Picrights - image purchased from Shutterstock

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blueflame8
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Picrights - image purchased from Shutterstock

Post by blueflame8 »

Hi there,

I was contacted by Picrights asking for the payment of an image I used for a free article. I have been doing some reading and I understand they like to target small businesses to get them to pay up. They are asking for £350 and I have not responded since their last email.

My issue is that the image I am referring to is one that I purchased from Shutterstock as editorial content. It seems this is no longer available on Shutterstock, but thankfully I took a screenshot of at least part of the Shutterstock image when it was listed on my downloads.

What I am confused about is whether this is adequate protection? I presumed if I was buying an image from Shutterstock, I would not be breaching any copyright issues - am I wrong here?

Thanks
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AndyJ
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Re: Picrights - image purchased from Shutterstock

Post by AndyJ »

Hi blueflame8,

Provided that the Shutterstock licence wasn't time-limited in some way, that licence should protect you from liability. You could contact Shutterstock to get a copy of your licence terms and date of purchase etc if necessary. They do keep records of all such transactions for the very purpose that you need the information now. Did PicRights say who there client was? Clearly if it is Shutterstock, you may have more of a fight on your hands as I assume they will have already checked for a valid licence.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
blueflame8
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Re: Picrights - image purchased from Shutterstock

Post by blueflame8 »

Thank you so much, Andy this is really helpful. Sorry for the delayed response - I did not realise someone had responded! The client was Reuters.

I will contact Shutterstock now - I find it unusual that Shutterstock seems to have deleted the image (as if they found out this should not have been a Shutterstock image), but I am hoping this means the liability is with them.

Going forward, do you recommend liaising with PicRights or simply ignoring them but keeping this in mind? I know this is my call, I just am curious to get your view on this - I am not a fan of the way they pressurise small businesses and I am wary that liaising them will also acknowledge that I am someone that has read their emails, which could lead them to pursuing this harder.
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AndyJ
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Re: Picrights - image purchased from Shutterstock

Post by AndyJ »

Hi blueflame,

I suggest you wait until you have some documentary evidence of your Shutterstock licence. Once you have that, you can be pretty curt with PicRights as they (and Reuters) will have no valid claim against you. However if you fail to get the necessary documentary proof you may need to be more temperate in your contact with them as you will be relying on them to accept your word that you have/had a valid licence from Shutterstock. Ultimately if you can't prove this, their claim on behalf of Reuters may be accepted by a court (although only a claim based on a valid fee for a licence, not the inflated amount they have initially asked for).
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
blueflame8
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Re: Picrights - image purchased from Shutterstock

Post by blueflame8 »

Thank you!
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