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Were you asked to stop using the photos first and refused or were you not even asked to stop?
Unfortunately, you are not correct in your view that you were permitted to use the photos.The reason why is that they were the creative work of the photographer and that means that the photographer owns the intellectual property rights to the photos.
He does hold a copyright on these photos even if it is not registered. It is automatic.
And while you were given a copy of the photos you did not have the right to use them without the consent of the photographer.
At the same time the photographer is going to have to prove that you owe the $500 per photo. If that is what he charges someone who wants to use a photo of his he will succeed but if he has made this amount up he is going to really have to prove that he is entitled to that sum of money.
Does that help clarify the law?
I am sorry but I cannot speak to you on the telephone. I know the site offers this service but the site is based in the US. In Canada the rules of my law society prohibit me from speaking to you on the telephone as you are not my client.
I can only speak to you by posting up and back over this site.
You agree with the paragraphs that are correct in the claim. You state which paragraphs you have no knowledge about, you list which paragraphs you disagree with and state that you put the plaintiff to strict proof thereof. You tell your side of the story.
You can say that you deny that you owe the plaintiff any money but if you do it is no where near the $500 and demand that the plaintiff prove this level of damages.
You are very welcome.
If we are done please rate me before you leave the site so that I can receive credit for my work.
Thanks and take good care.
You are entitled to the keep the photo. You were not entitled to use it.
I don't see what you would be counter-claiming for.