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Author Topic: Suspected image sleuth. Help needed  (Read 4018 times)

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« on: April 10, 2018, 06:05 »
First of all, I am living in Latvia (Europe). I upload some photos I take to Shutterstock, Adobe Stock/Fotolia etc. Sometimes I check how my photos were used and if any of them are used without a license, and occasionally I find something interesting. Last year, for example, one rehab centre used a photo which they purchased via standard subscription license, in a context where model was implied to be suffering from substance abuse. This is not covered by standard license and yields much more money for me, but they didnt puchase the right license, so I contacted the stock they bought it on to resolve the issue. They settled it, I got my 80 bucks, everyones happy.

Now, last month I found another case of one of my photos being used in a way that is not covered by the license, and contacted every stock that I had this image uploaded to. Adobe replied that the photo was purchased from Europe, but the rehab centre using the photo is US-based. Shutterstock replied that they couldnt match the purchase to that rehab centre, which, I assume, implied that they were not the buyer. I contacted them again to reassure that I got their response right, and basically they told me that if I find that the photo was purchased from Shutterstock, I should immediately call back any claims and report this to them. Otherwise its me against the license/copyright violator, and they would not involve, so I am ought to get all the proof myself.

I contacted the rehab via Facebook (since the photo was used on their FB page), asking them about the license, and wrote them an email, but they didnt reply to any of those. I can see that they read my message on Facebook (FB lets you know if your message was read), but didnt choose to respond. So, I started looking for solutions and found a website ( newbielink:https://www.whoishostingthis.com/blog/2016/01/27/images-stolen/ [nonactive]) that gives some advices for my situation, so I found a standard cease-and-desist template and send another message via email and FB to the rehab centre, asking them to contact me and provide a proof that they have a license to use the image, but they didnt respond again and removed the post. I have made screenshots of that FB post, but the situation I am in is still tricky.

I honestly do not know what to do about this. If I knew that they stole the image and are using it unlawfully, I would be busy finding a US-based lawyer to sue them. But if they bought the image from a stock (but are for some reason unwilling to share the proof), I will only get about 100 bucks which wont cover the expenses for the lawyer. What are my options here?


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