Can PicRights sue is a question that some people on the internet are wondering when they receive a letter from PicRights demanding payment for the use of a copyrighted image. PicRights is considered a copyright troll, which means that they help certain clients collect money for unauthorized use of images.
Some of their clients are Routers, AP and other photographers who are pretty well-known. The thing about PicRights is that they are a company that searches the web for images and sends out mass letters. They have so many different people that they try to go after that they’re only aiming for the smaller 10 to 20% of the people that actually respond to them. This ends up being quite profitable when you scale it.
So can PicRights sue?
That depends on the nature of the infraction and when they feel like they can get money out of you. They have been successful in some cases, but in most cases, people who ignore them often times do not face any repercussions. The initiative to sue would require them believing that they can get a winning case in court and an actual judgment against you and that you will pay that.
Often times it doesn’t make financial sense to spend time going after people when you could just go after the people who are willing to pay right away through fear. That is why the cost is so low often times they’re asking for between $500-$1500.
So if you ignore PicRights, you may still continue to get the notices and threats but the chances of you getting a lawsuit is pretty slim. If you do get a lawsuit from a national law firm that can be quite problematic, as you are required to appear in court or to answer to the demand letters which can be timely and can be quite a problem if you don’t respond.
It’s recommended to remove the image(s) from your website immediately after getting the notice from PicRights. Delete the page that the image was on, and remove the image from your website database completely. By doing this, you essentially erase the evidence of using the image and question and make them show the proof of burden on them to prove that you did have it on your website during a certain specific time.
This can be somewhat tricky, because how can they actually prove this?
They do take screenshots of your website and archive those but frankly those could be manipulated and there’s really no way to actually prove that it was on the website at specific time. The only thing I can think of that would allow them to prove this would be archive.org
You may want to check archive.org to see if the image has been archived there first before you decide to ignore one of their letters. Another thing to check out is to see if you can find out if the image in question is actually copyrighted or not. A copyrighted image has a much higher chance of winning a default against someone who uses it without licensing it properly.
So if that’s the case, she may wanna go ahead and just license the image and then respond to PicRights letting them know that you have a license for the image. This may be the quickest way to resolve the issue or you may just wanna ignore it all together.
I think paying them is definitely the last option that you may want to think about depending on what your situation is. If you need help after receiving a PicRights letter fill out the contact form located here. I’d be glad to help you out!
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