I got this email the other day. A couple of weeks ago, Tom my partner got a cease and desist from Getty and an invoice for uploading his own images on the ASMP NJ Chapter website because the Picscout robots had picked them up, which is now owned by Getty.
The business of photography has changed because of the Internet in terms of value, licensing, awareness of copyright and all of the above.
I have posted the letter below for discussion and open dialog- please no rants or whining allowed.
Dear Ms Mooney,
I’m not sure if I am contacting the right person, however I am small custom home builder on the Jersey shore in Xxxxx near Atlantic City. My wife downloaded a picture of a South Jersey beach scene from Google about a year ago and put it on my web site. She unknowingly downloaded a picture that was copyright protected. Today, July 15, we received a letter from xxxxxx a company that protects your work and they informed us that we used your picture and wanted 3000.00 to rectify the situation or buy the licence for 1020.00 we settled for the 1020 and took your picture down.
This picture was not a glamorized picture of a beach. Just a dune and a dune grass fence. A picture that could have been taken by anyone in South Jersey. I just wanted to let you know that if this is your picture, it is dispicable that common, decent and hardworking people who have a small struggling business should be subjected to such a ridiculous fine. The fact that we cannot google and download a beach
scene without worrying that someone OWNS it is outrageous.
Imagine that! People own pictures of nature!
If this is not you, then my sincere apology, otherwise I think you should be ashamed of yourself and need to contact Google for having your picture available to millions of people.