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WA State AG Complaint - New - 40

WA State AG Complaint - New - 40

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These are the current complaints against Getty Images that are on file with the Washington State Attorney General office. These are complaints about Getty’s Settlement Demand letters sent out over alleged copyright infringement and are done in such a way that many call it “Legalized Extortion” as Getty refuses to provide any proof whatsoever of their claim, give unrealistic and artificial deadlines for payment, make veiled threats of an eminent impending lawsuit all of which are designed to instill fear and panic making the letter recipient pay before they can do any research and find out what is going on.
These are the current complaints against Getty Images that are on file with the Washington State Attorney General office. These are complaints about Getty’s Settlement Demand letters sent out over alleged copyright infringement and are done in such a way that many call it “Legalized Extortion” as Getty refuses to provide any proof whatsoever of their claim, give unrealistic and artificial deadlines for payment, make veiled threats of an eminent impending lawsuit all of which are designed to instill fear and panic making the letter recipient pay before they can do any research and find out what is going on.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Copyright Anti-Bullying Act (CABA Law) on Mar 31, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/31/2013

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Status
Amount DisputedActual SavingsEstimated Savings
Activities
Location NAICS
Complainant
Number
Date NameContactPhoneToll FreeEmail
Getty Images6055th Ave S Ste 400Seattle, WA98104(206) 925-6753copyright.compliance@gettyimages.com413421
7/30/2012
Respondent(s)Complaint
Seattle - Lemon Law (Motor Veh.Arbitration)Date AddedActivity TypeActivity7/31/2012Email to ComplainantC First Letter to Consumer To:drvsredd@gmail.com7/31/2012Email to RespondentR First Letter to Respondent To:copyright.compliance@gettyimages.com8/9/2012Email from Respondent541920-Photographic Services
AssigneeOffril, Wency V
$0.00$800.00$0.00CodePractice019Inadequate Disclosure404Collection Practices
Practice(s)
Closed
Referral(s)
 NameContactPhone ContactPhoneEmail
413421
CatalystComplaint Cover Page
 NamePhone DayPhone EveningEmail
Vernon ReddPO Box 371Edgewood, NM87015(505) 888-6138(505) 281-8629drvsredd@gmail.com
1 of 2
413421
 
Date AddedActivity TypeActivity8/9/2012Email to ComplainantCsup Closing Unadjusted To:drvsredd@gmail.com8/9/2012Email to RespondentRsup Closing No Adjustment To:copyright.compliance@gettyimages.com8/9/2012Resolution-UNADJUSTED8/10/2012Email from Complainant2 of 2
413421
 
Description
We posted a recipe on my professional website (docredd.com) for our patients education. A picture wasattached to the recipe. There was no indication at all that the recipe or picture were copyrighted. A few weekslater (less than a month) I received a letter from Getty Images, Inc. informing me that I had violatedtheir copy right on the picture and demanding a settlement of over $800.00 or they would take further actionagainst me which I took to mean they would sue me. I was shocked because we had no idea the picture wascopyrighted. We immediately removed the picture and sent a letter to Getty Images explaining that we hadtaken the picture down. I explained that in had been an accident and asked that they withdraw their demand,which was in my mind, unreasonable. They sent a second e.mail stating they would accept $615.00 insteadand again, threatened further action (which I took to mean they would sue me) and that the reduced demandwould be withdrawn if I did not comply with in five days. I was in a panic and so sent the payment by creditcard. Now that I've had time to reflect, I am outraged at this company for engaging in what I believe are predatory business practices and bullying. We checked their web site and found that the cost of the imagewould have been about $237.00 to purchase, so I wrote them and asked for a detailed explanation as to howthey had determined I owed them and additional $500 plus over the cost of what they normally charge for the picture. They never provided me with an acceptable explanation.I pointed out to them that it was impossible to know if a given image was owned by them or anyone else if there was no copyright symbol or statement made on the web site. I feel like a person who has been given atick for exceeding the speed limit when no limit was posted. How can I comply with a law if no reasonableeffort was made to inform me of the law?I am asking not only for your office to intervene in this matter, but that an investigation be conducted in to thiscompanies business practices. Even if the law is on their side justice has not been served in any waywhatsoever in this case. I did not retain an attorney because the cost of doing so would be more than the finethey imposed on me. I did talk to a friend who is an attorney and he said I should file a complaint.This sort of business practice is simply wrong. I have respect for copyrights and would never have used theimage in question if I had any inkling at all that the image was copyrighted. I is unreasonable that a personshould have to research every picture like this before using it to see if there is a copyright on it and especiallyif the cooking website invites you to use the recipe.I also would like to know if I can contact my credit card company and reclaim my payment pending aninvestigation by your office. Especially in light of the fact that they declined to provide me the detailedexplanation of how they determined the additional fees they charged. At the very least, I feel they should haveto return any money paid over and above the cost of the picture but I do not feel I am responsible for any payment because the image in question had no copyright statement or symbol attached to it.I have attached the e.mail documents I have. The original demand letter from Getty Images, Inc. was a paper form mailed to my office and so is not included.Thank you for your assistance.Dr. Vernon Redd
Complaint Description
Catalyst Report

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