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Webshots.com - Attorneys and More

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by rockgjmom, Aug 9, 2006.

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  1. rockgjmom

    rockgjmom Thread Starter

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    I had an attorney contact me wanting $500 for using a webshots.com photo -Be careful-you could be next-- he wrote to me

    "Webshots was never authorized to license my client's images and, in fact, my client has had prior infringement claims against them. Under the circumstances, my client is willing to resolve the matter by granting a retroactive license to you for a fee of $250 for each image, or a total of $500"
     
  2. Rockn

    Rockn

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    If you were contacted via email it is probably a scam.
     
  3. rockgjmom

    rockgjmom Thread Starter

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    First he sent a letter , then he called and then he emailed so I think it is serious- The webshot people say they have no liability all my fault..... you can only use the "free webshop photo's they send you on your own pc desktop. I told them that's not clear when they hype you to download their desktop software and then send them laeled as Free photo's.

    Also, I asked them about sending out pictures they don't have a right to they said they have licence for a certain period of time-- so if you download a free photo and the time period runs out.. what happens this attorney can come after you?

    I hope they don't sue but if they do it will be a good fight, hopefully I can find others who are being hassled too to join in.
     
  4. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I'm thinking it still could be a scam .. I had a Lawyer try to scam me last year.
    After I filed a claim in a Small Claims court ... He called and begged me to settle.

    Are you sure their legitimate Lawyers ??
     
  5. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    Please post some sources or links to your claims/posts


    wreeks of scam to me... I'll be waiting
     
  6. thecoalman

    thecoalman

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    I'm not a lawyer but I believe you're going to have to pay him. The license agreement clearly states you can't use them outside of the desktop application.

    And from the site license:

    :(
     
  7. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    rockgjmom ...
    What did you do with these photos.
    Did they ever leave your Computer .. and go somewhere else ???
    What State do you live in ... and what State are the Lawyers in ??
    What is the name of the Legal firm ?? .. or Lawyer ?

    This sure is sounding like a Scam ...
     
  8. Rockn

    Rockn

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    I don't get it! They want to fine you for using a photo you got off of webshots or you submitted a licenced or copyrighted photo TO webshots for public consumption? It still sounds very off to me.
     
  9. thecoalman

    thecoalman

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    Either way whether he submitted them or used ones he downloaded on a website or publication they are copyrighted. Copyright law is pretty strict where this is concerned. Even submitting an image someone sent to you that was clearly not marked as copyrighted could put you at risk. It's the responsibility of the person using the image to determine who the copyright holder is to get permission to use it.

    You could consult a lawyer but the fees will probably cost as much or more than the amount they are requesting or fight it which in my very non-lawyer opinion you'll lose and it will undoubtly cost you much more, possibly in the thousands.

    There are some lawyer forums I've seen, I'd post your question to one of them with as much detail as possible.

    Edit: One thing I would do is look the name of the law office up on the letterhead in a phone directory and call that number and ask to speak to whomever sent you the letter.
     
  10. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    The reason I asked ... What State(s) ??? ...
    You may be able to record the call without telling them.
    Need to see if the "one party" notification laws apply.

    What did you do with the downloads ???
    I'm thinking there's a chance they are hassling you to see if your Dumb enough (or scared enough) to Pay.

    If you only use the downloads for you personal use ..
    I'd start collecting facts (poof) ...
    Thinking that contacting the Attorney General in their state might be the next step …
    Followed by the Better Business Bureau.
    This is the Route I took before I filed a claim against my attorney.

    I thought it was interesting that the Attorney General said it didn’t look like he did anything unethical and they couldn’t do anything about it … but it looked like I had a good case for Malpractice.

    ??? Does this mean that Malpractice is Ethical ???

    About the only thing left to produce in this country ... is Scams.
     
  11. slipe

    slipe

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    I agree with thecoalman. If you used copyrighted photos for anything other than the uses allowed by the agreement in Webshots you could be subject to litigation.

    You can hope that someone used or created a lawyer’s letterhead they are not authorized to use. That would be pretty stupid on their part as the penalties can be severe. But it is worth checking out.

    You can also hope that they have no intention of initiating litigation and are just hoping to intimidate you into sending them money. That might be a bad bet. If litigation is filed you will be subject to lawyer’s fees and perhaps a larger settlement.

    The initial letter seems to indicate the photographer didn’t put the photos on Webshots hoping to troll for people to sue who didn’t use the photos exactly according to the Webshots agreement. It would be hard to show his actions as a scam.

    If you used those photos for anything that could be considered a commercial purpose I would run, not walk, to the nearest post office with a check for $500. Even if you just used them on your non commercial website or for some other non profit purpose you might have problems avoiding legal action.
     
  12. Guyzer

    Guyzer

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    I'll tell you something. I was in the collection / bailiff business for 21 years and what I would do is throw the thing in the garbage. Then if the atty. contacted me again via a letter I would throw that one in the trash as well. If he was brave enough to call me I would tell him to start his action as soon as possible. It ain't gunna happen plain and simple. At this stage of the game if it truly isn't a game he's tyring to scare the crap out of someone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. There isn't a atty. or his client that's going to waste his time over two pictures that some private person decided to download and use somewhere else. If the "defendant ", I use that term lightly, was a large corporation then it would probably happen but not against some little pee-on.
     
  13. Guyzer

    Guyzer

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    On second thought if a lawyer called me this is what I would tell him....
    " Mr. Jones let me tell you how I pay my bills. When I get them in the mail I toss them all in a trash can. At the end of the month I mix them up, pull one out and pay it. If you ever call me or contact me by mail again I won't even throw yours in ". Then I would hang up the phone making sure to drop the receiver on the counter a few times first cuz it don't matter how hard you slam it all the other person hears is a click.:D
     
  14. cool breeze

    cool breeze

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    "All of the material contained in the Webshots Gallery, the Webshots Daily Photos, and the Webshots Desktop software program may be viewed only on the Webshots Site. You may not copy, reproduce, retransmit, distribute, publish, commercially exploit or otherwise transfer any copyrighted material in any format, electronic or otherwise".

    If the above is the case, What is Webshots doing then? "May be viewed only on the webshots site" Smacks of one law for them, one for the outsider.
     
  15. buck52

    buck52 Banned

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    This is all silly... the beef is with WebShot

    until more info is posted from the thread starter... I'm with Wimpy it's rubbish...

    My gut tells me rockgjmom is not telling the whole story
     
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