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Panic Stations! Lawsuit threat for using an image
Must I pay?
BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3181268
 12:35 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

A couple of years ago I was offering websites built with a commercial shopping cart. As far as I can remember at this time I used a thumbnail size shopping cart icon from one of their sites. I no longer offer this cart but the image was still used twice on my site basically because I forgot to remove it. I appreciate that I should not have used it in the first place but I did.

This morning I received a letter from a solicitors in London sent on behalf of Corbis and demanding that I pay 2,385.25 for the use of this image. This is clearly an extortionate amount for a small icon. They say it is to cover the period from Dec 2005 to Dec 2006 and that I can pay more if I want to use it beyond this date.

They also say that if I do not pay by 18 December they will instruct their client to commence legal proceedings against me ... seek legal costs, etc. They make reference to "English Law" but I am based in Scotland where we have a separate legal system. I obviously extremely worried because this is a lot of money to me and I don't know where I stand on this.

Has anyone else been in this situation? Must I pay?

I would very much appreciate any advice.

Edited: Spelling

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 12:39 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2006]

 

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3294207
 11:19 am on Mar 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

For anyone watching this I have nothing further to report as yet.

simonuk




msg:3294208
 11:20 am on Mar 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

A friend was also contacted by them so I'm watching this thread closely for him.

Please keep us updated :-)

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3294213
 11:33 am on Mar 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is another thread running in the UK FSB website if he is interested.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3307568
 3:37 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Another two weeks gone by and still no action to report.

Syzygy




msg:3307817
 8:05 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I anticipate that they'll have long forgotten about you by now, BDW, and moved on to more obliging pickings ;-)

Syzygy

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3307897
 9:20 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well I hope so and it looks that way. I am just so annoyed that I let this upset me so much over the Xmas period.

Naivete!

potentialgeek




msg:3309765
 9:27 pm on Apr 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Lawyers are notoriously heavy-handed in their threats. They are designed precisely to scare the living daylights out of you.

Some of these firms may have image tracking software based on invisible (read: embedded) watermarks. So they simply put their bot to work scouring the net; next there's a comparison with client records; then the (automated) threats go out.

p/g

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3310027
 5:47 am on Apr 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Actually a company called Picscout does their dirty work for them. Apparently their disobey the Robots tag and spend an inordinate amount of time and bandwidht on your site scanniong for images.

cmarshall




msg:3316982
 4:40 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

You may find this [webmasterworld.com] thread interesting.

I think that bandwidth theft by sniffer robots may be a big problem as well.

In my case, I'm a graphic artist, and I do all my own artwork. When I do it, I keep all the original files around.

When I use a CMS, I never use their artwork in my public (non-admin) spaces; preferring to design my own themes.

When I do a site for someone else, I insist that they set up a policy to enforce provenance discovery for all images, including rendered fonts.

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