Getty Images... WTF... Do they really do this?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by jeff000, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. jeff000

    jeff000 TPF Noob!

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    So about 3 years ago I made a website for my parents company and used an image that a photographer had on a royalty free site. I didn't have the location to recreate the image and it fit perfect thats why I used it.

    Now just over a year ago this image was apparently added to Getty Images, I did not know this.
    Today I got a C&D letter and said that I owe xxxx.xx for the use of the image regardless of if I take it down or not.

    How can they do this? How can a free image all of a sudden become paid and now come back and charge me for use? And how can they demand payment if I stop using the image?

    I have a hard enough time getting sites to take down images of mine, but to think I could charge them for that use still? Can I do this? I could become rish pretty fast.
     
  2. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    was there some sort of formal contract agreed to when you appropriated the image? I would review it, the original contract should override in this case.
     
  3. jeff000

    jeff000 TPF Noob!

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    It was off a site that now forwards to getty. Was no contracts, was just free images.

    Getty can pound sand, I know its not worth them to sue across the boarder. I took the images down. But just want to see what is actually up with this.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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  5. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is total bull. Having downloaded it from a royalty-free site, you are legally entitled to using it under the implicit license of the original website. Getty is copyright trolling and they probably know it. Unfortunately, if you have no proof or written license, they can get away it.

    I now know that Getty is scum and will tell people to stay away from them when asked.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I suspect it could just be a miss communication error on Gettys part. The problem with large businesses is that the left and right hands hardly ever talk to each other and you can forget getting anything out of the head area ;)

    Their legal department that deals with image theft might simply have noticed your site after they aquired your original source site and, seeing the same image in their database automaticaly issued you with a notice. I would contest that and (if you can) prove that the image was on your site from before Getty aquired the royalty free website.

    The only trap that would then occur is if the royalty free site (at the time you used the image) had a rights revoke clause in their TC that allowed them to revoke the royalty free status of any of their photos without warning or notice. If they did you might not have a legal leg to stand upon - if not then I can't see how getty would win since it was a contact between you and the site before getty aquired the rights.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Royalty-free (RF) usually doesn't mean you don't have to pay to use an image, it means you only have to pay once.

    Most RF licenses don't allow for commercial use, like promoting a business, which is one of the reasons they have such low prices.

    If you didn't pay to use the image you have likely been infringing the copyright for about 3 years.

    If you didn't copy the RF agreement 3 years ago or have a receipt from the original copyright owner for usage of the image, I'd venture the least expensive option, here and now, is to pay Getty and honor the C&D notice.

    Otherwise, it's time to hire an attorney familiar with the ins-and-outs of image rights. The initial retainer should only run a couple grand.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  8. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    • Like Like x 1
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Cool, that's a new site on me! :thumbup: Hope the OP remembers/recorded the URL.
     
  10. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    From Wikipedia
    "Getty are notorious for sending letters for final demands due to copyright infringement. However, the settlements also demand damages, which are said to have been incurred against the copyright holder. Settlement demands are typically more than $1,000 per photograph, and are based upon Getty's highest possible price for unlimited-use rights-managed photos. Getty seldom takes individuals to court. For this reason, the letter has become widely referred to by recipients as the "Getty Extortion Letter" [13]. Getty is currently being investigated by government officials."

    Getty Images - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  11. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's free to use, but it's possible that it is.

    tldr; "ignore it" ;)
     
  12. jeff000

    jeff000 TPF Noob!

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    Just going to ignore it. lol I did take the image down and shot a picture that is now MY picture and more fitting for the use too.
    The image was only on the website, never any brochures. The brochures and stuff like that all use images I shot. Not sure why I didn't just take the picture for the site. Probably planned to and just didnt. lol

    I have the original RAW image, Getty is claiming ownership of the image from before it was taken...
    And the original I have is 7mp.... how are they selling a 60mp version of this image?
     

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