Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Copyright infringement - why Courts make people pay

If you infringe copyright you can be liable for financial damages relating to:
  • the financial benefit you derived through the use of the images
  • the financial benefit lost by the copyright owners (e.g. licensing fees) 
  • a penalty for the abuse of copyright
This blog post Court Awards Maximum Statutory Damages for Copyright Infringement (on PhotoAttorney) sets out what happened in a recent case relating to Getty Images in which the latter were awarded maximum damages of £300,000.

It appears wilful disregard for "cease and desist" notices relating to images can now result in some very big penalties!

Penalties in the case under discussion:
The court awarded $21,433.00 in actual damages for defendants’ infringing ten images that were not timely registered. After an evidentiary hearing, the court also awarded Getty $300,000.00 for the defendants’ willful infringement of two images.
The post highlights that:
The court looked at four factors to determine the appropriate amount of statutory damages:
(1) the infringer’s profits and expenses saved because of the infringement;
(2) the plaintiff’s lost revenues;
(3) the strong public interest in ensuring the integrity of copyright laws; and
(4) whether the infringer acted willfully.
While the first two factors did not support an award for maximum damages, the last two did.
The rationale for the financial award made in favour of Getting Images is explained in the judgement and Court's Order.

So if you want your photographic images licensed and protected Getty Images seems like a good place to be!

This is their Contributor site. This page indicates what they're looking for in images

Now we just need a "terrier" version for artwork....

Thanks to:


  1. This is excellent news, a real victory in copyright precedence. Thank you for this update Katherine.

  2. I was recently contacted by a company, claiming that I had infringed on their trademark. They threatened to file a lawsuit against me if I didn’t pay a compensatory fee and discontinue use of the trademark. I immediately contacted the team at Levy, Levy and Sosa to defend my company as they have done in the past. They were very aggressive in defending my rights and mediated the case so well that I was able to avoid court altogether, saving me valuable time and money. Contact them today at 1-800-464-5554, or trademarklaw101.com to ensure professional legal services for trademark and copyright matters.


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