Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
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By having a lawyer involved, do you mean that they're suing, or that they merely sent you a letter from a lawyer's office?
They sent me a letter, requesting immediate payment, to resolve it.
Thank you. This is often a tactic that they use to try to get you to pay. It's very rare that they actually file a lawsuit, especially in a situation such as yours. Getty has a notorious track record of sending these out, but I've only seen very few actual lawsuits, and those typically involve serious loss of income on Getty's part. You see, litigation is very expensive for them, and they typically only pursue the cases that they think will be beneficial.
Social security is exempt from most types of garnishment (including a judgment from this type of case)
So if you don't have any other income or significant assets, you're likely what we lawyers call "judgment proof".
That means that a lawsuit would cost more than could be recovered.
Again, they can't touch your social security income, which is protected by law.
(it can only be garnished for tax bills, child support and spousal support obligations)
If I were you, I would write them back, letting them know that you completely contest that you ever used any one of their images, that you never altered anything, and that even if you did, you could not afford this since you're on Social Security, which you know is exempt.
I have a small pension, of $389 a month, and a joke for alimony of $50 a month.
My guess is that you'll never hear from them again.
Pension is also exempt.
Most retirement benefits are.
I do have some monies in my name that were of my parents, and I intend
to pass them on to my family.
I would let this firm know about the social security only...
But this is their 2nd attempt, in 2009 and now!!
Again, they're not going to pursue something if they don't think that they can get anything out of you.
Letters are cheap.
Most likely no one actually even saw this, but it was a form letter with a few things filled in.
It cost the firm 50 cents to send it. If they send out a thousand of these, and get responses on 10, they've made money.
Litigation is FAR more expensive (starting at $10,000).
Like I said, they're not going to spend money where they know that they're not going to recover their damages.
And once they know that you can't pay (and of course, they know they can't get your social security) then they'll almost certainly stop trying.
Should my 'letter' to them be an email, as they did respond to mine, or
would a postal one be any better. I don't see that it would be, as I have my proof ot it.
I would do both, just to make certain that they get it.
(there's no harm in sending it multiple times)
ok, sounds good! You do make me feel lots better and I appreciate. I was scared to do this, now I am glad that I did. You make real good sense!!!
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