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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50156
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Sure, thank you. Lussey sent letter claiming damages on 2 photos

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Sure, thank you. Lussey sent letter claiming damages on 2 photos infringing copyright. I have taken down immediately. He asks for 2k to avoid Livingstone small claims court
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. In what circumstances did you use the photos?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Website to accompany an article on a bank put a photo of a bank in Dundee to illustrate. Was recopied 2 years later. A handful of subscribers pay to access the website
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. 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 2 years ago.
Thank you. The photos were left in ignorance for two or one year respectively. They were taken down as soon as we received notification. Any sense of whether we should counter with a lower bid to settle and if so what?
Yes you should certainly try and go for lower, it is difficult to say what figure precisely as I do not know what the exact damages may be calculated as but have a figure in mind as the highest you would go for and start at about half of that and work your way up until you know you will no longer negotiate for a higher amount.