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The Purpose of This Petition
The purpose of this petition is to collectsignatures & commentsregarding a highlyunethical business practice known as the Getty Images"Settlement Demand Letter", and to informand shape public opinion which will ultimatelybring about change.Getty Images must cease this unethical practice immediately before another innocent citizen is harmed.
This is an important cause, and would like to encourage you to add your signature and share this petition with others. Once enough signatures have been received in support, this petitionwill be submittedto the US Federal Authorities in Seattle, WA who oversee Getty Images corporate business practices and are in charge of US Consumer Protections.
About Getty Images
Getty Images, Incis the leading provider of digital media content worldwide, and owns the rights to the largest collection of photographic images in the world. The next time you see a television commercial, flip through a magazine, visit a website, or choose a greeting card, it is most likelythat the image that catches your eye wasprovidedby Getty Images. Getty Images is headed by British billionaire ChairmanMark Getty, heir to the Sir J. Paul Getty Oil fortune; andJonathan Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of Getty Images.
The Getty Images "Settlement Demand Letter"
The Getty Images "Settlement Demand Letter" is a deliberateattempt by Getty to intimidate & bullyletter recipients, demanding that they pay Getty extravagant settlement fees in exchange for Getty agreeing NOT to sue the recipient, who has allegedly infringed on a photo copyrightmaintained by Getty. In many cases,Getty's monetary settlement demand can exceed100 times the actual retail value of the photo in question.
For example, Getty'susual"monetary damages"demand is $1000.00 per photo that is on the recipient's website, even ifit onlyretailsfor$10.00 per photo. Given how many photosare on the average website, Getty's average copyright infringement claimscan quickly add upin thetens of thousands of dollars in monetary damages in some cases, causing severe stress and lasting emotional harm to its targeted victim.
Getty Images "Primary Targets"
Getty's primary targets appear to bewebmasters,individuals & small business website owners that purchased their website templates and photosfrom 3rd parties, or unknowingly downloadedimagesfrom photo sharing websites whichwere originallythought to be legitimate.In many cases, it appears that the letter recipient has no knowledge of Getty Images or the alleged photocopyrights in question.Most also do not have the financial resources to fight Getty inUS Federal Court, the legal venue where all copyright infringement casesare tried in the United States.
GettyImages Seeks "Punitive Damages" in All Cases
Even if a Gettyletter recipient iscompletely innocentof all charges and had no knowledge of the claims being levied againstthem, Getty stillasserts that they are fullyresponsible underUS Copyrightlaw and must pay Gettypunitive damages,the strongestform of legalfinancial punishment awarded by US Courts. However, little does the letterrecipient know that under US Law, punitive damagescanONLY be awardedin special cases where (1) the defendant has displayed actualintentto cause harm and (2) the defendant's conduct was egregiously insidious.
If this is the case, then why does Getty continue to demandthe maximum penalty allowed under US LawinGetty'svery firstcontact withthe letter recipient?At this stage, Getty has not even reviewed the recipient's response, gatheredthe facts of the case, or evenproven intentor harm as required under law.
The Getty Images "Extortion Letter Scheme"
As a result of Getty's unethical business practice,thousands ofinnocent citizens in the US and abroad have suffered unnecessary emotional & financial harm. This extortion letter scheme has beenpracticed at Getty Images for many years, and itis unknown as tohow many Gettyletter recipientshave actually paid this ransom note out of fear, and most likely have done so without any knowledgeoftheirlegal rightsor due process under the law.
It is also reported that Getty Images has never takena "Settlement Demand Letter" caseto trial in aUS Federal Court. The letter recipient either (1) negotiates a financial settlement with Getty (2)Getty sends the matter to collections or (3)Gettyceases to pursue thecase. But this does not mean that the case is permanently dropped forever, as Getty is known to return years later and start the same extortion process all over again,and involving thesame photo licenses.
What Happened to the "Cease & DesistLetter"?
The Getty Images "Settlement Demand Letter"has alwaysbeen implemented without firstnotifying the website owner beforehand of a possible photo copyright violation, usually through a traditional legalprocess known asthe Cease & Desist Letter,or "take down notice". For example, upon Getty's first knowledge that a copyright violation may have occurred, Getty should first send a written notice requesting that thewebsite ownereither (1) provide proofpurchase of the photo license in question(2) remove the photo from the website immediately, or else (3) face legal action& financial penalties.
Thisnoticeis averyeffective toolin achieving the primary goalof copyrightcompliance and no onegets harmed. However, Getty Images chooses toemploy the"Settlement Demand Letter" instead and play the heavy handed role of the accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury & collection agency; andwith total disregard to the rights of theaccusedor the actual facts of the case.
Is Getty ImagesReally "Protecting The Photographer's Copyright"?
Is Getty really protecting the photographer's copyright as they claim? Do Getty'sprofessional photographers actuallycondone and participate inthis legalized extortion practice?What isthe photographer'spercentage of the financial rewards collected by Getty in these cases?Or is the "Settlement Demand Letter" nothing more than a carefully crafted legal tool used by Getty and theirunethical copyright attorneys for no other purposethan legalized extortion?
Consumer Friendly "Copyright ProtectionAlternatives"
There are many viable copyright protectionand anti-pirating technologies availablewhich will allowGetty to fully protect their photographer's copyrights and prevent illegal downloading and sharing,while stillallowingGetty to remain a good corporate citizen; if copyright protection is trulytheirultimate goal.
Please Support This Important Cause
This petition demands that Getty Images immediately ceaseits highly unethical extortionpractice before another innocent US citizenis intentionally harmed, and announcethe implementation ofnewcopyright protection technologies & business practices that are consumer friendly, protect their photographers copyrights and benefit the general publicat large.
This isanimportant cause and we would like to encourage you to add your signature and share this petition with others. Once enough signatures have been received in support, this petitionwill be submittedto the US Federal Authorities in Seattle, WA who oversee Getty Images corporate business practices and are in charge of US Consumer Protections.
Please support this petition by (1)signing in the form provided below (2) supportingGetty Images competition and (3) sharing this petition with your family & friends. Our collective consumer purchasing power ishow we canmake a real andlasting difference and bring about change.
About This Petition
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Your participation canhelp informand shape public opinion and ultimately bring about change. Thank you!
Brian T. Nichols
They never give you a chance to take the picture down first. The first letter was a money demand letter. My web site guy is the one who built it into the site.I bought the site and everything on it in good faith. This is just like having a home builder build you a house and you being arrested the next day for lumber theft he stole from ABC Lumber Company. They don't even care about the company that actually used the picture, just the innocent web site owner. Greedy, immoral thugs!
They accusing me to own illegally two of their pictures I don't have them in my website, It's a external link from another website (a banner made by a well known gallery on the internet.
They are really abusive! Unacceptable!
My client is being harrased for an image they actually purchased.
Brian T. Nichols, United Statesjust now
ZAURY PACHECO, Orlando, FL, United States3 days ago
monica waraich, Hawthorne, CA, United States3 days ago
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