Image Copyright Question: used on a blog

44 replies
Weird thing happened to me today...


We were contacted by some photosharing website I never heard of: "ageofstock -com"

Was told that one of the images on my blog was republished without their permission and I need to pay $510 immediately and remove the image.

Here's the thing though... I got that image off of Google images "okay to share/republish/use" section over 5 YEARS AGO !!

I have no way of proving that back then the image was fair use???

Nor can I find that same image on their website.

How do I know they even own it to begin with??

Why $510, not $587 or $292?

What are my next steps here? Seems like some scam honestly but what do I know.

Any thoughts of what to do next?
#blog #copyright #image #question
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Take down the image you used immediately.

    Send a communication explaining when, how and where you got the image.

    Don't pay them anything. Wait and see if they respond.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

    Here's the thing though... I got that image off of Google images "okay to share/republish/use" section over 5 YEARS AGO !!
    And just to add to what Steve posted, Google's "okay to republish" claim is unreliable and would certainly not be legally valid in any violation of copyright or trademark suit.

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Yes, as Frank mentioned, even with Google image usage rights, it states:

      "Google has no way of knowing whether the license label is legitimate, so we aren't making any representation that the content is actually or lawfully licensed."

      Kind of scary, don't you think?

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdeflation
    so how the heck does anyone ever feel comfortable using images they find online because 99.9% of blogs always use images found in google and do NOT buy stock images
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      You can buy stock images from reputable companies that give you a license to use them for most purposes (like blogging) for under $1 each. Is that too much to spend for peace of mind?

      Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

      so how the heck does anyone ever feel comfortable using images they find online because 99.9% of blogs always use images found in google and do NOT buy stock images
      It may seem that way, but most blogs don't last that long. People start them, then tend to lose interest and let them slide.

      If you're serious about your business and making money with your blog, the truth is you can never feel comfortable with using images without the appropriate licensing. You might get away with it for a while, but if you want a long-term business, why take the risk when, with a little effort, you can find suitable images for either no cost or very little outlay?
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
        It is actually easy to find images like this, you just have to know where to look. I am studiously avoiding self promotion here.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

      so how the heck does anyone ever feel comfortable using images they find ...
      You don't. You do not just "find" an image and put it on your website. Unless you have something from the copyright owner indicating a right to use it you are taking a risk.

      How do I know they even own it to begin with?
      Ask for proof they own it.

      "ageofstock -com"
      Website doesn't exist. agefotostock maybe?

      .

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author mrdeflation
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        You don't. You do not just "find" an image and put it on your website. Unless you have something from the copyright owner indicating a right to use it you are taking a risk.



        Ask for proof they own it.



        Website doesn't exist. agefotostock maybe?

        .

        .
        ageofstock.com sorry
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdeflation
    how can they just randomly throw out an arbitrary price?
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  • Profile picture of the author Arun Chandran
    Smells like bullshit. Check the website... go to Internet Archive: Wayback Machine

    See if such a site ever existed. If nothing, just ignore them and see what happens.

    Most probably nothing will.
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Site ageofstock.com does not even exist...
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  • Profile picture of the author Virtualghost
    Sure you have that right as the domain is available for registration at godaddy.$3.99
    I'd say your being scammed alright.
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  • Profile picture of the author ColossusMedia
    Reputable websites ask for the following when you want to fill a complaint about copyright issue.
    • A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
    • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
    • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material (including the image number(s) of the material).
    • Information reasonably sufficient to permit the Company to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and email address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
    • A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
    • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
    Ask them to provide the details and see how serious they are. But I agree it looks like a scam.


    Also this thread got me thinking, I buy stock photos from a reputable source and even though they provide a license, their agreement warns you that since their files are provided by anonymous artist, they can't make guarantees of its legality.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Could that site be

      agefotostock.com

      ?
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      • Profile picture of the author mrdeflation
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Could that site be

        agefotostock.com

        ?

        apologies... thats the ticket...!!
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        • Profile picture of the author mrdeflation
          Was contacted by them via email


          Dear xxxxxxxxx
          It has come to the attention of age fotostock that online use of imagery represented by age fotostock is or has been used online by your company. According to our records there is no valid license issued to your company for the use of the image(s).
          To view the image(s) in question together with the usage(s) found on your company's website, go to: https:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
          Using imagery of age fotostock without a valid license is considered copyright infringement (Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code) entitling age fotostock to seek compensation for infringing uses.

          TO RESOLVE THIS MATTER - (Case Ref:xxxxxxxxx)
          You are requested to take action within 10 business days of the date of this email, as follows:
          • If your company has a valid license for the use of the imagery, please email the license purchase information to xxxxx@agefotostock.com
          • If your company does not have a valid license for the use of the imagery:
            • A $510.00 settlement payment should be remitted (see payment options below).
              We are willing to offer you, ex gratia, a 5% discount off theabovementioned settlement payment amount, provided that you submit payment within 10 business days from the date of this email. Failure to do so will result in the settlement amount being returned to its original amount upon the expiration of the aforesaid time period.
            • Cease using the imagery immediately
          IMPORTANT NOTES
          • Ceasing use of the imagery does not release your company of its responsibility to pay for the imagery already used. As the unauthorized use has already occurred, payment for that benefit is necessary

          • You may have been unaware that this imagery was subject to license. However, copyright infringement can occur regardless of knowledge or intent. While being unaware of license requirements is unfortunate, it does not change liability

          • Find further information in the FAQ section at https://LCS.agefotostock.com/

          REMITTANCE PAYMENT OPTIONS

          • Online payment: You can remit your payment online at:https://LCS.agefotostock.com/xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

          • Check payment: You can remit payment by check to:
            License Compliance Services, Picscout Inc.
            605 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98104, United States
          Please include Reference Number xxxxxxxx with check payment.
          • Alternatively, you may contact us at +1 855 xxxxxxx

          age fotostock is committed to protect the interests, intellectual property and livelihoods of its contributors.

          We believe that prompt cooperation will benefit all concerned parties. If you would like to continue to use the imagery in question, or if you believe you have mistakenly received this letter, please contact us by email at xxxxx@agefotostock.com, or call +1 855 xxxxxxx and we will assist you.

          This letter is without prejudice to age fotostock's rights and remedies, all of which are expressly reserved.

          Sincerely,
          License Compliance Services, age fotostock.
          xxxxx@agefotostock.com
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        • Profile picture of the author algues41
          Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

          apologies... thats the ticket...!!
          Stock Photography, images, videos and vectors - age fotostock

          Started in business in 1973, some 43 years ago. They have offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris and New York since 16 years ago. I have been with them since years ago and do well for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Assuming the website exists, and assuming it is agefotostock, you can review their online agreements with photo / graphic providers. No legal advice here, but I don't see an assignment of copyright that would allow the stock photo website to sue. A reference to lawsuits where the website and photographer share the booty is not the same as an actual assignment of copyright.

      This issue has tripped up others. Righthaven, infamously, filed copyright lawsuits and then was fined and counter-sued into bankruptcy for not being the copyright owner with the right to sue.



      .
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  • Profile picture of the author pizzatherapy
    ,As someone who has experience in being trolled by copyright infringement, some of the advice here is right on.

    First: make a copy of the image for your records.

    Next: take down the image and make sure you delete it from your server.

    You don't say if you were contacted with a physical letter or by email.

    During my copyright claim nightmare, I received a multi page letter which included a copy of the offending image and the webpage it was on. The company stated they owned the copyright of the image.

    The company asked me for $1,500 dollars other wise they threatened to litigate the issue. (Sue me in court).

    Here was my first mistake: I contacted them. I should have totally ignored them.

    I responded by email and asked if we could negotiate the issue. A rep responded and said if I paid immediately, they would accept $800 to resolve the issue.

    After discussing this with many Internet Marketers and a lawyer, I decided to just ignore them.

    And that was the best option.

    Just ignore them and move on.

    That was almost 3 years ago and I have not heard anything from them.

    You can learn more by searching for "Copyright Trolls". Very enlightening!

    Understand there are many legal trolls out there looking for copyright infringement. One of the biggest companies looking for copyright infringement is Getty Images.

    My advice is to learn a lesson and do not use images which you do not have permission to use. Make sure you hold the copyright to every image you post. (There are a number of sites which allow you to use their images without copyright)

    Please let us know what happens.

    I hope your story, like mine, has a happy ending. Lesson learned..move on!
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

    We were contacted by some photosharing website I never heard of: "ageofstock -com"
    #1) They are not a photosharing site, they are stock photo site that licenses images as a business. Photographers, photo artists, and graphic artists have a right to be paid for their work just like everyone else does.

    #2) In the past I have contacted some of the people and companies that were using my images illegally without a license. You know what? Most of the companies that I contacted paid my settlement offer which was 1.5-3 times my typical licensing price. Three times the normal license price is sorta industry standard.

    As far as Righthaven goes...many/most think they got carried away by going after entities that could legally use the material under "fair use" doctrine. Yes, in the end, it appeared to many that they had tried to turn newspaper article copyright lawsuits into a business.

    Cheers

    -don
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdeflation
    why couldnt I theoretically open my own "stock" photo site and do the following:


    Find tons of small bloggers with images taken off google that have been shared in 100 different places.

    Contact the original owner of the image and purchase the copyright.

    Once I own the rights, now contact the 100's of other blogs that reposted that same image and demand they pay an infringement fee of $500 to me.


    Rinse and repeat...


    Seems like a good business no?
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    • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
      Banned
      Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

      why couldnt I theoretically open my own "stock" photo site and do the following:

      Find tons of small bloggers with images taken off google that have been shared in 100 different places.

      Contact the original owner of the image and purchase the copyright.

      Once I own the rights, now contact the 100's of other blogs that reposted that same image and demand they pay an infringement fee of $500 to me.

      Rinse and repeat...

      Seems like a good business no?
      #1) Finding the actual owners (and securing copyright) of images that were used by bloggers sourced from Google images can be a very time consuming and relatively difficult thing to do.

      #2) Finding the actual details of the proper person to invoice and ultimately sue is not always an easy task, especially if they are not located anywhere near you.

      #3) Lots of images that bloggers use are either public domain, Creative Commons licensed, or legit stock photos so you are not going to be able to "purchase copyright" on those.

      #4) Some companies like Getty allow images to be used on blogs for free providing you use the proper images and the proper embed code.

      #5) Demanding money for an image that was not licensed (or pirated) as stock image in the first place will probably not get you very far.

      #6) Companies do exist to help legit photographers, artists, and companies track down image pirates. Obviously you can find plenty of folks in the legal profession that will help you pursue legitimate infringement claims. The big stock image companies already have a large number of people on staff to deal with piracy.

      #7) Not all unlicensed images uses are illegal....as fair use doctrine provides for many uses that do not require a license.

      #8) In not all claims are substantial damages awarded, so the cost of pursuing a bunch of claims may exceed the damages paid or awarded unless you really know what you are doing.

      #9) Some copyright trolling techniques are illegal. Like bundling together a bunch of Internet users in a single suit to obtain their identities has been deemed an abuse of the legal process.

      #10) I suspect you are not going to get a ton of money out of "small bloggers" for your efforts.

      #11) Purchasing the copyrights on images is not always a easy thing to do. While companies and photographers will often grant or sell you a license to use the image, unless it was originally work for hire, they rarely sign away the copyright on the image. If they do, most will want a pretty good price for doing so.

      #12) It's not a good business model in it's current form.

      Cheers

      -don
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    • Profile picture of the author onSubie
      Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

      why couldnt I theoretically open my own "stock" photo site and do the following:


      Find tons of small bloggers with images taken off google that have been shared in 100 different places.

      Contact the original owner of the image and purchase the copyright.

      Once I own the rights, now contact the 100's of other blogs that reposted that same image and demand they pay an infringement fee of $500 to me.


      Rinse and repeat...


      Seems like a good business no?

      That is exactly what these companies do.

      But rather than chase down individual photographers they buy collections.

      So Pro Ad Photo Source goes bankrupt. As part of the bankruptcy their assets are sold off at 5 cents on the dollar.

      Photo Lawsuit Inc. buys their catalogue and rights.

      Then Photo Lawsuit goes out and sends demand letters to anyone using a photo from the collection.

      It doesn't matter if you have a license or not. Photo Lawsuit does not check this. They simply check that one of the images on your site is part of the collection they purchased from Pro Ad Photo Source.

      The onus is on you to prove you have a license from way back when you bought the photo from Pro Ad Photo Source or pony up $510 to the new rights holder, Photo Lawsuit Inc.

      This is a common business model in many industries.

      In the tech industry these types of companies are called patent trolls.


      EDIT:
      It is a viable business model and many companies make a lot of money buying rights and licensing from someone else and then monetizing those rights.

      In a recent case from Canada, the Canadian courts made it difficult for the copyright trolls to succeed.

      http://www.thestar.com/business/2014...lls_geist.html
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      • Profile picture of the author mrdeflation
        Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

        That is exactly what these companies do.

        But rather than chase down individual photographers they buy collections.

        So Pro Ad Photo Source goes bankrupt. As part of the bankruptcy their assets are sold off at 5 cents on the dollar.

        Photo Lawsuit Inc. buys their catalogue and rights.

        Then Photo Lawsuit goes out and sends demand letters to anyone using a photo from the collection.

        It doesn't matter if you have a license or not. Photo Lawsuit does not check this. They simply check that one of the images on your site is part of the collection they purchased from Pro Ad Photo Source.

        The onus is on you to prove you have a license from way back when you bought the photo from Pro Ad Photo Source or pony up $510 to the new rights holder, Photo Lawsuit Inc.

        This is a common business model in many industries.

        In the tech industry these types of companies are called patent trolls.
        So is this "business model" considered illegal in the US?
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        • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
          Banned
          Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

          So is this "business model" considered illegal in the US?
          Copyright law is relatively well defined in the U.S. so if you have a legitimate claim, and legitimate damage has occurred, you have a chance of collecting from some of the individuals that have violated your copyright.

          This IS NOT a "business model" used by very many here in the U.S., especially by those in the image industry. The vast majority of stock image companies are in business to license images, Getty included. I suppose if you own a hack law firm with few scruples you may be able to devise some system and stay within the law.

          What has happened is piracy has become so widespread that is is very difficult for companies to crack down on the people pirating their photos, especially the companies that have hundreds of millions of photos like Getty does.

          Therefore, to combat piracy and make up for losses, a few larger companies have been known to go after many instances of uses of unlicensed photos, and a relatively few times they have been caught pursuing the wrong people. It's the nature of the beast when you have millions of people using unlicensed photos without permission and you try to do some collecting. It's not always viable or possible to go after each image instance individually and/or personally and mistakes can be made.

          You are not going to get very far if you are not in the image business and you concoct some hair-brained collection scheme as a "business model".

          If you are using an unlicensed copyrighted image then be prepared defend yourself. People have stolen so many images from Getty that they have decided that no matter what they do, or how big their theft department gets, they can't be compensated fairly for all of the theft that has occurred so they have "sorta" given in to the pirates.

          That's why they now allow bloggers to use millions of their images as long as long as you use the embed code that credits Getty when you use the image.

          If you want to do some good, and make some money in this area, then go to law school and make yourself a profession in copyright or intellectual property law. If you don't want to do that much work then get yourself hired at one of the large photo companies and work in their theft department so you can actually do some good in combatting piracy.

          Cheers

          -don
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    "The safeguards include court oversight of the “demand letter” that will be sent to subscribers, with a case management judge assigned to review and approve its contents before being sent to any subscriber. Moreover, the letter must include a message in bold type that “no Court has yet made a determination that such subscriber has infringed or is liable in any way for payment of damages.”"
    What a friggen joke --> protect the pirates, and screw the legit copyright holders. I can find hundreds of thousands of unlicensed instances of my images posted on websites. I can't wait for the day some of these courts and judges start protecting the people that actually own the copyrights instead of the damn pirates.

    If I know a specific image is unlicensed for a particular use (that would not be considered fair use) I should not need to have judicial approval before I send a demand letter or an invoice. That's just ludicrous.

    Sure a few bad apples with improper motives exist, and they deserve to be punished in some way, but it would be nice to see the millions and millions of folks that think they own everything they see or can download on the net get smacked in the wallet for a change.

    Cheers

    -don
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    • Profile picture of the author onSubie
      Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

      If I know a specific image is unlicensed for a particular use (that would not be considered fair use) I should not need to have judicial approval before I send a demand letter or an invoice. That's just ludicrous.
      So how do you prove that without judicial approval?

      Many prosecutors wish they didn't need judicial approval before they put someone to death.
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      • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
        Banned
        Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

        So how do you prove that without judicial approval?
        That's easy enough...and we are not talking about putting people to death here.

        #1) Many images are sold with specific royalty free rights that state the images are not to be shared, traded, given away, or posted to social media sharing sites etc. On top of that, they may have other stipulations as well, like the image has to be heavily modified to use in certain types of projects, or can't be used at all in certain projects.

        #2) Many images are sold as rights managed images with VERY SPECIFIC rights --> like single use etc.

        #3) Some images that are available have not been licensed, yet they are pirated and posted all over the net.

        #4) If an image has been licensed only a few times then usually it is very easy to contact the licensees to see if a particular use was initiated by them. An image licensee that has paid for the license generally does not like to see someone else illegally using the same image for free that they have paid for.

        #5) If someone that you suspect of using your image(s) illegally without a license does not respond to simple questions, or produce an invoice or license (or give you legit reason why they can't), then you have a pretty good idea that they do not have the rights to use the image.

        #6) Some uses are quite easy to determine that they are not fair uses.

        #7) Sometimes the actually copyright symbol has been removed from the image which is another crime here in the States. If they are using my images with a copyright symbol then it's obvious they have not paid for them, and obviously someone has broken the law if the symbol has been removed without authorization. And most of us know you don't have to display a copyright symbol on your work for the work to be copyrighted.

        If you pirate or grab an image that you think you can use without prenission then be prepared for any number of things that could happen --> you could get a balance due invoice or a demand letter, your site could go dark, you could lose your Adsense account, your ISP could cut you off, and/or you could be taken to court.

        Obviously most of the people downloading pirated movies are pirates...good grief, what more do you need? If you want to use images for free, you have plenty of options to consider, and millions of images to choose from --> public domain, Creative Commons, and free to use for specific purposes like Getty's blog use program. If you want to use copyrighted images then wait for the copyrights to expire, get permission, or obtain a license.

        If you think you are using an image in a way that could legitimately be considered fair use then that is determined by a judge AFTER you have been sent a demand letter and/or a balance due invoice etc. etc. if the copyright holder disagrees with you. If you are using unlicensed copyrighted images then you should be prepared to settle or defend yourself, and if necessary, defend your use in court.

        Cheers

        -don
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  • Profile picture of the author Zugga
    .

    Here's the thing though... I got that image off of Google images "okay to share/republish/use" section over 5 YEARS AGO !!

    I have no way of proving that back then the image was fair use???

    Fair use is one way. Another, in the USA is to note that any copyright holder has 3 years to complain from the date of discovery of the infringement (or the date he ought to have discovered). See Copyright infringement - The IT Law Wiki - Wikia

    If all that fails I suggest you look up the public accounts of the copyright holder. There you will see in the balance sheet his own valuation of his portfolio. For example in their latest published accounts, Cartoonstock Ltd. of Bath, England declare that the total value of their assets is £90,177. Some of those assets include their claimed rights to over 500,000 images and consequently, by their own figures, the average value of their images is at most 18 pence. Now either you will be the only user over say 100 years (unlikely) in which case you might have to pay 18p (about 30 cents). Or if it is a popular image, perhaps more valuable, licensing value will only be a tiny proportion. So ask the copyright holder for sales data to justify his valuation.

    No doubt that such a copyright holder will claim the book value does not represent the true value of his assets. In that case he is committing fraud by failing to make public the true and fair value of his assets. Of course most images are free and that is why the market value of anything copyrighted is generally so low. These guys are caught out by their own greed. They don't want to pay taxes so they understate their assets.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrafficFlow
    Also keep in mind that the penalties for copyright infringement are substantially lower if they never bothered to file the image with the US Copyright office so you may want to do a search to see if they have registered that image with the Copyright office.

    The fact that they did not mention in their communication to you that the image was registered and the date it was registered suggests that they may not have registered it. I believe there is a fee to do such registrations so many companies do not bother to do so unless the image has some real value.
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    • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
      If you get one of these letters, one of the first things you should do is go to extortionletterinfo.com - click the Forum link (I found that have to click it twice before it loads, the first attempt always gives me an error) - and you will find other folks who have received similar letters, sometimes the exact same letter, often from the same company, and who can share their experiences.

      I believe there is also at least 1 lawyer who has dealt with responding to these companies, who visits that forum too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

      how can they just randomly throw out an arbitrary price?
      Who says it's arbitrary?

      If you sell an ebook, how do you determine the price? By the number pages? By the number of colors in your ebook cover? By the subject matter?

      Whatever method you use, others might consider it "arbitrary".

      Retail prices are determined less by the cost to produce the product, and more by the demand for the product... what the market will bear.

      Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

      • If your company has a valid license for the use of the imagery, please email the license purchase information to xxxxx@agefotostock.com
      • If your company does not have a valid license for the use of the imagery:
        • A $510.00 settlement payment should be remitted (see payment options below).
          We are willing to offer you, ex gratia, a 5% discount off theabovementioned settlement payment amount, provided that you submit payment within 10 business days from the date of this email. Failure to do so will result in the settlement amount being returned to its original amount upon the expiration of the aforesaid time period.
        • Cease using the imagery immediately
      As is evidenced in the email they sent you, the $510 is not the selling price of the image.

      They are offering you an out of court settlement. This is a common practice to forego the cost (to both parties) of litigation. They can make any offer they like.


      Originally Posted by Zugga View Post

      If all that fails I suggest you look up the public accounts of the copyright holder. There you will see in the balance sheet his own valuation of his portfolio. For example in their latest published accounts, Cartoonstock Ltd. of Bath, England declare that the total value of their assets is £90,177. Some of those assets include their claimed rights to over 500,000 images and consequently, by their own figures, the average value of their images is at most 18 pence. Now either you will be the only user over say 100 years (unlikely) in which case you might have to pay 18p (about 30 cents). Or if it is a popular image, perhaps more valuable, licensing value will only be a tiny proportion. So ask the copyright holder for sales data to justify his valuation.
      This is laughable, and exhibits a total lack of understanding of accounting principles.
      Inventory is carried on the books at cost, not retail value. In this scenario, all you can determine from a balance sheet is the cost of inventory currently in stock and any carrying costs for that inventory.

      The retail price never comes into play until after the sale, where it is recorded as revenue in a Profit & Loss statement. The net of that statement (profit/loss) is then carried forward to the Balance Sheet.

      No doubt that such a copyright holder will claim the book value does not represent the true value of his assets. In that case he is committing fraud by failing to make public the true and fair value of his assets. Of course most images are free and that is why the market value of anything copyrighted is generally so low. These guys are caught out by their own greed. They don't want to pay taxes so they understate their assets.
      No doubt.
      Probably because the inventory value NEVER directly represents the potential revenue value of that inventory.

      In fact, in this instance, the "inventory" is never being sold - only the rights to use an image(s). Those rights can be sold multiple times to multiple different parties without depleting inventory at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zugga
    Sid I take it you are not a resident of Europe. What you consider "laughable" may be the saviour of some poor victim of extortion. I was referring to a UK company and UK law applies, in particular the legal requirement for all limited companies to publish a true and fair view of the company in their accounts. This automatically implies, amongst other things, revaluing assets whose value is understated. In the US the law is different - in fact such revaluations are not permitted. (See FASB Statement No. 144).

    You remarks on depleting inventory by sales are appropriate. The assets represented by licensing rights are "depleted" by taking into account the diminishing lifetime of those rights, not by their sale.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      This automatically implies, amongst other things, revaluing assets whose value is understated. In the US the law is different - in fact such revaluations are not permitted. (See FASB Statement No. 144).
      In this particular case, I read that as "blah blah blah"...because if you take the time to research the company referenced you will find a company in business since 1997...with a site based in Spain.

      What happens in threads like this is simple - everyone has a bit of info based on something he's read or been taught or heard about....so one person advises "run away" while another opines "stay and fight".

      Much better to research the issue and the company/people involved and make an informed decision. Instead of assuming it's a scam - LOOK INTO IT. A company in business since 1997 is probably legit.

      Site owners need to understand what "fair use" is - too often think it means what THEY think is fair. Not so.

      There is a perception online recently that if you aren't in a country where the copyright/trademark holder lives...you are safe from any repercussions. Not necessarily true...

      The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.
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      • Profile picture of the author Zugga
        [QUOTE=Kay King;10453220]In this particular case, I read that as "blah blah blah"...because if you take the time to research the company referenced you will find a company in business since 1997...with a site based in Spain.

        CartoonStock Ltd. is registered in UK and you can download its accounts for free.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          CartoonStock Ltd. is registered in UK and you can download its accounts for free.
          That's wonderful - but what does it have to do with agefotostock located in another country?
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        • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
          Originally Posted by Zugga View Post

          CartoonStock Ltd. is registered in UK and you can download its accounts for free.
          Of value only to someone who is qualified to understand those documents.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      You're right. I'm not a resident of Europe, but your reply is even more laughable...

      Originally Posted by Zugga View Post

      Sid I take it you are not a resident of Europe. What you consider "laughable" may be the saviour of some poor victim of extortion. I was referring to a UK company and UK law applies, in particular the legal requirement for all limited companies to publish a true and fair view of the company in their accounts. This automatically implies, amongst other things, revaluing assets whose value is understated. In the US the law is different - in fact such revaluations are not permitted. (See FASB Statement No. 144).

      You remarks on depleting inventory by sales are appropriate. The assets represented by licensing rights are "depleted" by taking into account the diminishing lifetime of those rights, not by their sale.
      First of all, FASB 144 addresses acceptable methods for accounting for the disposal and/or liquidation of long-lived assets (i.e. fixed assets) - not inventory.

      All fixed assets (property, equipment, vehicles, etc.) contribute in some way to generating income, but only inventory generates income directly and that income is not recognized (nor recorded on any financial statements) until such time as the inventory is sold. Until that time, inventory is typically held on the books at cost, and is deducted from inventory (as cost of goods sold) at that time.

      Secondly, "licenses" are not carried in inventory. You don't print up a bunch of licenses and stick them on a shelf with a price tag.

      While an image can/should be carried on the books (of the copyright holder), a license for that image is an intangible asset and is NOT carried on the books of the copyright holder. That same asset (the license) can/should be carried on the Balance Sheet of the ultimate license-holder (the buyer).
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      • Profile picture of the author Zugga
        Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

        You're right. I'm not a resident of Europe, but your reply is even more laughable...



        First of all, FASB 144 addresses acceptable methods for accounting for the disposal and/or liquidation of long-lived assets (i.e. fixed assets) - not inventory.

        All fixed assets (property, equipment, vehicles, etc.) contribute in some way to generating income, but only inventory generates income directly and that income is not recognized (nor recorded on any financial statements) until such time as the inventory is sold. Until that time, inventory is typically held on the books at cost, and is deducted from inventory (as cost of goods sold) at that time.

        Secondly, "licenses" are not carried in inventory. You don't print up a bunch of licenses and stick them on a shelf with a price tag.

        While an image can/should be carried on the books (of the copyright holder), a license for that image is an intangible asset and is NOT carried on the books of the copyright holder. That same asset (the license) can/should be carried on the Balance Sheet of the ultimate license-holder (the buyer).
        Glad to make you laugh again Sid. But if you care to review my post you'll see that I never referred to inventory but rather to "rights" (intangible assets). This thread is not the place to educate those argumentative souls who don't and won't understand the difference.

        This thread is about image copyright and the antics of copyright trolls. So to keep the discussion on course let me repeat some further ammunition in defense against fraudulent settlement demands. Fraud is the dishonest attempt to obtain an advantage by deception. The Courts (and the public) expect companies who deal in IP rights to be experts and if they recklessly or knowingly pretend to have legal rights which they not in fact possess in order to obtain advantage, they commit an offence.

        For example it is surely fraud if a troll claims in demanding "settlement" :-
        1) All unauthorized use is infringement (omitting exceptions).
        2) Ignorance of copyright is not a defense. (S. 97(1) CDPA 1988)
        3) That he is entitled to sue for infringement when he does not have exclusive rights.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zugga
    The antics of copyright trolls has been described as "legalized extortion". But isn't a better description plain and simple fraud? Fraud is attempting to obtain value by deception. There are many examples of such fraudulent deception in the trolling letters. Firstly the letters state or imply that all unlicensed copying of copyright material is automatically infringement. No mention is made that the Law may allow "fair use" and other exceptions. Similarly, the copyright holder himself, may allow use (e.g. for personal entertainment). Secondly the troll fraudulently claims rights to damages and legal fees. In reality he has no such right because his license (if any) is non-exclusive. The user is free to go to any licensor he chooses including the copyright holder. So loss of income to a non-exclusive licensor is NOT usually evidence of damage.

    How can you tell if the fraudster has an exclusive license or not? Well, check out the original artist. If he is licensing his own work then the the the licensing must be non-exclusive.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Arguing to be right doesn't change the facts.

      You appear to be arguing US law - and that really has nothing to do with this.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrvendi60
    You should not pay the money. What was written in the website while you had taken the picture? Could you please to provide the conversation with them?
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      Originally Posted by mrvendi60 View Post

      Could you please to provide the conversation with them?
      He did... but you have to read the thread to see it.
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