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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have been contacted by Undiscovered Scotland with a demand

Resolved Question:

I have been contacted by Undiscovered Scotland with a demand for £1740 for using 6 pics from their website. I got the images from Google Images. The 6 pics have been taken down from my site. Where do I stand?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Such companies are notorious for the aggressive way in which they pursue people who use their images in what they believe is without their permission. Often the sums they request are exaggerated and in the hope that people will just pay up in order to avoid further threats or possible legal action. However, in reality the law on copyright infringement is not that simple and the way damages are calculated is different.
The first step is to establish whether you had the right to use the photo in question. It would depend on what licences were assigned for its use and who they had given permission to. If you were told by the site who had permission to use it that you were also allowed to use it and you did so in good faith then you will have a partial defence in a sense that any reasonable person in your position may not have been able to take further steps to establish whether they were breaching copyright.
Also if you had immediately removed the infringing photo, it is unlikely they can just go on and pursue the amount in question and they would be limited in seeking is damages suffered as a result of your initial use, which would generally be limited to the licence fee you would have paid had you sought permission directly from them to use the image. These would generally not be much more than £100 per image.
You can challenge the company to prove exactly what losses they have suffered as a result of this infringement and to provide proof of these, stating clearly that you will not simply be bullied into paying what is clearly an extortionate amount that is completely unjustified. Also remind them that a court will only award actual damages incurred as a result of this, usually limited to the licence fee one would have paid for the photo and unless it was some exclusive photo that would attract higher fees, nominal damages are likely to be awarded.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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