Getty Images has become notorious for the practice of what has become known as the Getty Images Copyright Infringement Letter.
Or as some people call it The Getty Images Extortion Letter Scam.
The Getty Images Copyright Infringement Letter
Getty Images continually scan the Web for alleged infringement of image copyright of images owned by them. They then send out a “copyright infringement letter” which contains a demand for immediate payment of “damages”.
In the opinion of many people, including many lawyers, this practice of Getty Images actually has little to do with protecting copyright. The practice takes advantage of people who are unaware of their legal rights. It also assumes instant guilt in demanding immediate payment for alleged damages.
Often these payment demands have little relation to any real damage supposedly caused by the alleged “copyright infringement”.
Many lawyers regard this practice as bullying and tantamount to legalized extortion.
The letter automatically presumes guilt on the part of the recipient and presumes Getty Images has actually been “damaged” to the financial extent of the payment demand – whether this is really the case in practice or not.
The Getty Images Copyright Infringement Letter practice is also encouraged by ambulance-chasing lawyers who derive legal fees through their involvement in this process.
All kinds of websites have been on the receiving end of these letters from Getty Images, including charities, church and youth groups, clubs and even private bloggers.
In the majority of these instances, Getty Images do everything to avoid going anywhere near a court of law. This is because of the risk that their demands will be overturned by a law court and a future precedent set against this activity.
They prefer to limit the extent of their action to sending lawyers letter threats and debt collection agency payment demands rather than risk any court judgement for individual cases.
What to do if you receive a Getty Images Copyright Infringement Letter
The best source of initial immediate legal advice if you receive one of these letters from Getty Images is is to refer to the Getty Images Copyright Infringement Letter Info website at extortionletterinfo.com.
This is a site created by a group of lawyers who are exposing the truth about the Getty Images letter and advising how people can best deal with it.
You can also include a clause in your website terms and conditions expressly prohibiting Getty Images and any of their agents, employees, subsidiaries, or third party contractors from visiting or otherwise accessing any of your websites.