You may or may not have noticed the “Under Construction” sign on my home page this week. You might even look at my blog and see if you can find what has changed to warrant such a sign.

I can assure you, there is nothing cosmetic that has changed.

© is the copyright symbol in a copyright notice
© is the copyright symbol in a copyright notice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Monday I received a letter from Getty Images stating that I had violated the copyright of an image they owned. I’m not above admitting that the letter, along with the settlement fee demands attached to the letter, sent me into a tailspin. My book sales don’t even cover the cost of my godaddy account or the hosting, much less could they pay for a whopper of a fine they threatened me with.  I say threatened because that is exactly what they did. “Pay XXX dollars or we will take you to court and you have to pay XXXX dollars instead.” I can’t afford a lawyer and I did not know I had used a copyrighted picture.  Most every picture I use comes from Photobucket, which I should be able to use for my blog.  I was so freaked out that at one point I was honestly considering giving up writing altogether.

I have since moved on from that.

Tracy and I did a lot of searching on the web and reading of articles and decided the best course is to deal with Getty Images rather than ignore them, because there may be a chance they do nothing, but if they did decide to take me to court the costs would be far too great.  I’m not blindly sending a check. I’m asking for proof and then I will negotiate from there.  In the meantime, I have taken down the offending picture and most other picture I think could be a risk.

Along with the pictures I took down all of the posts for the current 100 word challenge story line. My intention is to repost them, edited, and a chapter at a time. The first post should be in place by Monday.

In the meantime, I suggest you check your blog and your sources lest a corporate monster like Getty Images sends you a tersely worded letter as well.


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