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In July I reported an unreported use to Alamy. It was being used, with other stock images, on the website of an Irish LAWYER. Alamy confirmed it wasn't purchased for that use and that infringements would take it up as I've never had it on sale anywhere else, though the file has been sold from Alamy before and is online in use by previous legitimate buyers. As I hadn't heard back, I contacted Alamy and today got this reply from them:

I've checked with the infringement team and unfortunately, on this occasion we
haven’t had any luck chasing this usage for you. The team have been chasing this for
some time now but have had no response from the infringer. 

Therefore we’re closing this case at our end. Please feel free to try and chase this
yourself 

 

So, I live in the UK and the unreported use is in the Republic of Ireland, and by a lawyer!!! What is my most cost-effective option now? (Finding and hiring a UK lawyer versed in EU IP law would cost me more than I'd get. Presumably I'd have no more luck than Alamy in contacting them myself and charging the rack rate. Should that, nevertheless, be my first step?

IMO, this is a disappointing response from Alamy. One of my main reasons for submitting RM and only via Alamy is to get help with misuses, yet they just give up when they don't get a response.

 

And this would be another case where a members-only forum would be useful, rather than having to put the question on an open forum.

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First step would be to send an Invoice to the Lawyer, pointing out that they have used your Intellectual Property for Commercial gain, include a screen grab and quote the time period for which they have been in violation of copyright.

If anyone should be aware of what they've done, you'd hope it would be a Lawyer!

Posted by Rob Cook

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I have had similarly disappointing responses from the infringement team in respect of suspected misuses of the PU license.  The fact that the infringer doesn't respond is not a good reason to give up in fact, I would guess, it means they are more likely to be guilty.

 

Pearl

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At the moment you may be able to treat it as an unpaid debt and use the European small claims procedure. Alternatively if the firm has a presence in the UK you could go to IPEC.

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1 hour ago, Cryptoprocta said:

 

And this would be another case where a members-only forum would be useful, rather than having to put the question on an open forum.

 

I have wondered why this was not a members only forum, would make a lot of sense to me.....

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Maybe solicitors in the Irish Republic are members of a professional organisation.

You could try The Law Society of Ireland and point out that you have a complaint against a practising legal professional regarding theft of intellectual property.

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Public/Complaints-against-solicitors/

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4 minutes ago, Gorilla Dave said:

Maybe solicitors in the Irish Republic are members of a professional organisation.

 

You could try The Law Society of Ireland and point out that you have a complaint against a practising legal professional regarding theft of intellectual property.

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Public/Complaints-against-solicitors/

 

 

Technically, wouldn't this be infringement rather than theft?

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43 minutes ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

 

Technically, wouldn't this be infringement rather than theft?

No, infringement would be if they licensed a file but used it outwith the licence terms, e.g. using an editorial photo commerically, or (as happens) buying a single use licence and reusing without notifying or paying.

This was never licensed (confirmed by Alamy) for this use, so it is theft. I can see the licensed and paid for uses online, apprently correctly used. I can only imagine that they lifted the image from the site of a legitimate user.

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2 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

No, infringement would be if they licensed a file but used it outwith the licence terms, e.g. using an editorial photo commerically, or (as happens) buying a single use licence and reusing without notifying or paying.

This was never licensed (confirmed by Alamy) for this use, so it is theft. I can see the licensed and paid for uses online, apprently correctly used. I can only imagine that they lifted the image from the site of a legitimate user.

"Theft" is a term used, sometimes rather loosely, by victims of infringement, as you are doing. But both the instances you describe are infringement in law, not theft. Unless you just mean to distinguish between the two types of use.

It's a handy term, though, to concentrate the mind. I've used it myself.

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26 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

No, infringement would be if they licensed a file but used it outwith the licence terms, e.g. using an editorial photo commerically, or (as happens) buying a single use licence and reusing without notifying or paying.

This was never licensed (confirmed by Alamy) for this use, so it is theft. I can see the licensed and paid for uses online, apprently correctly used. I can only imagine that they lifted the image from the site of a legitimate user.

 

I'm not sure about the UK, but a distinction appears to be made in the US, for instance. And in Denmark too where illegal copying is not punished as theft but as infringement.

Edited by Thomas Kyhn
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8 minutes ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

 

I'm not sure about the UK, but a distinction appears to be made in the US, for instance. And in Denmark too where illegal copying is not punished as theft but as infringement.

IP infringement can be a criminal offence in the UK, and I'm sure elsewhere, but it requires a higher level of culpability than this.

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Thanks everyone.

I'm currently compiling all the paperwork involved in pursuing a contractor in a non-photographic area of my life, so the timing's bad. (Ain't it ever thus? and what would be a 'good time'?)

Taking the advice above, I think I'll escalate it (if needed) in this order:

1. Invoice to infringer by recorded delivery, or whatever it's called in Ireland.

2. Complaint to Law Society of Ireland

3. European Small Claims. (while we're still 'in' Europe!)

Thanks again.

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2 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Thanks everyone.

I'm currently compiling all the paperwork involved in pursuing a contractor in a non-photographic area of my life, so the timing's bad. (Ain't it ever thus? and what would be a 'good time'?)

Taking the advice above, I think I'll escalate it (if needed) in this order:

1. Invoice to infringer by recorded delivery, or whatever it's called in Ireland.

2. Complaint to Law Society of Ireland

3. European Small Claims. (while we're still 'in' Europe!)

Thanks again.

Let us know how you get one. A direct approach from the copyright owner may be paid more attention than a generic one from Alamy, especially if you threaten to use steps 2 and 3 if they ignore you.

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Something else that might be worth a try…
I live in South Yorkshire and Sheffield City Council has what they call a ‘Business & IP Centre’

 

“The Business & Intellectual Property Centre in Sheffield’s Central Library is one of eleven centres across the UK. It is based on the successful Centre in the British Library in London, which offers free intellectual property and business information and expertise.”

 

They run small business workshops and can put people in touch with specialist IP lawyers.
I don’t know where the other centres are located but it sounds as though they are UK wide.

 

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4 minutes ago, Gorilla Dave said:

Something else that might be worth a try…
I live in South Yorkshire and Sheffield City Council has what they call a ‘Business & IP Centre’

 

“The Business & Intellectual Property Centre in Sheffield’s Central Library is one of eleven centres across the UK. It is based on the successful Centre in the British Library in London, which offers free intellectual property and business information and expertise.”

 

They run small business workshops and can put people in touch with specialist IP lawyers.
I don’t know where the other centres are located but it sounds as though they are UK wide.

 

Thanks, there's maybe one in Glasgow. But would they take up IP cases abroad?

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32 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Thanks, there's maybe one in Glasgow. But would they take up IP cases abroad?

Its got to be worth going and asking surely?

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58 minutes ago, Gorilla Dave said:

Something else that might be worth a try…
I live in South Yorkshire and Sheffield City Council has what they call a ‘Business & IP Centre’

 

“The Business & Intellectual Property Centre in Sheffield’s Central Library is one of eleven centres across the UK. It is based on the successful Centre in the British Library in London, which offers free intellectual property and business information and expertise.”

 

They run small business workshops and can put people in touch with specialist IP lawyers.
I don’t know where the other centres are located but it sounds as though they are UK wide.

 

 

I wasn't aware of these. Googled it. Full list of centres here on the British Library website - http://www.bl.uk/business-and-ip-centre/national-network

Edited by losdemas

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1 hour ago, Starsphinx said:

Its got to be worth going and asking surely?

As it's out of my way, I'll email them first!

 

Later: done, and my other issue documentation (18 A4 pages!) also emailled to the relevant authority.

I need painkillers and chocolate cake!

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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First update: there seems only to be one IP clinic per month. The afternoon for October is full, so I have a date on 19th Nov. Didn't hope for a long drag-out like that. Hope it's worth it in the end.

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Second Update: I decided to send the infringing lawyer an invoice by whatever Recorded Delivery is called nowadays (cost £6!), as I thought the IP lawyer might ask what I'd done already.

I gave him the option of paying in euros or £Sterling, by cheque or via PayPal. "Payment due by return".

My letter was 'signed for' on 31st October, I haven't had any payment, or letter/email, and the photo is still on his site as of five minutes ago.

So, it will be interesting to hear what the IP lawyer has to say next Monday.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
typo
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9 hours ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Second Update: I decided to send the infringing lawyer an invoice by whatever Recorded Delivery is called nowadays (cost £6!), as I thought the IP lawyer might ask what I'd done already.

I gave him the option of paying in euros or £Sterling, by cheque or via PayPal. "Payment due by return".

My letter was 'signed for' on 31st October, I haven't had any payment, or letter/email, and the photo is still on his site as of five minutes ago.

So, it will be interesting to hear what the IP lawyer has to say next Monday.

I am certainly interested.

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Third update: IP lawyer was very pleasant, and confirmed that I am totally in the right.

She has suggested I now email the letter I already sent, with the tracking signature from 31st October, with received and read receipts, asking for immediate payment.

That to be followed up in 2 - 3 days with a phone call.

 

She said to think very carefully before proceding to a court case, as even if the case went my way, which is very likely, it's not automatic that I'd be awarded expenses.

Indeed friends were caught out that way in a court case which had cost them many thousands of pounds. They were found totally in the right, but were not awarded expenses, making us all think of the old saw about what the Law is. :-(

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13 hours ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Third update: IP lawyer was very pleasant, and confirmed that I am totally in the right.

She has suggested I now email the letter I already sent, with the tracking signature from 31st October, with received and read receipts, asking for immediate payment.

That to be followed up in 2 - 3 days with a phone call.

 

She said to think very carefully before proceding to a court case, as even if the case went my way, which is very likely, it's not automatic that I'd be awarded expenses.

Indeed friends were caught out that way in a court case which had cost them many thousands of pounds. They were found totally in the right, but were not awarded expenses, making us all think of the old saw about what the Law is. :-(

If you're quick you may be able to use the European small claims procedure- you don't get costs at small claims, but in a slam-dunk case you don't need a lawyer. Although only England and Wales has a small claims court specifically for copyright, if you treat it as a straight money claim, rather than copyright infringement, that's may not be a problem.

Presumably that avenue will be blocked on the 30th. March.

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10 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

If you're quick you may be able to use the European small claims procedure- you don't get costs at small claims, but in a slam-dunk case you don't need a lawyer. Although only England and Wales has a small claims court specifically for copyright, if you treat it as a straight money claim, rather than copyright infringement, that's may not be a problem.

Presumably that avenue will be blocked on the 30th. March.

Not if May gets her "deal"

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10 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

If you're quick you may be able to use the European small claims procedure- you don't get costs at small claims, but in a slam-dunk case you don't need a lawyer. Although only England and Wales has a small claims court specifically for copyright, if you treat it as a straight money claim, rather than copyright infringement, that's may not be a problem.

Presumably that avenue will be blocked on the 30th. March.

Yeah, she confirmed that was a possible avenue, but suggested the email/phone thing first.

I emailled last night, but am currently in a 'help' conversation with my host about why delivery receipts aren't being received!

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