I was going to post this a while back, but things always seem to change several times a day anymore. Guess it goes with having too many irons in the fire as they say. The problem is that it seems I never get time to do what I want to do.
The questions do continue about things. I will get to them as I can. One I will answer now and then this article should answer a few more. I really do not choose which questions to answer. I did at one time make a list of them by the amount of times the same information was questioned. The ones in the last article where around a longer time than others. I felt that since some are not going to be able to see the magazine site or book site anymore I would answer those. I am not expanding on those answers as I had really not planned on answering them anyway. I did not want the readers who are now blocked to feel their questions were not answered.
The real question here is why did they infringe in the first place? That is for you to think about. They will probably make a lot of excuses once they see they are in trouble. One other note, the attorneys will most certainly push for the maximum as they get a percentage or large hourly billings. I will give you an example. The person who posted the 30+ photos on Pinterest could be dealt with as a willful infringement. The question is why? The amount of the suit would be staggering and they could not pay it anyway. All it does is create a long drawn out affair and attorneys would drain the pot dry. I have stated many times that if you can deal with it without attorneys you could be better off and faster.
Now what should infringers do? We will get past the fact of infringing, I am going to write this as if I am talking to a person who infringed sitting on the couch or at the kitchen table.
The number one thing is to accept you did it and to remember intent has no place in the discussion. It is not a defense and is not even considered. So what do you do? You need to figure out what your options are before making a decision. You really only have two maybe three options. You need to be realistic not a person who thinks they can beat the system. The system is set up to deal with people like that. So your first option is to do nothing and get sued and write a big check with most of it going to an attorney and the court. Second you can try to find some place to hide but about the only place to do that is fair use and photographs are almost never even considered fair use. That is not a good option because it will lead back to option one. Third option is to deal with the copyright holder. You have two options within the third. One is to hand is over to an attorney and pay them plus any other damages and fees. The other option is to deal with it by contacting the copyright holder and see what kind of deal can be done.
You can always ignore things but they will catch up to you sometime. A copyright holder has 3 years to start action but it does not mean it has to be done in three years. A court filing is enough to remove time limits.
You have some decisions to make and you need to understand that the copyright holder does not have to prove anything. The mistake some people make is to think an infringement has to be exactly the same. It does not. Circumstantial evidence is quite enough. There are many articles that help explain this. Here is one that is pretty good. I think the area of innocent infringement in the article has issues. That is next to impossible to prove with photographs so I will not concern myself with that part of it.
The thing that comes to the forefront is to take responsibility and try to deal with it. I have had several do that. One happened yesterday as a matter of fact. The site owner was asked to email me off site so we could discuss my image on her site. I always ask off site if I can. It keeps the readers out of it. She sent me an email back, apologizing and notifying me that she took it down without me doing anything. I was not going to ask her to take it down as it was used to link to a park that I support. My concern was the ability to enlarge it and copy it. The site also had no copyright notification concerning the images. She was quite surprised because her web designer did not know about it, or maybe just did not want to do the extra work as it means nothing to them. After a couple of emails each I issued her a license for the work to be used on her site even if it becomes monetized. The only restriction is the size; the copyright notice needs to be added to the site. If she uses it for any other purpose, she will have to pay the going rate for usage at that time. She is putting it back up today.
She did it right just like some of the companies have done. You admit it, you apologize for it, and you work on a remedy. Remember though, your thoughts on a remedy in the beginning will probably be a long way off what they want if you drug things out. If the lady in the example above had made me do the work and go after her than it would have cost her at least twice the going rate which is over a thousand dollars.
I hope this helps to get the people who infringe to get realistic about what they did and what can be done to them if they let things go to court. Make your decision but be prepared to pay the price if it is the wrong decision.
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.