Cease and desist (and bill)

I'm just having a run in with an image library who has sent me a bill for £400 for using an image without permission. The image had no copyright information on it. It has been sitting on my website for over 5 years. Because I typically google for relevant images and sticking them next to the text. Because I can. £400 a pop would be worth more than my house for the number of images I have used in my time publishing on the web.  So am I a criminal? Am I ripping off photographers? I don't think so. Copyright images ought to be a) locked down and b) marked as copyright.  When I get a cease and desist letter – and it has almost never happened I take the image down. Invoicing me an arbitrary 'fine' for stealing the image is a scam. Licensed use has a price. Out of court settlements have a price. Petty claims have a price. But invoices out of the blue should be treated for what they are. Scams. 



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