Have you received a demand letter from Global Rights Control? If so, then join the party. We have been forwarded many emails originating from Global Rights Control, and often from Ariel Lavia Gold, demanding large amounts of money if recipients want to be released from any and all claims connected to allegations of copyright infringement. It is inadvisable to try to communicate with these types of companies on your own; it is much better to have reputable legal counsel on your side.
If you have received such an email, then feel free to contact us about your specific circumstances. We keep all communications confidential, respond quickly, and will not charge you unless/until we are retained.
Global Rights Control typically begins its correspondence by indicating that it is authorized to communicate on behalf of a third party to handle possible copyright infringements for a specific photographer or on behalf of the photographers that the third party represents. It will then go on to explain that the use of a photograph without a valid license is an infringement of the photographer’s rights under the US Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code.
Global Rights Control will next explain that if you do not possess a valid license, then you are responsible for the unauthorized use of the content. Afterward, Global Rights Control will set forth its demand for compensation to allegedly rectify the harm that has already been committed, but not to provide any sort of additional license for use. It is advisable that, even if you have solid defenses to Global Rights Control, you remove the at-issue content upon receipt of the email.
What Global Rights Control intentionally avoids bringing up in its correspondence is that technical infringements of copyright are commonly not worth spending resources on litigating. The damage to the copyright holder could be nominal and, furthermore, even though technical infringement exists, that does not preclude an infringer from prevailing with an affirmative defense such as fair use or de minimis use.
We have found that, while Global Rights Control can be very adversarial against individuals who do not possess legal counsel, when we get involved and make it clear what the applicable defenses may be, we are able to heavily reduce the demand for compensation and, sometimes, eradicate it altogether. Understand that Global Rights Control is not a law firm, but instead is a member of a global alliance of photographic agencies. Global Rights Control will thus need to bring the issue to a separate law firm if there is not a peaceful resolution.
Most importantly, do not ignore a letter received from Global Rights Control. Attack it head-on and try to get it resolved before it escalates. We are happy to help you in this endeavor.