 'free time' during summer break, it may sound niave but i had no idea about copyright laws etc...so just used google to find pics :( big mistake :(

    since recieving the invoice i have removed ALL pics from the website

    has anyone paid up?

    in all honesty...if i made a penny from the website...i would understand the hefty invoice...but there is no way i can afford £1600

    has getty taken any action against anyone?

    i've been told by people that getty wouldn't take this to court as its not exactly worth it for a multimillion (billion?!) dollor company..and they'd lose more than they'd make

    but thats not exactly reassuring..you always hear of them 'making examples' of people

    do you think offering to pay for the 'offending' pic would make a difference?
     
    supermazox, Nov 17, 2006 IP
  14. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

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    #54
    How old are you? that could have a serious bearing on how they behave (I ask this as you say 'school' but quote £'s). Also who was the domain and hosting registered to?
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Nov 17, 2006 IP
  15. mad4

    mad4 Peon

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    #55
    I'm no expert but as long as you take the images down there should be no problem. Can't believe they can prove that a small website caused thousands of £££'s in damages to them.
     
    mad4, Nov 17, 2006 IP
  16. supermazox

    supermazox Peon

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    #56
    i'm 23...but was 20 when the website was set up...hosting and domain name registered to the dude who put it all together for me... (hes only about 19/20)..do you really think age will be a difference?

    has anyone written to getty?

    did they appear to read your letter?

    i was told to get legal advise...but can't afford it :(
     
    supermazox, Nov 17, 2006 IP
  17. SuperSEO

    SuperSEO Peon

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    #57
    Does anybody happen to know whether Getty's Images send these letters to Google, Yahoo, and MSN. All these search engines have Getty's Copyrighted images all over their Image search. Or are they paying license for all the images in their image search results. Also is Getty's images going to go after MySpace for all those myspace profile pages with their images on them?
    So is Getty's going after small mom and pops only who can't afford legal fees and trying to get settlements.

    One of my friends got the same letter. He told them he can't afford it and ended up paying about 10% of what they were asking to settle it. The picture he used was a very small, thumb nailed sized picture and he didn't even know it's copyrighted.
     
    SuperSEO, Nov 17, 2006 IP
  18. supermazox

    supermazox Peon

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    #58
    did they accept his offer straight off?
     
    supermazox, Nov 17, 2006 IP
  19. SuperSEO

    SuperSEO Peon

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    #59
    He told them he's a grad student, owed over $150K in student loans with no income and he can barely pay his bills. And offered like 5% of what they were asking. They came back with like 10%. He didn't have time and didn't want to be bothered anymore so he just paid it.

    I think iStockPhoto is owned by Getty now.
     
    SuperSEO, Nov 17, 2006 IP
  20. supermazox

    supermazox Peon

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    #60
    that sounds quite similar to my situation

    hopefully they'll be understanding

    did he write or call?
     
    supermazox, Nov 17, 2006 IP