The world of the people who infringe is really strange. You have the ones who speak out and apologize and get on with things, basically the people who do not pay attention. You have the ones that are guilty and know they are guilty and either keeps quiet and hopes you go away or they quote laws and exceptions to cover their butts.
Then you have companies that do the same thing. Individuals are easier to understand as they try to keep from looking bad, their egos are just too big to admit they do things like that. They look for exceptions for everything they do and allow no one else to do it. You see them everywhere. I have always felt if it is good for the goose it is good for the gander. Those people have two systems, one for them and one for everyone else with a bias.
Funny but some people are like some of the companies. They are only concerned about the money. They try to hide things so no one can find out. I am currently tracking down some companies that use crawlers to search the web for things and then sell them. I have found some others that sell images that they acquired to media companies. These are not little companies. I worked with Cox today. They are a $ 14 billion dollar company. I was dealing with the Director of Cox Media today. He came up with the company that they buy their images from for their prospective sites. Yes, this is the huge Cox communications and cable company. John was very helpful and willing to remove images without a DMCA notice. This shows you that the big boys know what is at stake and the little ones usually go to court and lose at about a 98 percent clip.
I have also been dealing with a couple of other companies that also scrape the web for images and then sell them. It is amazing how much this is going on. I am also dealing with CBS and ABC in New York over images they used, are still using and have scheduled to use. It seems they also buy images for broadcast from another scrapper. This is the big time for people to deal with, as you are talking to the legal department of huge media corporations about infringing on your work. Proceed with caution.
Now something that is in common with all of these is getting information that may or may not be correct. All of us are guilty of telling people something that we intended to do and did not or we told them something we believed and found out later it was not true. The guilty people look for exceptions and ways to cover it up. If you do that and there is no intent, just admit you made a mistake and get over it. If you told them something you knew was wrong and had intent to deceive, that is a lie.
See the definition from dictionary.com.
Lie: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth;
I am using the Honeymoon Island Sunset photo as the example because it is the most infringed image I have that I currently know about. It is not the only infringed image. So be prepared to be told things that are not true but always remember that just because you later find something to be false does not mean it was a lie, it may have simply been a misstatement or a confused communication. Give it a chance to be something other than someone deceiving you. Check the intent. I have stated several times that intent is the big issue for me. That is why some people get by with just a simple take down or just a citing and others are going to have to defend themselves.
If you do things correctly you will get a reputation of being fair and just in the treatment of people who infringe your work. I have been referred from several companies to others with no issues as I try to treat people fairly. All I ask in return is to be treated that why also. You will find that chief counsels, vice presidents and CEOs all will treat you that way unless you give them a reason not to do so. Just be yourself, have the facts straight and not tilted one way or another and you will do fine. Try to play them and you will get a serious fight. Be honest, sincere and if you make a mistake say so. They make mistakes also. Do not be afraid to admit it. They actually like people who are confident enough to admit mistakes. People in those positions are weary of people who try to convince them that they do not make mistakes or are not confident enough to admit them. People who do not admit mistakes are normally scared and trying to hide being afraid. Do not do that it will hurt you in the long run big time. Also remember to understand that people who do that may just be afraid and scared so give them the chances to correct the issue they created. Most people do not want to infringe. If they do they will try to correct it.
Something else to consider, the private individuals did the infringing themselves. The corporate people had nothing to do with their company infringements in most cases. Almost every case I have done is in a owned company or division that did something that they were not supposed to be doing. Do not get mad at the people that you are dealing with, even the individuals. People are allowed to make mistakes, the issue is whether they admit them and try to correct the issues that they caused. As Jesus said at the well, you without sin cast the first stone. We all have screwed things up somewhere or somehow, be patient but do not be stupid.
Some relevant quotes all from Mark Twain:
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.”
“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”
Good advice for the work on the infringements and for life in general.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. These are my personal opinions and general information only. This is not legal advice and should not be used as such.