I need a legal advice because I think I am being sued for copyright infringement.
When i need images to use in my website I always use google search, and I understand as a website owner I have to deal sometimes with copyright complaints from many annoying photographers, so whenever i get DMCA letter, i always comply and I remove and replace the images, and this is always the end of the story, and I never had any troubles.
I got an e-mail while ago from some photography company “Boxist.com / Photographer: Sam Mugraby” regarding an image that I am using in my website with the following demands: “Cease and desist demand and offer to settle copyright infringement claim”, they are asking 200$ for the image which they claiming copyright for it, and they say they wish to resolve this matter directly without a court action, I asked for a proof of copyright, and apparently they have own the image and it’s registered with the copyright office, so I have removed the image, but there no way I am going to pay this amount of money for a photo that I will not be using! so removing the image is the best they can get from me.
Few months later, I have received a “LETTER OF INTENT TO SUE” with more threats and demands, their settlement price has multiplied by ten because they say have a lawyer involved now, I read on some forums that the best way is always to ignore such letters, so I have ignored the letters.
Now, I just got served a (SUMMONS IN A CIVIL ACTION and COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND) notifying me that the complaint has been served and listing the date of the first court appearance for the lawsuit !!!!
Can they sue me for that?, I have done nothing wrong, it just a picture, there is no harm done here, it’s not my fault google images is showing the image, people can view and download images from google for free, they should go after big companies such as google, not me ! also was no copyright symbol on the image, and i have removed the image from my website when i have been notified, do I need to see lawyer now? is it safe to ignore the court summons and things will just go away?