Making a new website is never easy; finding the right template and creating the content that complement your web site can take hours.
Finding images to represent the topic or to display an example is no as hard.
Most people know that 90% of the images online are copied at some stage. Its simple if you put the image out there someone will copy it some how.
For most web designers that make professional web sites, they often purchase images to save time. Not all web designers’ purchases images, some designers simply copy them – just right-click and paste them into their new website they are making.
Not all web designers are qualified, or licensed, or care about copyright. With the large amount of web designers working overseas for a fraction of the cost, you can assume they are cutting some corners to be able to do the work so cheap.
Having stolen imagines can be a problem for web site owners. Not the web site designer. Overseas designers can simply disappeared. It’s very hard to clams damages from someone overseas that you can find and won’t respond to you.
There are people looking and entrapping unsuspecting people who may have but unknowingly used an image that was not royalty free, even if they came from a site that displays that they are royalty free.
One example is a company that deliberately advertises “royalty free” and the site allows you to then copy the image.
So like most people who are looking for royalty free images, they copy and use the image. Who wouldn’t right they are royalty free.
Well maybe not,
It’s a crazy way to make money and its seems impossible to operate a business built on deception in Australia, but its true.
This company that we are blogging about does just that, and they are still trading in Australia. To advertise something for free and then to try to make you pay once you have used an image is a little double-handed.
Web designers are falling victim to this trap, and yes it’s a trap. I feel the work entrapment is appropriate in this case, but not being a lawyer, who knows.
If you have a website designed by some cheap person overseas and they use one of their images, you can expect a nasty letter asking for thousands of dollars.
Yep that’s right, the image is not free, and they want you to pay a large amount of money for a simple image. The company has also teamed up with one of the well-known debt collection agencies in Australia “Starts with a D ”.
We have been told about this scam and now we are passing the message on to you, if you receive a letter you have a few options to deal with it.
But firstly why is a company allowed to operate in such a misleading way? Why would people ever use this company, when they are making more money from suing people?
What type of company sends a collections agency out after people who, rather than a letter “to stop using”. It would make sense that if you have breached a person’s copyright that they would inform you about it and ask you to stop and remove, Well that’s how it normally works.
How to Deal With it?
First of all the pleasant person on the phone, if they call you, will tell you “This call is being recorded for training and quality purpose” Please note, they are also use the recording against you, did you get mad about a crazy bill they sent you? Don’t swear, it will all be used against you if they need. Avoid any phone conversations with the collection agency that work on their behalf Dun & Brad.
- If you are going to pay the ransom / blackmail, try to bargain for a lower amount, $2000 is a bit much for a picture of a fly on the wall, from our investigations, they have reduced it in most cases.
- You can fight back, list a complaint with Acc, Scamwatch, consumer safety, and every place that protects the consumer in Australia, we have a few of them. Lets just say that Scamwatch has not officially listed them yet, but they have had a lot of calls.
- You can get a lawyer, send them a letter. You can send a letter to cease and desist chasing you for this ridicules the amount. It’s considered harassment if they continue, but your solicitor will advise you more on this.
- You can share your thoughts online with other potential victims of this trap. Give other Internet uses your thoughts about the company. Maybe a review, how likely you would be to use them in the future or recommend them, this type of comments helps others in the future.
- You can send a letter of apology and – also cease and desist from them. Must have this letter register, so you can prove what you sent and that it was revived.
- You can bin the letter and forget about it. “Who knows if this works” its been the advice from two other web sites. But outcome is unknown.
Also you can remove all images in question, remove from server as well.
The bottom line is that, non of use like our photos copied, and now you don’t even need to lodge the image for protection, it’s automatically covered.
If you use other people images without consent, it’s fair enough that you get a letter asking you to remove and stop. If you are a simple web designer and you got tricked and used an image from a site that has in big letters “Royalty free” then this should not be fair-trading from the photo giant to send letters of demand.
Most importantly using debt collections agency’s to scare people into paying is a sneaky, heavy-handed way to make money. The Austrian team for this is “Snake in the Grass”
Every time you watch a movie they display the copyright law in clear English, Should you copy or resell the video you are watching, you will be in breach of copyright law. It also states that the viewing for a private audience.
Can you imagine if you and your family were watching a rented movie and your next-door neighbor joined in, making the total viewing number 7-12 people?
Then suddenly a knock at the door, it’s a collections agency. They want to charge you $5000 because you are now a commercial audience. You have one too many people watching at one time.
But you say ok, “go home to the neighbor Tim,” with a sad look, your neighbor goes home.
The collections man is still standing there with his hand out wanting his $5000 for that one person that made your small video watching group and commercial viewing audience. Even if it was for only a few minutes.
Dose this sound crazy.. Its possible if the debt collector in question starts doing video privacy collections.. And this image company start making videos..