Summary: Getty Images decided to threaten a Florida intellectual property law firm with a copyright infringement lawsuit and the firm, Schneider Rothman, responded with an incredible letter.
Getty Images, the image licensing company, sent a letter to an intellectual property law firm based in Florida. The firm that received the letter is that of Schneider Rothman, according to TechDirt.
The letter claims that the firm engaged in copyright infringement by using images on its website. Getty asked for $380 for those images and threatened a lawsuit against the firm.
According to the law firm, which performed a little investigation of their website, they found the problem. The firm said the following:
“There was a problem, however. We never copied or displayed the Getty image referred to in Getty’s letter. We looked more closely at what Getty was doing and were shocked to discover what was really going on. You see, Getty is apparently using an image recognition system to generate its letters to accused infringers. Getty’s system identified a thumbnail image on our website here. Getty matched the thumbnail to an image more than six times the size on Getty’s site. We are not responsible for the thumbnail. The thumbnail is displayed on our website because we use the Zemanta plug-in for WordPress. Zemanta put it there, something that should have been obvious to Getty. But Getty did not bother to look. If it had, Getty would have seen that we are simply employing web-feed syndication, a common and generally accepted Internet publishing and search engine optimization practice.”
The law firm filed a declaratory judgment that said it does not infringe on copyrights.
The law firm continued: “Getty’s unfair and deceptive practice has caused actual damages to SRIPLAW by requiring SRIPLAW to expend time and money to bring an action to obtain a declaratory judgment that SRIPLAW did not infringe Getty’s copyright.
Getty’s unfair and deceptive practice has damaged other individuals and businesses similarly situated to SRIPLAW who received letters from Getty that falsely claimed copyright violations and, because these other individuals and businesses lack the technical or legal knowledge and/or funds necessary to defend themselves from Getty false claims, have instead paid extortion money to Getty that Getty was not entitled to.
Unless enjoined, Getty’s unfair and deceptive practice will damage other individuals and businesses who receive letters from Getty that falsely claim copyright violations and demand settlement payments to resolve such false claims.”