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Old 08-08-2017, 11:00 AM
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Andrew Aronstein
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Default Huge lawsuit over stolen sports related Getty images

Many of us like to use 8x10's to acquire autos. PLEASE do yourselves a favor and be sure you're purchasing photos produced by a licensee of the leagues.

Right now there is a huge lawsuit happening involving several people who were selling stolen Getty images via private autograph collecting facebook groups like "Autographs 101." People would then send those stolen images to a printing service to have the images made into 8x10's, or resell the digital image files themselves. Unfortunately, many of the larger shows in the country also print their own images and many are stolen from Getty Images.

Of course, all of this is illegal on several levels, including but not limited to computer fraud and copyright infringement, Take a look:





Source for original article:
https://www.law360.com/articles/948993

NY Man Agrees To Pay $21.3M Over Stolen Getty Pics Scheme
By Dorothy Atkins

Law360, San Francisco (July 28, 2017, 1:44 PM EDT) -- A New York man has agreed to pay Getty Images Inc. $21.3 million to end allegations he sold stolen login database credentials to a co-conspirator who then downloaded thousands of copyrighted images and used them to run an illegitimate business on Facebook, according to court documents filed in Ohio federal court on Thursday.

Citing the settlement, U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. signed a consent judgment Thursday on two counts brought under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act against Larry Hebeler and tossed the rest of the claims against him without awarding attorneys’ fees.

The consent judgment is the latest development in a June 2016 lawsuit Getty Images originally launched against Walter A. Kowalczuk, alleging he ran an illegal business that sold stolen images owned or licensed by Getty Images through a private Facebook group named “Autographs 101.”

In November, Getty Images amended its complaint, naming 13 additional defendants, including Hebeler and Larry Barnes, who downloaded up to 127 of the stolen images.Since then, seven co-conspirators have agreed to pay Getty Images $15,000 each, and in February, Kowalczuk agreed to pay $14 million to resolve allegations against him, according to the docket. On Thursday, Barnes also agreed to pay $25,000 to end allegations against him.

Getty Images has dropped claims against one of the named defendants, and claims are still pending against two of the remaining defendants: Jaysen Moslehi, who was the administrator of the Facebook group, and Jamie Blye, who acted as a runner for Kowalczuk and shared in the proceeds, according to the complaint.

Getty Images was tipped off about the illegal Facebook group in March 2016 and shortly after discovered that Kowalczuk was using the group to sell stolen Getty Images photographs of popular professional sports teams and athletes, the suit said.
Between March and April 2016, Kowalczuk allegedly committed "massive" copyright infringement, downloading more than 3,400 Getty Images photos from its database using stolen login credentials provided by Hebeler, the suit said.

Hebeler had sold Kowalczuk the login credentials using multiple aliases on the site SportsCollectors.net, including “Norm,” “Jerseys4me,” “DaBills24” and “John Peters,” the suit claimed.

Meanwhile, co-conspirators in the Facebook group would select and purchase the stolen photos through Facebook’s private messaging service, referring to the stolen Getty Images photographs using the code word “spaghetti” in an effort to hide their illegal activities. They also shared stolen images from the Associated Press, which they referred to as “apples,” according to the complaint.

The suit notes that Getty Images owns some of its images, but it also serves as a distributor for more than 200,000 artists, photographers and other content suppliers, who retain the copyrights to their images. Getty Images restricts the number of reproductions users can make of an image and how much the reproductions cost, according to the suit.

Counsel and representatives for Getty Images didn’t immediately respond Friday to requests for comment. Hebeler also didn't immediately respond Friday to requests for comment.

Getty Images is represented by Scott T. Wilsdon, Elizabeth Weinstein and Jeremy E. Roller of Yarmuth Wilsdon PLLC, and Robert E. Chudakoff and Paul R. Harris of Ulmer & Berne LLP.

Hebeler represented himself.

The case is Getty Images Inc. v. Kowalczuk et al., case number 1:16-cv-01400, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
--Editing by Jack Karp.
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Last edited by TCMA; 08-08-2017 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:24 AM
Fballguy Fballguy is offline
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Quote:
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Hebeler represented himself.

$21.3 Million? I'm guessing Hebeler is wishing he hired a lawyer.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:52 PM
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Yes, it's not as if they got the images via google. You can see Getty's images via google, but they have watermarks. He had to be officially approved (I assuming having to demonstrate that he was in official capacity for the press or a publisher) by Getty just to get access to their image database.

I was once considering getting Corbis images for a book and went through the process. Though I never actually used or purchased on one the images (ain't cheap).

Plus, I would assume in most to all cases Getty has the images for publishing/press purposes only, and doesn't allow someone to make them into physical photos to sell-- even when the person paid for the rights to use the images.

And I edit my post to add that I didn't further notice that the login was stolen and the images were bought and sold under covertly using coded words. I'm no expert on the matter, but I would assume using stolen passwords to access a site's protected content is considered hacking . . . As Andrew stated, there are multiple layers.

Brings to mind the Cheers episode where Cliff's dad said he had to leave town because his job had gotten him into a little with the local police. Cliff said "What's your line of work?" and Cliff's dad said "Real estate fraud."

Last edited by drcy; 08-08-2017 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 08-08-2017, 01:51 PM
Mr. Zipper Mr. Zipper is offline
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Who are these guys and how much were they making that they can pay $21.3 and $14 MILLION dollar settlements?!?
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
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Plus, I would assume in most to all cases Getty has the images for publishing/press purposes only, and doesn't allow someone to make them into physical photos to sell-- even when the person paid for the rights to use the images.
100% correct! That's why it's so crazy that a lot of prints from Getty Images can be found at shows being offered by the people hosting the signings. Very few people would know how to identify those images though, so the general public is unaware.
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