How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question

Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 37671
Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
18572087
Type Your Intellectual Property Law Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am the owner of a web site at www.LowIncome.org; The web

Resolved Question:

I am the owner of a web site at www.LowIncome.org; The web site provides free information about low income housing, and we make money by selling ad space on the pages.

Anyways, I recently downloaded an image from a European web site (http://www.hdwallpaperstock.eu/view-john_a__roebling_suspension_bridge_and_cincinnati_skyline-1600x1200.html) that said the image was free and available to be used. So, I took the image and placed it one on our web site pages.

But now we are being sued by a guy (in the U.S.) who claims to be the owner of the image. His lawyer has sent proof showing that he owns the image, and they have also indicated that they are willing to settle out of court for a $1,800 payment.

I, obviously, did not know that the use of the image was unauthorized, as it was made easily available to download in high resolution from this European web site.

Also, my thinking is that he should first be sending me a "cease and desist order". I am willing to comply with this order, but not willing to make any payment to him.

Here is the page on our web site that features his image:
http://lowincome.org/cities/cincinnati_oh_ohio_low_income_housing.html

What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am genuinely sorry to hear that you are in this situation. I do see that you have made up your mind on what your next step should be. Are you seeking confirmation on whether or not that is the right decision, or are you looking for how US law generally handles such situations, and whether or not he had to send you a letter first? Please advise.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, please advise me on what I should do, and if my decision is correct. Also, please advise on your legal opinion. Should I just pay the settlement fee? Can it be much worse if it went to court? Will my defense hold up in court? If it were u, what would u do. I am willing to listen to all of your legal expertise on this matter.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Dante,

Thank you for your follow-up. I do appreciate the trust you have put into my information. One comment, if I may--I cannot advise you on what to do as I am not your attorney. While I can answer your questions and I can explain options, I cannot make a decision for you.

Having said that:

There is no obligation under US law that a victim of copyright infringement first send a cease and desist letter. If the violation is real, it is up to the copyright holder to enforce his own rights in this instance. He could file suit for damages otherwise and seek fines of up to $30,000 for each infringement, and if he can prove that the infringement was intentional, the fine can be increased up to $150,000 per each event. This is in addition to filing fees, court costs, attorney fees, and direct damages if any. This is why for most, paying the fee is much cheaper because getting attorneys involved for defense will invariably be more expensive (a decent intellectual property attorney will charge $400-$450 an hour, which would eat up that fine quite quickly).

The defense that you had no idea the image was not protected is not a valid defense--the courts do not accept claims that are based on ignorance in this instance. Please understand that I cannot tell you what to do, but at least in terms of costs, typically paying the fine is the cheapest outcome available.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 37671
Experience: I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 2 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Alex Reese

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2588
    Experienced in intellectual property law
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/sosolid007/2010-08-05_070536_Suitpic.jpg Alex Reese's Avatar

    Alex Reese

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2588
    Experienced in intellectual property law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg Robert McEwen, Esq.'s Avatar

    Robert McEwen, Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    387
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/tswartz123/2010-02-08_225658_Tommy.jpg Thomas Swartz's Avatar

    Thomas Swartz

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    374
    Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    371
    I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/personwilt/2010-1-10_164828_person1.jpg Wilton A. Person's Avatar

    Wilton A. Person

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    339
    MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/bart0358/2012-1-23_232424_1056.64x64.JPG BartEsq's Avatar

    BartEsq

    Researcher

    Satisfied Customers:

    192
    Juris Doctor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IP/ipesq/2012-1-9_164431_RetouchPortraitHighResCopy.64x64.jpg ipesq's Avatar

    ipesq

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    134
    Specializing in patent prosecution, trademark and copyright registration/enforcement.
 
 
 

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions