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I wonder if we shouldn't have a separate thread/forum category for this subject. It seems to be happening more and more.

 

Anyway, familiar story. I found one of my images used on a UK company blog site. Checked with Alamy who knew nothing about it, which I suspected.

 

I sent a polite email asking how they came by the image etc. etc. along with a screenshot so that they could see what I was talking about.

 

This is the reply that I got:

 

 

Richard

 

Thanks for your email.  The image was obtained from Google Images and there was no license or copyright information with it when selected.

 

I can only apologise if this has been used incorrectly.  I have removed the image from the source blog post

 

A fairly typical response in this situation I guess.

 

Question is, is there anything to pursue, or not worth it?

As far as I can see it had been there since pre-March this year. Hiding behind Google Images seems to be becoming the in thing amongst the Image thieves to try to justify use.

 

Interestingly, this image had been licensed earlier this year for use on a blog, for which the company paid the princely sum of $55.51 gross, not a lot, but at least they paid for the bloody thing!

 

spacecadet, you're pretty sharp on this subject, what are your thoughts?

 

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All theory from me. My best hope of a good settlement lately had the bad grace to die after the infringement and be a sole trader so no company to go after.

If it's a UK company they're bang to rights. A lack of copyright information isn't a defence of course.

There is indeed something to pursue, without knowing the details something in the high 3/ low 4 figures I would have thought. What you demand (not ask) shouldn't bear any relation to the price of a legit license- why should it?

Have a look at this

http://www.epuk.org/Opinion/994/stolen-photographs-what-to-do

and whatever you do don't send an invoice. That limits you. They're admitting the use and admitting your ownership.

Of course you will be wanting a fee and you ought to ask the usual questions about how long they had been using it, etc.

You then might run it through the Alamy calculator but don't mention that. Multiply by 2 or 3- they stole it, remember? Figure out the maximum use they might have had from it then add 100% for flagrancy (use in the course of trade) and base your without prejudice offer on that.

Then to the PCC small claims track if they refuse.

Bear in mind this is what I would do, not what I have done.

Edited by spacecadet
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I've never managed to retrieve any damages from blog sites. They almost always takedown straight away when challenged but usually claim that the shot is from a national newspaper or suchlike and that they are only reproducing it as a link to an article. I've pursued a few, some through agencies in the States and UK but nothing ever came of them.

 

As a matter of interest, Spacecadet - can you really expect to reclaim what you say (i.e. into 4 figures) for a blog misuse? They are usually seen by very few people and use small versions of images. I agree with the flagrancy stuff, but is a grand-plus a realistic claim?

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If its a commercial blog, I would pursue it.  It goes without saying that they used your image for commercial gain and that you should be compensated for the unlicensed use.  Also point out to them that Google is just a conduit to where the image was on the Net and its not a requirement of photographers to watermark images or have copyright notices next to the image.  You have probably already done this! And in response to CandyApple, when I found one of my images on a UK police website and also found it was on a front cover of their brochure, they eventually agreed to settle with me for at least ten times what they would have paid had they legitimately licensed the image so 4 - 5 times for a blog seems about right.

 

Sheila 

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On a google image search below each image when you click on, it states "Images may be subject to copyright" although in a small font. In other words they should read the small print

 

Kevin

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In English law there's no DMCA 'get out of jail free card' and no defence in saying you didn't see a notice, because all modern photographs are in copyright and the law assumes you know it.. So one doesn't have to prove wilfulness- copying is copying and you're liable at best to pay for it, and at worst to a criminal record..

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just thought I would bump this one to let you know that the infringer has paid up. Payment arrived via bank transfer today.

 

No big sums involved, but I am happy with what I got. The bloke was very reasonable and understood my position. Shame they aren't all as switched on as this chap!

 

He will think twice before taking pictures from Google Images in future.

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Just thought I would bump this one to let you know that the infringer has paid up. Payment arrived via bank transfer today.

 

No big sums involved, but I am happy with what I got. The bloke was very reasonable and understood my position. Shame they aren't all as switched on as this chap!

 

He will think twice before taking pictures from Google Images in future.

 

 

Good for you.

 

A general query - how do you determine whether you images are being used elsewhere ? I did try and use Google Image Search and TinEye, but not sure whether the results are believable.

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