Yep someone else had same problem
Getty images request for payment
We've had a bill through today from Getty Images, who have seen some images on our website that they believe are their copyright. They are demanding a settlement of #800 per image. The images were put on by our previous web dev. The new web dev didn't have any records to refer to, to verify the copyright permission of the images, so he's in a bit of a tight situation really. The boss has contacted the previous web dev and she says the she 'always kept copyright in mind' but didn't keep any record of any permission obtained.
What would be your next course of action? Has anyone experienced anything like this before?
I'd cease and desist and hope they drop the charge in return.
And of course, it could be a scam attempt - are the address/ contact details in the letter correct for GI?
There is a known scam operating along these lines.
Unfortunately this is a recurring issue as most publishers will operate using DRM to track usage and so even removing the image instantly will not generally change the situation legally.
The advice that Russ gives is spot on but having been drawn into a discussion with a group of secondary schools and their LA ultimately there is not a lot that can be done as ignorance is no defence. The LA group in question had two secondary schools pulled up, both challanged it and were presented with details of where the image was lifted from, when it was done and how long it had been present on the school web site without permission... So it makes sense to challange it to make sure it is genuine if nothing else.
To back up what localzuk rightly states - the rule of thumb is if you can't see any copyright information then assume it is copyrighted and only use resources that you can produce a license for.
We ran some twilight sessions last year on copyright as part of our e-safety campaign, if this is something people want then let me know and we'll fire them up again.
Would love to see a copy of that as it's something i've been toying with for a while. It might give me some much needed direction.
It was run as part of an hour in school session, mostly for primaries i'll see what i can pull together.
Give me a week or so!
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