Could Getty destroy my friend no joke !!!!!!

Advice for those new to the concepts of copyright
Post Reply
Regular Member
Regular Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:35 am
Location: United Kingdom

Could Getty destroy my friend no joke !!!!!!

Post by slimbob »

My friend is in a bit of bother.(understatement!)

With all the recent Pippa Middleton fame he bought a domain name

He worked like mad day and night (literally) creating original blog posts with embedded you tube videos and photos and his own news articles.

You tube videos are other peoples creations not his own.

He managed to get 70 blog posts done! an About Pippa page,Home page,Photo page,Latest News page and even a Pippa Video page done .

I have no idea how in the time!!!!!!

So respect to him for that.

Lots of coffee I think.

Because he took action and because of all his posts he is number1 on Google for a lot of Pippa Middleton search words and is getting almost 1000 visitors a day in just a few weeks of being live!

This is pretty impressive but wait for it !!!!! Andy -J- you are going to love this!

All his photos (Hundreds!!!!!!!!) are sourced from Google picture search and other websites!!!!

I have had a look and there are quite few Getty images on there too!!!!!!!

He isn’t feeling too good right now and knew nothing about Getty or the sheer ramifications of what he has done .He is a Gardner and earns about £7000 a year so Getty cant exactly get much out of him as he doesn’t have much money but he is very scared!

Now he has taken all the photos off (took him 3 hours!!!!!)So now his webiste is clean.

Now not sure if I was right here but I said that Getty and other big image companies have robots to check online for images.

What should he do?


Should he take his site offline a.s.a.p and scrap it?
If he does this could he still get contacted in the future months or even years with a big fine for the couple of weeks he infringed their copyright?


Should he carry on but only use licensed clean images as his site is doing very well or does having it still live act like a beacon to Getty & others for past infringement?


If he sells it on as it does have value is this the wrong thing to do as future owners could be fined for past infringement?

What should he do?
What would you do in his shoes?
Is he financially finished and is it just a matter of time for the big letter to arrive?

He is absolutely petrified and I am trying to calm him down.

I must say his is a top guy so generous always helping people even helps injured birds he finds whilst gardening. To his credit he wants to do the right thing by others.

His webmaster says clean the site up and sell it on .But my mate doesn’t want to get anyone else into trouble for his misconduct.

I feel sorry fro him because I know you don’t mess with Getty Images!

Please help.

User avatar
Posts: 2471
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Post by AndyJ »

You are right to advise your friend to remove any images which appear to have come from Getty. But in truth virtually any image which he has hoovered up from elsewhere will be someone's copyright, so whilst the threat of being sued may be less, technically the offence is the same.
Clearly a fansite without pictures will not have too much appeal, but really he faces two alternatives: pay to license the images from the copyright owners (or their agents) or hotlink* to sites where the images are hosted and let them take the risk if they have not got permission.
The good news is that Google cache does not appear to hold any versions of the site prior to the current 'under construction' status.
I don't think he needs to scrap the site, although the lack of pictures could make it a lot less popular. As for selling it, I'm not sure how valuable it would be without the pictures. (this site doesn't give it a value: ...
However the new owner would not be liable for any alleged past infringements, assuming that the site as sold no longer included any disputed images.
Your friend should liaise with his hosting service to make sure all backup copies of the site are also purged of images.
Incidentally there is a Facebook ( ... ?sk=photos). If this has any connection with your friend's site, then he needs to do the same there.
Having taken those steps your friend will have done all he can to mitigate any past unwitting infringement.

* just to be clear, by hotlink I mean use a link to open the image in a separate window or tab, as the links I have included do, using the target="_new" attribute in HTML. He should not embed links to images in his own pages such that they are drawn from other servers but are displayed within his page format. The law on this topic is not at all settled and it would be sensible to avoid as much risk as possible.
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
Regular Member
Regular Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:35 am
Location: United Kingdom

Thanks Andy

Post by slimbob »

Thanks so much Andy

My mate said to say thank you very very much for your help and he feels a lot better already.

He said he just heard back from his web master (email) who said a similar thing and not to panick as he has realised his mistake and rectified it.

The webmaster said he will (ie) (web master) use flickr photo sharing to put pictures on my friends site as the pictures are hosted by flickr not him and therefore any copyright problem are flickr problem or the person who put them on flickr not his problem.

I understand your hot link suggestion but due to the nature of the site could doing what the webmaster suggests be borderline o.k?

Thanks a million Andy

I thought he was finished as I know how bad Getty can be!

Post Reply