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Author Topic: What does this mean for the possibility of a class-action lawsuit?  (Read 6447 times)

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« on: April 28, 2011, 09:14 »
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I read this article earlier today and immediately thought of all the talk here regarding a class-action suit against iStock. It sounds like the contributors have been cut off at the knees. Please correct me if my interpretation is incorrect.


« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 10:54 »
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It's only a problem if our contract with Thinkstock states we agree to not file a class action lawsuit against the company.  Does anyone know if it does?  There isn't a link anywhere on the temporary StockXpert front page to the Terms of Service.

« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 10:57 »
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I read this article earlier today and immediately thought of all the talk here regarding a class-action suit against iStock. It sounds like the contributors have been cut off at the knees. Please correct me if my interpretation is incorrect.


-----------------------------
Wondered the same thing myself.  There are lots of variables between the case the court ruled on and what any potential case would be against Istock.  I don't know if the differences are significant to escape this ruling.  

Of course the big difference is that a class action could be pursued in Canada since its (not yet) part of the U.S. :-)

« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 11:15 »
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I'd worry about actually having something to sue over before deciding whether you can do it.

« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 11:32 »
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Sounds like class-action lawyers are the big losers here.

« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 12:29 »
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Sounds like class-action lawyers are the big losers here.

How sad. On the other hand frivolous and trivial class action suits potentially undermine the social and legal value of these sorts of actions in general IMO.

RacePhoto

« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 14:33 »
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I'd worry about actually having something to sue over before deciding whether you can do it.


First thing that I asked myself last I saw some hints of this.

On what grounds? The contract everyone agreed to says, they can make changes, with notice. We can accept or leave.

Why would there be a lawsuit based on ThinkStock and not the other 18+ agencies and divisions that Getty owns that all compete with each other in some ways?

I really don't understand?

Quote
If at any time the Rate Schedule is not acceptable to the Supplier, you may refrain from providing additional Content or terminate this Agreement in accordance with its terms.


http://www.istockphoto.com/asa_non_exclusive.php

16. e

This Agreement can be amended by the written agreement of the parties or by iStockphoto posting amendments on the Upload portion of the Site. Continued provision of Content or failure to terminate this Agreement within thirty (30) days of posting of such amendment will be deemed to be acceptance of the amendment by the Supplier and it will be incorporated by reference into this Agreement.

I went with payments, commissions, promises of levels Etc. I see there are other issues that some people thing might be viable. I hadn't considered all of those.

Nothing in the contract says you can't bring a suit. As my lawyer friends say, you can sue for anything, it's the winning and collecting that becomes a problem.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 21:32 by RacePhoto »

traveler1116

« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 16:07 »
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Yeah I agree, doesn't seem like something to sue over.  The Dreamstime contract says you are locked in for 6 months and they can do whatever they want, like give your images away for free without you being able to stop it.  Maybe you would have a better chance there?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 16:09 by traveler1116 »

« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 17:20 »
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Lots of things are written into contracts but if there has been damage done, contracts might be irrelevant.

Case in point. Horseback riding stables were constantly getting sued when riders would fall off, get hurt, and then sue the stables. So the stables started making everyone sign a release of liability form. Guess what. It doesn't matter. If someone gets hurt, they are going to sue, and in some cases, win. (No, I don't have links to case files to prove what I am saying but I am sure if you want to prove me right or wrong, you can google it and see.)

Quote
Quote from: sjlocke on Today at 11:15
I'd worry about actually having something to sue over before deciding whether you can do it.

The first thing that comes to my mind is fraud. Seems like the whole credit card fraud/clawback issue just disappeared off the face of the earth. Thousands of contributors were expected to believe what corporate attorneys told a select handful of contributors. With all due respect to those involved in the phone call, it proved absolutely nothing.

The only way to find out exactly what is/was going on is to have an independent audit of the books and have attorneys get involved. That so many contributors were involved means that the simplest way, from a legal standpoint, to handle it might be a class action lawsuit. Some people lost a lot of money, some people lost a little money. If there was wrongdoing, it doesn't matter if it was $1.00 or $1,000 that was clawed back. It's still stealing, it's still fraud, and it should still be punished.

I am all for any legal remedies that might be offered large groups of people when large corporations may be taking advantage and abusing their vendors or buyers. It remains to be seen whether or not that is what Getty/istock is/was doing.

And I can think of another reason to sue...many contributors opted out of the whole Thinkstock partner program, yet their images remained, and in some cases, still remain on the site, for sale. That's copyright infringement.

Some people are going to believe there is nothing to sue over. Some have a pretty good idea there is something to sue over. To each his own, lets the chips fall where they may, if the shoe fits, and every other cliche that might be relevant in this conversation.  :D

« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 18:20 »
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I'd worry about actually having something to sue over before deciding whether you can do it.

If you notice, I didn't say that I was pursuing a lawsuit, only that the article made me think of the talk here. If I was to think about it, it would be in regard to rounding down the commission paid on each sale.

« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 18:52 »
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No matter what the contract, you can never sign away your right to file a lawsuit. The key is whether or not the courts consider your suit valid enough to proceed, and you have the money it takes to fight.

« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 19:04 »
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Quote
Quote from: sjlocke on Today at 11:15
I'd worry about actually having something to sue over before deciding whether you can do it.

The first thing that comes to my mind is fraud. Seems like the whole credit card fraud/clawback issue just disappeared off the face of the earth. Thousands of contributors were expected to believe what corporate attorneys told a select handful of contributors. With all due respect to those involved in the phone call, it proved absolutely nothing.

The only way to find out exactly what is/was going on is to have an independent audit of the books and have attorneys get involved. That so many contributors were involved means that the simplest way, from a legal standpoint, to handle it might be a class action lawsuit. Some people lost a lot of money, some people lost a little money. If there was wrongdoing, it doesn't matter if it was $1.00 or $1,000 that was clawed back. It's still stealing, it's still fraud, and it should still be punished.

I am all for any legal remedies that might be offered large groups of people when large corporations may be taking advantage and abusing their vendors or buyers. It remains to be seen whether or not that is what Getty/istock is/was doing.

And I can think of another reason to sue...many contributors opted out of the whole Thinkstock partner program, yet their images remained, and in some cases, still remain on the site, for sale. That's copyright infringement.

Some people are going to believe there is nothing to sue over. Some have a pretty good idea there is something to sue over. To each his own, lets the chips fall where they may, if the shoe fits, and every other cliche that might be relevant in this conversation.  :D

Not to mention their atrocious accounting practices. People reporting $0 royalities, the whole EL bonus thing still not resolved properly, photos getting downloaded and people not getting paid, or not even *knowing* if they're actually getting downloads at all. (Like the guy who found his high res photo in a magazine - supposedly downloaded from Getty and never getting paid, nor even a response from CR). From where I'm sitting, there looks like a lot for, in the least, an audit, and at most, a lawsuit. Oh, and let's not forget, contributors photos under another copyright name on partner websites. I don't even know how you guys can keep track of anything over there. The apparent negligence and fraud seems to be rampant.

« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 19:23 »
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If people can sue McDonalds for spilling hot coffee on themselves - and WIN! - then suing Getty for that fraud debacle doesn't seem so far fetched.   :o

jbarber873

« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 20:00 »
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   The supreme court case was regarding the ability of people who have already agreed to arbitration in disputes not being able to join a class action suit. The reasoning behind this is that the mechanism to resolve the dispute was decided by the contract- arbitration. Contributors to Istock have already signed an arbitration clause in the contributor agreement. As for fraud, unfortunately, that's a very high bar to cross, and would still probably be sent to arbitration. Just because a company behaves in a way that is arrogant and insulting, just because they change the rules to please them, it doesn't mean you can take it to court, especially now that each complaint would have to be settled one by one. The only "class action" available to contributors is a mass removal of images from the website by a majority of contributors. That's never going to happen.


 

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