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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50158
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I used an image I found on the internet to make some coasters

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I used an image I found on the internet to make some coasters which I sold on ebay. The owner of the image told me to remove the listing, which I did, he has now sent me a court claim for £6000. I only made a very small amount of money selling them, nowhere near £6000. What are my rights, should I get myself a solicitor
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long did you use it for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
about 8 days I think
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He contacted me via email and told me it was his image and to stop using it, so I did, he then said he wanted compensation for loss of earnings, but I don't understand why he said this, he gave me 7 days to pay him £3000 or he would be claiming £5000, the 7 days took me to Christmas eve, I do not have that kind of money, he then sent me a claim from an online debt company claiming the £5000, then yesterday I have received the county court letter claiming £6510, I really do not have this kind of money. I don't know what to do or what my rights are
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I asked his for proof the image was he, but her refuse to give this, I also asked for proof of copyright, but again, he refused to give this, I then asked what the money was being claimed for and again, he refused to answer
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 ill 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. 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did not have permission, the photo was on social media, and was shared by a lot of people, I assumed it was an image some random person had created of one of the Towie stars, I can not find any way to find if it was licenced or not, hence why I asked for proof, he claimed to have reported this to ebay also. usually if a copyright owner contacts ebay, they do remove the item even if it has ended, but ebay never did. Do I need a solicitor to help fill in my defence reply to the court and will I get a CCJ from this
You do not need a solicitor to manage this for you. A CCJ only becomes an issue if the person make a claim, wins and you do not pay the amount you have been asked to pay. Even if you cannot pay, once you have managed to do so the CCJ will be removed. Hope this clarifies?
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank You, ***** ***** put my mind at rest a little more
You are most welcome