If you follow my column, or subscribe to my newsletter, you know that I have reported on Getty Image's aggressive "settlement demand letter" tactics. One of my blog posts about Getty is the most commented on my site. Not the usual chit chat comments, but comments are riddled with anxiety and fear and complaints from people who have been targeted and harassed without legal right to do so.
Getty Images Sued For Stealing Copyrights From Photographer -- And Loses! The importance of this case cannot be overstated. Getty was found by the courts to have illegally been using and selling images that they did not have the rights to and has been ordered to pay damages. Before you pay Getty, insist that they PROVE they have rights to any images they are trying to collect on because maybe they really don't.
A recent commenter, "Bonnie D" posted a great new website to read before you decide to pay Getty. http://www.stopgettyimages.com/ (Thank you Bonnie!!) One thing that bothers me about the site is the example of two companies both claiming ownership to a particular stock image. The reason it bothers me, is, after refusing to do any more business with Getty, I switched to one of the companies the site talks about.
You cannot trust stock image sites any longer -- but even worse -- the law holds you accountable if you purchase something in good faith and end up not really obtaining rights because the company duped you.
I am leaning towards having my kids do crayon drawings for all my sites from now on. At least I won't have to worry about unintentionally infringing on someone's copyrights to an image because some bogus company sold me a bag of magic beans.