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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have used an image from Google on my business Facebook page

Resolved Question:

I have used an image from Google on my business Facebook page and now a legal company based in Germany is demanding we settle out of court and pay £1600 for using it ,all correspondence has been by email should we pay ??
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. How long have you used it for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2 Days as far as I am aware
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The company is called photoclaim.com
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
It is quite common for the owners of images to aggressively 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 party 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 not be much more than a few hundred pounds at most. You can challenge the owner 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. So do not just pay them, they will also have to take you to court and win to even try and force you to pay anything so they may never even go that far. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply .. I just wanted to confirm my young designer got the image from Google images it had no water mark etc .
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The lack of watermark will not necessarily change anything because if an image is protected then it would be protected automatically regardless of watermark or not, but you could argue that there would have been considerable difficulties in establishing the ownership of the image in the circumstances