Love letters from Getty

I received a letter through the post from Getty Images. Apparently I had used one of their images on my website and they were demanding nearly £1,000 in “compensation”. I nearly shat myself when I read that letter. Below is a copy of the letter and the subsequent email correspondence.

From: Dr Dave L. Prous
Sent: Friday, April 3, 2009 11:21 AM
To: licensecomplianceuk@gettyimages.com
Subject: unauthorized use of image

Dear Mr Getty,

Thank you for your letter and your kind offer to let me to pay you £894.20. Unfortunately I will have to decline this offer because I have no money. I did phone my local hospital to ask if I could sell one of my kidneys but they told me they are no good pickled and that I should stop drinking.

Kind Regards

Dr Dave Liam Prous
Lord of the Sith
The Swamp
Dagobah
THX 1138

From: licensecomplianceuk@gettyimages.com
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 15:44 PM
To: Dr Dave L. Prous
Subject: RE: unauthorized use of image

Dear Dr Prous,

Thank you for your email. Getty Images cannot be held responsible for your financial position and we maintain our claim for damages of £894.20 (plus IRL VAT).

Getty Images must receive compensation for the prior unauthorised use. Getty Images is willing to accept £794.20 (plus IRL VAT) in settlement if payment in full is received by April 28, 2009. Getty Images makes this offer without prejudice and reserves all rights and remedies available under copyright law. If your company is VAT registered, please provide your VAT number so the VAT can be deducted.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Laura Kingsley
Copyright Compliance Specialist
Getty Images License Compliance

From: Dr Dave L. Prous
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:26 AM
To: licensecomplianceuk@gettyimages.com
Subject: RE: unauthorized use of image

Dear Mrs Getty,

Firstly let me apologise for referring to you as Mr Getty in my first email. It is sexist to assume that you are a man, especially in this day and age of equal rights, and I really hope you can forgive me.

Thank you for yet another kind offer. I can’t afford that either because I have just bought myself some Oakley sun glasses. I can’t believe how expensive those things are! Anyway, given that I don't know what image you are referring to and if I did indeed use an image it would have either been an accident or due the fact that I was under the influence of illegal Class A drugs at the time I'm affraid I will have to claim ignorance on this matter. Also, can you clarify what you mean by claiming damages? I have no recollection of damaging any image and I can assure you I reserve all my violence for those Jehovahs Witnesses that keep knocking on my door asking me to stop worshiping Satan and join their cult. If you would be so kind as to let me know which image you are banging on about I will remove it and then go and flush my head down the toilet and whip myself with spikey wire like that albino bloke out of the da Vinci code for being so ignorant. Would this suffice? It would certainly mean less hassle for both of us.

Thanks

Dr Dave Liam Prous
Lord of the Rings
The Swamp
Dagobah
THX 1138

From: licensecomplianceuk@gettyimages.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 16:35 PM
To: Dr Dave L. Prous
Subject: RE: unauthorized use of image

Dear Dr Prous,

Thank you for your email. Copyright exists in an image upon the moment of creation and you must obtain permission prior to use. Although the removal of the image is appreciated, Getty Images must receive compensation for the prior use. Getty Images must receive £894.20 (plus IRL VAT).

Getty Images strongly recommends that you take this matter seriously. Failure to comply may result in legal action.

Sincerely,

Laura Kingsley
Copyright Compliance Specialist
Getty Images License Compliance

From: Dr Dave L. Prous
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:26 AM
To: licensecomplianceuk@gettyimages.com
Subject: RE: unauthorized use of image

Dear Lord Getty,

Firstly, thanks for waiting until the 28th April deadline has passed before responding. I appreciate these are difficult times we live in now and you're probably not making any money by selling poor quality images to rubbish designers and this is the only way your company is making any money but I think that was a bit below the belt.

The thought of legal action is certainly worth thinking about. I certainly don’t want to end up in prison because I hear they make you pick up the soap. Given that I’m not exactly a butch fellow, the thought of being a sex slave of Mr Big fills me with dread.

As I am now living in a cardboard box in the street and my only income is from the occasional pennies that passersby drop in the tray next to me, I obviously can’t afford to pay you. Instead I have attached a self portrait of myself that I will happily give you permission to use in your library. I value the image at £894.20 (+ Irish VAT). I hope this exchange will bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion.

Lots of Love

Dr Dave Liam Prous
Lord of the Dance
The Swamp
Dagobah
THX 1138

From: licensecomplianceuk@gettyimages.com
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 16:35 PM
To: Dr Dave L. Prous
Subject: RE: unauthorized use of image

Dear Dr Prous,

Getty Images will not accept imagery as an alternative source of payment.

Getty Images' position remains unchanged. Getty Images continues to maintain its unauthorised use claim in the amount of £894.20 (plus IRL VAT). Getty Images makes this offer without prejudice to its legal rights and remedies available under copyright law, all of which are expressly reserved.

Sincerely,

Laura Kingsley
Copyright Compliance Specialist
Getty Images License Compliance

From: Dr Dave L. Prous
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 09:13 AM
To: licensecomplianceuk@gettyimages.com
Subject: RE: unauthorized use of image

Dear Emperor Getty,

That is a real shame. That was a masterpiece and I put a lot of thought and effort into that drawing. I may have to charge you for labour costs for the time it took me to draw it. Taking into account my hourly rate, I reckon £894.20 (+ IRL VAT) would cover it. Seeing as you are also quoting Irish VAT even though your office is in London (presumably because Irish VAT is more than UK VAT and you may or may not be sleeping with the tax man) I was going to suggest I buy you 358 pints of Guinness to cover the costs but then I remembered I don't have any money so that idea fell flat on its head.

Also, the thought of legal action and time in prison has left me so worried I haven’t been able to sleep for weeks. My face has come out in spots and I have blotches all over my body which my doctor reckons is stress related. I have been in touch with my legal adviser (well he’s not actually a legal adviser but he is some bloke I see down the pub every night and once at an Impotence Anonymous meeting that I attend). He told me that my idea of pleading insanity is a stupid one and I should be ashamed of myself for coming up with something so insane, which I thought was quite ironic. He did however make a valid point that the UK has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

Anyway, I will have to discuss terms for my arrest and possible execution with my legal adviser when he gets out of prison for tax evasion, extortion and first degree murder so I will be back in touch with you within the next 25-30 years.

I thank you in advance for your patience.

Dr Dave Liam Prous
Supreme Overlord
The Swamp
Dagobah
THX 1138



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