Coping images from google can get you suited

Category: Images 127

If you are taking free images from google and placing them on your website STOP! Getty will get you. I recommend you try this company – kozzi

Getty Images a Seattle company, which owns and licenses a vast library of more than 80 million images, has been sending “settlement demand letters,” to unsuspecting website owners it claims have used one or more of its photos without permission.

Getty apparently is actively buying up stock photo companies and either it is or will soon be the owner of the largest number of images on the internet. Yes, it is true one of the largest photo images company in the world is threatening to sue individuals and companies for using images copied from Google.

Now you are thinking I would just simply remove the image once Getty sends one of these nasty letters, WRONG. Rather than simply ask Web publishers to take down its images, the company informs alleged copyright infringers, in no uncertain terms they most settle in 14 days or get sued. Getty takes a screen shot of the image on the website so they have a historical record.  Getty states very clearly in their letter that you need to pay immediately whether the image is remove or not. The infringers are now required to pay a licensing fee for the image or images used — sometimes to the tune of several hundred to thousands of dollars. Yes Thousands of dollars for one simple image.

I have a copy of one of these letters that was sent to someone I know. In this traditional hard copy letter Getty Images demanded the company pay $1140 for each of the two images this company had on their website. There is nothing special about these images, these are the simply every day images that everyone copies from google images. Click here to see an image of one page of the physical letter take by cell phone. Below is an email Getty also sent to the same person.

Just for the record I believe that photographers need to be paid for their work. This is why I purchase my images from kozzi.
There are many stock photo selling sites but these guys only charge $5 per month. Let’s hope Getty does not buy them. Writer spend many hours crafting words on a keyboard. But they do not try to sue everyone that copies their articles. This is the nature of the internet they they couldn’t stop people from wanting free photography and using their images without permission. Getty and companies like it just need to get more creative. Blockbuster is dead due to

Straight-Up Talk, Or Deception?

Call Getty and ask them if you can just remove the image and you will probably be told they do not care whether or not you remove their image, they want their money because you already used it. That in itself is misleading because the letter demands you pay restitution (a fine) – but paying the amount being demanded is not necessarily a license to continue using the image and may not grant you permission to keep using the image. They will also lead you to believe that if you do not pay their offer to settle “in good faith” that you will be sued. This is not always the case.

Getty has remained unapologetic in the face of criticism from small-time Web publishers who label it a bully and an extortionist.

Yes, You Do Have To Pay.
Although legally you do not have to accept (and pay) a settlement offer, you risk being turned over to a collection agency, or sued.

If you do not resolve the matter in some way, it will not go away. However, Getty and most other predator companies will negotiate a smaller settlement fee. 

Although copyright licenses generally cannot be transferred from one person to another, guilt is transferable. If you purchased a template that violates copyright laws, or hired a web designer that used unlicensed images — even if you did not know about it, you can be held liable for the original offense committed by someone else.


Unauthorized Use Notification # – Getty Images Copyright Notification

605 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98104, United States
Telephone: +1 800 972 4170


If you have already resolved this matter, please disregard this communication.  

1. You were previously notified that our represented imagery is/was used on your website.  Copies of our prior correspondence are viewable at the following links:5/14/2015    
2. Our records do not show a valid license for this use of our imagery.Your action is needed within 14 business days to resolve this matter:

For inquiries: +1 800 972 4170
More details can be found below.

Attn: Company Getty Images, a global provider of digital imagery, has noticed its represented imagery being used on your company’s website. According to our records there is no valid license issued to your company for the use of the image(s).Using imagery without a valid license is considered copyright infringement and entitles Getty Images to seek compensation on behalf of the copyright owner for infringing uses. (Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code)See images below as used on your website:

Catalog Image No.483813561
Proof of use
Page URL: 
Catalog Image No.sb10064386h-001
Proof of use
Page URL: 

You are requested to take action within 14 days of the date of this email, as follows:

  • If your company has a valid license / authorization for the use of the imagery, please email the license purchase / authorization information to:
  • If your company does not have a valid license / authorization for the use of the imagery:
    • C$2280.00 settlement payment should be remitted (see payment options below).
      Please note, we are only charging the average licensing fee for commercial use of the rights-managed image(s) found on your website. Getty Images has incurred additional costs of $400 per image related to the pursuit of this matter; we are currently waiving this cost, as we understand this unlicensed use may have been unintentional.
  • Online payment: You can remit your payment online at:
    URL: | Case Number:  | Access Code
  • Check payment: You can remit payment by check to:
    Getty Images Inc.
    PO Box 84434, Seattle, WA 98124-5734, United StatesPlease include case number:  with check payment.

Alternatively, you may contact us at +1 800 972 4170

  • Ceasing use of the imagery does not release your company of its responsibility to pay for the imagery already used. As the unauthorized use has already occurred, payment for that use is necessary
  • You may have been unaware that this imagery was subject to license. However, copyright infringement can occur regardless of knowledge or intent. While being unaware of license requirements is unfortunate, it does not change liability

Getty Images is committed to protect the interests, intellectual property and livelihoods of its contributors.
We believe that prompt cooperation will benefit all concerned parties. If you would like to continue to use the imagery in question, or if you believe you have mistakenly received this letter, please contact us by email at, or call +1 800 972 4170 and we will assist you.

This letter is without prejudice to Getty Images’ rights and remedies, all of which are expressly reserved.


J Davis

Copyright Compliance Team – Getty Images
For more information go to: