Besides the fact that I would never pay a claim or a bill without proof that I owed anything, the companyyou represent has a poor record when it comes to providing proof of exclusive rights. Let's take a momentto look at the Getty v. Advernet case which I am sure you are aware of, if not allow me to inform you, thecompany you represent sued Advernet for the use of 35 images on their website(s), you won this case bydefault. That's right you won this case, even if it was by default, you won the case yet the court ruled thatyour company would not receive $24,275 you are asking for. Why is this? Because there was issues withevery single image and the court ruled that because of these issues you are not legally able to pursueclaims on any of the images. I am now not convinced if you even have any paperwork relating to theimage you allege I infringed on and that is the reason you refuse to send along proof when requested.When another member of the ELI forums requested the same proof that I had, they received a reply backfrom Getty compliance team specialist Nancy Monson. This person posted the message with the personalinformation removed in which Ms. Monson states:
Getty Images has contracts with its contributing photographers who are the copyright holders and owners of the images. The contributor agreement contains representations and warranties that the contributor is the sole copyright owner.
Consequently, Getty Images does not require contributors to provide Getty Images with certificates of registration and leaves the option of copyright registration to the individual photographer
How can you make claims on images and threaten legal action when you don't even know if they areregistered?So in conclusion I want to state that I would still like this matter settled and for it to be over and done withso here's where I'm at. I know that you will not send me any of the items of proof of claim that I havereasonably requested so I am attaching a formal complaint letter that I have ready to go and am preparedto send to the following people and places. This complaint asking for help with my situation as well as theinvestigation into the practices conducted by you and your company and will be sent to the following:Washington state Atty. Gen. Rob McKenna, Ohio State Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine (a copy of this letter issent here since I do business in Ohio and you have sent your demand letters to me across state lines towhere I do business all of which is conducted within a 30 mile radius of my address), the Federal TradeCommission, the Washington State Better Business Bureau, the Ohio State Better Business Bureau, Sen.Rob Portman and Rep. Michael Turner. The last two are the senator and representative for the district inwhich I reside and operate my business, the letter will be modified in such a way as let them know thatyou and your company are using tactics which I consider extortionistic to threaten and bully people intopaying you over alleged innocent infringement cases that if they did go to court would be considered
deminimis and only rate a $200 fine. Yet even after having been provided with proof that any allegedinfringement is non-willful and innocent you still continue to demand $850 and up. In light that this is anelection year and Pres. Obama is talking about how he wants to make things better for businesses I thinkthere should be a Congressional and Senate hearing into stock photo companies like Getty, HAN, Corbisand Masterfile trying to extort money from individuals, mom-and-pop companies, and small businesses.
I realize that your next step in the process is most likely NCS, I am going to save you the time trouble andmoney of forwarding it there as I will include a letter you can forward to them stating that this is a claimand not a debt, I am dealing with you, I have a lawyer and I wish absolutely no contact from them tomyself or my lawyer. So in effect kick you right back to you.The step after this usually goes to your legal department, Timothy B McCormack of McCormack IP lawoffices. I am informing you now and you should let Mr. McCormack know as well, that if this goes to him