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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have a question regarding copyright. We run a site

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Hello,
I have a question regarding copyright.
We run a site allowing bloggers to publish articles for free. They login to a control panel and upload their content, including images.
We got a letter from a copyright solicitor to say one of the images used by one of the bloggers 'has been using imagery without license or permission'
The letter is addressed to us (the website hosting the blog) however the content has nothing to do with us. We have T&C stating that 'Submitted Materials will not contain any content that is obscene, libelous, slanderous or otherwise defamatory, false or misleading or which violates any copyright, right of privacy or publicity or other right of any person.'Here are the T&Cs: https://www.propertydivision.co.uk/about-us/terms-and-conditions/They are asking for payment, which we don;t believe should be made:
Steps required to resolve this matter immediately:
1. Review the details of case###-##-####in the attached Unauthorized Use Report and Evidence Report
2. Refer to the attached FAQ if you have any questions about why you received this letter
3. Make payment of your license fee for your use of Mr. Musarika's image on or before 01/02/2018.What is your advice on handling this and how to reply?
thank you

Thank you for your question. Your terms and conditions aren’t binding on a third party copyright owner so they are irrelevant. You have technically breached a copyright by permitting someone to upload copyright material. If you end up out of pocket because of this you would have a right of relief against the person who uploaded the material both under common law and under contract law by virtue of your terms and conditions. However, the way to deal with this at the moment is simply to remove the offending material. Confirm you have done so and if you can provide the details of the person who uploaded the material. Do not make any offer to pay money. Rarely will they pursue the host provider under these circumstances. I hope that gives you a way forward. Happy to discuss further. Please leave a positive rating so that JustAnswer credits me for my time.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
thank you.
Can you please help us by sending the exact wording to email as a reply?
As this is a free service we are offering, we can't ensure that all images uploaded by the bloggers are copyright free.
We can only make them aware that this is what we expect. The article and image has been taken down (i.e. he has moved the article from published to pending, which means readers cannot see it) by the blogger on 1 March 2017, so I am guessing he has been contacted about this and he has himself removed the content. It was first uploaded on 14 April 2016.We will completely delete the image now, however can you help us with the wording so that we sound like a legal person, I know this matters when talking to other legal people.
thanks

“We have taken legal advice on the terms of your communication. As we offer a free service to bloggers we cannot check each individual image for copyright issues. However we do ensure that images are removed when notice is given to us by or on behalf of a copyright owner in addition to which our terms and conditions advise bloggers on what is expected of them. This image was removed from the public domain some time ago and has now been removed from our system completely. Please therefore note the position.”

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
thank you