Have you received a cease and desist demand or demand for payment for alleged copyright infringement?
The purveyors of such demands often allege the stock photography or stock image owner’s right to claim up to $150,000 in statutory damages for willful infringement, followed by an offer to settle for under $1,000 per photo. The proposed settlement offers are purposefully targeted to be a little more than what the website owner, website designer or blogger would pay an attorney to defend against the infringement claim. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THIS TACTIC. There are many good copyright lawyers who defend against cease and desist demand letters and DMCA takedown notices for a reduced fee. Copyright infringement demand letters are used to inform the recipient that they have alleged to have committed copyright infringement for using stock photos that subject the website owner or blogger to liability for damages to the copyright owner. Often these letters are sent by owners of huge photography catalogs. The copyright trolls’ demand letters tend to invoke the recipient’s fear of future legal proceedings. While your actions may technically constitute copyright infringement of stock photography or stock images, not every use of copyright protected material is subject to a lawsuit. We recommend that you consult with an attorney of your choice to guide you through this legal process and not rely solely on your Internet research.
Copyright law is complex. Further, most lawyers are also trained negotiators. In the event you chose to settle, it is likely that the attorney will negotiate a better settlement on your behalf than you would on your own. A competent lawyer may save you more money than it costs you in attorney’s fees. THAT IS OUR GOAL AT WILLIAM R. WOHLSIFER, PLLC.