Catalyst Complaint Cover Page

406692

Complaint
Number 406692 Date 4/9/2012 Status Assignee Actual Savings Amount Disputed Estimated Savings Closed Nichols, Stephana $0.00 $875.00 $0.00

Location Bellingham - Consumer Protection Division NAICS 541920-Photographic Services

Complainant
Name Anthony Paul Carro 7 Westbrook Dr Morganville, NJ 07751 Phone Day (732) 738-0500 Phone Evening Email (732) 547-1405 Tony@PtVantage.com

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 023 316 Practice Scare Tactics Billing Issues

Activities
Date Added 4/9/2012 4/9/2012 4/20/2012 4/20/2012 Activity Type Email to Respondent Email to Complainant Email from Respondent Email from Respondent Activity R First Letter to Respondent To: copyright.compliance@gettyimages.com C First Letter to Consumer To: Tony@PtVantage.com

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Catalyst Report
Complaint Description
Description A letter from Getty Images was sent to the "Legal Department" of my business demanding a settlement of $875.00 for using an image at my web site that they claim is owned by their firm. I do not have a legal department and the letter was sent to my business but to no one in particular. We get mail and advertisements oftentimes that is addressed to no one in particular and we generally dismiss it. I cannot locate proof anywhere that Getty Images owns the image. The image was placed on my web site by a vendor that prepared our site and located the image at a site for free images. In short I'm not clear that this is a legitimate demand and I was advised to contact your office for assistance. Expected resolution details: Stop the threats and rescind the notice.

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AdaS

4/26/2012

From: Copyright Compliance [mailto:Copyright.Compliance@gettyimages.com] Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:14 PM To: ATG MI Bellingham CRC Subject: To Ms. Nichols RE: 406692 : A notice from the Washington StateAttorney General's Office

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

April 26, 2012 Via e-mail to BelCRC@atg.wa.gov and Fax to (360) 738-6190 Stephana Nichols Complaint Analyst Attorney General of Washington Consumer Protection Division 103 East Holly Street, Suite 308 Bellingham, WA 98225-4310 Tel: (360) 738-6187

Re: Anthony Paul Carro Your File Number: 406692 Our Case Number: 1077549 Dear Ms. Nichols: We are in receipt of the complaint filed by Anthony Paul Carro that you forwarded to us on April 9, 2012, as well as the additional information provided to us on April 25. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to Mr. Carro’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, www.gettyimages.com, 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 Point Vantage LLC (“Point Vantage”). On May 19, 2011, and again on July 22, 2011 and October 31, 2011, we sent Point Vantage a letter with notification that we had found unauthorized use of one of our images on its website, www.nyhiex.com. The image is part of Getty Images’ Rights-Managed “Photonica” collection, #sb10064479i-001 (the “Image”), and can be found on our web site at http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/sb10064479i-001 . We informed Point Vantage 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 $875.00, 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 Point Vantage 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 Mr. Carro’s statement that the Image was placed on the Point Vantage web site by his web designer. However, as the end user of Getty Images’ imagery, Point Vantage 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. 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. Mr. Carro also states that he cannot find proof that Getty Images owns the Image. While confidentiality provisions prevent us from providing copies of our agreements with our photographers, we explained that we are the exclusive licensor of the Image, with the responsibility to protect our represented photographer’s intellectual property from unauthorized use. We would be glad to provide an affidavit to that effect. At this time, Mr. Carro has not raised any valid defenses. Point Vantage’s use of the Image without a license constitutes copyright infringement, for which we are entitled to seek damages. We would prefer to resolve this matter amicably, but in the event that Point Vantage remains unwilling to pay for the Image 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
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additional information about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us. Regards, Getty Images – Copyright Compliance

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