I was contacted today via a fed-ex letter from a company in Toronto, Canada who claimed to own the copyright on a picture that was on my website. They are asking me to pay them $2,400 for retroactive use of that picture. I did not know the picture was copyrighted and immediately deleted it from my website. How would I know if the company has a legtimate claim against me for using that photo on my website?
State/Country relating to question: California
I deleted the picture immediately after being notified that my website contained a copyrighted picture.
this is a common situation, companies like MasterFile and Getty Images go after thousands of people every day....what you can do is ask for some evidence of their copyright ownership, they should have no problem providing it
once you are satisfied that their ownership is legitimate, it's essentially a negotiation on price...both sides want to avoid court/litigation...they want to get a quick settlement $$$ and move on
these vast majority of these cases settle before a lawsuit, and they generally settle for less than the initial demand, often a lot less, so it would be wise to counter-offer with a substantially lower amount, like $500. the less amount of time the picture was up, the less the value of the picture etc etc. then the less you should offer.....but it's really just a flat out numbers game
thanks, best of luck!
Experienced in intellectual property law
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