Copyright infringement notice for using images. Looking for

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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Copyright infringement notice for using images. Looking for

Post by opaceweb »

We've recently been asked by a press release publisher (UK limited company) to pay an invoice for a fine they have received from Getty Images, where they've stated: "Please see attached an invoice... for Copyright infringement reimbursement costs for improper use of image Catalogue Image..."

This was a genuine error as we believed the image to be public licence. The publisher hasn't confirmed whether they have actually paid the fine but we can see that they have changed the image. We also don't know whether Getty actually owned the copyright to the image.

By setting up an account with the publisher, they are saying that we have agreed to their terms and conditions as follows: "Submitted Materials will not contain any content that, in the reasonable opinion of..., is obscene, libellous, slanderous or otherwise defamatory, false or misleading or which violates any copyright, right of privacy or publicity or other right of any person."

My questions is whether by doing this they can absolve themselves of responsibility for breach of copyright by making us responsible, or should the publishing party have protected themselves by putting proper checks in place regarding image copyright? The publication was a 'paid for' service which we understood to be properly moderated.
Does anyone know about this type of thing here? Any help would be appreciated!
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Post by CopyrightAid »

Very sorry to hear of the situation and I am sure, as you say, that this was a genuine mistake.

Firstly, to pick up on this point:
can absolve themselves of responsibility for breach of copyright by making us responsible
Surely you ARE responsible if you sourced the image and supplied it as part of your press release.

I cannot see how a press release publisher can ever be reasonably expected to research every image supplied to them - how would they even know where to start? They were not party to your obtaining the images, nor would they be aware of any agreements/licensing arrangements, etc. that you have entered into when you obtained the image.

Their T&C's are there for a reason - to make sure they do not get sued for something that was not their fault. By your own admission you have breached their terms, and I believe they are correct to forward the complaints to you.

You say "we believed the image to be public licence" and that it is a genuine mistake. In which case I would HOPE that, when you contact them, Getty would accept that as an explanation and leave it at that now that the infringing image has been removed. Hopefully you have a copy of that licence to show the Getty legal team so they can see that you acted in good faith.

A word of warning... while most rights owners are happy if you just take the image down, Getty are notoriously belligerent and do seem to make a habit of threatening to sue beyond what I would consider a 'reasonable' amount for the usage.

If you do some searching on the web for "Getty images settlement demand" or similar you will see that Getty do seem to be trying to turn "defending their rights" into a profit making exercise.

There are also a good deal of scams out there - 'Getty' letters sent from people other than Getty in an attempt to obtain money by deception, so it is worth checking with Getty directly to make sure that this is a genuine complaint and not a scam.
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