Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #13 · Finally AFP goes down. Photographer wins one. |
"The real lesson though is that to fight a giant like AFP, Twitter or Getty one needs deep pockets. "
That is not the lesson.
Ms. Hoffman, a solo practitioner, probably took the case on contingency believing it was strong and that in addition to statutory damages she would eventually recover her fees. You need an attorney with the resources and willingness for a protracted battle but you don't necessarily need deep pockets yourself.
The lesson is register your images prior to infringement and if that is not possible, in any case, no later than 3 months following first publication. If you don't do this you can't recover your attorney fees (or seek statutory as opposed to actual damages). Morel was infringed shortly after posting to Twitter and saw an attorney who made sure he registered his images.
Lesson two might be it is better to be infringed by GiantCo then Joe Blow. GiantCo is probably easier to serve in a district to your liking (here, The Southern District of NY), will respond to legal process and has the money to pay up when losing -- and will pay up. You could spend a lot of time and money chasing Joe Blow and, well, you can't get blood from a stone.