Well, I finally got my hand slapped! I didn't think it would ever happen to me, but it did. In my defense, I can say that I was ignorant at first about the internet rules. I honestly didn't know that you must pay for using copyrighted photos. Really, I didn't. However, as time went on and I learned more, I did hear that if you use a photo on your website, you should gain permission and purchase the rights, if possible.
So, going forward, after I heard that, I did not use copyrighted pictures on my website and I did my due diligence to find out if they were restricted before I used them.
So, fast forward 3+ years...I get an email from a collection company for a cartoon publishing company. This is part of that letter:
"Our goal in contacting you is to identify an active license for this use, if one exists. If you do not have an active license for the use of this imagery, we request that you remove the imagery from your website and contact us.
Please be aware that removal of the imagery will not resolve this issue. We do require payment of a settlement for past usage of the imagery at issue."
(I hope they don't come after me for quoting from their letter!)
At first, I was in denial. I could not believe I was getting a letter accusing me of doing something illegal! The funny thing was that my mind immediately recalled the cartoon they were referencing - possibly because that was the only time I did that, or, it was so funny it made a lasting impact on me. Either way, I knew I had to follow up on this allegation, so I first contacted the cartoon company to verify that this email was from a valid 3rd party. You must always be aware of scammers.
Once that was verified, I then found the site where the cartoon was. I ran into another brick wall - I didn't have access to that website anymore. So, I contacted the company who sent the email and told them my issue. The nice young lady on the phone recommended that I not pay the $110 - yes, $110 for one cartoon, one old cartoon - until I got the cartoon down off the website. Otherwise, if they did another scan and found it again, I would have to pay again.
So, I went on my internet journey to find the source of the website and, fortunately for me, it did not take long and I gained access to have it removed. Quickly I took it down, went online and paid the bill, and it was done, over, just like that.
Lesson learned. Don't use other people's copyrighted cartoons or any other data! Giggy has spoken! 🙂
However, you can have access to my free ebook anytime you want! Take Back Your Power! Click here now!
Blessings and remember, I believe in you!
P.S. Here is my link to Stock Unlimited, a site where you can pay a fee and have unlimited access to all the cartoons you want. http://www.stockunlimited.com/#eyJpZCI6MjYwNjd9