Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding Alleged Infringement: Receiving a Getty Image copyright infringement letter means you are being accused of using an item of content without proper authorisation, be it images, video clips, or any other meaning content file.
  • The email will typically outline the parties involved, including the content owner and the alleged infringer.
  • To avoid such situations, always use licensed content or royalty-free content from reputable sources and ensure you have the appropriate direct licenses.
  • Using licensed content from Getty Images ensures legal use. Licenses often involve royalty payments, which are fees paid to the content owner based on usage rates.
  • Many online services provide licensed content at different rates, making it essential to choose the right service that fits your budget and needs.
  • Be mindful that content ownership applies not just to physical copies but also to digital files and online platforms. Direct licenses can be obtained from content suppliers for specific uses.
  • If you receive a demand email or a letter, consider consulting with legal professionals who can help you understand the meaning of the content-related allegations and advise you on the best course of action to resolve the issue.

Has Getty Images ever sent you a letter saying that you violated their copyright?

You are not the only one if that’s the case. Getty Images is a well-known stock photo company that lets people and businesses all over the world use millions of pictures.

Many people use Getty Images without the right licence, which is illegal and can get them in trouble with the law.

If you got an email or letter from Getty Images saying that you broke their copyright rules, you should take it seriously.

If you don’t respond to the letter or take the right steps, you could end up in a costly legal battle or have damage to your reputation.

We will talk about what Getty Image copyright infringement letters are, why they are sent, and what you should do if you get one in this blog post.

What is Getty Images?

Getty Images is a worldwide company that provides digital media like pictures, videos, and photos.

They work with tens of thousands of photographers and artists and have millions of pictures that companies, magazines, and people can buy or licence.

What is Copyright Infringement?

When someone uses content protected by a copyright without the image owner’s consent, it is called copyright infringement.

This includes using an pictures for commercial or non-commercial purposes, altering it, or distributing it without obtaining the appropriate license.

What is Getty Image Copyright Infringement Letter?

getty copyright infringement

Getty Images copyright infringement letter is a legal notice sent to individuals or companies that have allegedly used one or more of their copyrighted pictures or videos without a valid license.

The letter basically makes two demands: quit using the picture and give Getty Images a fee to avoid being sued.

Key Differences Between Copyright Enforcement and Copyright Bullying

  • Intent: What the copyright holder wants to do is what makes the difference between copyright enforcement and copyright bullying. Legal enforcement tries to protect the exclusive rights of the copyright owner, but copyright bullying uses people’s fear of being sued to get money from people who are thought to be infringing on other people’s digital rights to exploit the fear of legal action to extract money from alleged infringers.¬†
  • Proportionality: In legitimate copyright enforcement, the actions taken by the copyright holder are generally proportional to the severity of the infringement. In cases of copyright bullying, the response may be excessively harsh or punitive, with unreasonable demands for settlement fees or legal threats.
  • Fairness: Copyright enforcement respects the principles of fairness and due process, allowing alleged infringers the opportunity to rectify the situation or contest the claim. Copyright bullying often involves manipulative tactics, misinformation, and a lack of transparency, making it difficult for the alleged infringer to defend themselves.
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Common Scenarios of Getty Images Copyright Infringement

Some common scenarios of Getty Images copyright infringement include:

  • Using a pictures found through a search engine without licensing it.
  • Sharing a picture¬†on social media without proper attribution.
  • Failing to renew a license for a pictures and continuing to use it.

Steps to Take if You Receive a Getty Images Demand Letter

response to a getty images demand letter

When you receive a letter alleging infringement from Getty Images, you should take it seriously and get back to them straight away.

Here are the steps you should follow:

Do not panic: Although receiving a demand letter can be alarming, it’s important to maintain composure and tackle the matter rationally. Such letters are frequently received by both individuals and corporations, but there are things you may do to resolve the situation.

Verify the claim: Before taking any action, carefully review the demand letter and ensure that the copyrighted image in question belongs to Getty Images.

Check the image’s unique ID and compare it to the image on your website or other platforms where it is being used.

Review your usage: Evaluate how you have used the image and determine whether your usage might be considered an infringement of copyright.

If you have a licensed photo from Getty Images or another source, review the terms of the license agreement to ensure that you have adhered to its conditions.

Seek legal advice: If you are uncertain about how to proceed or believe that you have not infringed on any copyright, consult an attorney experienced in intellectual property law. They can provide guidance on the best course of action and help you navigate the legal process if necessary.

Remove the infringing content: If you find out that your use of the picture violates the law, you should take it down right away from your website and any other places it is being used. This can help demonstrate your willingness to cooperate and may be taken into consideration during any settlement negotiations.

Respond to the demand letter: Give prompt attention to the Getty Images demand letter after evaluating the circumstances and consulting legal counsel.

Ignoring the letter has the potential to worsen the situation and result in additional fines or legal action. Respond in a kind and professional manner, and include any pertinent details that could aid in the problem’s resolution.

Negotiate or settle: Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to negotiate a lower settlement fee or arrange a payment plan with Getty Images.

Consult with your attorney before engaging in any negotiations to ensure you are fully informed of your rights and options.

How do Getty Images Find Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement is a big problem for both artists and businesses in the digital world we live in now.

Getty Images takes this issue seriously and has developed a comprehensive approach to protect the rights of its contributors and ensure their fair compensation.

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Their strategy involves two key components.

  • They take legal action and demand damages from those who intentionally and consistently violate their rights. This not only protects their own rights but also serves as a strong deterrent for potential copyright infringers.
  • Getty Images works to educate unintentional infringers on copyright laws and proper licensing.

When infractions occur accidentally, their goal is to convert violators into customers by offering information and help in securing the necessary licences.

Despite the possibility that not all possible illegal uses of their content can be looked into, they appreciate and encourage any information on suspected infringements.

They also concentrate their attention on situations that have the potential to yield a profit for the donors as well as the company.

At Getty Images, they believe that protecting the rights of their contributors and the value of their work is of utmost importance.

By doing so, they ensure that the creative process remains a viable and sustainable industry.

Irrespective of Whether You’ve Received the Getty Claim Letter, What Should You Do?

should you do if you received the getty claim letter

Whether or not you have received a Getty Images copyright infringement letter, there are several things that you should do to protect yourself and your business.

  • Audit your website and social media accounts regularly to ensure that you have valid licenses for all copyrighted pictures and videos that you use. If you find any unlicensed content, remove it immediately.
  • Educate yourself and your employees on copyright laws and best practices for using copyrighted content. This includes understanding fair use and seeking permission from rights owners when necessary.
  • Consider purchasing a copyright infringement insurance policy that can help cover the costs of legal fees and settlements in case of a lawsuit.
  • If you have received a Getty Images infringement letter, take it seriously and respond promptly. Seek legal advice if necessary and consider negotiating a settlement with Getty pictures if you don’t have a valid license.
  • If you haven’t received a infringement letter from the law firm, but you use copyrighted pictures or videos, ensure that you have a valid license for them to avoid receiving a similar letter in the future.

By following these steps, you can protect yourself and your business from potential legal action and financial penalties related to the violation of copyright ownership.

It’s always better to be proactive and take preventive measures rather than deal with the consequences of infringing on someone’s copyright.

Tips for Avoiding Getty Images Copyright Infringement Issues

There are some measures you can take to make sure you are using photos in a morally and legally compliant manner if you want to avoid getting a Getty Images copyright infringement letter.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Use public domain pictures: Public domain photographs are free to use with no attribution or permission needed. Websites such as Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, and Unsplash have public domain photos.

Use images with a Creative Commons license: Creative Commons is a nonprofit organisation that provides free licenses for creators to share their work. You can use Creative Commons licensed images, as long as you follow the terms of the license.

Purchase images from a stock photo website: If you need a high-quality image for a project, consider purchasing it from stock photo sites like Shutterstock or iStock. These websites have a wide selection of images that you can purchase and use legally.

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Take your own photos: One way to ensure that you have the right to a picture is to take the photo yourself. This can be especially useful for images that are specific to your business or brand.

Always give attribution: If you do use a picture that requires attribution, make sure to give credit to the creator. This can be as simple as including their name and a link to their website.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are using pictures legally and avoid any Getty Images copyright infringement issues.

Remember, using copyrighted pictures without permission can be a costly mistake, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

What’s Next?

A demand letter alleging copyright violation from Getty pictures can be unsettling to receive. You can take the necessary action to resolve the issue and prevent similar ones in the future by being aware of what copyright infringement is and how Getty pictures recognises it.

Remember to use only licenced photos, provide due credit where credit is due, and, if needed, look for free alternatives. Verify the claim, take down the content if required, and think about getting legal counsel when handling accusations of infringement to make sure you are protected.

Use Bytescare’s digital protection solution to keep your content safe from piracy. To learn how we can protect your intellectual property and provide you peace of mind, schedule a demo right now.


Can I ignore a Getty Images copyright infringement notice?

Ignoring the letter is not advised, as it could lead to legal action and increased financial penalties. It’s best to address the issue promptly and seek legal advice if needed.

What if I unintentionally used a copyrighted pictures?

Even if the infringement was unintentional, you may still be held liable for damages. It’s crucial to verify the validity of the claim and take appropriate action to resolve the issue.

Can I use a Getty Images photo with a watermark for free?

No, using a watermarked photos without purchasing a license is still considered copyright infringement.

How can I check if a picture is copyrighted?

You can perform a reverse image search on Google or other search engines to find the picture source and determine if it’s copyrighted. Always check the image’s licensing information before using it.

How much can Getty images charge for copyright infringement?

The amount Getty Images may charge for copyright infringement varies based on factors such as the image’s fair market value, the extent of the infringement, and the duration of unauthorised use.

Settlement fees can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

What should I do if I believe that I have been wrongly accused of copyright infringement by Getty Images?

If you believe that you have been wrongly accused of infringement by Getty Images, you should seek legal advice and respond to the copyright claim with evidence that you have a valid license or that the picture in question is not copyrighted by Getty pictures.