ImageRights.com Attack - UK small business

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
Post Reply
oad3021
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2024 1:07 pm

ImageRights.com Attack - UK small business

Post by oad3021 »

Hello everyone,

ImageRights is harassing me for a copyrighted photo on my blog. They are asking for a ridiculous amount, in the thousands. I had no understanding of how the law worked, but I understand this doesn't help my case.

The photo (taken down now) was on a low quality page of the site that had no impact on the business (just a side blog with very, very low traffic).

From what I've been reading on here, it might be best to just go to court and see how much the judge decides is fair. Is this right? I am happy to pay for the damages if the courts are realistic.

Should I call the photographer and give her some money directly? Does she even know about this? They mention her by name in their extortion email.

What is the worst thing that could happen in court? Is there any precedent on this? Is there a public record of similar cases that I can have a look at?
Last edited by oad3021 on Mon Mar 11, 2024 1:48 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Les
Regular Member
Regular Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2024 11:11 am

Re: ImageRights.com Attack - UK small business

Post by Les »

IPEC previous judgements are here https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/IPEC/

I can't see any that name ImageRights or Pixsy or any of these companies, but my understanding (please correct me Andy) is that any case would have to be taken by the photographer not the company. However the judgements I've looked at all seem to relate to corporate contracts. I haven't seen any so far that mention the photographer I know of, or famous trolls like Verch or Philpott, or indeed Creative Commons.

I don't know if this means that these types of cases have never gone to IPEC or just that they're not recorded here.
User avatar
AndyJ
Oracle
Oracle
Posts: 3017
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Re: ImageRights.com Attack - UK small business

Post by AndyJ »

Yes Les, you are right. If a case went forward to trial it would be in the name of the photographer or copyright owner. Occasionally this might be a company like AP or Reuters if the photographer was one of their staff employees, but in my experience the majority of photographers are free lancers.
And because most claims of this type will be under the £10,000 threshold, they will be allocated to the small claims track. Small Claims cases don't get reported so a copy of the judgment does not appear on Bailii or the National Archives Caselaw portal. Indeed in very straight forward cases the judgment might be given ex tempore - that is, verbally at the end of the hearing. In order to get a copy of a judgment in cases like that you would need to pay for a transcript of the procedings to be made.
The few cases which go to the main IPEC court tend to be the complicated ones where the streamlined processes applicable in the small claims court aren't appropriate for the issues which need to be resolved.
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
stevedavies
Experienced Member
Experienced Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2023 6:38 pm

Re: ImageRights.com Attack - UK small business

Post by stevedavies »

Sorry to hear this is happening to you. There are a number of victims of this kind of harassment on this site telling the same old tales, of which I am one. I'm currently dealing with the end game of a case over a Flickr image under the outdated CC 2.0 license and the lack of attribution which I was not aware of at the time. In my case, it's the outdated license that's taken advantage of however there have been changes since March 2023 regards how artists should contact users of their images as opposed to going straight to legal action or using firms like Pixsy or ImageRights to collect extortionate fees. Have you got the source of the image you used?

Based on what I've learnt here, I'll add to your post.
I had no understanding of how the law worked, but I understand this doesn't help my case.
None of these rogue firms care about that. They depend on intimidation techniques and long term harassment until the people they are targeting just pay up. Any facts you share with them will fall on deaf ears and they'll just keep repeating themselves with the same email threats that get sent to others like demands for prompt payment or time-based threats.
The photo (taken down now) was on a low quality page of the site that had no impact on the business (just a side blog with very, very low traffic).
This shows you're a good faith user and willing to comply with license rules but matters not to them.
From what I've been reading on here, it might be best to just go to court and see how much the judge decides is fair. Is this right? I am happy to pay for the damages if the courts are realistic.
I've just send my final email regarding my case and closed down my communications with them over the Flickr image I used back in 2022. Yep that log ago. Though they didn't come at me until August 2023. And much had changed in terms of rules and regs at both Flickr and Creative Commons by then. These companies have no legal powers and it's not their place to tell you that they do. I'd expect that a IP court would view the matters differently for a number of reasons talked about in previous posts. Justifying the extortionate so-called license fees would not surely be so easy at the IPEC over a minor transgression not wilful theft of an image. I'm at the stage where I've said I will not be in touch with them until legal proceedings start. So either it will get dropped or I won't hear or there will be a court case.
Should I call the photographer and give her some money directly? Does she even know about this? They mention her by name in their extortion email.
Some have tried that. Many were shunned off by the artist and told it was out of their hands. I have not contacted the artist directly.

I discovered that the artist in my case was a potential troll having over 27k images on Flickr, under the outdated CC 2.0 license. I had the artist investigated as he'd breached the updated Flickr rules by not contacting me and requesting a takedown within 30 days, a new Flickr rule for all licenses. He has been banned from Flickr.
Jimuk
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2024 6:16 pm

Re: ImageRights.com Attack - UK small business

Post by Jimuk »

Hello,

I have had the same email relating to a picture of David Bowie I posted on a non-profit fan blog in 2016. The company ImageRights is representing is rather big and apparently aggressive when it comes to things like this.
I realise now I should have asked permission or obtained rights but I thought that as traffic is low on my blog and I am not making any money it wouldn’t be an issue. I was wrong it seems.

I am now wondering if I ignore the email will the issue eventually go away or will it go to court, should I just pay up?
User avatar
AndyJ
Oracle
Oracle
Posts: 3017
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Re: ImageRights.com Attack - UK small business

Post by AndyJ »

Please see my reply to your other posting. I wouldn't recommend ignoring the issue altogether. As you say you realise that you have done something wrong, you should be seeking to put things rights regarding the infringement. But that does not mean you should pay the speculative and disproportionate fee demanded by ImageRights. Restitution in civil claims mean that the rights owner is entitled to damages which equal his financial loss as a consequence of your not having obtained a licence in the first place.
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
Post Reply