How To Properly Deal With A PicRights Copyright Unlicensed Image Letter

Have you received a demand letter from PicRights claiming that you have used an unlicensed image from a company such as Reuters News & Media Inc.? If so, then you are among many who have received such a letter. We have had many clients send us these letters from PicRights for review, with PicRights making a demand of payment in exchange for a release to avoid claims of copyright infringement. Many of those clients have been very pleased that they sent the correspondence to us, allowing us to help guide them through the process of avoiding legal exposure.

If you have received such a letter from PicRights, then feel free to contact us about your particular circumstance. We keep all communications confidential, pride ourselves on quick and active responses, and do not charge for initial consultations.

PicRights is not a law firm.

Instead, it provides compliance services to third-party content owners, including Reuters News & Media Inc., with the intention of resolving claims of copyright infringement prior to initiating a lawsuit or retaining a law firm such as Higbee & Associates, which is commonly referred to as a “copyright troll.” It makes sense to try to resolve these claims before the files are transferred to a firm like Higbee & Associates, and we are happy to help navigate that process with you.

The letters from PicRights typically highlight the fact it is not in the business of practicing law. Instead, PicRights will indicate that its goal in contacting you is to determine whether you hold an active license for use of specific imagery with the rights holder (such as Reuters News & Media Inc.) or with any other entity authorized by the rights holder to license and distribute the imagery. If you have a license, then PicRights needs to become immediately aware of same. If not then, unless there is an applicable defense such as fair use or de minimis use, it is smart to remove the imagery from your website as soon as possible.

PicRights will also advise that merely removing the image from your website and server will not be sufficient to absolve yourself of any copyright infringement liability. It will also demand payment and, if this request is completely ignored, then PicRights will commonly retain a law firm such as Higbee & Associates to make further demands and potentially even initiate a lawsuit against you. That is why it is important to take these letters seriously and this firm absolutely has the experience to assist you with your strategy in this regard. As of the publishing of this article, we have not only assisted clients in dealing directly with PicRights, but have also represented over 150 clients in discussions with Higbee & Associates, when claims are escalated from PicRights to an actual law firm.

PicRights also understands the value in dealing directly with us as opposed to escalating the matters to law firms. At that point, PicRights and/or its underlying client must pay the law firm a contingency fee in any resolution or judgment based on successful litigation. Furthermore, a law firm is going to take time before filing suit and, if it does initiate a lawsuit it will still likely take years before a judgment is received. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the judgment will lead to actual relief. We use these general facts, as well as specific facts based on a case-by-case inquiry, to either negotiate a drastically reduced payment in exchange for a release or, in the alternative, we discover facts that allow us to effectively argue that no payment should be made at all.