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Hello there

I'd like to hear from anyone with experience of dealing with ImageRights for pursuing copyright infringements - I know you're out there.

 

I have found multiple copies of my images on the web, from all over the world, from blogs to commercial sites. The so-called search engine they speak of has found nothing since I joined and I am planning to contact them with a long list of infringements I've found.

 

Do I send them every example and let them sort them out? I know chasing blogs is a waste of time but sometimes there is a fine line between a blog and a commercial operation.

And do they only deal with businesses in the US? I have found some from South Africa and Europe.

 

I have the basic (free) package. Am I going to lose most of what they recover in commission?

 

Any help would be very gratefully received.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Phil

 

 

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I've used them and so far they have said not worth chasing to about 3, had 1 pay up, I got 50% which was more than the original licence! 

They are chasing 2 more, both now going through the UK small claims court and I'm hopeful that they will be worth while.

So far the only costs are the 50% from the above plus a $50 payment I made for them to take on one case.

 

All claims seem to move at a snails pace or slower! but so far I'm happy with them.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Phil

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both now going through the UK small claims court and I'm hopeful that they will be worth while.

Will you keep us posted on those- are they going to the PCC/IPEC or just being treated as unpaid debts and going through the normal small claims process?

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both now going through the UK small claims court and I'm hopeful that they will be worth while.

Will you keep us posted on those- are they going to the PCC/IPEC or just being treated as unpaid debts and going through the normal small claims process?

 

Going UK PCC Small claims route...

 

Will let you know when I cash the cheque ;)

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I'm grateful

I'm lining a couple of those up now. You may be our guinea pig.

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I have used them - and every infringement I pointed out to them, they told me was not worth chasing.  Over 50 infringements on a news story published in 2012 and copied the WORLD over and they felt they could do nothing about it.

 

They have never found an image in use of mine.  I was promised new features that were never rolled out to users.  First, I was told they would be rolling out a new feature where we could fill out information on a DMCA notice and they would send it on our behalf.  That never happened.  Second, I was told that there would be a new way of discovering images - I received a sample report and then never received another report again.  Essentially, I felt I wasted money on a one year membership so I decided to have my account closed.

 

My impression is they are looking for "low hanging fruit".  They are looking to make an easy dollar for easy infringement cases.  This is not what I was sold when I started working with them.

 

I know others have had better luck with them but I cannot, in good faith, endorse their services.

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Interesting, Ed. Thanks. I too was expecting more from their amazing search engine. You'd think it would be at least as good as Google image search, or why bother with it?

I have found dozens of my photos being used but, like you, have never had a report from them. I have read good things here about them from some people. I'll reserve judgement......

One thing I am wondering about is the $50 fee for each case. If they take 50% of what's left as well, I'm wondering if it's worth bothering.

Anyone else?

Edited by Phil Robinson

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I've used them for a few years and they have collected a good deal of money for me on many cases. I

I've operated my own stock agency since 1980 and have detailed sales records on my images. My minimum for any infringement is $1200 and that's up to 1 year of use for editorial.

They do not go after any entity that does not seem profitable.

They have gone after certain blogs but not all.

 

I pay $300 a year seeing I have so many cases and some do end up in court and they pay those fees.

 

I supply a link,screen grab of the infringement, a 200 dpi 4x6 of my original image,a copy of my copyright certificate with the file name of the infringed image,the date it was copyrighted.

 

I also supply a text file with any other info I dig up.I do my homework before I present a case.

 

L

Edited by Linda
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Linda, Phil is in the UK. We don't have copyright registration or statutory damages so there are limits on what we could make stick in court.

That said I have just had a settlement a bit above the figure you mention for a not-too-dissimilar use.

But a small image used for a few weeks on a website could be quite a bit less. I'm considering suing someone for £450 for six weeks' use of a thumbnail.

Edited by spacecadet

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Mark,My license fees on my websites state my minimum license is $300 from 1 day up to 1 year for each link.

I charge 3x penalty on top of that. Imagerights has collected much more than that in the UK and Germany on my behalf for images that were used longer than 1 year. One site in Germany a thumbnail was used several times for a few years(commercial use) and I collected more than $10,000 USD.

 

My entertainment site also states what they could be paying if they infringe. An infringement is not a license. They will have to pay a penalty.

 

But,depending on your market,you go after what you feel would work.I've had to settle for less in some cases but as a guideline,this is where I start.

 

L

Edited by Linda
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Just pointing out the different legal framework. Here the 'penalty' is limited, really, to flagrant commercial infringement. You can factor it into your without prejudice offer.  In my recent case I went for what I could have justified in court. They had used it in good faith- the flagrancy was on the part of the person who sent it to them.

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Mark,Good to know as all countries are different.But based on my own collections going back to the 1980s when I started going after infringers even before the internet.

Just collected $800 we pursued from my office from a UK company last week on one of my celebrity photos used for 9 months. Original was $1400. They made the $800 offer,we accepted without negotiation.

 

L

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The new small claims process we have for copyright claims is helping you get settlements I think.

Infringers are looking at what might be awarded in a celebrity case- there was a good judgment last year in which a photographer who had invoiced for £1350 and been offered £150 by the infringer was awarded £5700 by the judge just for his fee, regardless of infringement, for a pretty minor celebrity at that. It eventually settled out of court for £20000.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWPCC/2013/26.html

if you're interested.

 

By now I think I am agreeing with you. One just doesn't call it a 'penalty' here. A rose by any other name.

Edited by spacecadet
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The new small claims process we have for copyright claims is helping you get settlements I think.

Infringers are looking at what might be awarded in a celebrity case- there was a good judgment last year in which a photographer who had invoiced for £1350 and been offered £150 by the infringer was awarded £5700 by the judge just for his fee, regardless of infringement, for a pretty minor celebrity at that. It eventually settled out of court for £20000.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWPCC/2013/26.html

if you're interested.

 

By now I think I am agreeing with you. One just doesn't call it a 'penalty' here. A rose by any other name.

Thanks for that case. I upped you "1" :-)

 

From my experience it doesn't matter if a celebrity is major or minor. At the time an infringement occurs they could be minor and then something happens and they are HUGE.

Best,L

Edited by Linda
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Don't tell anyone but I have made an exception to my rule of non-co-operation with greening and have reciprocated.

Edited by spacecadet

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This is worth a read    http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/1640-copyright-thievesgive-em-more-of-this/  - it is two pages long and was on the forum last month, but I won't bore those with only a transient interest by repeating all of my experiences again. Just say this, I pay the $300 and get an excellent service, I am pro-active in that I send a URL, screengrab and copy of my image file with EXIF and IPTC intact to ImageRights under their Recovery scheme, and that is what they have done for me - many cases are just not worth pursuing, many try to drag out the process which starts with contact from IR progresses to a Debt collection company and then to the courts - IT TAKES TIME.

 

I DO NOT use their Discovery scheme, it finds too many legit sales and you then have to tell them to leave those alone.

 

Worthwhile - yes, especially if you will try to understand that the multiple uses in news gathering pages are often part of a syndication deal agreed by Alamy to many UK Newspapers or what the US call 'Fair Use' and you are not going to be paid for them. Bloggers often have no money so you can waste much time chasing them for no returns - however IR have SRAs paid and in the pipeline that exceed my Alamy earnings many times.

 

They operate in many countries including the UK where two threats of the PCC have resulted in SRAs during December- view their website, and they are aware that the Discovery side of their business needs much more work, however I would say that the $300 is worthwhile - you rarely get more than your money's worth with a free service......

 

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Many thanks for your replies. The website is down at the moment to frozen power stations or something, but I will certainly get onto them. Some of the infringers are bloggers but there are a few gold bullion dealers in there too - should be worth a try.

 

The message when trying to access the website now says "security certificate expired". It's all looking good.

Edited by Phil Robinson

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