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 Debra Your Own Question
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 99929
Experience:  Lawyer
Type Your Canada Law Question Here...
Debra is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have just received an Unauthorised Use Notification from

This answer was rated:

I have just received an Unauthorised Use Notification from Getty Images in the USA. They are telling me that I need to pay them $1050 for using a small (98 x 83 pixel) image on my web site.

The image was found on Google Images in 2009 and, at the time, was royalty free (as far as I know).

The web site is hosted in the UK, I am a British Citizen with permanent residency living in Calgary.

Can you give me any advice on what to do next.
Thank you for your question.

Before I begin I want to explain a bit about how the site works.

It may be that I will find that I need to gather further information from you. As well, it's quite possible that you may feel the need to ask me additional questions for further clarification.Please do not worry that you will be charged additionally if I ask you questions or if you need to ask me questions. That is not at all how the site works.

As well, please understand that as a careful lawyer I will always give you an honest answer even if the answer is sometimes not what you were hoping for.

Finally, as we go through the process please do not feel rushed if I ask you a question. You are always free to take your time to gather more information before you post back. As well, please understand that even after you rate me the post will not lock and you could always come back for further clarification if you think of something a bit later on down the road.

Why do you think it was royalty free?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The image was available from Google Images, there were no watermarks, "sample" marks overwriting the image, clicking on the image did not go to a web site that was asking for payment.

This is a common occurrence.

If it generally a breach of copyright to use any image without the owners permission.

At the same time it is not always clear where the image came from, who owns it, etc.

Getty Images is well know with regards XXXXX XXXXX out overly aggressive letters with demands for exorbitant fees.

There are many times when they are making these demands and it turns out the images were obtained totally legally. Most times at the least the images were obtained inadvertently.

I have not heard of them suing anyone yet.

So it's your choice as to how you want to proceed but I would say that most people tend to ignore then and never hear from them again.

If you google this issue you will see example after example of how people dealt with them. I don't think you will see many where anyone has paid.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
Debra and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Canada Law Questions