Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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AndyJ
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Re: Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

Post by AndyJ »

Hi James,

Yes that's right, but as I say, the relatively smooth system involving the European Small Claims Procedure ends soon, after which It will definitely be more complicated, and thus more expensive, to get the UK courts to enforce a foreign judgment.
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Re: Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

Post by jamessmith00441 »

Thanks for the reply.

Ok so they def have to go through the courts in the UK then, which def helps my case and an out of court settlement.

In terms of the UK courts and enforcing a foreign judgment, is this very black and white or would they for example say they can only enforce half of the amount the German court has awarded the photographer?

I have started to fill the IP Pro Bono form in today so will look to send this tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up here.
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Re: Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

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jamessmith00441 wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:20 pm In terms of the UK courts and enforcing a foreign judgment, is this very black and white or would they for example say they can only enforce half of the amount the German court has awarded the photographer?
Assuming the German court rules against you then the UK courts could be asked to enforce the order exactly as it was made in Germany:
Court settlements A court settlement approved by or concluded before a court or tribunal in the course of the European Small Claims Procedure and that is enforceable in the Member State in which the procedure was conducted shall be recognised and enforced in another Member State under the same conditions as a judgment given in the European Small Claims Procedure.
The German court order is likely to include an award of costs as well as damages. I am not sure, but I think that any UK court costs could also be passed on to you.
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Re: Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

Post by jamessmith00441 »

Thanks for your latest reply

I notice earlier in the thread you said this:

"However one important thing to note is that as you are not in any form of contractual relationship with the photographer and/or the claims management company, the ESCP could not be used in your case unless you admit liability, so don't do so when making you counter-offer."

I have not admitted liability so how does this effect things?
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Re: Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

Post by AndyJ »

Hi James,

You are right, the ESCP won't apply in your case, I had forgotten we had established that previously. Nonetheless there are slightly streamlined procedures (see Council Regulation 44/2001) for getting a European judgment enforced in the UK although, like the ESCP, these procedures will also cease to have effect on 31 December 2020. So long as the German court gets the paperwork right, a UK court is unlikely to interfere with any order by the foreign court, simply because, to a large degree, copyright law is harmonised within the EU. But on the other hand the enforcement order won't go through on the nod, and you will have an opportunity to appeal if you wish. Once the matter is before the UK High Court, that court will follow Civil Procedure Rules Part 74, in particular Rules 74.2 to 74.11A. As you will see it all gets mighty technical and this is not something a layman can easily deal with without legal assistance.
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Re: Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

Post by jamessmith00441 »

Hey Andy, hope you are well.

Ok I have been able to settle this case for a much reduced fee, took alot of work and I really appreciate your help and support.

I just have another question, on the settlement agreement the laywer has send over, it says this: "If not done before, the debtor signs a “Declaration to Cease and Desist” enforced by a penalty in case of breach and with a jurisdiction clause for Berlin, Germany added until xxxxxxxxx."

In our inital conversation you said to never sign this document as it could land me with issues later down the line... What should I do now?

Cheers

James
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Re: Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

Post by AndyJ »

Hi James,
jamessmith00441 wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 6:32 pm you said to never sign this document as it could land me with issues later down the line
What I said was, don't admit liability for infringement where that isn't necessary. Unless the declaration you have been asked to sign actually says that you admit liability, all you are doing is agreeing to stop using the disputed image and not to use it again in the future. If this was sprung on you after you had agreed the settlement then you don't have to do so as part of the settlement but unless you strongly object to signing, you may avoid further hassle if you do sign. As for the jurisdiction clause, in about 16 days time that will pretty much worthless. Yes, in theory you could be sued in the German courts if you broke the Cease and Desist agreement but it would cost them a great deal of money to enforce any judgment in the UK once the UK has completed its transition out of the EU, after which all the existing mechanisms for easily enforcing cross-border civil judgments cease to have vailidity.
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Re: Solicitor letter demanding super high fee for alleged copyright infrigement for image use

Post by jamessmith00441 »

Thanks for the reply.
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