Have you received a demand letter or email from ImageRights claiming that you have used an unlicensed image from a company or an individual photographer? If so, then you are among many who have received such correspondence. We have had many clients send us these letters and emails from ImageRights International for review, with ImageRights making an exorbitant demand of compensation 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 ImageRights International, 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.
ImageRights International is a copyright and licensing agent to professional photographers, photo agencies, media companies, and publishers who discover unlicensed uses of their works.
ImageRights is happy to tell you that in the body of their emails. Then, ImageRights will proceed to identify the specific photograph that was discovered on your website for which there is no record of a license. In such a case, if there is no license in place, then ImageRights International will likely demand a very high price (in bold writing) in order to resolve the matter. In the period surrounding COVID-19, ImageRights has recognized the impact that the virus has had on all businesses, indicating it will work with you toward a resolution. Do not fall for the bait; contact a law firm like Heitner Legal to assist you with these egregious demands.
ImageRights International is correct when it states that removing an unlicensed image from a website will not serve as an absolute defense to a copyright infringement claim. That said, it does help diminish potential damages if the infringement was unintentional and the image is removed in close proximity to learning that rights have not been cleared before the image was used.
Ignoring the letters and emails from ImageRights will not make them go away. In fact, it will only cause ImageRights to become more aggressive (now not only putting their words in bold but highlighting them as well) and likely lead to it passing along the issue to a law firm that focuses on litigating copyright infringement cases for plaintiffs. At that point, the demands will probably be even higher and it will cost you more money to retain a lawyer to represent your interests. Thus, the key is to be proactive and not avoid the demands altogether. At the same time, paying an entity like ImageRights the money they demand is doing a disservice to yourself.
As of the publishing of this article, we have not only assisted clients in dealing directly with ImageRights International but have also represented over 300 clients in discussions with Higbee & Associates, CopyCat Legal, and PicRights on similar types of claims.
ImageRights also understands the value in dealing directly with us as opposed to escalating the matters to law firms. At that point, ImageRights 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.