This is an archive of a consumer complaint published against AgeFotoStock.com at Scamity.com on 28-May-15.
Business Details –
- Name: AgeFotoStock.com
- Address: 40 Wall St
- City: New York
- State: New York
- Country: United States
- Phone: 212-625-9000
- Website: http://www.agefotostock.com/
Original Complaint against AgeFotoStock.com published at Scamity.com on 28-May-15 says, verbatim –
A client of mine received a strange legal email from of agefotostock.com titled: Unauthorized Use of age fotostock Imagery – Case Number xxxxxxxx (Ref: – xxxxxxxx) | They demanded payment for some photograph on my client’s website or face fines and possible copyright infringement actions. | The email stats the following: | age fotostock, a global provider of digital imagery, has noticed its represented imagery being used on your company’s website. According to our records there is no valid license issued to your company for the use of the image(s). | Using imagery of age fotostock without a valid license is considered copyright infringement and entitles age fotostock to seek compensation for infringing uses. (Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code) | To view the image(s) in question together with proof evidencing your use of these images on your website, go to: https://LCS.agefotostock.com/ xxxxxxxx | As an example, see below age fotostock’s image ” xxxxxxxx ” as used on your website: xxxxxxxx | You are requested to take action within 10 business days of the date of this email, as follows: | If your company has a valid license / authorization for the use of the imagery, please email the license purchase / authorization information to [email protected] | If your company does not have a valid license / authorization for the use of the imagery: | A xxxx settlement payment should be remitted (see payment options below). | We are willing to offer you, ex gratia, a 20% discount off the abovementioned settlement payment amount, provided that you submit payment within 10 business days of the date of this email. Failure to do so will result in the settlement amount being returned to its original amount upon the expiration of the aforesaid time period | Cease using the imagery immediately | Ceasing use of the imagery does not release your company of its responsibility to pay for the imagery already used. As the unauthorized use has already occurred, payment for that benefit is necessary | You may have been unaware that this imagery was subject to license. However, copyright infringement can occur regardless of knowledge or intent. While being unaware of license requirements is unfortunate, it does not change liability | Find further information in the FAQ section at https://LCS.agefotostock.com/ | | Upon researching the issue, it turned out that this is another company posing as or collaborating with ageofstock and they are called picscout. They send these emails in mass numbers and it seems like many web site owners already got similar emails. The internet is actually full of negative comments about picscout and how they keep hitting servers with their robots looking for images their clients claim to own the right to. | All the images my client has on his website are licensed from another vendor and this company is basically running a scam – scaring website owners with some legal BS. | First of all, ageofstock licenses their photos to a dozen or more other vendors so it is no coincidence that my client bought his licenses from some other vendor. | Secondly, ageofstock has watermarks on all their photos so what the hell are they thinking? Website owners who happen to have un-watermarked versions of their photos must have paid for it somehow! | Third, who keeps records of old image licenses forever and what if someone lost their receipt! IMHO, it is the company’s burden to keep better records on who paid for what or come up with a better billing solution than send a third party to harass random websites and paid customers – putting the burden on them to find old receipts. | Fourth, the photographers that contribute stock photos to one agency are not necessarily under an exclusive license and could be providing the same photos to other agencies, who in turn license them to customers. What gives one agency the right to claim ownership of a photograph that has been licensed to multiple agencies is a bit sketchy. | Finally and according to many webmasters, picsout is not adhering to robots.txt standards and is using multiple crawlers with multiple or no identifiers from IP addresses as far as Israel to go under the radar and crawl websites that specifically prohibit them. | One thing I know for sure that I will never use ageofstock (not that I ever heard of them before until I saw the email) or any other company that incorporates such sleazy tactics. | Out of curiosity, I called AGE Stock then realized that they have a virtual office in NY of some sort and the lady who answered had no clue to what I was referring to. More to the point that this is nothing but an attempt to bring in some money to AGE – in any way possible! I all for protecting the intellectual property rights of people but this is bad business imho… Picscout is nothing more than a collection agency that is borderline unethical and sleazy.