copyright infringement mail from PicRghts

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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Sil2
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copyright infringement mail from PicRghts

Post by Sil2 »

Hello,
I was wondering if anyone could help me with some advice regarding an email I just received from PicRights, I am UK based.
Apologies for the copy/paste email, here is what it says:

== As an introduction, PicRights provides copyright compliance services to third-party content owners, including Agence France-Presse. For further information, please visit https://www.afp.com/en/products/partners/picrights
We are acting on behalf of Agence France-Presse to obtain compensation for the unauthorised past-usage of their imagery.
PicRights has noticed that Agence France-Presse's imagery has been displayed on your website, social media or in media accessible from your website. However, Agence France-Presse has been unable to find a licence for this usage of their imagery by your organisation.
At the end of this message, we’ve attached a visual reference of the imagery and its use on your website, social media or in media accessible from your website.
Our goal in contacting you is to ascertain that you hold an active licence for this use with Agence France-Presse or with any other entity authorised by Agence France-Presse to licence and distribute the imagery:
• If you do have an active licence for the use of this imagery, we kindly ask you to send us your valid licence / authorisation, by visiting https://resolve.picrights.com/236298449195 / Password: 424393269 and clicking the "I have a licence..." link; or

• If you do not have an active licence for the use of this imagery, we request that you remove the imagery from your website, social media or in media accessible from your website.

• Please be aware that removal of the imagery alone will not resolve this issue. A payment in relation to the unauthorised past-usage is required to resolve the matter completely. You will find further information about this matter by visiting https://resolve.picrights.com/236298449195 /
We would like to resolve this time-sensitive issue as soon as possible and request that you respond within 14 days from the date of this correspondence.
If you believe you have received this notice in error or have questions, please contact us with your reference number 2362-9844-9195 at resolveUK@picrights.com.
Please visit https://resolve.picrights.com/236298449195 for further information about this matter.
On behalf of PicRights and Agence France-Presse, we thank you for your cooperation and look forward to assisting you in resolving this matter.

Sincerely,
Aurelien Cavalier
PicRights 

UK Department ==

I indeed used and am using the photo on my website, it is a photo of ME. I am myself in this photo. It is my website (although it was built by someone else). This photo was taken in 2008 in an international competition when I was competing and I always had it. I do not remember exactly who sent me the photo or how I got it but I always had it as a photo of myself competing.
The website I use the photo on is my club's website - I set up the club, the club is named after me, I manage it, I run it, and it has photos taken by me and this photo of myself taken by probably one of the hundreds of photographers present in 2008 at that specific sport event.

Would anyone be able to help me out with what should I do? They are asking me to take the photo down and pay £1480.

Thank you
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AndyJ
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Re: copyright infringement mail from PicRghts

Post by AndyJ »

Hi Sil2,

Welcome to the forum.

Please take a look at the other recent threads dealing with much the same topic as you have raised. These should give you an idea about how to deal with this claim.

Unfortunately the fact that you are the subject of the photograph, without an explicit licence from the photographer, doesn't give you any special right to use the image. The demand letter should have identified the photographer. If it didn't, you should ask for this information. Once you have the name, it might be worth contacting him or her and explaining the situation, and asking for his retrospective permission to use the image. It's a long shot but worth a try. The same argument is unlikely to impress PicRights who will probably ignore anything you say, and just press on with their claim.
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
Sil2
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Re: copyright infringement mail from PicRghts

Post by Sil2 »

Thank you, I'll do that.
Sil2
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Re: copyright infringement mail from PicRghts

Post by Sil2 »

Hello again,

I went trough most related topics and did some research myself.

My email was signed by and as:

Aurelien Cavalier
PicRights
UK Department

I found some articles online in french, one of them below:
https://www.lextimes.fr/actualites/arna ... -picrights

Translated:
==Specializing in copyright trolling for several years, the Swiss company PicRights came out strong this time by demanding 580 euros from a law firm for the “unlicensed use” of a photograph representing a small safe whose rights copyright belongs to Reuters News & Media.

“Reuters News & Media Inc has entrusted the company PicRights Europe GmbH with the verification of compliance with the copyright of its content, ” writes Aurelien Cavalier, who signs this ludicrous letter from the “French Department of the PicRights License Compliance Service.” » .

Explaining that his principal has no knowledge of the granting of a license for the use of this image, Mr. Cavalier requests, within 14 days, to cease its use and compensation of 580 euros for this image which does not present no originality.

Copyright trolling consists of abusively claiming, from gullible people, by companies like PicRights, whether or not mandated by Reuters, AFP or other agencies, an illusory copyright over a non-original work. A well-established scam, of which PicRights has made itself the specialty, which should just be ignored.==


I found out the photorapher's name, Damien Meyer and his LinkedIn profile states that he is "Reporter photographe AFP" and I think it is only fair he gets paid for his work.
A similar low quality photo (with me performing a different exercise at the same event) on getty costs £150.

Should I be emailing picrights offering the £150 + admin fee or is best to get in touch directly with Damien Meyer via LinkedIn?

I now removed said photo from my website.

Thank you
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AndyJ
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Re: copyright infringement mail from PicRghts

Post by AndyJ »

Hi again Sil2,

If Damien Meyer is actually a staff photographer for AFP as 'Reporter photographe AFP' suggests, then he is not the copyright owner. That will be his employer AFP so there wouldn't be any point in approaching him as he wouldn't be able to issue a licence.
Also, if the Getty licence for £150 is the only one you can find for this image, then that may well be the market value of the licence. It would have to be very newsworthy to justify that sort of fee, such as being an exclusive image. So that fact that you have found a similar low quality image suggests that this is an artificially high licence fee for some reason.

The mention of aucune originalité is feature of the law of some European countries, especially France, where a photograph which fails to sufficiently express the creativity of its author is not entitled to full copyright. This is generally referred to as a neighbouring right. Since the introduction of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, British copyright law no longer makes this kind of distinction, or at least not to the extent that, for instance, some French and German courts tend to do. The prevailing jurisprudence within the EU on this subject can be found in a case known as Painer - you can find a copy of the judgment here in either French or English. The early part of of the court's judgement deals with some objections by the defendant publishers to the making of the reference to the CJEU in the first place, and that can be safely skipped over. The main part of the CJEU's analysis of the case starts at paragraph 85.
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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