Legal Question in Technology Law in Illinois

Copyright infringement, image downloaded from Internet

Some time ago, we found an image on the Internet that was not labelled as copyrighted or protected. Although we assumed it was, we had no means of contacting that person. We used it for our Web site, with the thought that the owner would contact us if there was an issue. There is a 3rd party that sells images on behalf of photographers, that has identified the image as one they sell. They have contacted us with demands for damages, as well as a cease and desist. We immediately removed the image from our site. I am questioning their cliam for damages, since they do not own the copyright (the photographer does?). Also, the image can be purchased for $550, but they want $1000 for ''damages.'' I assume that sooner or later they will have to prove the loss they suffered in enforcing the copyright, which couldn't possibly be $1000. Do they have claim for damages on behalf of the photographer, and can they justify this amount? We had the image online for ~6 months. I have offered to pay the $550 (the original price), but now am reconsidering, since this will not allow us to continue to use the image - it seems this is purely punitive, or to cover their so-called ''damages.''

Asked on 2/02/09, 8:21 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Preskill Robert Preskill

Re: Copyright infringement, image downloaded from Internet

I don't feel comfortable answering this question on a public site. You have assumed several things so at this point you would be wise to hire an attorney to help you.

I hope that helps.

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Answered on 2/02/09, 8:53 pm
Johm Smith tom's

Re: Copyright infringement, image downloaded from Internet

We would need to know where the other parties are located in order to know if we could assist you with this matter. You may have used a photo without permission but their claims are not yet clear.

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Answered on 2/04/09, 11:08 am

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