Contact from a stock image company!
These extortion communications & solicitations mention the following:
- You’re using images that you don’t have permission to use
- Even if you remove the images you’re still liable to costs
- Settle up or our attorneys will take you to court
If a STOCK IMAGE company contact you via any of the options, phone, email and mail, first of all know that Serva ONLY uses/purchases photographic images it has permission to use, via a number of reputable photo stock image sites. Unfortunately there are some companies that send out extortion mail. The reason why we call them extortion is because they are just that, here’s why: When you buy the copyright for use an image/s depending on the company and type of imge you’ll pay on average anything from $4.00 each through $50.00. The extortion companys make demands usually starting at $1200.00 and go up from there!
What should you do?
- Don’t panic, if you’re a Serva client, contact us, we’ll try and help
- These companies do make mistakes, and are rather a rule under themselves
Things to Remember
It has been known, unfortunately too often, that these extortion companies go after people and businesses that are using their own photographs in fact it happened locally only last year. “The question is not what the owner would have charged, but rather what is the fair market value.” Davis v. Gap, Inc., 246 F.3d 152 (2d Cir. N.Y. 2001). We would suggest finding about a dozen images that are substantially similar to the one in question. Averaging their prices will provide a reasonable fair market value, FMV. This isn’t a legal standard but it will be enough for a letter to the company. Make a list of the images, with their prices and links, so they can see for themselves that the infringing image is unremarkable and easily replaced. Examples of a list item might be: iStockphoto: “horse in field” (available on iStockphoto for 3 credits or $6.00), this way you could make an offer after taking the image down first of course. The fact that you have to go to these lengths is crazy but so is their way of doing business.