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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47335
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Is there someone who can help with copyright issue?

Resolved Question:

Hi, Is there someone who can help with copyright issue?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Can you please explain your situation in a bit more detail?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Can you give me some information on copyright. We sell music memorabilia on our website. We have been doing this for the past 10 years. I have now received a copyright issue regarding 2 photos I had on my site. We were contacted by the photographer to say they were his and that we couldn't sell them. We immediately removed them from listings, deleted them, and destroyed the photos. We then didn't hear anything from him for 3 months. We have now received an email from E R Park Law .com in the USA stating he wants $6,000 for damages. We didn't make any money from these photos and were bought in London Covent Garden and weren't informed that they were copyrighted. As they are in USA do they have a right to claim this for damages as we are in the UK?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. 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. Even if they are in the US, copyright can apply internationally so it would not stop them from pursuing this or apply. However, in reality they may stop short of actually going to court as it would be quite cost-prohibitive and enforcing any judgment between countries can take and money so I would hazard a guess that they may not actually sue you and will just issue threats which you cannot be forced to comply with. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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