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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I have a copyright infringement accusation for an image used

Customer Question

Hi I have a copyright infringement accusation for an image used on my business website. They're asking for $3,000 to resolve the matter. Is there anything I can do? I had reference link to the image source but deleted the image immediately without screenshotting it.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 month ago.

Hello there --

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How long were you using the image / link?

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MARY

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
About a year.
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 month ago.

Hello again --

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Your best chance of avoiding paying them anything is to claim that you found the image on the internet and the limited amount of use that you put the image to amounted to what is called "Fair Use" under the US Copyright Act. (Fair use is a doctrine that lets the average consumer use an image or artwork, etc of another person for a short period of time for a limited purpose without explicit permission from the author of the work). My suggestion is that you write them a letter and tell them that you were unaware that it was a copyrighted work and even if you had been aware of it, the amount of use that you put the image to amounted to Fair Use under the US Copyright Act and while you will certainly STOP using the image now that you know there is a legitimate author claiming authorship of that work, you are not paying anything for the small amount of time that you used the image without knowledge that it was not in the public domain for widespread use.

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While I cannot promise you that this will work, you may be able to get them to come down from the 3K mark to about 500 for using the image. They will have to pay legal fees to pursue you and they may not be too inclined to do that and so pushing back at them will be your best position here. Do not admit to using it for a year -- be vague about the amount of time if you can and that may also help. I wish I could point you to something in the Copyright law that will definitively get them to go away and leave you alone, but there is nothing there to do that with and these types of claims and letters are becoming more and more common as the internet grows and progresses.

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Please let me know if you have further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above in the star rating section so I will be given credit for my time assisting you this evening. I do not receive any credit from Just ANswer for helping you unless you press the middle star or the fourth or fifth star to the right of the middle star above before you leave the website. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!

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MARY

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