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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We've recieved an email today demanding £396 use of

Resolved Question:

We've recieved an email today demanding £396 for the use of an image owned by science photo library ltd.
The thing is, we do not even own the website, a company contacted us 2-3 years ago and sent us a website design which we liked so we accepted the design and they designed, developed, host and publish the site for a fee. We didn't even supply the web developers with our own logo which they must of downloaded from the Internet.
We've tried to explain to the aggrieved company that we do not own that website and merely rent it and that we do own another site that has no such content on. We've instructed the publishers to bring the site down immediately which they've done. The owner of the company says to ignore the demand as its a scam, but it looks plausible to us.
The question is, are we liable?
Here are the communications so far:
(SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LTD WROTE): You are requested to take action within 10 business days of the date of this email, as follows:
If your company has a valid license / authorisation for the use of the imagery, please email the license purchase / authorisation information to *****@******.***
If your company does not have a valid license / authorisation for the use of the imagery:
A £396.00 settlement payment should be remitted (see payment options below).
We are willing to offer you, ex gratia, a 20% discount off the abovementioned settlement payment amount, provided that you submit payment within 10 business days of the date of this email. Failure to do so will result in the settlement amount being returned to its original amount upon the expiration of the aforesaid time period
Cease using the imagery immediately
(WE RESPONDED WITH)
This site was built and is rented to us by line media design who also supplied the images. We do not own the site or the content. You should contact them. We have informed them to close the site.
(THEY THEN WROTE)
Liability rests with the party displaying the content even if a third-party designer, employee, contractor or intern designed and developed your company’s website. As you may know, it is the responsibility of the end user to ensure that any content that is copied, publicly displayed and/or publicly distributed does not infringe any copyrights. Regardless of your company’s intent, you are still liable for the unauthorized use of Science Photo Library represented content. Science Photo Library cannot pursue or initiate contact with a third party. If a third party would like to settle this matter on your behalf, please provide them a copy of your settlement demand and have them proceed with the online payment.
(WE RESPONDED TWICE WITH)
(1) As pointed out now for the second time, we do not own the domain hicks4u.co.uk or the content. We've no access to the files on that site and nor did we publish them.
If you check the Whois register you will be able to track the owners. But by way of providing you with that lead please refer to Lime Media Design Ltd. Not only do they own the webspace, the domain name and the site itself.
We do not accept responsibility for a site that we do not even own or have any access to. I urge you to pursue this matter with the appropriate owners. Our site is Hicksgb.com, we own no other domain name and we will only be held liable for our own site.
The content of Hicksgb.com is our own.
Thank you and please pursue this matter with the appropriate owners of the site.
(2) As you state 'liability rests with the party displaying the content' that would clearly be Lime Media Design Limited. We never entered into an agreement whereby we would be responsible for anything they publish, we can also confirm that we HICKS GB LIMITED never supplied them with any images (not even our own logos which they downloaded from the Internet).
As they Lime Media Design are the 'designers' 'developers' 'owners' and 'publishers' of this site, then I suggest you take it up with them. We will gladly stand in court and testify all that we have stated to you and provide the court with the necessary evidence.
Question is are we liable to pay this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this
Alex Watts : So that I unserstand did you instruct for the website to be built?
Customer: We were cold called and the website was already built for our consideration. They had obviously grabbed images (including our own logo) from the Internet to produce the website. Unfortunately all of this happened 2 years ago and proving this would not be easy.
Alex Watts :

Do you use the website?

Customer:

The website was live via the hosting company (also the developing company) until we instructed them to remove it this morning but this is not our main site and has never been our main site. Our main site in an in-house built one registered with one.come since 2009 and is www.hicksgb.com

Customer:

Also we had a live subscription for them to host the site. I am guessing this means we are liable?

Customer:

the annoying thing is, in the 3 years it has been live we never made one sale from it!

Customer:

if we pay them within 10 days we get 20% off which brings it down to near £300. Although we are completely innocent in our actions I cannot help but feel it would possibly be an idea to pay up to grab the discount and retrospectively appeal the matter?

Alex Watts :

Ok, you are not liable.

Alex Watts :

The other company are.

Alex Watts :

If this company tries to sue you it would only be a small claim.

Alex Watts :

Then you would defend and counter sue the hosting company

Alex Watts :

You can't be responsible for something you didn't ask for

Alex Watts :

So no, you are not liable.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Thank you Alex. That's great thank you.

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