So today I want to publish how a US company, called TeeFury, handles a typical copyright infringement.
Weeks ago a fan of my work informed me about a copyright infringement committed by the aforementioned company via their e-mail newsletter. You can see a screenshot of this e-mail here
. The work, shown in the screenshot, is copyrighted by TeeFury and, for sure, me.
The stolen photo is 'Deep Silence
As usual in such cases I wrote a invoice with a typical fee to TeeFury via the contact form found on their website. The period for the payment elapsed and I wrote the first payment-reminder.
It took the time of bill and this payment-reminder until they replied me personal by e-mail at all. Now a e-mail correspondence began with a employee of Tee Fury. He wrote the following:"(...) The production of our newsletter is outsourced to an independent firm. That firm has informed me that they obtained it from a website that was not connected to you and included no attribution to you. As a result, there was no way for them (or us) to know that the photo was copyrighted or that you owned the copyright. (...)"
I replied that it's not necessary who (TeeFury itself or the independent firm) has stolen the photo because this newsletter has been published in TeeFury's name and they are accountable for it. I replied also that it's not necessary where they took my photo. So I write that if somebody wants to use a photo this person have to be sure that this work isn't copyrighted - if he can't do that he can't use this photograph (without a risk).
Now they replied:"(...) The only thing I can offer you if you have interest is a one time payment of $ XXX US. (...)"
This offered payment was around 30 % of the original price I demanded. So I replied that this is absolutely arrant and we aren't on a marketplace. I mean if you got caught by justice would you say: "I will pay you two apples and an egg."
The last e-mail I received:"(...) Unfortunately your analogy does not represent what happened. You can't say somebody stole anything when our vendor 1) had no idea this was you photo, 2) it wasn't taken from your personal website. (...) There really are no damages to you personally as we did not sell your photo nor did we profit from using it once in a email newsletter. My legal counsel had advised me not to offer you anything, I was simply trying to be nice and resolve your situation and your apparent frustration. (...)"
I answered, again, that it isn't necessary where they found my photo. Also there has been a damage because they've used the work and this company has, even with the newsletter, commercial intentions.
Because a court case would be unaffordable all I can do is to inform you, fellow deviants, about their practice.