Guter Artikel zum "Getty Scam"

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Guter Artikel zum "Getty Scam"

Beitragvon Admin am Mo 24. Mär 2008, 21:55

Sehr guter Beitrag eines britischen Getty-Leidtragenden.
Originalbeitrag: http://www.zyra.info/getstu.htm


How to avoid legal demands of Getty Images and other photo copyright problems


The best way to avoid copyright problems and legal troubles with Getty Images is to avoid using their images. Or at least that would seem to be the answer at first. You just ignore any pictures by Getty Images; don't buy them, don't use them on your website, and don't copy them. The problem is it's not as easy as that, and you might end up with a legal letter arriving with a demand for seemingly extortionate amounts for images and photographs of which you are accused of "UNAUTHORIZED USE". In the words of some people who send out the Nigeria Scam "this letter may come as a surprise".

Well, if you've stolen a photo from the Getty Images Photograph Library, then more fool you! Their images are copyright and you shouldn't copy them! However, chances are you didn't steal any images, at least not knowingly. What is more likely is that you fell into a trap. These traps are easy to set. What happens is that Getty Images is a company that allows some people to use their pictures on their websites, and then some other people steal them and publish them on free photo sites. You arrive in all innocence and grab a few images, and then GOTCHA! Getty Images can accuse you of stealing their photos and can charge you extortionate sums.

One of the more common ways to fall foul of this Getty Images mode of money-making is where you get a free website template and use the supposedly free images on it. Time goes by and long after the originators of the template have disappeared, along comes Getty Images and sends you a legal demand for a few thousand, probably for some postage-stamp sized image which you thought was public domain. So, even if you did nothing knowingly wrong, you're being invoiced for a huge sum which you might not be able to afford. Well, what can you do about it?

What do you do if you receive legal demands from Getty Images? The first thing to do is to try to identify which images you have on your site that are alleged to be copyright infractions. Remove them at your earliest convenience, replacing them with substitute photos which you have taken yourself with your own camera!

I am not a lawyer, but I am in touch with a lawyer and also I've done some of my own research online and from what I can see, in most countries, simply removing copyrighted images on request is sufficient to avoid any further problems. It's known as a "Cease and Desist" notice, and the usual way laws work in most countries is that the copyright owner sends a Cease and Desist notice to the copyright breaker, and only if they fail to comply can anything further be done. Even the much discredited Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the USA allows this. In the UK it's a little bit different, and from what I have heard, the copyright holder has to be able to prove several things in court in order to get awarded anything. They have to prove they own the work, and that it has originality, and that their copyright has been infringed (for example by the copying of the work in its entirety or if a key element has been copies), and there has to be a realistic assessment of the value. If a copyright infringement is proven in court, the amount owed is then of that order of amount, and NOT some arbitrary extortionate amount levied as a punitive fine upon those whom the copyright holder has decided to persecute! The exception to this is where the copyright infringement is judged to be FLAGRANT. However, to be classed as "flagrant", generally the behaviour of the guilty party has to be of a cavalier nature, for example copying a large amount of valuable work and then completely disregarding Cease and Desist notices, etc. That's what I understand of it, anyway. For more about the important nitty-gritty of intellectual property law situations, you should consult an expert lawyer, for example Liz Ward

To illustrate the extent of damages idea, if you wilfully stole a front page exclusive newspaper photo and sold it to a rival paper, the court would probably award the aggrieved party a few tens of thousands, whereas if you stole a fairly average nothing-special photo of the type you see on free photo sites, the award would probably be more like a few tens of pounds. In such cases the copyright owner might not bother to go to court.

Now let's get this in perspective, Getty Images is a place where there are a lot of quite nice images, but most of them are just good photos rather than being exclusive front page news. It's the job of the court to decide if the image or two that you ended up with are worth more than your holiday snaps or not.
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Admin
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Re: Guter Artikel zum "Getty Scam"

Beitragvon Admin am Mo 24. Mär 2008, 21:56

2. Teil:

From stories I've seen on many websites raising the issue of Getty Images and their legal demands, the legalistic letters are phrased so you could be scared by them. This does not mean they have any legal basis. You should seek legal advice. The scenario reminds me a bit of a scam which was alleged to have taken place regarding Club Europa Search Engine. It was said that the marketing model was to send out invoices and frightening letters to intimidate and bully the victim into paying up, regardless of the legality of the complaint or the (un)soundness of the stated legal case. Many people were so scared they paid the money rather than risk the threatened increase in fees and other stuff. Oddly, it isn't illegal for companies to put the frighteners on you and to make claim that you have got to pay them some stupid amount or else suffer various increased penalties. However, they are not allowed to use harassment, and ippallingly bad PR results in a hastened bankruptcy.

Be aware that if an image is copyright someone else, and they ask you to remove it, you should. If that request is cloaked in loads of nonsense that looks suspiciously like a scam, don't ignore it; it's still a valid "Cease and Desist". What happens next is up to the accusers. They might decide to pursue such cases, or they might decide to be more sensible and avoid getting into legal cases which they might embarrassingly LOSE. Remember that the alleged scam to do with Europa was based on the idea that if a few people were scared into paying up, it would easily cover the costs of the paperwork, regardless of right and wrong. The expression "money-making racket" is something I've seen written in some places.

If you ever pay a threatening demand, on the basis that it will go away or that you'll get a "quiet life", it probably won't work. You'll more likely attract even more heartache and trouble.

With a legal case where you are being accused falsely, it's often best to refrain from contacting your accusers. They can be typically unsympathetic and may use your words in evidence against you. It may also be another opportunity for bullies to scare you further. So, my advice is to avoid making contact with your accusers. However, in contrast, you SHOULD contact your own lawyers, and the Department of Fair Trading, and where appropriate the Police, as you may be surprised to find you have rights against some types of attacks, and your attackers may have broken the law in some way or other, especially if they have overstepped what they are allowed to do.

I recommend that you do not phone 0800 279 9258 or +44 20 7544 3400 even if you feel the desire to do so because it will cost Getty Images money to receive the call, and I recommend that you do not email licensecompliance@gettyimages.com or licensecomplianceuk@gettyimages.com nor should you make a nuisance of yourself, as that is surely not a right and responsible way to carry on.
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Admin
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Re: Guter Artikel zum "Getty Scam"

Beitragvon Admin am Mo 24. Mär 2008, 21:57

3. Teil

A lot of law is to do with CASE LAW. That is, legal cases that have already been tried in court. In the matter of Getty Images and their vast numbers of scary letters, at the time of writing, some posts on some forums stated that no cases had yet gone to court. This is even stated at the Wikipedia entry about Getty Images.

Even if you can't afford to fight a legal case against a huge corporate entity, there are some people who will fight. What if they win? This would then set a precedent for other cases to be thrown out of court.

This whole business reminds me of the stuff to do with SCO and Caldera which produced howls of derision from the Linux community. It was alleged that the SCO business model was based on suing people rather than on creating anything useful.

Some contributors recommend abstaining from / avoiding / boycotting Getty Images, some citing valid alternatives. The usual response is "yes but they have also now been taken over by Getty". In fact, even some FREE photo resources have been bought out by Getty Images, which means that you could have photos which you got when they were free and now you'd expected to pay punitive fines for having them. Another point is that you can't ever be completely sure that ANY supplier of photos is free of the problem. It is in theory possible for someone to own some photos and have their mates set up in business to distribute the photos freely and then, when a lot of people are using them, sue them all! It's that type of litigious business tactic which brings the intellectual property market into disrepute.

Anyone in the affiliate business should especially beware! Images on your merchants' websites might not be owned by the merchants, and could easily have got there by some obtuse route from Getty Images. You might say you can trust the merchants, but that's no guarantee, as the merchants themselves could have been fooled by some other site claiming images are free when they are not. A safe route to getting a merchant picture is, wherever possible, to take a photo of the merchant's shop yourself! Then you can be sure it's not tainted.

There appears to be no way of identifying any particular image as a Getty Images copyright image, although I've noticed some of them contain the TEXT "Japanese Print Flags", this is far from being a definitive test. Doing a search/find on all files on your website and trying to delete or replace all images with "Japanese Print Flags"in them won't necessarily solve the problem. They might change that, and it may be that images other than Getty have that in. In a way, it could be argued that it pays Getty Images to keep it a secret which images are theirs and which are not, as then it's easier to have a lot of cases of people to charge for unauthorised use. I'm not suggesting that such a cynical ploy is in use, although I have read on other sites some people suggest such a thing!
Bitte setzt einen Link auf dieses Forum. Hier ist eine Anleitung. DANKE!
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