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I’ve received a threatening letter from an image library, what can I do?

As soon as you receive a threatening letter you must investigate the facts and evidence. Do you (or your website developer) have a receipt for the use of the images? If so then you need to show this to the stock library. Even if you don’t have a receipt it does not mean that you have infringed someone’s copyright and a specialist lawyer can advise you further. SEEK OUT A SPECIALIST solicitor. This is a complex area of law and not something many lawyers are familiar with. We recommend Liz Ward at Virtuoso Legal on 0844 800 8871
Liz Ward says;

" Getty are sending out threatening letters demanding money with menaces to innocent people who have used their images. Getty, Corbis and others are tracking down website companies with their image(s) on and asking for royalties to be paid. Often the person receiving the letter hasn't even posted the image on their website, but Getty says that doesn't matter and of course under the laws of copyright they are technically correct. BUT the way they demand hundreds of pounds from small businesses is completely unfair and oppressive. There are ways to avoid any Court action but it depends on writing the right sort of letter to defend the matter. The guys at www.copyrightinfringement.org.uk have got some brilliant techniques for dealing with this and helping bringing peace of mind to the recipients."

It is good advice to remove the image - without admitting liability - until you can establish the facts around the alleged infringement. You would be well advised not to ignore the demands as this can be seen as an admission of liability. We can let you have a letter of response and further information as to how to curtail any liability..

Why use your template letter rather than go to a solicitor?

Clearly if you go to a specialist lawyer you should get good tailored advice. BUT most people want to dispose of these sorts of claims quickly and inexpensively. If you go to a lawyer they will have to comply with all the regulatory obligations imposed on them by the Law Society. This will mean subjecting you to Money Laundering scrutiny, sending you a client care letter and charging you an hourly rate. All very well if you are a big company with lots at stake but not suitable for many small businesses or individuals and prohibitively expensive. Hence our standard letters. We KNOW they work and when you speak to us we will explain what you need to put and why it works. Please note that we are very careful who we speak to. The reason for this is that we don’t want image libraries to stop us – and they will! Their threatening letters are a great source of income and we’re here to stop this type of unreasonable behaviour. For this reason we will ask you to do the following:

1.Email a scanned letter from the image library together with ALL your contact details, name address telephone number to us at  If you info@copyrightinfringement.org.uk can’t scan and email, then please post the letter and your details to us at:

Copyright Infringement

Belle Vue Cottage

Belle Vue Lane

Guilden Sutton

Chester CH3 7EJ

2..Call us on 01244 300 811 or 07802 899091 to discuss payment options and the next steps.

3.Let us deal with the correspondence with Getty and we shall send you copies of the letters to and from us.

Is that it?

Our experience to date is that Getty have not pursued the claims against people we have helped.








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