httpwebwitch - 6:23 pm on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
So, let's say I get one of these letters, I discover that some doofus put a Getty image as their avatar on my site, or posted it in their photo gallery, etc. I get the notice, act and delete the offending image. Does that let me off the hook?
There are legal precedents out there for copyright infringement perpetrated via UGC (= user generated content). If you find there are isolated incidents in your system and remove them, you're OK. I've vetted my share of lawyerhatemail, and deleted lots of "borrowed" content in my career; even the most fierce-sounding litigators back off when the content is removed. If your service is plagued by wonton wholesale infringement compounded with irresponsible neglect, then you might be in trouble. MIGHT be.
I read that Getty might persist with threatening letters, but are they just empty threats, intended to intimidate webmasters into coughing up lucre?
Can I scan for the Getty letterhead and toss it in the trash with the others? Just because someone tells me I owe them money, doesn't mean I have to pay it. Would I only be waiting for the police to show up with handcuffs?
What's the jurisdiction of these threats? If I get a threatnote from Getty USA, is it worth the paper it's printed on for a Canadian company? Or a site based in the UK?