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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Getty Responds to $1bn Copyright Lawsuit

Getty Responds to $1bn Copyright Lawsuit

Getty Responds to $1bn Copyright Lawsuit

Added: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ISP, Download, BitTorrent, MPAA, RIAA, copyright-infringement, file-sharing, Torrenting
A few days ago, a copyright complaint was filed against Getty Images by a photographer Carol Highsmith, after the latter was threatened by an agent for using her own photo without Getty’s permission. The stock-imaging company is now fighting back, claiming that it will defend itself vigorously in this case.

It all began back in 2015, when Highsmith’s own foundation received a threatening letter from a company called License Compliance Services (LCS), which was sent on behalf of Getty-affiliated Alamy. LCS warned that Highsmith violated the company’s licensing terms for the content by using her own photograph and demanded a cash settlement of $120.

This settlement demand was later dropped, but the photographer discovered that Getty and Alamy were offering more than 18,000 of her other images on their websites, despite the fact that Highsmith had previously donated them to the Library of Congress for public use. However, Getty was misrepresenting the photos by stating that users must buy a copyright license from it. As a result, the photographer filed a $1 billion dollar lawsuit against Getty Images. In response, the company made a public statement before responding in the court, saying that it hopes to rectify the situation with the plaintiff, but if that is not possible, it will defend itself vigorously.

On the one hand, this may mean that Getty Images wants to come to an arrangement with Highsmith, but on the other hand, the wording suggests that the company is also prepared for a fight. Getty believes it has done nothing wrong, and the fact that the photographer placed her content in the public domain supports its point of view.

However, the photographer’s complaint claims that Getty is not only unlawfully charging licensing fees for the donated photographs that can be reproduced and displayed for free by default, but also holds itself out as the exclusive copyright owner and threatens users with copyright infringement lawsuits. In response, Getty shifts the responsibility for copyright-trolling to Alamy and LCS, the companies that sent the original settlement demand to Highsmith. At the same time, both Getty and Alamy have enough reserves to put up an extremely spirited defense, especially when a billion dollars is at stake.

In any case, the very existence of a business model involving sending out threatening letters to users of public domain images cannot but worry.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article.

Posted by: 

Date:  Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Comments (4) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2016-08-03 21:04:56)
eyemanozzy avatarif this photographer loses out in this case then i'll charge google for every view of the whitehouse googled ! i don't have to own the copyright , just a small legal firm to collect on my behalf so i can have a free ride in life........oh ! my dream bubble just burst !!
if there ever was copyright case that demonstrates stupidity as well as the greed to file a suit for a free image against the original
photographer then common sense will have been flushed down the sewer with the rest of this copyright crap !
getty is now on my blocked sites list......next to google and all major movie makers......
even local cinema sites are starting to not list trailers because of amazon.....(check out imdb, no trailer...then amazon is selling the book or movie)
it'll be a great day if everybody can upload images to getty 24/7 untill their servers fry !
i really dislike free loaders charging for free loading lol !i may pirate but i still buy music and movies.....maybe i'll just take the movie off the shelf and walk out with it because the dvd cover was not made by the director or actors and never accuratelly represents the movie so copyright does not cover that afterall, how can cover art make an actor poor ?
i hope this photogrpher gets double what she's asking for.........

posted by Kitty (2016-08-04 15:39:52)
Crash1 avatar"In response, Getty shifts the responsibility for copyright-trolling to Alamy and LCS, the companies that sent the original settlement demand to Highsmith."

Their BIG problem with doing this is that GETTY was the one receiving the "Copyright" fee. They may be paying the other companies to COLLECT, but THEY'RE the ones illegally charging the fee in the first place and claiming they own the copyright ... so shifting the blame isn't going to work real well.

posted by (2016-08-05 03:22:59)
MECH8204 avatar"and the fact that the photographer placed her content in the public domain supports its point of view"how does that support their point of view that supports her point of view they are taking free stuff and charging for it then threaten people if they don't pay up and if they were donated to the library of congress who is to say that's not where she and other people acquired it.

posted by (2016-08-05 14:25:50)
Pippy01 avatarAlthough the Getty, and anyone else, can sell public domain works, they can't legally claim licensing/copyright fees, as there are none. They can shift the blame, but if they received a penny of revenue from illegally charging licensing/copyright fees—even those received from outsourced firms—they're going to lose the lawsuit. Although the Getty is in the wrong, I highly doubt that Highsmith's ridiculous sum will be paid to her. Her "injuries" were an inconvenience. It's the government that has a big case against the Getty, not Highsmith.

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