For the second time in a week, Getty has been hit with a lawsuit claiming misuse of thousands of images. The latest claim, filed by ZUMA Press, alleges copyright infringement for unauthorized reproduction, sale and public display of about 47,000 sports images.
ZUMA says in its claim that Getty copied the images, and placed them on its website for licensing to the public without permission or consent. The acts of infringement “have been willful, intentional, and purposeful,” the agency says in it’s claim. ZUMA also accuses Getty of “intentionally and knowingly” altering and/or removing ZUMA’s copyright information, and replacing it with Getty’s own credit.
ZUMA is seeking unspecified actual damages and any profits Getty has earned from the unauthorized licensing of the images in question. ZUMA is also seeking up to $25,000 for each instance of falsified or altered copyright information.
“We were surprised at the quantity of images they have, and we don’t know how they got them,” says ZUMA CEO Scott Mc Kiernan. He declined to say how ZUMA learned about the alleged infringements.
In court papers, ZUMA says: “Getty has been carelessly and recklessly acquiring content, not doing due diligence and not taking adequate measures to prevent infringement as well as falsifying/removing proper copyright management information.”
ZUMA alleges that “almost two hundred complaints” have been filed against Getty with the Washington State Attorney General’s office and says, “Getty has shown that it cannot and will not reform on its own accord.”
Getty declined to comment on the specifics of ZUMA’s claim, but said in a prepared statement that it “has robust processes in place to ensure that content on our site has the necessary permissions and licenses.”
Getty was sued for copyright violations last week by photographer Carol Highsmith. She claims Getty swept up more than 18,000 images she has donated over the years to the Library of Congress, removed her copyright information from those images, and licensed them without her consent. Highsmith’s intent was to make the images available free of charge for public use. She is seeking $1 billion in damages for removal and/or alternation of her copyright information from the images.
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