What some people in the last months considered to be a bad joke, finally became an unpleasant reality: the attempt of E-Data to make money with their FREENY-patent ("Edata seeks royalties from all those who use its "patent" in internet transactions", so PACA). Getty Images yesterday created a webpage with lots of information about this problem:
Getty Images, in cooperation with Corbis and the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA), has established this compilation of current facts and resources for companies challenged by E-Data Corporation.
E-Data is actively demanding money and filing lawsuits against imagery companies it claims are infringing on its patent.
"E-Data sues Getty Images and Corbis"
"PACA Cries Out Loud: E-Data Against The Stock Photo Industry, Part II"
"E-Data: Settlement with Apple Computer, Pending Litigation Against Getty Images And Corbis"
That Getty Images has decided to create this webpage, is clearly a sign how dangerous this matter might become one day. Apple has already agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money... (see the links above). Where will this end? If Getty and Corbis will have or agree to pay one day, E-Data would be mad (from their point of view) not to sue the next imagery companies: "We have a very strong track record enforcing our intellectual property rights...we will aggressively enforce our rights" (Bert Brodsky, chairman of E-Data Corporation). As we all know, there are some others out there. So again the question ("Getty Images and Corbis ... believe that the intent of the litigation is to set a precedent with the industry, and that money collected as a result of E-Data's demands will be used simply to fund future lawsuits against others"; Link):
How small has your photo agency to be not to get hit?
See also: "Getty Images institutes online resource for industry defense against E-Data" (pdf-file).