Getty Images Settlement Demand – Unauthorized Use of Getty Images Photograph

So I came into my office today, and I had a large letter from Getty Images, addressed to “Legal Department” at my company. We’re a small company… we don’t have a legal department.

Apparently, Getty Images has been sending these letters out like crazy since 2006, luckily this is the first I’ve seen. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, because they’re asking for $2,000 for the use of 2 images that were found on our company website. $2,000 for 2 images!!! Do we get exclusive rights for that fee? No. They then want us to purchase the images.

It is copyright infringement if the images weren’t, I have no problem admitting that. However, $1,000 each? Isn’t that robbery? Would it be worth hiring a lawyer to get out of some cost on this settlement demand? Or would it be a waste of money? Where do they come up with this absurd amount for the settlement demand?

Has anyone encountered this issue with Getty Images and got out of it for less than the requested amount? If so, I’d love to hear your suggestions/opinions.

6 thoughts on “Getty Images Settlement Demand – Unauthorized Use of Getty Images Photograph”

  1. I just received one today. $1000 ($900 after 10% discount if I pay within 7 days) for an tiny 200×200 image embedded on a page deep in my web site. I looked at the licensing prices and it would cost me something like $49. What I don’t understand is the give three actions: Provide license if you have one, take the image down and pay the $1000, or purchase a new license. What is unclear is whether taking door number 3 releases me from the amount in the demand or not. I’m guessing not.

    So did you pay yours in the end/?

  2. I got one also, and the funniest thing is that i did not find the photographer they say is the owners on the internet.
    I Googled their nams and came up with noting but refrences to pictures at getty images!!??!!

  3. I got one too and PANICKED. But then I did some research and now I’m not worried and I won’t pay. Screw em.
    Read this site:

    A lot of good info there by an atty. It tells you why you don’t need to worry.

    As always, it’s the naive and ignorant who pay. I’m going to stand pat, wait for the collection agency call and then stop that with a letter and then just wait them out.

    Screw Getty. They’ll never see a dime of my money.

  4. Anyone know how Getty can prove 100% in court that the picture is theirs or registered by them? Maybe I took the exact same shot with my own camera. If the pic you are using is a photo of say a “view of city” it is quite possible that many other people have taken that same photo from the very same spot… Anyone??

  5. I’m reading all about this because I got a demand letter too. I did a simple right click save as off some website three years ago. The image they reference I googled on an image search just now and found it in use on 3 different websites. The image I used was 23.6kb thumbnail (todays available images are 500kb+) I used this image in a flash slideshow for entertainment purposes only. I have never made a cent on this image or the video and absolutely don’t have the amount of money they are asking muchless attorney’s fees. Does anyone know if I ignore it, and remove the image/video – will it just go away or do I need to respond? It seems to me that if anyone responds Getty ups the charges like 100%. How would they know if their letter even arrived? I’m just scared – trying to make ends meet, pay rent and buy food when there is a few extra dollars, this is a hard time we are living in and as bad as I feel for the photographer, I am afraid of contacting Getty and asking for leniency. I mean the image/video was watched according to analytics 75 times in the last 3 years and many were friends and family. Even if I sold $100 tickets to watch this 2 minute long video I still wouldn’t have made enough to pay this invoice. Any suggestions?

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