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 Roger Your Own Question
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 30899
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Type Your Intellectual Property Law Question Here...
Roger is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I own a business. I hired another company to make a website

This answer was rated:

I own a business. I hired another company to make a website for me. The company I hired used an image owned by another company(getty images) and did not buy the license for it for my company.

We've been contacted numerous times to pay $1,000 to buy the rights to the picture. Instead we just stopped using it and said "sorry", we were unaware that it was not purchased, as we had purchased the "stolen" picture from the company that made our website.

Getty images escallated the case with a law firm and increased the fee to settle out of court. I do not feel we owe Getty Images anything for their "intelectual property infringement" since we didn't knowingly use their intelectual property and technichally paid the other company to use the images they put on our site. We could have easily used another image for 5 bucks.

Do we pay the fee or continue to tell them we are not paying? Are we wrong?
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm an Intellectual Property litigation attorney. Thanks for using JA! I'll be glad to assist you.

If you hired a company to make your website, and if this company illegally used an image on your website, then you should not be liable, and you would have the right to sue the company and seek indemnification for the illegal use of the image.

Thus, Getty would have the right to sue you, but you would have the right to turn around and sue the website company.

The best option may be to contact the website company and demand that it pay the amount demanded by Getty, and if they don't then you can just wait to see what Getty does, and if it sues, you could then turn around and sue the website company.

You certainly also could pay the amount to Getty and then try to collect from the website company, but that may result in you getting saddled with the debt.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The company that built my website is out of business and from another country. I have way now way of collecting from them.

So, Do I refuse to pay and see if Getty actually files/sues or settle and pay the fee?




Hi -


I was afraid that the website developer wasn't someone you could actually go after - - this happens a lot in that industry....


Anyway, whether or not to try and settle or wait them out is a judgment call for you to make. Often, these companies threaten, and if you don't settle quick, they'll move on to the next one. Also, these type of cases are SO hard to prosecute because there must be proof of damages sustained caused by the illegal use and possibly loss of business caused by the use, etc. Thus, most claimants don't want to spend the time and effort to prosecute a case like this - - so you may be able to offer a settlement (maybe in the original demand or a little less) to get the matter resolved.


It would likely be best to try and make an offer and if they don't accept, then you may just want to see where it goes - - you can always try to settle down the road, even after they sue (if they sue).

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If they do sue, what are my obligations to show up in court when the case is probably held in another state.



They should have to sue you in your home county and state - - if they don't sue you there, you could challenge the jurisdiction and seek to transfer the case to your county.


You would need to show up, because if you don't, a default judgment could been issued against you for whatever amount they claim.

Roger and other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions