Kodakone asking payment for copyright infrigement

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MOGODONMAN867
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Re: Kodakone asking payment for copyright infrigement

Post by MOGODONMAN867 »

I have today had exactly the same demand from this company but asking for An absurd €1363.00 for an image used on a low-traffic non commercial website since 2013. The image appears to be owned by Getty Images so should I presume this demand is being done on their behalf or is it, as it seems, what amounts to blackmail.

They have not indicated who they are acting on behalf of and the clear implication is that they have the rights to it and are acting accordingly. What is to stop them plucking any website out of the air and targeting it in this way?

I would be interest to know how this has turned out for others targeted by this firm who are based in Berlin.

I have removed the image immediately and am contemplating how to respond.
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AndyJ
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Re: Kodakone asking payment for copyright infrigement

Post by AndyJ »

Hi MOGODONMAN867,

As you will have seen from the other postings here, and in the similar threads about demands from Pixsy and PicRights, their standard method is to ask a high fee, and then drop it down if the person they are going after stands up to them and is prepared to negotiate a fairer settlement. They probably are working on behalf of Getty, although they should have stated who the actual owner of the copyright was. If you can find the same image on Getty, use the standard fee that Getty charges to calculate the basis of your counter-offer, if you decide to deal with them.
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
MOGODONMAN867
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Re: Kodakone asking payment for copyright infrigement

Post by MOGODONMAN867 »

Thanks for this advice. I agree that they should state who they are acting for. They claim that a company called AVALON, who I have never heard of and cannot find on the internet, own the copyright which Getty Images also claim they own.
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Re: Kodakone asking payment for copyright infrigement

Post by Jue_Hee_Kong »

I can confirm that Ryde GMBH do not have any idea whether iStockPhoto or other agencies have licensed the photos they demanding money for. Their work is entirely speculative and IMO you can safely ignore them as they are not going to take you to court on a hunch.
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Re: Kodakone asking payment for copyright infrigement

Post by pixie fly »

Hi All,

I've found myself in the same situation as the above posters, I got an email from RYDE demanding a post licensing fee of 650 Euros for using an image on my Etsy store. The twist is, this image was taken in my friend's house and the model in the image is wearing one of my garments and I was told it's ok to use the image as long as I credit the editorial it was photographed for, which I did. Furthermore this image was published in a magazine and my store was credited in it. I explained all this to RYDE. I don't know what to do if I'm honest. I'm a very small business and I used a beautiful photograph given to me by the photographer who used my garment. Do I have to pay the 650 Euros? I've taken the image off but in their email they stated that won't resolve the issue.
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Re: Kodakone asking payment for copyright infrigement

Post by AndyJ »

Hi pixie fly,

From what you have told us, it sounds as though this claim has been issued in error. The key part to unravelling this is knowing who claims to own the copyright. Ryde should have included this information in their demand but possibly didn't. You say "I was told it's ok to use the image". If this was said by the photographer then that would amount to a verbal licence assuming that the photographer, as the author of the photograph, was also the actual copyright owner. If he/she was a freelance who had been commissioned to do the shoot then it is highly likely that he/she retained the copyright in the work and so an assurance from him/her is sufficient to create a licence. However if he/she was a full time employee of the magazine, then his employer, the magazine's publisher, would be the owner of the copyright (see section 11(2) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988). In that instance only the publisher or their authorised representative could issue a verbal licence which would be valid. So if photographer was an employee and the verbal assurance was made to you by someone like the art director or a senior representative of the publisher, then you can reasonably rely on this as a valid licence. However if the person who made the statement was just some assistant at the shoot, it would be more questionable whether they would be authorised to issue such a licence on behalf of their employer.

There is another scenario which might apply. This would be if the photographer was a freelance (and so remains the copyright owner) but he/she was under contract to provide the magazine with the exclusive rights to the images. An exclusive licence prevents anyone, including the copyright owner, other than the exclusive licensee from using the commissioned images. If this was the case and it was the photographer who said you could use the images, then he/she is at fault and not you. You would have received a licence which was invalid because he lacked the authority to issue it, however you would not be liable as you acted in good faith believing that he did have the authority to issue the licence. In such circumstances the publisher would need to take up the matter with the photographer as a breach of contract.

If you have not been told the name of the person or organisation who claims to own the copyright, you should try and find this out. If you know the name of the photographer I would start there. The problem with approaching the magazine is that, in all probability, unless you speak to their legal department, no-one on the editorial side will know the full details about the terms on which the commission was arranged. However you may need to go through the editorial staff initially. Once you know who is the actual copyright owner (rather than a licensee), then you need to look at the status of the person who said you could use the image. If it was the photographer and he/she is the copyright owner you are on safe ground; if was someone from the magazine but the photographer is the copyright owner, then the verbal licence is probably invalid unless the magazine was the exclusive licensee; and then finally if the photographer was an employee of the publisher, only an authorised representative of the magazine could provide a verbal licence of the sort you describe, which would bind his/her employer to honour it. Once you track down the real owner, you should ask them to honour the licence you believe you given, and get them to call off Ryde. I hope that makes sense.

I would hope that, whatever the circumstances and the ownership details, morally Ryde would drop this claim as you were clearly acting in good faith based on what you thought was 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
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