October 22, 2014, 08:55:20 AM

Author Topic: Photos used without permission  (Read 2183 times)

eos650

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Photos used without permission
« on: August 06, 2014, 01:47:16 PM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece, printed an unknown number of tickets with my photo and is selling them for a fundraiser. This was done without my knowledge and/or consent.

This is a photo I took, not a photo of me. :) I do not have releases from the individuals in the photos. I have no idea if the business got them, but I sincerely doubt they did.

I don't have a lot of money to hire an attorney, but on the other hand I don't want to let the business get away with this.

I would like to be compensated for the use of my photo but at minimum would like them to stop this practice.

If anyone here can provide advice or links to articles on how I should proceed, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 01:50:39 PM by eos650 »

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Photos used without permission
« on: August 06, 2014, 01:47:16 PM »

mackguyver

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 02:06:10 PM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece, printed an unknown number of tickets with my photo and is selling them for a fundraiser. This was done without my knowledge and/or consent.

This is a photo I took, not a photo of me. :) I do not have releases from the individuals in the photos. I have no idea if the business got them, but I sincerely doubt they did.

I don't have a lot of money to hire an attorney, but on the other hand I don't want to let the business get away with this.

I would like to be compensated for the use of my photo but at minimum would like them to stop this practice.

If anyone here can provide advice or links to articles on how I should proceed, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!
Sorry to hear about that - here's one of the better resources I've found: http://www.photoattorney.com/.  Also, I hope you have formally copyrighted the photo as that gives you a lot more rights, but if not, that doesn't mean you are out of luck. 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 03:38:56 PM »
The first step is simple, contact the organization and let them know the situation.  Its likely that some volunteer thought he was OK to grab the photos.
 
That should work. 
 
Its not worth the trouble to sue a charitable company, it will make you look bad, generate threats toward you, don't even consider it.
 
 

eos650

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 04:02:59 PM »
Thanks! I'm not really the sue type but would do it if pushed. I think that should usually be the last resort.

FYI: The company in question is not a charitable organization. They are a multi-state corporation. Although the result was a fundraiser, the true intent was advertising for the company. It's one of those deals that if you buy their ticket and sign up for their services, you will receive X dollars worth of goods and they will donate Y dollars to the school.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 04:09:54 PM by eos650 »

AcutancePhotography

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 09:14:00 AM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece,

What venue was your photo used in an editoral piece?  When you submitted it to the venue, was there something in the fine print that gave this venue some rights?  Some venues are sneaky like that.

You also need to know whether the company took the picture from the venue or did the venue give the picture to the company.

I agree with the other posters.  Contact all the parties and in a civil manner ask what happened. It could have been a simple mistake/misunderstanding.
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fragilesi

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 07:46:19 AM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece,

What venue was your photo used in an editoral piece?  When you submitted it to the venue, was there something in the fine print that gave this venue some rights?  Some venues are sneaky like that.

You also need to know whether the company took the picture from the venue or did the venue give the picture to the company.

I agree with the other posters.  Contact all the parties and in a civil manner ask what happened. It could have been a simple mistake/misunderstanding.

Good advice, many people just wouldn't think about this, they just see an image, like it and use it.  Often, not always, there's no bad intent, they simply don't realise.

sanj

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 08:39:47 AM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece,

What venue was your photo used in an editoral piece?  When you submitted it to the venue, was there something in the fine print that gave this venue some rights?  Some venues are sneaky like that.

You also need to know whether the company took the picture from the venue or did the venue give the picture to the company.

I agree with the other posters.  Contact all the parties and in a civil manner ask what happened. It could have been a simple mistake/misunderstanding.

Good advice, many people just wouldn't think about this, they just see an image, like it and use it.  Often, not always, there's no bad intent, they simply don't realise.

Huh?

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 08:39:47 AM »

fragilesi

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 10:09:48 AM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece,

What venue was your photo used in an editoral piece?  When you submitted it to the venue, was there something in the fine print that gave this venue some rights?  Some venues are sneaky like that.

You also need to know whether the company took the picture from the venue or did the venue give the picture to the company.

I agree with the other posters.  Contact all the parties and in a civil manner ask what happened. It could have been a simple mistake/misunderstanding.

Good advice, many people just wouldn't think about this, they just see an image, like it and use it.  Often, not always, there's no bad intent, they simply don't realise.

Huh?

Something you don't understand? 

nineyards

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 10:11:28 AM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece, printed an unknown number of tickets with my photo and is selling them for a fundraiser. This was done without my knowledge and/or consent.

This is a photo I took, not a photo of me. :) I do not have releases from the individuals in the photos. I have no idea if the business got them, but I sincerely doubt they did.

I don't have a lot of money to hire an attorney, but on the other hand I don't want to let the business get away with this.

I would like to be compensated for the use of my photo but at minimum would like them to stop this practice.

If anyone here can provide advice or links to articles on how I should proceed, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!
Sorry to hear about that - here's one of the better resources I've found: http://www.photoattorney.com/.  Also, I hope you have formally copyrighted the photo as that gives you a lot more rights, but if not, that doesn't mean you are out of luck.

Like many, I assumed (correctly) that copyright for photos was automatic, I had not considered taking the extra step of formalizing the copyright, makes good sense if your prized photo is out there in cyberspace for all to see.
I guess it's one of those hard lessons you don't learn until it's too late
Vincent
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mackguyver

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 12:29:18 PM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece, printed an unknown number of tickets with my photo and is selling them for a fundraiser. This was done without my knowledge and/or consent.

This is a photo I took, not a photo of me. :) I do not have releases from the individuals in the photos. I have no idea if the business got them, but I sincerely doubt they did.

I don't have a lot of money to hire an attorney, but on the other hand I don't want to let the business get away with this.

I would like to be compensated for the use of my photo but at minimum would like them to stop this practice.

If anyone here can provide advice or links to articles on how I should proceed, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!
Sorry to hear about that - here's one of the better resources I've found: http://www.photoattorney.com/.  Also, I hope you have formally copyrighted the photo as that gives you a lot more rights, but if not, that doesn't mean you are out of luck.

Like many, I assumed (correctly) that copyright for photos was automatic, I had not considered taking the extra step of formalizing the copyright, makes good sense if your prized photo is out there in cyberspace for all to see.
I guess it's one of those hard lessons you don't learn until it's too late
Yes, you get an instant copyright by creating the photo, however, your ability to recover damages (in the U.S., at least) is greatly limited if you have not taken the time to register the copyright.  It's not difficult or expensive, but it is somewhat tedious.  It's cools to get the copyright letter in the mail, however :).

Also, I did a quick drag and drop to Google Images scan of some of my more popular photos and see that several more have been ripped off - mostly by Chinese & Russian sites in fairly harmless manners, at least.  I have had a few run ins with commercial misuse of my work, but have been able to settle or have them removed.  In my case, it helps to be married to an attorney :)

dilbert

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2014, 10:17:34 AM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece,

What venue was your photo used in an editoral piece?  When you submitted it to the venue, was there something in the fine print that gave this venue some rights?  Some venues are sneaky like that.

You also need to know whether the company took the picture from the venue or did the venue give the picture to the company.

This is important to establish.

Quote
I agree with the other posters.  Contact all the parties and in a civil manner ask what happened. It could have been a simple mistake/misunderstanding.

But don't let them get away with it for free. Offer to let them use it for (say) $5000 or something like that - for that purpose alone. To a big organisation, that sort of money is trivial and will be cheaper than lawyer's fees if you take them to court.

Lurker

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2014, 12:18:56 PM »
Is there another concern here besides you being paid for your work?
I believe you said this was a picture of people and you do not have release forms from them.
I'm no expert but could they sue you for releasing their image to another party without their consent?

Suppose one of the people in the photograph is a politician with a stong anti-gun reputation and the organization using the image is the NRA.  The politician might not be happy with the situation. 

Tugela

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2014, 01:08:51 PM »
It's recently come to my attention that a business in my area has taken one of my photos from an editorial piece, printed an unknown number of tickets with my photo and is selling them for a fundraiser. This was done without my knowledge and/or consent.

This is a photo I took, not a photo of me. :) I do not have releases from the individuals in the photos. I have no idea if the business got them, but I sincerely doubt they did.

I don't have a lot of money to hire an attorney, but on the other hand I don't want to let the business get away with this.

I would like to be compensated for the use of my photo but at minimum would like them to stop this practice.

If anyone here can provide advice or links to articles on how I should proceed, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!

If you don't have releases, why were you publishing the pictures in the first place? Seems to me that you are just as guilty as the people who used your photo.

I believe the phrase is "pot calling the kettle black".

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2014, 01:08:51 PM »

monkey44

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2014, 05:41:04 PM »
QUOTE:  "If you don't have releases, why were you publishing the pictures in the first place? Seems to me that you are just as guilty as the people who used your photo."

Editorial does not require releases from anyone for anything, ever.  That's freedom of the press, provided it depicts the truth,  -- if true, doesn't matter if it damages someone or not. 

You take a picture of a bank-robber Jack Jones, in process, and label him a bank-robber, you will not be liable for damages because you stated he is robbing a bank.   If you state - untruthfully - that "Jack Jones" is a bank robber, and he is in fact NOT one, the you have damages. 

And, as far as the monkey image ... intent is a primary word in legal actions.  This photographer has the intent that his camera will capture "HIS" images.   My opinion, that is at least half the battle ... only when another person, with permission and no contract, pushes the shutter does any copyright debate influence the issue.

Any arguments advanced here carry no value once the intent question is answered.  Indonesian law may rule in it's own favor, but that does not make it right, or moral or ethical, or legal.

IF we buy into the law as representative of our social values (as opposed to anarchy), then this is actually not even an argument.  Slater wins.   But, we always have those folks that will find fanatical and technical room for debate, and then debate it to death just for something to do -- in my mind, there is no doubt Slater owns copyright -- everything else is simply an unjustified and baseless argument.

Does it say anywhere in any copyright law "only the person who pushes the shutter button owns copyright?"  I doubt it, because to many ways exist to make that happen without pushing that button.  So, it falls right to intent ... that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.   :) :) :) 

 



AcutancePhotography

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2014, 08:35:31 AM »
Editorial does not require releases from anyone for anything, ever.

Let's not be so free with the word "ever". 

US Tort laws that address privacy and publicity vary widely between states and even within a state. If you read the tort cases, you will not see the word "ever" used in the context you used.  Instead the case decisions use the approprately legal weasle words "generally" and "traditionally".  That is because the courts want to be able to evaluate any privacy/publicity case individually and this is how it should be. 

Cases involving whether or not a model release was required have to depend on the individual and specific case. I wish there were one standard rule for the whole country, but sadly there ain't.  :-\

Privacy/publicity laws are very complicated.  There is no "one rule that covers everything".  If you are seriously considering taking any action, I recommend you contact an attorney who is educated and experienced in privacy/publicity law in all the states where your case pertains.  You really don't want to get legal advice from someone posting on a website....which would include me.   ;D

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Re: Photos used without permission
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2014, 08:35:31 AM »