QLD Got an extortion letter of demand from KodakOne and Ryde about images

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TruthSeeker

Member
3 November 2019
2
0
1
Hello guys,

Good day.


We just received a surprising letter of demand from Ryde / KodakOne from Germany asking for an unreasonable amount of money, 900 Euros, for an image on a website used by us. We have no idea how the image was up there except for the possibility that a sub contracted web designer or developer put it up quite some time ago.


KodakOne and Ryde emailed us a series of screenshots, as well as a letter of demand demanding that we pay them or "face the consequences".


We had googled around about Getty images etc and read that most infringers would only want to pay the fair market value. The amount demanded from KodakOne and Ryde is just really like extortion, no different from Getty Images and other image companies. This seems like a new company using old style tactics.

We are located outside not in the United States nor are we in the European Union. Upon receiving the letter, we took down the image.

Personally, they could have issued us a cease and desist letter instead of right up demanding hundreds of Euros as though they are the mafia and some sort of collection agency.

Can we just ignore them as we consider them to be outright copyright bullies, using scare tactics on even people who might have innocently and unknowingly infringe upon their "copyrights"?

Will they sue us outside of Europe and US or will they just buzz off if we completely ignore their unreasonable demands for hundreds of euros for a single image?

If they had asked nicely using a fair market value system, we might have replied to them.

We ignored the their email and we received a 2nd email after that from KodakOne and Ryde, threatening us with "legal action" if we do not pay up.


This is simply unacceptable.

We had also googled and came across "The Prenda Law" in the States, where the extortion scheme backfired very badly with a severe prison term handed out.


So we have a few choices

a) Totally ignore this crap
(We did not know the image was copyrighted (they had yet to show absolute proof) and even if it was copyrighted, we probably did it very unknowingly, and the demand of hundreds of euros is outrageous and appears to be a form of extortion)

b) Consult an attorney / lawyer (that costs money and the money should in theory be billed to them since they are the ones who started extorting big amounts of money)

3) Fire an email back to KodakOne and Ryde but we guess that will only prolong their harassment?

We are not in the EU and USA, so will these jerks still waste their bloody time on us if we just ignore all their ridiculous extortion letters of demand asking for hundreds of euros for a single image?

Seriously, the Prenda Law should be applied to them and these modern day extortionists should be sent to prison. They might have received a better response had they asked for fair market prices but considering the huge backlash from tens of thousands of angry recipients, do you think they will even initiate tens of thousands of lawsuits worldwide? Are they nuts?

Let me know your thoughts and recommendations as they have threatened to escalate to their legal department. We will NOT go down without fighting when we are being asked to pay hundreds of Euros for a single image which we have no idea why it was there. We might even counter sue them for extortion, harassment, wasting our productive time etc. for millions of Euros in damages to us.

Do note that we are not in the EU nor the United States.


Alistair Roy
 

Louise4007

Well-Known Member
8 November 2015
64
14
224
SA
Short Answer ..


a) Ignore their "crap" .. and block them to prevent further emails being sent to you. You have infringed copyright, even if you downloaded it inadvertently, however the extent you reproduced the material and the effect of the images' value appear to be negligible or non existent so, only if the Kodak One and Ryde image was or, is a copyrighted work at all would determine whether or not you could be successfully sued. If it is, or was, you would have needed to use the image extensively and for substantial financial gain for a case against you to be successful. The onus of proof would be on Kodak One and Ryde. From the information you provide, It appears you downloaded the image inadvertently and removed it as soon as you knew about it. Neither did you purposely use their image to make substantial sums of money from it. Doubtful they could make a successful case against you based on the facts provided.

International copyright law does not automatically protect a copyrighted work worldwide. Generally though, if a work is protected under copyright law in the US, it is protected in most countries. This is because 100+ countries are signatories to the Berne Convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Text 1971). So, Germany is a signatory to this treaty, meaning that if the Kodak One and Ryde image is in fact copyrighted material, you have infringed copyright as described above despite which country you live in.

The Berne Convention, Article 2 (4), (6) and (7) sets out the principle of National treatment which allows a courts of a country to apply their own national law to acts of copyright that occur within that country rather than under a foreign law. This means that if the country where you infringed copyright is a signatory to the Berne Convention, this rule would apply.

In Prenda, Hansmeier and Steele created fictitious businesses to get copyrights of porno films, bought those rights as well as created x rated movies to be distributed through file sharing websites. At the same time they encouraged people to download them. Then they would file copyright lawsuits to get personal info about who downloaded the hardcore material. Once obtained, the downloading infringers were threatened with legal action unless they paid up. There seem to be some similarities in your experiences and Prenda, but not in terms of encouraging others to download. It is on a much smaller scale.
 

TruthSeeker

Member
3 November 2019
2
0
1
Hi Louise,

Thanks for your 1st responder.

We did an intensive Google search and here is what we found so far.


ABOUT KODAK ONE, RYDE



Here are some links about this company and its past. All kind and compassionate lawyers, please take a look. They seem to operate on a similar business model as Getty Images and other similar companies, who sent out tens of thousands of demand letters, demanding exorbitant sums of money for images that should be at fair value as believed by the vast majority of the people.


KodakCoin and Kodak Kashminers (It seems that their KodakCoin had failed and that part had been removed from their KodakOne page)


The KodakCoin ICO failed, and now everyone wants their money

'Worthless': Research Firm Levels Kodak ICO With Withering Indictment

The Kodak KashMiner's Flashy Debut Ends In Failure - CoinDesk


Payment Delays (There were allegations that they did not pay their staff and contractors on time)


KODAKOne / KODAK ICO Blockchain Refuses to Pay Its Staff – Armel Nene

Report: Contractors Threaten to Sue KodakOne over Outstanding Fees

https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/11/20/kodakone-cryptocurrency-blockchain-suit/


OTHER RELATED NEWS ABOUT KODAKONE


https://decrypt.co/4436/a-kodakone-moment

https://amycastor.com/2019/01/11/af...platform-kodakone-still-has-a-lot-to-explain/

https://stockdaymedia.com/biotech/i...ation-activities-in-5m-strategic-partnership/
(This seems to be interesting. Two companies operating on a similar business model creating an alliance ?)


We might be following up with more revelations to pour out our thoughts as this has been a very irritating experience for us that really pisses us off big time.

It seems that KodakOne / Ryde has sent out thousands of demand letters to users worldwide.

We frown greatly upon those using these kinds of IP trolling business models to generate income. Surely karma/God's judgment will catch up with them sooner or later by sending demand letters, invoices and legal threats to thousands of recipients (some are even very small businesses or innocent bloggers) asking for a ridiculous amount of money for 1 image or a few images.

Alistair Roy