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I'm currently pursuing a British company for unauthorised use of one of my images on its website.  In their defence they state the following:

 

I do apologise for this, the image was downloaded from Google, who as you may know, have recently had a Law passed that has reassigned the status of Copyright on all of the images on all of its servers. The fact that Copyright been now disbanded, and as such all Copyright claims for images displayed, uploaded to and downloaded from any Google server are now invalid.

 

While the Google defence is laughable, I'm curious about the source of this misconception.  Has anybody got any background information on this?

 

Iain Lowson

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Sadly this doesn't surprise me at all.... Google is too big for its britches and thinks it can do as it pleases. IMHO, I think at the top of all image search pages should be in bold large print THE VAST MAJORITY OF IMAGES AND ARTWORK ARE COPYRIGHTED!! DO NOT ASSUME YOU CAN USE ANY IMAGE FOR FREE BECAUSE IT'S ON THE WWW!!! And they should have security in place to stop downloads from the search pages; a simple code that wouldn't take anything to put in place....

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When one does a goggle image search, this message Images may be subject to copyright. appears in gray at lower corner of black Results box because they know it's a reasonable, effective way to help protect rights of copyright holders of images displayed there.
 

And, duh, before performing a google image search, one surely reads this: www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms.

 

(I watermark all images on my site simply because of how it enhances their appearance.)

Edited by ann
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I would urge them to consult with a professional before they get themselves into more bother.

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I burst out laughing when I read the justification..............................and then cried.

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let us know what happens - I would love to see a law firm take this behemoth to court and get a giant damages verdict against G

for most small time photogs, this would be a case of " just suck and it and take it cause theres nothing you can effectively do against such a company with deep deep pockets"

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If the infringing company has a lawyer, I would suggest that they get advice - unless of course the advice is coming from a UK lawyer who does not know copyright from his elbow! If you need a good UK lawyer (and its worth pursuing), please let me know and I will give you contact details of a UK firm specialising in intellectual property. As you are probably aware, pursuing litigation in the UK is an expensive exercise and one not to be taken lightly.

Sheila

Edited by Sheila Smart

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"Dear British Company.

 

thank you for your response concerning the use of my image. Thank you also for your explanation of these latest developments in Copyright law. In recent discussions with a legal firm I often commission, I was surprised to hear that no one in that legal firm was aware of these significant changes to Copyright Law, especially, as you so interestingly put it, that "copyright been now disbanded".

 

In the interests of educating the legal profession and dare I say it, the greater public, I am going to publish widely your firm's name and the specific information you have so far given me concerning Copyright's demise. Are there any other legal points you would like me to publicise? Also, it would be even more edifying for all if one of your company's representatives would offer her/his name to accompany the legal statements, if at all possible.

 

Kind regards

 

. . . . . "

 

dd

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pursuing litigation in the UK is an expensive exercise and one not to be taken lightly.

Sheila

Not any more for straightforward infringements such as this. I'll mention again the small claims track of the Patents County Court. £100-odd for a claim up to £5000.

OP, you have your answer, next stop a letter before action and the PCC. Their letter will of course be part of your evidence, but you can safely ignore it in your communications with the infringer. It may help with flagrancy.

Edited by spacecadet

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You might find these sites http://stopstealingphotos.tumblr.com/ and http://sourcethephotographer.tumblr.com/ interesting.  The first one is an amazing demonstration of what a determined searcher can find - quite the cautionary tale for fraudsters, and very entertaining too.

 

Regards

Lionel

 

edited to remove unwanted emoticon

Edited by Lionel

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It just ain't that easy - I used both ImageRights and a debt collection company to try to obtain payment for an image used on a website - the amount originally invoiced was $1,200 - and the infringement was in November 2011.  The trouble is that the 'company' and they are a very rich company simply refused to respond to any communication whatever - handed it to IR they had the same result -  as did the debt collectors. Have just received comm from IR including letter from debt collectors - the costs are now greater than the original invoice so they recommend dropping it.

 

......the company - Oh yes ! Name and shame -  this was the comm.......

 

Unfortunately, these guys continue to ignore our collections agent and their attorney.  Details are in the attached letter.  Since it’s not economically viable to pursue the claim further through the courts, we will have to close the case.

 

4408 Catholic Online LLC

http://www.catholic.org/

The image has been removed from the site.

 

What was that about "Thou shalt not steal".............

 

This site is a regular offender.......Oh yes and they are based in the land of the Free so forget small claims and patents courts.....

 

Edit: before anyone jumps down my throat about 'good causes'  - I do not charge registered charities for image usage - and I am well aware of this company's business practices......

Edited by DavidC

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It just ain't that easy - I used both ImageRights and a debt collection company to try to obtain payment for an image used on a website - the amount originally invoiced was $1,200 - and the infringement was in November 2011.  The trouble is that the 'company' and they are a very rich company simply refused to respond to any communication whatever - handed it to IR they had the same result -  as did the debt collectors. Have just received comm from IR including letter from debt collectors - the costs are now greater than the original invoice so they recommend dropping it.

 

......the company - Oh yes ! Name and shame -  this was the comm.......

 

Unfortunately, these guys continue to ignore our collections agent and their attorney.  Details are in the attached letter.  Since it’s not economically viable to pursue the claim further through the courts, we will have to close the case.

 

4408 Catholic Online LLC

http://www.catholic.org/

The image has been removed from the site.

 

What was that about "Thou shalt not steal".............

 

This site is a regular offender.......Oh yes and they are based in the land of the Free so forget small claims and patents courts.....

 

Edit: before anyone jumps down my throat about 'good causes'  - I do not charge registered charities for image usage - and I am well aware of this company's business practices......

Had a similar story recently with Alex Folzi who reused photo on their blog from a story which they copied from the dailymailonline. Same answer from Image Rights.... :angry:

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The trouble is that we set a value to our image by the pittance which is accepted for use in Mail online - it is then almost impossible to claim an amount which is viable for legal pursuit as we had set a precedent value for the image - I had thought that $1,200 was a reasonable amount to encourage legal support. Alamy certainly ain't our best friend when it comes to supporting claims against infringers.......

  • Upvote 1

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Encouragingly in the recent Sheldon v Daybrook in the PCC, Judge Birss's starting point was the plaintiff's fotoquote and library calculators, albeit not Alamy's.
What the respondent might have paid for a legitimate licence didn't enter into his calculations. He concentrated on what use was actually made.

The only thing that might constrain one in advance would be sending an invoice, rather than a without prejudice offer of settlement.

Edited by spacecadet

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Encouragingly in the recent Sheldon v Daybrook in the PCC, Judge Birss's starting point was the plaintiff's fotoquote and library calculators, albeit not Alamy's

What the respondent might have paid for a legitimate licence didn't enter into his calculations. He concentrated dolely on what use was actually made.

 

I reserve my judgement until there is one. It's UK only and would not have been of any use against the US 'company'

 

I also realize that information posted here is available to all of our 'GUESTS" so will curtail details in future - feel free to PM me if you want detailed info - shame about the contributor's only section........

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I reserve my judgement until there is one. It's UK only and would not have been of any use against the US 'company'

 

There is.

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

The OP is talking about a British company so I considered my post to be on-topic. He doesn't need ImageRights.

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I reserve my judgement until there is one. It's UK only and would not have been of any use against the US 'company'

 

There is.

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

The OP is talking about a British company so I considered my post to be on-topic. He doesn't need ImageRights.

 

Sorry Mark are you saying that the final judgement has been handed down - if so can you point me towards the actual sums awarded - I understood that only a preliminary judgement had been heard - I am genuinely interested -

 

Regarding the OP he was indeed referring to a UK company - I had not obviously made it clear that I was referring to my post (six hours ago) regarding the difficulty of getting infringers to respond in the USA  - Catholic Online LLC  is indeed a US company not covered by UK legislation - you seem to think that I have an axe to grind for IR - they failed in this case and I have made that clear.

 

I'll try to keep on topic in future - off I go with a smacked wrist........

Edited by DavidC

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 It may go to trial on infringement but that won't affect his fee which will be £5,000-odd as in the link- that hearing was to decide the fee due absent any infringement. The parties may well settle.

So as far as the PCC small claims track is concerned, we have our first award.

I wasn't having a go, probably just not paying attention, but just wanted to mention that we have a result, and  it's official that the derisory amount the respondent alleged they could have paid elsewhere isn't relevant.

Edited by spacecadet

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Does anyone know how often Imagerights do reports?

I signed up with them a few months ago and uploaded a selection of images I know have been stolen, found with a simple Google image search.

So far I have heard nothing and had no reports at all. They claim to have clever software to track down image uses but it doesn't seem to find what Google Images can.

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The image tracking stuff is still all in beta I understand because they sent me a couple of excel files containing images which they had found - loads of them, but a lot were legit sales  - some through this agency.

 

By the time that I went through them and told them not to chase the legit ones I had decided that the best route was the one which I had used up to then - sending a screengrab, file image from my archive, and the offending URL to their license compliance e-mail address - I usually get a reply with the likelihood of success within a few days.

 

On the bright side they have just settled a French case for £750 which they confirmed yesterday - they take their percentage and the French law firm takes a cut as well, but I'd never have got this lot to pay up on my own.

 

Phil - I've PM'd you with my contact there - ask her what is going on -

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I'm in a similar boat and PCC looks like a real option. Agencies were of no help in the past so I will have to pursue it alone.

 

Has anyone here gone through PCC? I am very concerned about not being assigned to small claims track but rather to multitrack if the company disagreed. Can anyone tell me they can't?

 

P.s. Are there any time limits? I have a couple half hopeless cases I started in June/July and got nowhere to date. Can I still send them to court?

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Not been there yet but there's no good reason for a simple copying case to be moved from the small claims track- that was the point of having it. . In any case the defendant can't simply choose- if he said he wanted it on the multitrack he'd have to argue it before a judge.

AFAIK the limit is 6 years fro when you find out, the same as civil claims generally.

Edited by spacecadet

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