Getty Images, Copyright Law, and You…

Some Websites For Printers clients have recently received a notice from Getty Images regarding the use of one of their copyrighted photos in the Printer@Work email newsletter. In this letter, Getty is requesting a settlement amount of a few hundred to, in some cases, over a thousand dollars for the “unlicensed” use of this image. This has prompted a number of calls to our office asking for advice/resolution in this matter. Here are the nuts-to-bolts facts in this matter:

  1. All of the content provided on your website by Marketing Ideas for Printers is licensed by us for your use on your Websites For website, The Buzz social media feeds, and Ink Inc. direct mail marketing newsletters. Because of this, rest assured, you are completely and legally in the right here.
  2. The content in question (a photo of a mother and daughter in front of a washing machine) that has triggered the “Getty Letter” is provided for use by a syndication service we use for the Consumer Reports publication. This image is licensed for distribution through the syndicator’s feeds, and it is completely legal for you to display this image on your website as per our syndication agreement.
  3. In recent months, Getty Images has stepped up their copyright enforcement of web images. They are currently using web search agents to scour the internet for images within their libraries, and check those websites against their list of licenses for the work. Those sites that do not have a license agreement for the image in question are automatically sent the letter demanding payment for use.
  4. Since you are not directly licensed by Getty Images to use the image (due to the syndication licensing the image from Getty for your use), this has triggered the “Getty Letter”.

We are working with the syndication service to help resolve this issue with Getty, and Getty is quickly sending letters dismissing the accusations as soon as they are notified of the mistake. If you need assistance in resolving this issue with Getty Images, we’ve set up a hot-line for our customers to email at to help us notify Getty and resolve this issue quickly.