Out of the thousands of posts and articles I have published on this site over the past four years, one topic consistently continues to be the most talked about: The Getty Images Scam series I wrote exposing their unfair, or, at least, highly unethical, business practices.
Now, Matthew Chan, www.extortionletterinfo.com, has made it his personal mission to expose Getty's "legal extortion" campaign by freely sharing information about the budding industry of intimidating people into paying on copyright settlement demands. His website is devoted to sharing information about how Getty preys on people and what victims can do about it. But Chan does not stop with Getty, he also reports on other stock photo companies, businesses, and even attorneys who practice the "art" of barely legal scare tactics.
Getty is unreasonable when it comes to calculating it's demand "tort" values (tort in quotes because that implies there was a wrongdoing, and in most cases involving Getty there was no tort), but another far more disturbing (and ridiculous) instance highlighted on Chan's website involves a settlement demand sent to a website owner who used an image obtained from Flickr to promote the Lincoln Nebraska marathon. The settlement demand price for grabbing an amateur Flickr image and its single use? $9,000.00.
The reason I find it so disturbing is that the letter was not sent from some uncaring corporate stock image house that retains dozens of sometimes paralegals, sometimes not (but never actual attorneys) to do their dirty work in masses, it came from a solo practitioner. If individual attorneys start jumping in on the scam cash wagon we should all start trembling because if you think Getty is tough with their in-house trained, collection-agency style worker bees, wait until you have to deal with an actual lawyer.
So please, do keep talking and sharing your horror stories on my site. The input my readers have generously taken time to already share has helped others avoid costly mistakes and keeps the pressure on Getty. But when you are done, trip over the Chan's site: ExtortionLetterInfo.com. It's fun and informative. In a scary kind of way, that is.
Cease and Desist Orders and Settlement Demand Letters
If you received a cease and desist order, take it seriously. If you are thinking of sending one, you might want to talk with an attorney first. Here's why:
- What is a cease and desist order letter?
- Who can write a cease and desist letter? Do I need an attorney?
- Settlement Demand Letters: What Happened To "Nice" Cease and Desist Orders?
- Are Settlement Demand Letters Extortion?
- Are You Being Set Up By A Copyright Infringement Scam Artist?
Getty Images Cease & Desist and Settlement Demand Letters
Has Getty demanded an unreasonable amount of money for using an image without rights? What if the image was in a template you bought from someone else? Learn more about the dreaded Getty Images Settlement Demand Letter:
- Copyright Infringement Scams
- Are Getty Images Settlement Demand Letters Extortion?
- Do I have to pay Getty Images or can I ignore their Settlement Demand Letter?
- How Can Getty Images Demand I Pay More For An Image Than They Sell It For?
FAQs About Copyright Laws
Think you know all about copyright laws? If someone posts an unlicensed image on your Facebook page are you violating copyright laws?