South Weymouth, MA asked in Copyright for Massachusetts

Q: I'm getting email threats by an IP law firm in CA over an innocent mistake I made 7 yrs ago experimenting with HTML site

7 years ago, while a newly trained massage therapist I made a site for my "future dream practice" using an HTML template. I didn't know then about copyright for images online. I picked some random images from google just to use as placeholders to substitute the empty gray placeholder images that came with the template. I was using an HTML editor (Dreamweaver) which posts everything to the site's domain. My business never came to be and I had a series of traumas right after my experiment and I forgot that the site and pictures were still up there, partly thinking that since it was a site for a "dead idea" and not a real business that there wasn't any urgency to take them down. I even thought at the time that the pictures were free to use since they were taken from Google Images... I'm getting emails demanding $5000 from the firm in CA. I'm a dead broke restaurant server on unemployment, with a net worth of under $1000. Please help :)

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1 Lawyer Answer
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: You should consider consulting with an attorney.

Unless you stopped paying for hosting or the domain name it is difficult to think that the website is not active.

Regardless you should remove all offending material ASAP.

You may want to negotiate with them, hopefully without paying anything.

These guys are lawsuit factories, their goal is to extract money from offending parties.

On the other hand you are un-sueable, meaning you have no assets, so they will never get any money from you.

Definitely talk to an attorney, it is worth it.

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