This was first posted on The TurnKey Publishing Blog.
When I first received my Getty Images Settlement Demand Letter on Monday, June 16, I took prompt measures to be proactive. One of those proactive steps was to face this issue head-on. I called the phone number 800-272-4170 twice and left one message. My voice message was professional and courteous. I was letting them know I acknowledged their letter and was quickly taking corrective measures. I also told them I welcomed a call to discuss the situation.
Chloe Surdyk called late Wed. afternoon. It was actually a cordial conversation. I did my best to find common ground. I understand their need to protect their copyrights and go after people but I did not agree with their tactics.
I told her I especially did not agree with her rationale that victims of Indian web designers should have to pay Getty Images especially when I contracted for a web banner, not specific images. I also had little or no say in the selection of any images, only whether I liked a web banner or not.
She offered me a lower settlement (from the original $1,300) of $800-something. I told her I did not agree with her and it was likely we would have to agree to disagree. In the conversation, I told her I was not ignorant of the law and due legal process. I have been to court many times to be a plaintiff and occasionally a defendant. I was not simply going to “roll over”. I told her I did my research on the Internet on Getty Images and I was informed of their upcoming tactics. I told her I was not going to sit still and that I would likely publicize my interactions with her and her company.
My sense of embarrassment over this is substantially lower than my sense of outrage at their attitude. Surprisingly, during most of the conversation, Chloe was cordial. Even towards the end of the conversation, she said she would put into her notes to give me another 14-days to consider her offer. Chloe even gave me her direct phone office line: 206-925-6779.
In my mind, there was no way I was going to “settle” with them. I mentioned to her that she would likely have to sue my company if she wanted anything. For now, I told her we would simply agree to disagree.
My next move is to get my “official reply” sent out by Certified Mail within the next couple of days. I am biding my time as I continue to do more research.
Cold calls are NOT welcome on this matter. Please do not cold call me because I will not accept phone calls from phone numbers I don’t recognize.
Get Help with your Extortion Letter. If you want to learn more about my case, visit ExtortionLetterInfo.com.
They must be fought using their own weapons. Read at their “website usage” section and you will get plenty of ideas on how to fight back them. In my “usage policy”, I explicitly forbid people and/or robots to visit my websites, unless they want to do this for a few reasons, such as, buying something, getting informed or populate their indexes (in this case only if they are a search engine and only if their robots follow the robots.txt file’s rules). If they do not, this is trespassing and fraudulent use of my bandwidth. They might argue that a robot (like the one use by picscout) cannot read the rule, BUT IGNORANCE IS NOT A DEFENSE. I also state monetary compensation for each violation. Even the download of a photo (as they do in order to prove your culpability) is forbidden. What do you think?
Forgot to add, that my robots.txt files always forbid the crawling of image folders.