Catalyst Complaint Cover Page

407668

Complaint
Number 407668 Date 4/25/2012 Status Assignee Actual Savings Amount Disputed Estimated Savings Closed Fisher, Valeria W $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

Location Bellingham - Consumer Protection Division NAICS 541920-Photographic Services

Complainant
Name Mindi l Robinson 2325 Q St Bedford, IN 47421-4718 Phone Day (812) 279-4673 Phone Evening Email (812) 583-0209 mindilee@sbcglobal.net

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

Referral(s)
Name Contact Phone Contact Phone Email

Practice(s)
Code 019 Practice Inadequate Disclosure

Activities
Date Added 4/26/2012 4/26/2012 4/26/2012 5/3/2012 Activity Type Email to Respondent Email to Complainant Email from Complainant Email from Respondent Activity R First Letter to Respondent To: copyright.compliance@gettyimages.com C First Letter to Consumer To: mindilee@sbcglobal.net

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RK-00085 PRR-2012-00283

Catalyst Report
Complaint Description
Description Hello- I live in southern indiana and run a small health care practice. IN 2011 we decided to build a web site. WE had a friend contracted to do it and paid some 300.0 for internet space. We used mostly only images from pictures in house but we were baited to take what was then a "free" image and now alleged to be a copyright by getty images. Interestingly our clinic is called Stone CIty Counseling INC. If you now go to Getty images this photo is marked in their library as stone and for sale for 478.00 though for me they are threatening to sue for over 3,000.00. Our web contracter did take bait to a free image. It was a collage of four small pictures. Now these pictures are broken down into 4 images according to Getty images and owned by them. 3 of the four are listed in their library again titled "stone" one image is not even found. At any rate they contacted my office the first time in Feburary 2012 demanding payment of over 3,000.00. We are in health care in 2012 and hardly stay afloat. THe company simply doesnt run with that kind of reserve. We never received a cease and desist letter. WE tried to communicate via response asking for them to describe or share more information on when these images became copyrighted. We also attempted to explain that we never received a cease and desist letter and that nonetheless we immediately took down these alleged misused or mistaken images. WE received a response stating this is not going away. Pay . I have made a few calls and am routinely on hold for a great length of time for which I have photo shot images of my phone waiting. PRobably they are covered with calls in their scheme. I am completely a person willing to take responsibilty nonetheless this appears to be nothing mroe than extortion and internet trolling. I am asking that getty images be held to the truth on copy right laws. IF indeed we infringed, we did so without knowlege. We made t right immediately. We would ask that they not be able to harass us and that they not be able to break up this one image that was a collage and consider it four. That they consider the guideline amount if any of 200.00 that is more than we would have ever purchased for a picture of a person sitting in an office on a sofa. We do not have this type of money. This country should be intolerant of this type of extortion. Please advise and interject a reasonable way to handle this scandel. I will gladly fax this information to you. Sincerely Mindi RObinson msw, lcsw Expected resolution details: be held accountable according to the law

RK-00087 PRR-2012-00283

AdaS

5/3/2012

From: Copyright Compliance [mailto:Copyright.Compliance@gettyimages.com] Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 3:54 PM To: ATG MI Bellingham CRC Subject: RE: To Ms. Valeria Fisher RE: 407668 : A notice from the WashingtonState Attorney General's Office Correcting the case numbers referenced in the below message, with apologies: From: Copyright Compliance Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 3:28 PM To: 'BelCRC@atg.wa.gov' Subject: To Ms. Valeria Fisher RE: 407668 : A notice from the Washington State Attorney General's Office

605 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 400, Seattle, Washington 98104 Tel 206 925 5000 Fax 206 925 5001 www.gettyimages.com May 2, 2012 Via e-mail to BelCRC@atg.wa.gov and Fax to (360) 738-6190 Ms. Valeria W. Fisher Complaint Analyst Attorney General of Washington Consumer Protection Division 103 East Holly Street, Suite 308 Bellingham, WA 98225-4310 Tel: (360) 738-6187

Re: Mindi l Robinson Your File Number: 407668 Our Case Number: 1167159 Dear Ms. Fisher: We are in receipt of the complaint filed by Mindi Robinson that you forwarded to us on April
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RK-00096 PRR-2012-00283

26, 2012. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to Ms. Robinson’s concerns. By way of introduction, Getty Images is a leading creator and distributor of still and moving images. More than 4,000 images per day are licensed on our website, www.gettyimages.com, which features wholly-owned content (i.e., images to which we own the copyright), as well as 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, 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 was Stone City Counseling Inc (“Stone City”). On February 16, 2012, and again on April 20, 2012, we sent Stone City a letter with notification that we had found unauthorized uses of four of our images on its website, http://www.stonecitycounseling.com. The images are part of Getty Images' Rights-Managed “Stone" collection, image numbers 986211-054, 978997-023, 978997-021, and 304347-001 (the "Images"), and can be found on our web site at: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/986211-054 http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/978997-023 http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/978997-021 http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/304347-001 We informed Stone City that use of the Images without valid licenses constitutes copyright infringement, and that it must either: (i) provide evidence that valid licenses were issued, or (ii) pay a fee for use of the Images. In this instance, the total of the fees was $3338.40, and we provided an invoice in that amount, which featured a thumbnail of the Images and the image numbers, along with "screenshots" of the Images on the Stone City website. The amount invoiced is in line with what typically would be charged for licenses of the Images under these circumstances. Ms. Robinson questions the copyright status of the Images. As we explained to her, copyright exists the moment a work, including a photograph, is created. Watermarks or notices of copyright are not a requirement for copyright protection. Ms. Robinson further states that the Images were presented as “free.” However, the Images are available for licensing exclusively through Getty Images and are not legitimately available from any other source. 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.
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We do not dispute Ms. Robinson’s claim that Stone City did not knowingly infringe our copyright. However, copyright infringement is a strict liability tort. The concept of innocent infringer relates only to statutory damages, not to the fact of infringement. As we explained to Ms. Robinson, Getty Images is not pursuing statutory damages. Ms. Robinson states that the webpage was designed by a contractor and that these four images were uploaded as a collage. The identified collage use consists of four unique images, and a license is required for each unique image used within this collage. We do not doubt Ms. Robinson’s statement that Stone City hired a third party to design its website. After multiple searches of our license records, however, we remain unable to locate any valid licenses for Stone City’s use. As the end user of Getty Images’ imagery, Stone City is ultimately responsible for ensuring that it has obtained the appropriate rights to use the imagery. While we appreciate that the Images have been removed from the Stone City website, the Images are protected by copyright, and were previously displayed on that website. Copyright law holds responsible anyone who publicly displays an image without authorization of the copyright holder. The use of the Images without a license constitutes copyright infringement, for which we are entitled to seek damages. At this time, Ms. Robinson has not raised any valid defenses. We would prefer to resolve this matter amicably, but in the event that Stone City remains unwilling to pay for the Images unlawfully used on its website, we reserve the right to continue our pursuit of 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. Sincerely, Getty Images – Copyright Compliance

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