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Is "Getty" Getting You Down?

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

  1. dustin0

    dustin0 Active Member

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    #81
    How is she responsible for finding out if the images can be used? She went searching for free images with no copyright and a website she came across said that she could use these. So how is she at fault?
    Also the adsense could have been used to pay for webhosting i highly doubt she was making any money from these websites to put in her own pocket.SEMrush
     
    dustin0, Jun 18, 2008 IP
    SEMrush
  2. MrLoofer

    MrLoofer Peon

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    #82
    We received a letter in the mail for $1000 for a tiny image buried deep in our site. The image was provided by a web design company sometime ago that is no longer in business. I've been researching this all day and am coming to the conclusion that nobody has yet gone to court over this, and people have been getting these letters as far back as 2005 it seems. So I'm tempted to fight it but my concern is our business is registered as a corporation, even though we're a small family run business, so we may appear as low hanging fruit to Getty.

    Interested to know if any other small corps out there in same situation and how you dealt with this, and whether anything happened.
     
    MrLoofer, Jul 2, 2008 IP
  3. motoxxx

    motoxxx Peon

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    #83
    I also got a letter claiming I stole images. I didn't. I had never even heard og Getty Images before I got the letter. I went searching for free images, found the ones Getty claims I stole from them, checked visually for watermarks (found none) used Photoshop to see if there were any digimarks embedded (there weren't any) so I used two of the images.

    Gettys letter claims I owe them $2,000. They haven't proven to me that they own the images. They just sent me screen shots of my site that has images on them along with a nasty letter saying I have to pay them. Well, one of the pages is an orphaned page on my site that has no links to it and the page as it sits has not had any traffic AT ALL and that particular page in their screen capture is over 2 years old and is no longer online!

    How can they do that?
     
    motoxxx, Aug 18, 2008 IP
  4. doridori

    doridori Banned

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    #84
    story like this makes me sick. when will these stupid douche bags learn to get off the backs of innocent citizens.
     
    doridori, Aug 18, 2008 IP
  5. doridori

    doridori Banned

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    #85
    well this doesn't sound like a legal threat. smells like scam.
     
    doridori, Aug 18, 2008 IP
  6. motoxxx

    motoxxx Peon

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    #86
    So far I have not ben able to find anyone online that has been actually sued byt them. There are literally a ton of threads on forums about this topic. If I get another letter from the, I will be calling the Attorney Generals office in Washington State. They didn't even send a cease and desist letter first like they are supposed to.
     
    motoxxx, Aug 18, 2008 IP
  7. yragcom1

    yragcom1 Well-Known Member

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    #87
    Istockphoto.com is nice, but fotolia.com is even cheaper ($1-3 a image), and has decent stuff, and of course, StockXchange is free, and has good stuff, too.
     
    yragcom1, Aug 26, 2008 IP
  8. SirTKC

    SirTKC Peon

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    #88
    Hi,

    I've been surfing the internet for a while seeking for more information about Getty Images bully attitude and for those who don't seem to know... iStockphoto belong to Getty Images... So please don't turn your money to the little bro of your bully... Just drop them both...

    As a web designer, I've been threatened by Getty recently. They asked 3000$ for two small pictures we didn't even know where they came from. Besides, when we have to pay copyright fees, we simply do, no question asked. But in this case, not a chance... I simply refuse to pay this abusive amount. They didn't even politely sent us a courtesy letter informing us that we were misusing copyrighted material, which in our case would have turned into an apology letter from us and a check enclosed.

    However, to this threat we made an outstanding generous counter offer (49$ each) and this one is final. You should all do the same as well as closing your accounts with both of them and turn to other sources for your graphic needs. A simple search will lead you to so many ressources, that getty & iStock will soon find themselves behind and forgotten.

    Spread the word folks !!

    Your french canadian pal.

    (sorry for my poor and handicapped English...)
     
    SirTKC, Sep 14, 2008 IP
  9. NuMuvs

    NuMuvs Peon

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    #89
    They sent me a letter recently... I called them to figure out what's the problem, I had my site done 5 years ago by a guy in the Phillipines who told me all the pictures were his stock. Now, he's gone or won't reply.

    They want $2000.00 that I don't have. I cannot afford to pay them. I took the picture down from the site. Ignorance may be a bad defense, it's the only one I got and I really don't have the money. And even if a judge were to order I pay... I don't have it.

    Any one got a license I can use?
     
    NuMuvs, Mar 17, 2009 IP
  10. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #90
    The best course of action is to completely ignore it.
     
    Corwin, Mar 18, 2009 IP
  11. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #91
    I recently settled a Getty images problem for a friend. They were leaving him voicemails on the phone number on his domain registration (it was a voicemail number). He had originally gotten the image from a clip-art CD (strangely enough, that clip-art company is now out of business).

    First, we removed the image from the website. Second, on the page the image was on, we set the ROBOTS meta-tag to NOINDEX, NOARCHIVE. Noarchive is very important as that removes it from the Google cache as well as archive.org.

    When I noticed the page was no longer in Google or archive.org for two weeks, I removed the meta tags. Then, I waited another two weeks until we got another voicemail.

    The voice on the voicemail sounded nice, innocent, and reasonable. However, when you call her back, the voice is icy cold and devoid of compassion (she must have worked at AIG). Getty is not interested in "fair". They are indifferent to taking the food out of your infant's mouth. Your pain means nothing to them. They are bill collectors.

    Think of the Terminator T-800:
    Understand?

    I maintained my tone, and refused to be influenced by her tone of voice. Her attitude changed when she realized she was not affecting me. I refused to give her my friend's name (his domain is registered in his company name). Now, what I told her was specific to my friend's situation and I need to assume that Getty not only is going to read this, but posted on this thread. But if you take the time to know the law, AND make it completely clear that you will absolutely not pay, and be unwavering in that assertion, then you can free yourself from their evil.
     
    Corwin, May 11, 2009 IP
  12. Chaka

    Chaka Peon

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    #92
    You might not want to ignore them:

    http://copyrightaction.com/forum/the-real-cost-of-being-sued-by-getty
     
    Chaka, Oct 19, 2009 IP
  13. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #93
    Oh, wow. Look - another first-time poster promoting Getty,

    You know, Chaka, I looked at your link and I'm not impressed. For one thing, this was not a graphic, it's a photo. Secondly Getty purchased this photo from a photographer so that specific time and place can be established.

    Third, notice that "the case was settled". It is highly doubtful that Getty would have won the suit (Getty has NEVER won a suit); instead, they resorted to economic terrorism, where they threatened to tie up these poor people in court until Getty depleted all their money.

    All over a charming photograph of a mother and daughter, Getty is willing to ruin individuals.

    I have never seen direct evidence that Getty has ever won a lawsuit in court. Never. Nada.

    Getty sounds like a profoundly evil company to me. I think Getty enjoys putting people into pain. It's not about copyright infringement - it's about sadism.

    Chaka, how long have you worked for Getty, hmmm???
     
    Corwin, Oct 21, 2009 IP
  14. Chaka

    Chaka Peon

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    #94
    Getty did not purchase this photo, they license it for a photographer. The general business model works like this: photographers shoot photos and retain ownership of them. Photographers send photos to Getty, Getty markets the photos, licenses the photos, and takes a cut of any revenue. The photographer gets paid, Getty gets paid, client gets picture.

    A small proportion of photos are wholly owned by Getty, but for the most part they are trying to get out of this business model.

    While I know you've seen a lot of Perry Mason and so you know a lot about this stuff, copyright is a strict liability tort, so, yeah, Getty probably would have won this one. Almost all copyright litigation ends up being settled, as most plaintiffs don't bring a case unless they're pretty sure they will win and because the cost of defending such a case is high and the potential judgment amounts (at least in the U.S.) are simply massive.

    This is a nice bit of hyperbole in your attempt to turn Getty into a folk devil, but Getty is probably more concerned with ensuring that the imagery they represent is properly licensed (rather than infringed) than in ruining people. Most creative artists agree with this in principle; while Getty is a big company, the photographers and illustrators they represent are mostly just average joes trying to hack out a living with a camera or a pencil or a stylus.

    Yeah, but you don't strike me as someone who looks very hard.

    Right, and I hear they like to kill Jews, too.

    LOL, yeah, that must be it.
     
    Chaka, Oct 21, 2009 IP
  15. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #95
    @Chaka, I know that you are new here, and you joined just to discuss Getty, right?

    Most of the people on DP are PROFESSIONALS and behave as such. This isn't USENET, and a certain amount of maturity is expected.

    If you expect your harmless little opinions to be taken seriously, you should behave more intelligently. If that's not too much to ask - is it?
     
    Corwin, Oct 21, 2009 IP
  16. Chaka

    Chaka Peon

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    #96
    While I appreciate your admonishment, in general, telling someone that they are stupid and that the ideas that they have are stupid isn't the best way to build a rapport. This may startle you, but I am for the most part not terribly interested in your opinion; not so much because your opinions are worthless, but rather because you are more concerned with rhetoric (however clumsy) than discussion. My sole purpose for joining this thread was to point out that, yes, Getty does occasionally sue people who ignore them. On a side tangent, from what I have read it would appear that most of the time they do not sue people; rather, they forward the issue to a collections agency who spends the next several years writing and calling you several times a week at your home and work.

    After your response, my purpose shifted to explaining to anyone else who was listening that there is, in fact, another side to this story that generally goes unreported: namely, that Getty actually represents a lot of average-joe independent artists who can't put food on the table if people infringe their work. If you do not agree with me, that is all well and good and I promise you I won't lose any sleep about it. :)

    *edit* BTW, just a note about Usenet; I haven't been there in about five years, but I assure you that the level of conduct on Usenet when I used to kick thereabouts (back in the 90's, mostly), is far beyond anything you'll find on this web forum, or most other web forums for that matter. Getting to Usenet used to take a fair bit of effort, and this tended to weed out the dull people. It wasn't until the advent of America Online (and later, Web TV) that things really went downhill.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
    Chaka, Oct 21, 2009 IP
  17. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #97
    Don't put words in my mouth. Being immature is not the same as being stupid. Immaturity is when someone doesn't know any better but is open to learning. Stupid is deliberately willful and stubborn ignorance

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    And a clumsy use of NLP on your part.

    This is not a forum of amateurs.

    I understand your point, yes, But my counterpoint was that Getty has never taken a lawsuit to a conclusions.

    Please keep in mind that this discussion is not about you and me, nor your defense of your opinions. This forum is about sharing information with professionals. We place our research here for others to read and build their own conclusions.

    On a side note, I admit to a tremendous amount of personal offense with your casual "killing jews" comment. That ugly and insensitive comment, in and of itself, tells us everything we need to know about you. THAT is stupid.
     
    Corwin, Oct 21, 2009 IP
  18. Chaka

    Chaka Peon

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    #98
    Actually, immature doesn't mean that, it means:

    2. deficient in maturity; lacking wisdom, insight, emotional stability, etc.

    Immaturity doesn't really imply anything either way about openness to learning.

    Stupid, on the other hand, does not imply willful and stubborn ignorance. Stupid is defined as:

    1. lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity

    As long as we are making up definitions for words, I would like to declare that the word "Corwind" is hereforth to be defined as:

    1. A meandering, disjointed retort comprised mainly of ad hominem.

    No, your counterpoint was that you were unaware of any instances of Getty winning a jury trial. You presented this as evidence that they never take these things to their conclusion. Of course, the very act of filing a lawsuit in Federal Court (or High Court in the UK) is an act of taking a thing to its conclusion. Filing a suit and getting a defendant to pay your demand and all of your court costs and attorneys' fees is not "losing" it's "winning, bigtime". Again, as I previously noted, nearly ALL copyright suits are settled before the actual trial, usually via very large sums of money paid by the infringers to the plaintiffs.

    Ah, there you go with the professionals thing. :) While you may enjoy clapping yourself on the back with platitudes, it doesn't really mean much to this discussion. Real professionals are really interested in real information about real topics that affect the real bottom line of their real-world business. The previous information in this thread would lead one to think that there is no risk in infringing copyright imagery and that if Getty or Corbis or Masterfile or any other stock agency contacts you demanding payment for an infringement, there is no risk in ignoring them. As my link clearly points out, this is incorrect information and that you are actually assuming a very large risk by infringing copyright images and ignoring demand letters from stock photography agencies. You would think you would be glad to hear the correction.

    The reality of it is that real professionals consult real attorneys when other attorneys send them letters threatening lawsuits. There is nothing less professional than relying on an internet web forum for advice on such matters, as my link clearly demonstrated.

    Yes, I'm sure it's just tearing you up inside, you adorable sensitive man, you.
     
    Chaka, Oct 21, 2009 IP
  19. DubDubDubDot

    DubDubDubDot Peon

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    #99
    A few points....

    You should have a license agreement for every single image you integrate into your site. Even if you purchase content from a known-to-be-legit source, you should archive the license physically or digitally.

    Most free stock photo sites contain infringing content.

    When you buy a design from a designer, you need to obtain image licensing agreements along with the design. Unfortunately, 99% of designers steal image content from Google Images.

    Being a noob and not knowing this stuff isn't a strong defense.
     
    DubDubDubDot, Oct 21, 2009 IP
  20. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #100
    If Getty has never gone to trial, it really isn't surprising. It has nothing to do with whether or not they would win - copyright infringement on one of their images is pretty much a slam dunk case. There isn't much of a defense other than fair use, which isn't going to apply to 99% of copyright infringement suits - and wouldn't likely be one they would choose to pursue in court anyway. If Getty sued every single person who was guilty, and even if they won 100% of their cases, they would go broke.

    The vast majority of people who use their images without buying a license don't have the financial means to see a case through trial - you're talking about tens of thousands of dollars not including paying Gettys attorney fees if you lose, plus damages. Getty couldn't collect their legal fees from most of these people (because you can't collect when the person doesn't have anything).

    Big companies that have the financial means rarely make the mistake of using images without permission, and when they do, they are going to settle long before it gets to trial.

    Ignoring a demand from Getty may work - it is also possible that they will be one of the unlucky ones that Getty decides to make an example of. Typically, you file a few cases to use as leverage - to send a message. If you are one of the unlucky ones that Getty decides to go after, the vast majority are going to fold and pay them as soon as they try to retain an attorney and they start talking about $25,000 and up fees for a defense combined with their slim chances of winning. When faced with paying a few thousand vs. the risk of losing six figures, most people with the means to fund a defense aren't likely to see it as a good business risk. Getty isn't going to back down if they file suit - they have the money to see some of these cases go to trial and backing down would do them a lot of harm. Having said that, you are probably at low risk for being made an example. Even if it is 1% or less, that is something the individual needs to decide if it's worth the risk.

    I been involved in quite a few lawsuits, not with Getty, but with deep pocket companies. I've had small disputes turn into six figure litigation. I would never advise someone to just ignore a legal threat - this is something that needs to be discussed with an attorney. Now if you have no money, never intend to have any money, don't care about your credit or owning any asset, then ignoring a legal notice might be the right course of action.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
    mjewel, Oct 22, 2009 IP