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Getty Images copyright letter

Received "the letter" from Getty Images demanding payment

     
9:01 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



I've seen that Getty Images has been discussed quite a bit here but I don't see anything too recent nor that fits my situation.

I run a small online store. As such, I don't believe in putting ads to other sites on any of my pages. One exception, at the very bottom of my home page, I put a link to Greendimes who offer a service to help stop SPAM. The link and banner ad are hosted by Commission Junction. To tell the truth, haven't looked at or checked out that link in years. Never made anything off of it; it never got it my way. Turns out that they ended their relationship with CJ but the banner ad continues to display. Somewhere along the way, the image changed, too. Not sure when. (Bad Webmaster!)

Yesterday I receive "the letter" from Getty Images demanding $965 for use of one of their images unless I can provide proof that I purchased a license. I had no idea what they were talking about. I take all of my own photos of my products. I run sites with a minimum of flash and glitz - preferring a simple, clean layout. No way I used something belonging to someone else. I even created the layout, etc. myself - no template purchase for me. So, where is this image? Even in their grainy, b&w image, I don't see what they're talking about. Finally, I zero in on the banner ad to Greendimes.

Note: I actually did the photo manipulation and math and discovered that the banner ad uses 6.6% of the original photo and only as a lightened background. These guys are picky!

Anyway, I contact Getty Images to tell them they're idiots (I was nice to Nancy - she's just answering a phone). I tell her that the image in question is 1) not for my business, 2) is a banner ad for another business, and 3) isn't even hosted on my server. It simply appears on my site in the code provided by CJ. How can any of this be on me? She went on about how the copyright law says I'm responsible for what appears on my site. I don't know the law and I wasn't going to argue with her. I've written to CJ to get them involved since they are the ones hosting the image. The current Greendimes site looks pretty stale and doesn't have any contact info (I'll do the WHOIS thing soon enough). I DO NOT plan on paying this ridiculous fee. Period.

What I've ultimately come away with is that if the law reads the way Nancy at Getty says it does, no one in their right mind would ever allow an image-based ad to appear on their website ever again unless 1) they host it themselves and 2) they know that every aspect of that image is legal. You could never trust any outside source.
9:12 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



RE: demand for payment.

As you will see from a cursory inspection of the page source code, the image forms a part of a banner advert supplied by CJ and the image resides wholly on their servers. We have no control over the images supplied by CJ.

You should take up all further correspondance with CJ, and note that if you send me any more such demands for payment they will be actioned as harrassment.
9:59 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I agree with g1smd, but would go a bit further:

1) Include the exact link from the source code on your page.
2) Put that image link in a browser (so the graphic renders) and take a screen shot of the rendered image. (That way, you still have proof if CJ decides to later remove/change the image.)
10:07 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



Good suggestions, so far. Funny, that's exactly what I'm doing, LifeinAsia. I have a clean browser window up with the image in question displayed and the URL clearly visible. I'm also pulling the whois for the domain and will include that. Could have avoided all of this if someone at Getty had right-clicked on the image and looked at the properties...
10:21 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member zeus is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



issent there a DMCA solution,I have heard of this company they are pretty quick with wanting money, I hope they will be bosted in some way.
9:55 am on Oct 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Tell them to <insert expletive> and forget about it. Ignore their further communication. The process is called speculative invoicing and they never follow up on their threats.
1:20 pm on Oct 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Let's say you were actually using and hosting a full-blown Getty Images pic...and even that you'd done it with malice and forethought.

Now, you get the demand.

Were you to reply, "OK, I've taken it down immediately, sorry about that", is there any court in the land that would side with Getty in a case to sue you for damages?
7:48 am on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Were you to reply, "OK, I've taken it down immediately, sorry about that", is there any court in the land that would side with Getty in a case to sue you for damages?

No one knows because it has never happened. All they do is make threats. ;)
11:13 am on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



CASchryver - This organization you're referring to is infamous for copyright claim and using extortion tactics to collect money from small webmasters.

They will hassle you, threaten you, send bill collectors after you, threaten lawsuits, ignore proof and generally make your life miserable.

Their all about collcting money fom you.

This organization represents the very worst in business ethics.

Search and go visit a website called extorsionletterinfo dot com.

Moderators – if you’re not comfortable with this post please let me know so I can reword or whatever.

Webmasters seriously need to be aware of this organization.
7:36 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Getty sucks. I had a thumbnail pic on my site (100px wide) that they came after me for. Long story short is I know I did just grab the pic off the 'net quite a few years ago... so I just paid them the $600 demanded to make the problem go away. And it did. I'm very careful with the use of images now. Too bad in your case it really isn't your fault, I wish you luck with them!
7:35 am on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



so I just paid them the $600 demanded to make the problem go away.

And that is what they are hoping. It's people reacting like you did that they are chasing.

My problem was with Corbis. I refused to pay and no action was taken. (Almost six years have passed since then.)
9:40 am on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



i wonder how they even found the image, given that it's not even hosted on your server. surely they don't trawl the web looking at every site.
10:01 am on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



i wonder how they even found the image, given that it's not even hosted on your server. surely they don't trawl the web looking at every site

They do actually. They use Picscout.
12:20 am on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)



BREAKING NEWS: After submitting a lengthy e-mail that contained the actual URL of the image in question along with the WhoIs information for both that URL as well as that of the business being advertised, I have received a reply from Getty Images. A glorious set of 10 simple words...

"Mr. Schryver,

Getty Images is no longer pursuing this matter."

Yipee!
7:55 am on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



No apology?
 

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