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Is "Getty" Getting You Down?

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

  1. mad4

    mad4 Peon

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    #61
    The search engines credit the copyright holder and also allow the owners of the images to remove them from the search engines using robots.txt
    SEMrush
     
    mad4, Nov 17, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. SuperSEO

    SuperSEO Peon

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    #62
    How do they credit the copyright holder? When you go to google image search there are many images from gettys and other copyright holders. Most of the people who got these letters found the images from the search engines. I have never seen the image in Google Image search saying this image is copyrighted by Gettys.

    Also, if the images are protected by robots.txt, why are they showing up in Google Image search in the first place?



     
    SuperSEO, Nov 17, 2006 IP
  3. SuperSEO

    SuperSEO Peon

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  4. MarkS

    MarkS Peon

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    #64
    It's certainly important to understand the difference between "royalty-free" and "copyright-free" images. Getty is in the business of licensing images whose copyright is owned by the individual photographers and those photographers get a cut of the licensing revenue. Appropriating those images without payment is, well, stealing, and it's certainly within Getty's rights to go after those individuals and companies who are stealing from them.

    As a rule of thumb, you can't simply do a Google search and take whatever images strike your fancy. Those images are more than likely copyrighted and cannot be used without permission or payment. One good result of Getty's pursuit of people infringing on copyright is that more people will learn the law. It's really unfortunate that this sort of thing doesn't seem to be taught in schools these days.

    Mark
     
    MarkS, Dec 20, 2006 IP
  5. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

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    #65
    In fairness though Getty should be making strides to protect their images by letting people know that these are in fact copyrighted images. If you download (or even buy) images from a third party who stolen these images, then you are acting ;in good faith' and a court would in fact be hard pressed to award damages. (which is why Getty don't actually take people to court).

    OF COURSE you would need an invoice for the images to prove this was the case!
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Dec 21, 2006 IP
  6. Getty Victim

    Getty Victim Guest

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    #66
    A new group has been set up to help all victims of the Getty Images invoices and demands for 'unauthorised use of copyrighted images' saga. Please use this group, anyone can register and post their experiences.

    http://groups.google.com/group/help-for-victims-of-getty-images?hl=en
    Please copy and paste the link into your browser and add to your favourites.

    Please visit the group and help build an archive of information that can help people fight back against the unreasonable, bully-boy tactics of Getty Images.
     
    Getty Victim, Mar 14, 2007 IP
  7. WebmasterPost.com

    WebmasterPost.com Active Member

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    #67
    I'm sure this person was banned for a good reason but was just curious if someone could explain why? There must be some rule against what they said?
     
    WebmasterPost.com, Mar 15, 2007 IP
  8. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

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    #68
    It might not be what they said, they might have had 2 accounts for example, which is an instant ban for both on DP.
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Mar 16, 2007 IP
  9. logiweb

    logiweb Peon

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    #69
    Did anyone from Canada receive this letter from Getty?
     
    logiweb, Mar 21, 2007 IP
  10. Blue

    Blue Peon

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    #70
    I am suprised that no one asked how "Getty Images" determined their photos where appearing on your website.

    For those that don't know, Getty uses a spider to search websites for their images.

    Picscout or http://www.picscout.com/

    More info on Picscout here: http://incredibill.blogspot.com/2006/11/hunting-picscout-copyright-crawler.html

    I don't know how they determine if an image belongs to them (possibly embedded copyright data in the image.) So, I assume the process is automated as it would take hundreds of man years to examine every websites images for copyright violations.
     
    Blue, Mar 22, 2007 IP
    WebmasterPost.com and Corwin like this.
  11. WebmasterPost.com

    WebmasterPost.com Active Member

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    #71
    WebmasterPost.com, Mar 24, 2007 IP
  12. pixelranger

    pixelranger Peon

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    #72
    Yes I have received the letter...I live just north of Toronto.

    Havent responded to them yet and I am trying to figure out what the best course of action is.
     
    pixelranger, Jan 22, 2008 IP
  13. gettyvictim

    gettyvictim Peon

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    #73
    I received 2 letters asking for over $2,000. I am in the US. I actually did the makeup and hair on the photos in questions and they were displayed in my on-line portfolio for all of about a week. They were taken down long before I ever received any notice.

    I am not sure what course I will take. I did receive verbal permission to use the shots in my portfolio (from the photographer) but I doubt that he would admit that and find himself in trouble with Getty.

    I also have a bit more ammuntion than most that I won't go into here. I am not sure if it's worth my energy to even reply to the letters because they can't win in court (in my case I am pretty sure they would'nt want to see the can of worms I would open in court).... My fear is that they will turn this over to a collection agency because I do have great credit. I have seen on other boards that this has happened.

    My question is...How can they report this as a bad debt on your credit report without your Social Security number? My credit is my only concern here because I am 99% sure they wouldn't win in court. I also believe that they do not have my address readily available though they could find it with some research, the demand letters were sent to my PO Box. So with a very common name, no SS# and without an address how do the collection agencies report the debt? and is it a valid debt just because they say it is?
     
    gettyvictim, Jan 27, 2008 IP
  14. scampowl

    scampowl Peon

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    #74
    Well, it has happened.
    We got our court summons from Getty for $60,000+ CAD.
    We are in Quebec, Canada, and the court papers summoned us to a court in BC (over 4000 km away!).

    I'll keep you posted as the case develops
     
    scampowl, Apr 14, 2008 IP
  15. FanAddict

    FanAddict Notable Member

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    #75
    Ouch, sorry to hear that.

    Were you using them on a fairly big website?
     
    FanAddict, Apr 14, 2008 IP
  16. ThisBuzz

    ThisBuzz Peon

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    #76
    What rubbish, his first post and he says he got his court summons

    Get real mate
     
    ThisBuzz, Apr 29, 2008 IP
  17. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #77
    WHO was sued? Do you have a real reference to a real court case?

    I've read some suspicious posts on the internet about alleged court trials where Getty supposively took someone to court. Nobody ever gives specifics of the trial, it's always "someone I know". But without a specific trial reference, the claim is completely worthless.

    My guess is that if Getty is ballsy enough to send out these borderline legal notices, then they are ballsy enough to post about fictional tales of scary lawsuits.

    I, too, did receive a few notices from Getty here in the USA, sent regular USPS mail. The image in question on my website was taken from a professional and popular clipart collection that I purchased 5 years ago. It has no copyright notice on it. I ignored the Getty image letters, and the letters eventually stopped.

    Remember, it not a legal notice of action unless you either receive a certified letter, or you get served by a process server.

    Listen up: Getty doesn't want to go to court becasue it's too dangerous for them. Look, if they lose even one court case, their whole scam falls apart. Not only that, people that have paid them in the past can sue to get their money back. They absolutely do NOT want to take you to court!!!

    So until you receive a certified letter from them, and until we see solid evidence that Getty has taken anyone at all to court over this (as of Feb 2008 I can't find evidence that they have taken anyone to court over this) then it's safe to ignore those letters. I haven't even taken the image down from my site - I damn well paid for the right to use that image when I bought my clipart collection!

    On the other hand, if you do attempt to contact Getty, they will squeal with the delight of pigs in week-old rancid feeces :p because they will assume that you are someone they can scare and hurt. Once you call them, you are on their rader. So, don't call them.
     
    Corwin, May 15, 2008 IP
  18. scampowl

    scampowl Peon

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    #78
    We received a Statement of Claim from Getty.
    We've replied with a Statement of Defense and they replied.
    We are expecting our lawyers to start negociating soon.
    This is all in Canada, and for a large amount.

    I'm not a lawyer, but if Getty isn't coming after you for over $20,000 I doubt they would send you a Statement of Claim (i.e. take you to court).
    Most lawyers I approched said that legal fees tend to start at about $50,000.
     
    scampowl, May 26, 2008 IP
  19. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #79
    I see that this is only your 2nd post. Why are you suddenly here?

    If you didn't reveive the "statement of claim", via certified mail or process server, then why in the world would your lawyer be so incompetant as to tell you to respond to it?

    "Most lawyers" you approached? How many lawyers did you talk to?

    Why should we believe the silly $50K number when this is only your second post? Why should we believe anything you write at all since this is only your 2nd post? How did you find this thread?

    Why is it that all the surprise forum people on the web that claim to be sued/paid etc Getty are always new users to a forum?

    It's not unreasonable for me to ask - why should be believe that you are not just another dishonest shill for Getty?
     
    Corwin, May 27, 2008 IP
  20. Donna Fulmizi

    Donna Fulmizi Peon

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    #80
    Our small company has also been contacted by Getty Images. Their initial contact was made with a very threatening letter that assumed the tone of both judge and jury. They implied that we had committed the offense of copyright infringement, was found guilty, and they had decided on the penalty and I darned well better pay up - or else. This "scorched earth" initial technique of contacting companies to collect money fits the classic definition of "extortion" in my opinion.

    Our company purchased a web-site from a developer at the cost of $399 and paid for it in full several years ago. According to Getty Images, they had used one of "their images" on the template for this web-site. First time we had heard of it and the web site had been up for years already. When I explained this to Getty Images in a letter and provided a copy of the credit card receipt - it was as though I had never responded - pay up - or suffer the consequences was their response. Now they have turned it over to a collection service in another state.

    I am livid over this encounter and have filed a complaint with both the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. At the present time, I am pursuing an additional complaint with the FBI for extortion and the Attorney General's Office in California. We are a very small company and I work very long hours to maintain a slim profit at best. I greatly resent having to take time out of the work day to respond to matters like this - they are a great irritation to us with their constant letters and threats.

    If you have had a similar experience, please let me know? Particularly if you can tell me of any other agencies that I can file a complaint with that I have not already contacted. These people need to learn that they are not "judge and jury" and they do not have to right to extort money from small businesses.
     
    Donna Fulmizi, Jun 18, 2008 IP