Photographer Files $1 Billion Suit Against Getty for Licensing Her Public Domain Images


HaarFager said:

Interesting to see how it all shakes out. Recently, I had to file a notice with eBay over someone using one of my images to sell their product. The image was used by a big online company who sells film, and it was clearly my image. I filed the proper paperwork with eBay, but the user took down the photo because of the complaints. eBay ended up not doing anything about it because they told me that the infringer took down the image. What I told eBay was that it had been used illegally, it didn't matter at what stage or for how long, but it was my photo and they had stolen it to make money off it and not pay me. That is illegal. But, eBay didn't want to have to spend any money to actually enforce their rules when there would be no payoff for them, so they essentially just turned their backs on the theft of my image.

That's like saying if I stole millions from a bank heist, but gave the money back and then expected to not be prosecuted for the theft. Do you think the law wouldn't prosecute me? Absolutely they would. The fact that I gave the money back doesn't change the fact that I committed a crime in the first place by stealing it. I think this kind of thing (big companies stealing photographer's work) is getting worse and worse and there needs to be a solution to stop it. The fact that it's easier than ever to find images, thanks to the internet, is no excuse to break the law. Thou shalt not steal has always been the edict.
7 years ago

Indycaver (Norm) replied to HaarFager:

Yes ... it will be interesting to see how it turns out! eBay is a hotbed of pilfered photos. I suspect the only way to get any money would be to send them a bill for using your image and then take them to small claims court when they failed to pay it. eBay is not going to do it for you. I had a friend who found one of her photos turned into a painting for sale online. The painter claimed the image was painted in France. She got it removed from several sites where it was for sale, but the painter lived in England and nothing ever came of it. I'm not sure she could have done anything about it ... painters have been doing that sort of thing forever.
7 years ago