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I'm assuming that if it gets to the European Small Claims, I'd just add any costs to the amount charged.

 

They're a brazen lot for sure, no reply to my email.

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I  must admit the more rebellious side of me would be tempted to print out all the evidence etc and then march up and down outside their offices with a big sign calling them image thieves - having first, of course, tipped off a couple of Alamy news providers about photos to be had...............

Then measure the amount of time it took them to come charging out with chequebook in hand...........

Or alternatively, let them take me to court for defamation or whatever they want - their costs while I present the evidence to the court as to the reason I was not defaming but making a factual statement

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Yeah, it's very tempting and that was my first thought; but I'd have to fly over to Dublin etc.

As pointed out above, you can never guarantee you're going to be awarded costs, even in an open and shut case. My friend I referred to above is, ironically, a sheriff, so he'd have known if there was any way of appealing that decision.

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1 hour ago, Cryptoprocta said:

I'm assuming that if it gets to the European Small Claims, I'd just add any costs to the amount charged.

 

They're a brazen lot for sure, no reply to my email.

You can always add the court fee at small claims, and any reasonable expenses incurred in pursuing it, but not legal expenses, no.

Very odd for a lawyer to brazen it out unless they know something you don't, and I don't think they do. You'd need to check Irish copyright law for any exceptions, but I can't see what there could be.

https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/dealing-with-customers/solving-disputes/european-small-claims-procedure/index_en.htm

Edited by spacecadet

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The IP lawyer said there was a chance they might be holding that it was their website designer who chose the image; however that does not exclude them from liability, also there is no detail of any website designer on their site. Also they have not written to me to say I should take it up with their (hypothetical) website designer, nor to claim any other reason why they aren't liable to pay.

 

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12 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

The IP lawyer said there was a chance they might be holding that it was their website designer who chose the image; however that does not exclude them from liability, also there is no detail of any website designer on their site. Also they have not written to me to say I should take it up with their (hypothetical) website designer, nor to claim any other reason why they aren't liable to pay.

 

Yes, that merely makes it secondary and not primary infringement in UK law. It might be different in Eire. But it doesn't really make any difference to a civil money claim.

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I think the heading to this topic is misleading when you first lay eyes on it, you might want to change the wording!

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6 minutes ago, Kathy deWitt said:

I think the heading to this topic is misleading when you first lay eyes on it, you might want to change the wording!

Point taken, changed.

Thanks.

  • Upvote 1

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Phoned yesterday, spoke to the woman who'd signed for my letter.

She said her manager was "in court all day", but would email me today.

No email, no phone call on my answerphone, no payment into PayPal.

Grrrr.

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Getting really p*ssed off now. Phoned on Friday, "He's in court". Phoned today: "He's in court".

It's difficult to get stroppy with the office assistant, as it's clearly not her personal fault; but I pointed out that lawyers take letters and emails home to deal with, they don't work 9-5, and if he's in court, he's not ignoring work which comes in meantime. She said one of the other lawyers was in court today and the other has only just joined them - and refused to put me through when I asked to speak to her anyway.

I also asked if they had used a web designer (as there's no word of that on their site), but she said she didn't know.

 

I also asked if I was a client of theirs and they wanted payment, would they accept 'she's at work' as an excuse for non-payment. "But it's true, he is in court" she said. I said even if I was truly at work, they presumably wouldn't accept it as a reason for non-payment.

 

I told her I'd seen an IP attorney last week and that it was she who had suggested emailling and phoning before taking it further, to save him further expense.

 

Trying to work out for myself if my next move should be a complaint to the Irish Law Society, which would be quicker, easier and cheaper than the EU Small claims court. They might do nothing, of course.

 

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They're avoiding you. Forget the phone, write.

A complaint won't get you paid, but the threat of one might. The ball's in your court now.

Edited by spacecadet

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40 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

They're avoiding you. Forget the phone, write.

A complaint won't get you paid, but the threat of one might. The ball's in your court now.

The ball has been in my court since Alamy lobbed it to me in October.

 

I wrote already, my recorded delivery letter, with invoice, was signed for on 30th October, by the woman I've now spoken to three times on the phone.

Plus, Alamy apparently contacted them 'several times'; and I've emailled them, with my original letter and invoice attached, which the office assistant claims to have printed out and passed onto the senior partner's desk, which is where she said the original signed-for letter would have been put.

He is clearly ignoring me and the issue.

If it's true that 'a complaint won't get me paid', he'll know that, and won't pay on a threat to complain. I did tell the office assistant I would take it further if the payment wasn't rapidly forthcoming.

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They might care about their reputation. If you can figure out ways to embarrass them into paying, they might take notice. Do they have a twitter or facebook account for example? I’d go straight to the Irish Law Society complaints if there is one.

Edited by Sally

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48 minutes ago, Sally said:

They might care about their reputation. If you can figure out ways to embarrass them into paying, they might take notice. Do they have a twitter or facebook account for example? I’d go straight to the Irish Law Society complaints if there is one.

I've done that with other (non-stock) issues.

However, there are no social media links on their site and they're not searchable on Fb/Twitter. To be honest, I wouldn't necessarily expect a law company to use social media.

I told the office assistant that he has to pay by the end of the week, so if I haven't heard by then, I'll write to the Irish Law Society (though the IP attorney wasn't very keen on that. But then she thought emailling/phoning would do it...)

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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Did the IP attorney give a reason for not contacting the Irish Law Society ?

 

You could maybe email one of the Irish newspapers, Irish Times or Irish Independent. 

They may not want to follow up the story but they might be able to suggest a way of embarrassing the law firm.

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30 minutes ago, Gorilla Dave said:

Did the IP attorney give a reason for not contacting the Irish Law Society ?

 

You could maybe email one of the Irish newspapers, Irish Times or Irish Independent. 

They may not want to follow up the story but they might be able to suggest a way of embarrassing the law firm.

No, she didn't; it was more expression/body language that suggested she didn't think it was a good idea, and she didn't pick it up in the discussion, though I mentioned it again later hoping she would.   Oh, that's not fully accurate. She also said it would cost me a lot to hire an Irish lawyer, but I was hoping they'd just prod him rather than make me pursue it through the courts.

 

She did say that while it was obvious that a lawyer of all people should know better (even though IP isn't his speciality) and clearly that has incensed me much more than, say, some kid's blog would, I should be careful of not letting that guide me towards doing anything that might cost me more in the long run.

 

I hadn't thought of the newspapers. That's certainly another arrow in my arsenal. Thanks for the suggestion.

 

 

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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I just sent off a basic preliminary enquiry to the Irish Law Society via the contact page on their website, asking for their advice on how to proceed.

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There may be an element of selfishness in this but I think you should definitely keep going with this.  If necessary consider crowdfunding the costs of taking this solicitor to court - and make sure the big newspapers know you are doing so.   For every time someone decides the costs of recovering what was stolen from the exceed the amount stolen it encourages theft - and this so-called professional should not be allowed to get away with it because he thinks artists won't spend the money to pursue the stuff he steals.



 

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OP, you and I know this, but maybe it's worth repeating for everyone else's information.

The small claims procedure doesn't usually allow you to recover legal costs. That's the point- to enable redress without great expense. in a simple case, which this is, you don't need a lawyer.

However the OP is likely to lose the European small claims option soon.

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6 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

OP, you and I know this, but maybe it's worth repeating for everyone else's information.

The small claims procedure doesn't usually allow you to recover legal costs. That's the point- to enable redress without great expense. in a simple case, which this is, you don't need a lawyer.

Indeed, and also from the Irish section of the EU Small Claims Court website, the scope is very limited:

"

he types of claim covered by the small claims procedure are:

(i) a claim for goods or services bought for private use from someone selling them in the course of a business (consumer claims)

(ii) a claim for minor damage to property (but excluding personal injuries)

(iii) a claim for the non-return of a rent deposit for certain kinds of rented properties. For example, a holiday home or a room/flat in a premises where the owner also lives provided that a claim does not exceed €2,000.

......

Excluded from the small claims procedure are claims arising from:

(i) a hire-purchase agreement

(ii) a breach of a leasing agreement

(iii) debts"

 

I can't see what this can be, other than a debt.

 

For the record, nothing from the infringer, or from the Irish Law Society, today. :-(

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My understanding is that the fact of a Court judgement against a lawyer (even small claims) is something that the Law Society takes a dim view of (at least in England). On one occasion when I was getting nowhere extracting my fee from a solicitor in England a formal letter informing them of my intention to go to the small claims court in 21 days was sufficient to generate prompt payment.

It may be worth informing them of your intention to go to court in the hope they will engage before you have to do so.

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1 hour ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Indeed, and also from the Irish section of the EU Small Claims Court website, the scope is very limited:

"

he types of claim covered by the small claims procedure are:

(i) a claim for goods or services bought for private use from someone selling them in the course of a business (consumer claims)

(ii) a claim for minor damage to property (but excluding personal injuries)

(iii) a claim for the non-return of a rent deposit for certain kinds of rented properties. For example, a holiday home or a room/flat in a premises where the owner also lives provided that a claim does not exceed €2,000.

......

Excluded from the small claims procedure are claims arising from:

(i) a hire-purchase agreement

(ii) a breach of a leasing agreement

(iii) debts"

 

I can't see what this can be, other than a debt.

 

For the record, nothing from the infringer, or from the Irish Law Society, today. :-(

I would call it theft. 
It cannot be a debt because you did not enter into any sort of agreement to provide something to be paid for at a later date.
Of all of them, I would say a claim for goods or services - except the thief did not take them for personal use.

I stand by my assertion that the whole system is set up to make it so costly to pursue this sort of theft nobody does and the thieves can just ignore their irate victims and continue stealing because nothing is going to be done about it.

There is a route I cannot remember if you have tried - and that is to contact the web host direct (the company that owns the machine the website files are actually stored on). Most hosts have a rock hard policy of refusing to host any sort of illegal activity - if you contact them with the website address, explain you have contacted the owner and been ignored etc the web host can and probably will take the website down and terminate their agreement.  Which unless the company is properly professional (and if they were they would not be stealing images) will thoroughly screw them up because they will not have proper backups - and will be looking at days or weeks to find a new host, and get their site back up.  It won't get you any money but it will cost them a damn site more than it would have done to pay you in the first place.

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As a starting point try https://hostingchecker.com/  (think of it as a shop nicks your stuff and puts it on sale - and refuses to pay when you chase them - so you go to their landlord and get them kicked out of their premises)

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1 hour ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Indeed, and also from the Irish section of the EU Small Claims Court website, the scope is very limited:

"

he types of claim covered by the small claims procedure are:

(i) a claim for goods or services bought for private use from someone selling them in the course of a business (consumer claims)

(ii) a claim for minor damage to property (but excluding personal injuries)

(iii) a claim for the non-return of a rent deposit for certain kinds of rented properties. For example, a holiday home or a room/flat in a premises where the owner also lives provided that a claim does not exceed €2,000.

......

Excluded from the small claims procedure are claims arising from:

(i) a hire-purchase agreement

(ii) a breach of a leasing agreement

(iii) debts"

 

 

That seems to conflict with this

https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_small_claims-42-en.do

which seems to be much less prescriptive. No reference to debt that I can find.

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12 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

As a starting point try https://hostingchecker.com/  (think of it as a shop nicks your stuff and puts it on sale - and refuses to pay when you chase them - so you go to their landlord and get them kicked out of their premises)

That site gave me only his domain regristrant (which was more than icann / whois did, they had 'no record'); but from another site, he seems to be using a US service called Hostopia.

I will contact them next week, but I don't share your optimism that they will GAD.

 

BTW, he's using other photos on his site which are almost certainly stock photos,  but all of these are so heavily used that I can't easily find the original source. I pointed these out to Alamy at the time I told them of my infringement, but they may well not be Alamy images.

 

5 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

That seems to conflict with this

https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_small_claims-42-en.do

which seems to be much less prescriptive. No reference to debt that I can find.

I got mine from the specifically Ireland section of that site:

https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_small_claims-42-ie-en.do?member=1

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