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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6392
Experience:  20 years professional experience.
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I inadvertently used 2 images with proper authorization on

Customer Question

I inadvertently used 2 images with proper authorization on my website. I have come to a settlement agreement with the attorney for the party and have actually taken down the website completely as I have no desire to be caught up in this again. The settlement was agreed to after I proved that the LLC has no assets. We are at the stage where they provide the release to me and I am concerned in how it reads. The release is limited to these two images only while I want this settlement to resolve any and all claims the have found or may find since the website has been taken down. I do not want the possibility of them claiming they found 2 more images as soon as they cash my check and I'm back in the same boat. Is this unreasonable of me to ask for this settlement to resolve any and all claims they may have now or find in the future? If they won't agree should I sign it and roll the dice or stand firm and risk being sued?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
it should have said "I inadvertenly used 2 images without proper... (not with)
Expert:  Maverick replied 9 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name is***** give me a few minutes to review your inquiry. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Maverick replied 9 months ago.

We cannot advise you on how to make this decision as it is one of personal choice. However, you may want to consider adding a statement where both sides specifically acknowledge, attest, and agree that they are not aware of any other misappropriations to date. Once this type of statement is inserted, then you might try to ask for a full release of any and all claims. Thereafter, if they claim to find two more misappropriated images, they would also have to prove that those images were only discovered AFTER the date of the settlement and not BEFORE.

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
That would work out but what about cached versions of the site or if Google indexed images from the site that they find later? The site IS down. So they won't be able to find anything on the site. But what if they find another image they own that is in the Google cache or was shared on pininterst etc?
My main concern is they already have other images and they are going to have me pay two at a time until I refuse to do it anymore, which means I basically funded their lawsuit against me once I stop paying!
Is it usual or unusual what I'm asking. I thought it was the norm for a settlement to release the entity from all claims, not just the ones they know of. There is a 3 year statute of limitations I believe right? So me taking down the website still leaves me open to being sued anytime in the next 3 years if they find something else or maybe have a whole folder of stuff.
Expert:  Maverick replied 9 months ago.

Yes, you are correct that a settlement agreement would typically include a clause asking for release of any and all claims between the parties that were known or unknown as of the date of the agreement. So, this is a matter of what you can negotiate. Another possibility is to modify the language to read something like: "release of any and all claims between the parties that were known or reasonably could have been discovered as of the date of the settlement agreement"....

It is unclear without much more specific research what the statute of limitations is under NJ law for a misappropriation of likeness case. But, the statute may not start to run until they knew or reasonably should have known of this conduct. So, if the limitations period is 3 years, it may well extend beyond that.

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