Friday, 29 June 2007

Getty Images are Trying to Getty Me!!!

A client of mine had a website designed, the images which were used were believed to be 100% legal. Last summer 2006 my client received a letter from Getty images demanding over £1500 pounds plus VAT for one thumb size image.

Obviously my client was shocked by this unexpected demand from Getty images. To cut a long story short, the webmaster had done everything right, he got permission from a hotel to use their images. Unknowingly the people who design the hotel's website took an image off Getty, how on earth then was my client meant to know. Of course the image was taken down immediately and I contacted Getty Images. They were not in the slightest bit sympathetic to my clients situation, and demanded payment even though the image was only on the site for a few weeks on an internal page.

I have been reading around and found some useful information, I am by no means a lawyer or have any legal training, but by the looks of it there are 1000's of people in the same boat.

Also from the same forum:

Found this on www.sitepoint.com/forums/

The UK Copyright, Patents and Designs Act 1988 states the following

Section 98.—(1) If in proceedings for infringement of copyright in respect of which a licence is available as of right under section 144 (powers exercisable in consequence of report of Monopolies and Mergers Commission) the defendant undertakes to take a licence on such terms as may be agreed or, in default of agreement, settled by the Copyright Tribunal under that section—
(a) no injunction shall be granted against him,
(b) no order for delivery up shall be made under section 99, and
(c) the amount recoverable against him by way of damages or on an account of profits shall not exceed double the amount which would have been payable by him as licensee if such a licence on those terms had been granted before the earliest infringement.


Advice to all...
If you live in the UK and have received a letter/email/telephone call from Getty asking for payment for copyright infringement:

DO:

1. Complain to Trading Standards immediately stating that you have received a very threatening demand for money and believe it to be an illegal scam. If you are any doubt that this is a scam, then take my word, IT IS!
2. If the invoice is charging VAT and has a) A US address and/or b) No VAT number, then report them to UK Customs and Excise. This is highly illegal.
3. Remove your site from the Waybackmachine. Both Getty and Picsout use this to get information. Inform the Waybackmachine that you have removed your site and tell them why - they frown on companies like Getty abusing their free resource.
4. Ignore all posts from photographers on this forum. They have no advice to offer you.


DONT:

1. Contact Getty in any way. Ignore all correspondence. If you have already spoken to them, and have not done so already, dispute the invoice and deny all responsibility.
2. Under no circumstances pay them any money. If you have already paid them, report them to the trading standards and write to them stating that if they don't refund your money you will report them to the police.
3. Speak to a solicitor. In my experience (like most others on this forum) is that advice is bad, conflicting and generally designed to maximise their own income rather than resolve your issue.

In the [very] unlikely event that Getty do take you to court - fight them! Legally, they do not have a leg to stand on!

I am not sure what is true and what is not but one thing is for sure it sounds like Getty's business model is not to make money from selling images but instead to make money from Sueing unsuspecting business owners. Ah the American way you gotta love it!!!

If I was a photographer I would be careful about using such a company. I can totally understand why such a law exists to protect your work, but I think Getty have gone a step to far. It's the small guys like me who used to buy of a company like Getty.

One last bit of advice if you have have been in contact with Getty then ask the for the copyright number for the image, the rates on their website for the period of time in connection and the full contact details for the photographer.

If you want this advice to be found by other people then either bookmark this page or link to it.

I now only use www.photospin.com and www.sxc.hu now for all my images.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Stag Weekends: Honda Pilot Racing

Edinburgh is the preferred destination for hen and stag parties. It is not only its famous pubs and nightlife that draws stag groups to the city but also its wonderful array of outdoor sports and activities.

One of the top favourites is the Honda Pilot, suitable only for the more adventurous - those looking for more thrills than what karting and quad bikes can offer.
The Honda Pilot, a 400cc off road dune buggy, is synonymous with the top end of 'Off Road Karting', and is capable of driving over the most demanding terrain. These small single seaters have the off road ability of a quad bike and are much more robust than outdoor karts. They are equipped with bigger wheels to travel over uneven terrain, a roll bar and cage over the kart itself and a safety harness to keep the driver in the seat. Originally designed for sand dune racing in the US, all controls including brakes, steering and acceleration are controlled via the steering wheel.

Before starting off the drivers are given a full safety briefing; race suits and crash helmets are provided at the course. The event begins with a practice heat which is followed by qualifying heats. Then it’s the real thing – the exciting race against the clock and other drivers to set the fastest time around the custom made track. The drivers must try to remain on the track and keep heading in the right direction which is rather difficult considering the tricky nature of the course.

With Honda Pilots you get an alternative to outdoor karting - off road karting –in a very different vehicle and on more rugged terrain. Honda pilots are the ultimate in challenge for the more daring players

Glasgow Stag Weekends

Glasgow is one of the liveliest and most cosmopolitan destinations in Europe with the most vibrant nightlife in Scotland and the U K's best shopping outside of London. Visitors are always welcome to this city with it’s wealth of cultural attractions and activities. It is easily accessible by road, rail and air.
In Glasgow the most popular elements combine to give you the perfect boy’s weekend. Glyndevalley with its undulating hills and the beautiful East Dunbartonshire area are very popular for stag parties.

Go to Glasgow and you are spoiled for choice. Do you want to have a thrilling adventure? Hit the rapids. You can sit in a one man mini inflated raft and let the daredevil in you take over. Paint ball is a stag weekend favourite that never fails to provide top value entertainment for all the crew.

Try clay pigeon shooting with the help of a qualified instructor. Or why not try your hand at go karting .The fast paced fun of greyhound racing is worth spending an evening on. Other daytime activities include paint ball, health spa, white water rafting, power boating, golf, bowling, rock climbing and Highland Games such as Tossing the Caber.

Glasgow is now seriously cool. There's a bewildering array of superb bars and clubs divided between the West End and City Center districts and all the competition means that prices are cheap as chips. If you're looking for a cracking night out without splashing the moolah, Glasgow is definitely the place.

The numerous bars, clubs and restaurants ensure that there's something for everyone. Enjoy the table dancing from the bonny Scottish lasses, VIP entrance and your first complimentary dance. Or go for a comedy evening where you laugh, get fed and there’s after show music for a dance.

If you go to Glasgow for your stag weekend you can be sure it will be a memorable one.

Edinburgh Stag - Multiactivity day

Edinburgh is a wonderful city that attracts tourists for vastly different reasons, the historians, the scholars, the nature lovers and the stag and hen weekenders. For the last it is a popular destination, not only for its pubs and vibrant nightlife but also because of the wide choice of daytime activities it has to offer.
Any one coming to Edinburgh for their stag weekend can choose from an exhaustive list of fun activities including driving, country sports and outdoor pursuits to keep themselves busy during the day. Rather than sticking to any or two activities the day becomes more enjoyable by the correct choice and combination of various activities. Competitive activities along with classical team building games will make for an eventful day and you get the most from your weekend. Some popular choices are Honda Pilots, karting, clay shooting, and white water rafting.

When booking certain group activities a minimum number of ten or eight in a group is required in most centers. Of course you will have to pay more if you choose more activities, but the larger the group, the lesser the cost. Most centers offer combination packages, but groups can also go for combinations of their own.
When planning a multi activity day the distance between venues must also be taken into consideration, otherwise more time and money might be spend on travel. A group can choose its favourite activities from a vast portfolio of options to meet its specific interests. This selective approach will result in the perfect activities package to suit individual needs.

Booking Rail Tickets For Stag Weekend in Edinburgh

Travelling to Edinburgh by train is a popular method of transport for the stag weekend, as it means you don’t have to take the wheel. Special offers run from time to time and if you book your train tickets, far enough in advance you will benefit either from special offers or “Apex” fares.
You can book railway tickets in Edinburgh, Scotland using online train ticket reservation service. You can make bookings on all Scottish rail services. You also book GNER services between London and Scotland as well as Virgin Rail services.
If you book early enough you will get cheap train tickets to Scotland. A study of the timetable of possible trains as well as ticket tariff will help you to choose your tickets.
Edinburgh's main ticket station is Waverley Station (or Edinburgh Waverley) and the London departure station is London Kings Cross. GNER Is stated to be the best service.
The BritRail Pass gives foreign visitors the freedom to travel England, Scotland, and Wales at their own pace by train. You may choose from a variety of rail options, to find the pass that best fit your needs. If you book in advance you make a saving..
Scot rail too gives different options for a rail traveler to choose from. Bookings can be made online and both Brit Rail and Scot Rail information regarding tickets and their availability can be accessed on line. You can go for any of the various options such as full price tickets, multi-journey tickets, season tickets for commuters railcards, flexipass, group travel one ticket rail and bus, integrated travel or sleeper.
A stag party in Edinburgh will be hassle free if ticket bookings are done in advance.

SEO seems to be just like fishing

SEO to me was very much just like fishing, you sit there for ages waiting for a bite, never knowing if you are in the right place, have the right bait or technique.

Coming from a sales background where results in many cases was instant to SEO where much of your efforts become unnoticed for months sometimes years. Well the key I think is to be patient and methodical.

Like any type of success whether its body building, painting pictures or creating a wonderful garden, it all takes time and a strict routine.

SEO can be very intimidating and misleading with so many forums and guesswork going on, not know which argument is correct. Well here are some basic principles I have picked up over time.

1. KISS - Keep It Short and Simple. The truth still stand that less is more, sites that do well have a clear and concise message and aren't cluttered with extra stuff. I know I leave a site straight away if I see an affiliate banner on a home page.

2. All services and products should be easily accessible, the 3 click theory. It should take 3 clicks to get where you want on a site.

3. Make sure your menu is easy for search engines to follow. Text based links are always best.

4. Go after good quality links. Passed experience has shown the harder it is to get a link from a site generally means the site is better. Try and get relevant sites to link to you, difficult if they are competition.

5. Definitely have a site map, this helps spiders and surfers navigate your site.

6. Write good articles about the industry you are in and submit them to article sites.

7. Bookmark your site on social bookmark sites using widgets

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


8. Keep adding good content to your site.

This is just basic stuff that I do, the main thing is just to be patient and religious in your routine. Happy SEOing

Property is it still a good Investment

I guess many people in my generation ie born in the 7o's are thinking like me, "what the hell am I meant to do about retirement!" I look at my parents and see them still having to work even though they saved into a pension fund their whole life.

With pension funds being swallowed up, or not preforming like that should, with Gordon Brown still charging crazy taxes on inheritance and capital gains on 2nd properties. What should our generation do...

I see properties as the only way I can control my money, I certainly don't trust any 3rd party company to manage my future, they have only one goal and that is to make money for themselves. With properties in Scotland still rising at a incredible rate, they still seem the best option for a UK investment in my opinion. Of course properties will go up and down, you only have to look at the 80's and 90's but at least they go up over long periods of time say 25 years. I think my parents first house cost them £2000.

Another reason I like to invest in property is if I get a tenant in, they are actually paying for my pension. Of course when you don't have a tenant you have to cover the mortgage, but that's ok cos I would have been paying into a pension fund if I didn't invest in property.

The only thing that worries me is for example the amount of flats for sale in Edinburgh is massive. I don't understand why someone would want to buy one of these new tiny flats... after about 5 years they look awful from outside as the paint starts to fall off. Some of the blocks of flats have been bought by one person which is very scary, if they have a problem covering the mortgages and have to sell quickly, will that drive the prices down on properties?

Banks seem to be keen to lend money, offering cheap mortgages and at sometimes 6 times the amount of someone's gross income. I believe for me property is the best pension fund, if done correctly you can use the banks money to create a great portfolio / pension.