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Catalyst Complaint Cover Page


Number 408283 Date 5/7/2012 Status Assignee Actual Savings Amount Disputed Estimated Savings Closed Holbrook, Ruth E $0.00 $875.00 $0.00

Location Bellingham - Consumer Protection Division NAICS 541920-Photographic Services

Name Terri I Simpson 1501 S Washington Ave Emmett, ID 83617 Phone Day (208) 365-1227 Phone Evening Email (208) 859-2126

Name Getty Images 605 5th Ave S Ste 400 Seattle, WA 98104 Contact Phone (206) 925-6753 Toll Free Email copyright.complian m

Name Contact Phone Contact Phone Email

Code 023 316 Practice Scare Tactics Billing Issues

Date Added 5/8/2012 5/8/2012 5/8/2012 Activity Type Email to Respondent Other Email to Respondent Activity R First Letter to Respondent To: accidentally sent the first letter to R out in Ada's name. Reassigned to myself and resent. R First Letter to Respondent To:


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RK-00038 PRR-2012-00283

Catalyst Report
Complaint Description
Description When creating our business webpage, we searched for free images to use. The image came up on a search and we decided to use it. We found this image in multiple locations on the internet. I do not ever remember seeing this Getty Images web page when we created the page in 2010. Now they are contacting us saying we owe them money for the image we used. When I spoke with your office, the person I spoke with suggested it may be a scam. A couple things alerted me to question the letters. The letters came directly from the company, not an attorney. The letters stated the fees could be paid on-line and provided a web-site (not secure) to pay them. How do we know that the image was not free when I downloaded it, but since then the photographer decided to sell it to Getty Images. Would I still be liable to pay for it since it was free when I downloaded it? Expected resolution details: Stop contacting us.

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From: Copyright Compliance [] Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2012 2:52 PM To: ATG MI Bellingham CRC Cc: Copyright Compliance Subject: RE: 408283 : A notice from the Washington State Attorney General'sOffice

605 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 400, Seattle, Washington 98104 Tel 206 925 5000 Fax 206 925 5001

May 24, 2012 Via e-mail to and Fax to (360) 738-6190 Ruth E. Holbrook Program Specialist 3 Attorney General of Washington Consumer Protection Division 103 East Holly Street, Suite 308 Bellingham, WA 98225-4310 Tel: (360) 738-6187

Re: Terri I. Simpson Your File Number: 408283 Our Case Number: 1154212 Dear Ms. Holbrook: We are in receipt of the complaint filed by Terri I Simpson that you forwarded to us on May 4, 2012. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to Ms. Simpson’s concerns. By way of introduction, Getty Images is the leading creator and distributor of still and moving images. More than 4,000 images per day are licensed on our website,, which features wholly-owned content (i.e., images to which we own the copyright), as well as

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exclusively licensed content (i.e., third-party contributor images which are licensed exclusively through us). Customers such as graphic designers, advertising agencies, and publishers license our imagery for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to print advertising, billboards, newspaper and magazine articles, brochures and websites. Our license information is clearly available from each page of our website, and we do not permit the use of our imagery without a license. Notwithstanding the license requirement, like other digital media companies, Getty Images does fall victim to individuals pirating its intellectual property. To combat this, Getty Images uses both employees and digital image recognition software to locate entities that have used Getty Images’ imagery without paying a license fee. One such entity recently identified as having used unlicensed imagery from our collections is KT’s Lanes (“KT’s”). On January 12, 2012 and again on March 16 and April 26, we sent KT’s a letter with notification that we had found unauthorized use of one of our images on its website, The image is part of Getty Images’ Rights-Managed “Stone” collection, #BD1541-001 (the “Image”), and can be found on our web site at . We informed KT’s that use of the Image without a license constitutes copyright infringement, and that it must either (i) provide evidence that a license was issued, or (ii) pay a fee for use of the Image. In this instance, the fee was $875, and we provided an invoice in that amount, which featured a thumbnail of the Image and its image number, along with a “screenshot” of the Image on the KT’s Lanes website. The amount invoiced is in line with what typically would be charged for a license of the Image under these circumstances. We do not doubt Ms. Simpson’s claim that the image came up in an Internet search. However, the ability to view content via Google, Yahoo or other internet searches does not mean that the image is not subject to copyright protection. Nor does it mean that permission to use content has been granted. An internet search merely provides responses to the query entered. Indeed, most search engines warn that the content displayed within the search results may be subject to copyright. As the end user of Getty Images’ imagery, KT’s Lanes is ultimately responsible for ensuring that it has obtained appropriate rights to use the imagery, and Getty Images has not issued any licenses to any third party which would allow for commercial web redistribution of the Image. Ms. Simpson questions the security of the web site through which we accept settlement payments. Payment information is protected in transit by industry-standard SSL encryption. We collect only the information needed to process a case, and handle it securely at each step. Our sites are regularly tested to ensure they remain secure. Ms. Simpson also questions whether the Image was represented by Getty Images at the time we identified the infringement. Confidentiality provisions prevent us from providing copies of our agreements with our photographers. However, we are – and were at the time of infringement – the exclusive licensor of the Image. We would be glad to provide an affidavit to that effect. At this time, Ms. Simpson has not raised any valid defenses. We would prefer to resolve this matter amicably, but in the event that KT’s Lanes remains unwilling to pay for the Image

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unlawfully used on its website, we reserve the right to continue to pursue this matter as copyright infringement. Getty Images has acted appropriately and in good faith in pursuing the unauthorized use of our intellectual property. Should you require any additional information about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us. Regards, Getty Images – Copyright Compliance


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