My expose series on Getty Images aggressive tactics involving "Settlement Demand Letters" to force website owners into paying ridiculous sums of money for alleged, unproven, copyright infringements remains a popular comment watering hole. Comment after comment left by my readers is filled with concern and outrage over having been threatened by Getty and often being forced into paying $700 to thousands of dollars for photos Getty may not even hold copyrights too.
I was very pleased to see that Getty got a taste of its own medicine. For quiet sometime, Internet forums and blogs have been filled with comments by website owners stating images they used were purchased from other sources. Many have suspected Getty was asserting rights to images that they did not have.
Now, at least one photographer has now won in court. Getty Images took, used, and collected money for photographs of the Haitian earthquake taken by photographer Daniel Morel without his permissions. Getty claimed they had the rights to use the images for commercial purposes because Morel had posted them on Twitter. A court disagreed andnow Getty could be on the hook for millions in damages.
"To say that photo warehouse giant Getty Images just got a taste of its own medicine would be an understatement. In a 58-page decision issued on Jan. 14, Southern District on New York Judge Alison Nathan ruled that Getty, Agence France Presse (AFP), and The Washington Post infringed Morel's copyrights by disseminating photos he took of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake without his permission." Source: Getty Images Loses Major Case Brought By Photographer Daniel Morel