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Copyright and Small Claims Court


geogphotos
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Does anybody have experience, information, or advice about pursuing copyright infringements through the UK Small Claims Court system?

 

Specifically what can you claim?  Alamy is offering a 5 year Web Use licence for £29.99.  Is that all you can claim if the image is on sale at Alamy?

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34 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Does anybody have experience, information, or advice about pursuing copyright infringements through the UK Small Claims Court system?

 

Specifically what can you claim?  Alamy is offering a 5 year Web Use licence for £29.99.  Is that all you can claim if the image is on sale at Alamy?

You go through IPEC

https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/intellectual-property-enterprise-court

but you do appear to be able to use the small claims track.

You're not limited to Alamy's price list because an infringer is unlikely to contest a case just on the level of the fee. But you can't name your own price, it must be reasonable and justifiable.

Edited by spacecadet
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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

You go through IPEC

https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/intellectual-property-enterprise-court

but you do appear to be able to use the small claims track.

You're not limited to Alamy's price list because an infringer is unlikely to contest a case just on the level of the fee. But you can't name your own price, it must be reasonable and justifiable.

 

 

Thank you. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Thank you. 

 

 

 

Ian

 

I have extensive experience of this. If you need some help give me a shout. The forms; fees and also evidence etc.

 

Just done a case and won. got another on the way with a default judgement.

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43 minutes ago, Jools Elliott said:

 

Ian

 

I have extensive experience of this. If you need some help give me a shout. The forms; fees and also evidence etc.

 

Just done a case and won. got another on the way with a default judgement.

 

Thanks Jules,

 

What I am most interested to know is if you can only charge what Alamy would charge for a licence ie) c £30

 

There is obviously time spent on it, subscription to tracking company, court fees.

 

It seems a bit pointless if it is only £30 at the end of all that. 

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Hi Ian,

web price is no difference than any other usage, you still have to take the photo travel/edit etc. I have had this issue with clients expecting my cost to be cheaper "because its only going on the web" I tell them it still takes the same amount of time, expense + Camera equipment/ travel etc and its up to them what they use it for web/ print etc.

Nigel

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18 minutes ago, Nigel Kirby said:

Hi Ian,

web price is no difference than any other usage, you still have to take the photo travel/edit etc. I have had this issue with clients expecting my cost to be cheaper "because its only going on the web" I tell them it still takes the same amount of time, expense + Camera equipment/ travel etc and its up to them what they use it for web/ print etc.

Nigel

 

 

I agree totally but my understanding from using the Small Claims system in the past ( not this new Copyright Court) is that you couldn't claim for anything that wasn't an actual expense - you couldn't claim punitive damages just for 'money claims'. 

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You're not limited to Alamy's fees- I had a settlement of over £900 that had been ripped off from an original licence of $80. I should add that I've never been to IPEC-never needed to. Infringers know about IPEC if they're well advised. The paint company I mentioned certainly was and settled immediately. It was a mistake on their part- they'd been provided with the image by an architect client of theirs who had originally photocopied it (and escaped being taken to court by me by actually dying) from the legit magazine it was licensed for. They assumed it was legit but of course that's no defence.

I think I used the Getty calculator and added up all the various uses- print, web, etc. until it came to a worthwhile figure. It's not punitive- just expensive.;)

I referred to the EPUK piece beforehand as well.

Edited by spacecadet
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6 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

You're not limited to Alamy's fees- I had a settlement of over £900 that had been ripped off from an original licence of $80. I should add that I've never been to IPEC-never needed to. Infringers know about IPEC if they're well advised. The paint company I mentioned certainly was and settled immediately. It was a mistake on their part- they'd been provided with the image by an architect client of theirs who had originally photocopied it (and escaped being taken to court by me by actually dying) from the legit magazine it was licensed for. They assumed it was legit but of course that's no defence.

I think I used the Getty calculator and added up all the various uses- print, web, etc. until it came to a worthwhile figure. It's not punitive- just expensive.;)

I referred to the EPUK piece beforehand as well.

 

 

Did you decide on that £900 figure on your own or did you get some advice?

 

With my image one factor is that the subject matter no longer exists - and the infringer has it on their website for anybody to download through a right click. There is no credit either. They haven't replied or moved the image - so I'm thinking flagrancy.

Edited by geogphotos
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20 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Did you decide on that £900 figure on your own or did you get some advice?

 

 

IIRC as I said I used the Getty calculator- but adding up every use separately. It had been used in a number of brochures so I worked out licences for those in print and electronic separately. Flagrancy in this case was knowing that copyright applied as it was a recent photograph. I think the EPUK suggests this doubles the claim.

I pretty much adopted the EPUK letters. If this image is on a picture library might I suggest making it unsearchable pro tem as a precaution.

This was a firm of some size so it behaved professionally and took it on the chin.

Edited by spacecadet
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18 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

IIRC as I said I used the Getty calculator- but adding up every use separately. It had been used in a number of brochures so I worked out licences for those in print and electronic separately. Flagrancy in this case was knowing that copyright applied as it was a recent photograph. I think the EPUK suggests this doubles the claim.

I pretty much adopted the EPUK letters. If this image is on a picture library might I suggest making it unsearchable pro tem as a precaution.

This was a firm of some size so it behaved professionally and took it on the chin.

 

 

Good for you. Well done.

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This was most of 10 years ago, of my first image to license on Alamy. I've had nothing anywhere near as valuable since- probably because IPEC is rather well known now!- and nothing at all for a few years.

Usual provisos apply- make sure they're worth suing and all that.

Edited by spacecadet
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5 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

This was most of 10 years ago, of my first image to license on Alamy. I've had nothing anywhere near as valuable since- probably because IPEC is rather well known now!- and nothing at all for a few years.

Usual provisos apply- make sure they're worth suing and all that.

 

 

I have been staggered by how many copyright infringements there seem to be. Of course most aren't worth chasing because of the country it is in or because they are on personal blog etc. But even so I am really surprised.

 

One was a Belgian MEP but the copyright enforcement agency didn't fancy going after that one! A shame I feel.

 

 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

I have been staggered by how many copyright infringements there seem to be. Of course most aren't worth chasing because of the country it is in or because they are on personal blog etc. But even so I am really surprised.

 

One was a Belgian MEP but the copyright enforcement agency didn't fancy going after that one! A shame I feel.

 

 

I meant UK ones that could be pursued. I don't look at, or even for, the other stuff anymore.

Maybe I'll nip off and have a sniff now.

Edited by spacecadet
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Dear all

 

You may want to look at Article 13, Section 1 of Directive 2004/48 on the enforcement of IP rights in regards to additional damages.

 

From what I understand if an infringer continues to use your photograph after notifying them of the case then a judge can start looking at the profits of a company then give you a slice of it.

 

Please note: this does not constitute legal advice

 

PS Was good chatting with you Ian and fun too :D Go get 'em!!!

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Yes thanks for all your help Jools. I've been spending a hour this morning assembling a folder full of screenshots, image addresses, postal addresses, and other bits and bobs. 

 

All the newspaper pics ( probable source for infringer) are from the most expensive agency. So I'm thinking if you stole a bottle of champagne from Harrods and got caught you couldn't expect to turn around and offer to pay Lidl prices for the same product. 

 

Not sure that I can handle all the stress as well as you Jules - you seem to be thriving and I was pleased to see that.

Edited by geogphotos
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41 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Yes thanks for all your help Jools. I've been spending a hour this morning assembling a folder full of screenshots, image addresses, postal addresses, and other bits and bobs. 

 

All the newspaper pics ( probable source for infringer) are from the most expensive agency. So I'm thinking if you stole a bottle of champagne from Harrods and got caught you couldn't expect to turn around and offer to pay Lidl prices for the same product. 

 

Not sure that I can handle all the stress as well as you Jules - you seem to be thriving and I was pleased to see that.

 

Ian

 

I see that your prime thinking has changed. Good! Hit them high. You're thinking as you should do with this. These people take our work and what makes our livelihood. Yes, people can make mistakes but their mistakes don't pay our bills/ mortgages.

 

Welcome to the giant rabbit hole. But you aren't alone so reach out again if you get stuck.

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