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Kendell Kelly, Esq
Kendell Kelly, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 578
Experience:  Lawyer practicing in all areas of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and new media.
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I own a website and a paid contractor working on my site

Customer Question

I own a website and a paid contractor working on my site uploaded an image to my site in 2012 that was copyrighted. I didn't know this, until today when I received a letter from a law firm stating the infringement. They law firm is asking for $4,000 on behalf of their client. Should I pay this? Is it a fair amount and can I get damages from the contractor who placed the copyright image without my knowledge?
The orginial image is not available online but you can find dozens of examples of this same image across the Internet. So my contract employee did not take it from the owner's site, but from another site that was using it, if that makes any difference.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Kendell Kelly, Esq replied 5 months ago.
Hello, my name is Kendell! Happy to help! Please remember that this is a tool for information only, we cannot give you legal advice and thus cannot tell you what to do or not (since that is prohibited).This should not be considered a attorney-client relationship. Also, please reserve your feedback until we have fully answered your question -- I will stick with you until we do.
Expert:  Kendell Kelly, Esq replied 5 months ago.
A fair amount is one that is close to what it would have costed you to properly license the image. However, this is generally increased by the administrative and some legal costs. But, that number is ***** so you should be able to negotiate it down. Your web developer should have known to use properly licensed images and to charge you accordingly, but you would need to check your agreement with your developer to determine if there is any indemnification or other recourse.
Expert:  Kendell Kelly, Esq replied 5 months ago.
Unfortunately, even if an image is readily available online, it does not mean that it can be used without license.
Expert:  Kendell Kelly, Esq replied 5 months ago.
Does that make sense?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
His name is***** and I saw another image of his on Getty. It was being listed for licensing at $375. I couldn't find any other prices. I wouldn't mind paying a licensing fee if that was closer to the amount. Is there any hope in offering to pay a fee to actually license it from him in hopes of a lesser amount? If that is declined and they still insist on the $4,000 is it worth taking this to court to get a reduced rank, knowing I'll have to pay lawyer fees and court costs for both sides potentially? I don't know if this is a fight that is worth fighting.I certainly think $500 is fair, but I don't know what they will say, of course. I want to know what is my course if they say no to any negotiation.Thanks.
Expert:  Kendell Kelly, Esq replied 5 months ago.
They will generally negotiate -- because many people ignore the letters and they know that proceedings for recovery are high. You are on the right path researching the regular licensing fee and using that as a guide for your offer of settlement. It sounds responsible and hopefully they will accept, but remember you are not compelled to respond/pay/etc until there is a court order, so don't feel intimidated.
Expert:  Kendell Kelly, Esq replied 5 months ago.
No problem! Happy to help!! Let me know if that's all clear and please rate your answer so my time is credited -- should you feel your current rating would be anything less than Good, make sure to give me the opportunity to fix it!!_____________________ Use of this service does not create an attorney-client relationship. Inasmuch, our conversation is merely informational and should be used to find an attorney licensed in your local area that can further assist you.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
One more thing, can you give me any idea of what the costs would be if I did need to involve a lawyer?
Expert:  Kendell Kelly, Esq replied 5 months ago.
Most lawyers would handle this on an hourly basis, so it could range from a bill for an hour for negotiation to unknown amounts for litigation.
Expert:  Kendell Kelly, Esq replied 4 months ago.
Just making sure you saw that last response. Any other questions? If not, don't forget to close out.

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