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Archive 2012 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?
  
 
tonebag
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


Just found out that a local publication published 30,000 copies of their magazine with one my photos on the cover for their feature story. They also ran two additional photos of mine to go with the story but they credited the wrong person both times. The photos were posted on my blogsite last year! The person that was credited is a local competitor and a guy I once worked with in the past. I have contacted the editor in chief and left him a message noting the error and invited him to discuss how we could rectify the situation.

I did not submit the photos to the magazine. I'm assuming they were given to them by the league president who has copies that I provided to him at the end of last season (2011). They were provided for promotional use only for use in their brochures, posters, website, etc. and any use in any publication required a photo credit. Any sales of photos were to be handled by me through a link on their website.

Unfortunately none of this was in writing and that's where I made my mistake. The league president is a work colleague so I didn't think that was necessary. We made a verbal agreement, shook on it and called it a day. We had a falling out at work last year and as a result he contacted another photographer to shoot for the 2012 season - totally understandable. Parents were not impressed and complained on a regular basis about the new guy and wanted the guy from last year back! He didn't call me, no matter how upset the parents became.

Fast forward to the present. We are on cordial speaking terms and things seem to be going well. He made no mention of the magazine article and cover to me but he posted it on the league website. I'm just trying to figure out if this guy made an honest mistake or if he really did it to piss me off.

I'm waiting to hear back from the editor to see if he can shed some light on the situation. I have some theories but I'll wait to hear from him before I go medieval on someone.

You think it will never happen to you, that your situation is different. All I can say is if you ever shoot anything for anyone, paid or unpaid, get something in writing! No matter how well you know them. Don't be a dumbass like me!! You'd think I know better after being on this forum long enough. Sorry guys, I shoulda listened to you.


Anyway, if you have any advice or suggestions for what types of things I should be asking, such as possible compensation, they would be very much appreciated.

Oh, I won't be posting the link to the cover and reveal the competitor's name and league unless they are unwilling to rectify the matter.

Rant over.
Cheers,
Tony











Edited on Sep 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM · View previous versions



Sep 25, 2012 at 12:44 AM
corndog
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


That absolutely sucks! It's tough enough to get your name out there, then have the opportunity wasted on a typo, bummer. At this point, any correction in a subsequent issue will go unnoticed by 99.99% of the readers. I don't think I'd do anything besides making sure they're aware of it, the link (and credit) is correct on their website, let the guy know who posted it on the website, and get contracts in writing. Unless you're prepared to destroy relationships, just politely follow up on the the stuff you're working on and get back to shooting, not much else to do imo.


Sep 25, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Carl Auer
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


Contact the magazine. Tell them that those photos were for promotional use only by the league, you took them, and they should credit you in a correction in the next magazine. I would suggest contacting your local http://nppa.org and find a lawyer who specializes in photo copyright. Even if you are not a member or have registered your images, this is wrong and if it is not taken care of now, the publication will do it again.



Sep 25, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Widgic
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


If you don't do this already, I would suggest that for every photo you put out there you update the appropriate IPTC fields with you name, contact information, the copyright and distribution rights for the image (with a link to the license details).

Some cameras (at least the Nikon's I use) will let you put your name / contact info so that it is added to the image file right when the file is first written to your memory card.

This by no mean will prevent this type of things from happening, but, ethical and conscientious magazine editors will check that out (especially if they use an archiving system, it will automatically extract the IPTC info and stuff it in the system database).

As far as the magazine that used your images, I would inquire about the rates they pay for a cover / full pages / 1/2 pages, etc... and send send them an invoice with photocopy of the pages of the magazine with your images and a letter telling them that these were indeed your pictures(and you can prove it), that you are happy they liked them and please pay the enclosed invoice based on their actual published rates.

Denis
www.widgic.com



Sep 25, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Carl Auer
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


Fotoquote says for Canada circulation of magazine 25,001-50,000 copies:
cover $1033
1/4 page $263
1/2 page $328
3/4 page $394
full page $459
double truck $803

So even if you got the cover and 2 1/4 page photos, that is over $1500 that should have been paid to you. I am not sure about Canada, but here, if you take a party to court for this type of issue, and win, unregistered images could net you fair value (fotoquote is fair value the last time I checked) up to 4x's fair value. If you register the images, I have heard of payouts of 20x+ fair value. So you could see a potential for $6K if you would win in court going after them, up to $30K+. I would say that it would be worth it. Even if you contact the publisher, tell them of the mistake they made, and that you had not been paid for this use, and that $1500 will cover the cover and two images, would they like the invoice emailed, faxed or delivered by a collection agency, that should get the ball rolling.

The best person to chime in on this is Kurt Jones, but I do not know if he posts here anymore. He has netted a lot of money from copyright infringement on just one photo.



Sep 25, 2012 at 05:21 AM
gschlact
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


good luck. let us know how it turns out. It might be in your benefit that you didn't have a contract. However, it was unclear whether your verbal indicated that the league could provide to magazines as long as Credit was given even though it was not really promotional at that point??

guy



Sep 25, 2012 at 02:23 PM
PennsyBill
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


Problem was credit for the images was given to the wrong person.


Sep 25, 2012 at 09:48 PM
 

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Russ Isabella
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


The real problem would be if the check was sent to the wrong person. But there was no check, so that trumps all.


Sep 25, 2012 at 10:07 PM
tonebag
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


Thank you all for your advice. It has been most helpful in my dealings with the editor and I will definitely be changing some of my current practices in order to avoid this in the future.

UPDATE:

It appears that the league did submit a bunch of photos from two other photographers. None of mine were submitted by the league. The editor decided to use other photos he found on their site which he felt were the "strongest". These were mine. He did not ask the league for the high res files but instead downloaded the watermarked images from the site. No waiver forms were signed to indicate copyright. They assumed that the 2012 league photographer was the one that took the images and so they gave him the photo credit. At least that's what I'm assuming since at no time was my name ever mentioned by the league. The league claims they did not receive the article for proofing before it went to print.

No monetary compensation was paid out to anyone for the photos.

The magazine has asked for a link to my website where I posted these images over a year ago to confirm that I am who I say I am and will be printing a correction in their next issue. The editor asked if I was thinking lawsuit and I told him that was an option I was hoping to avoid but one I will gladly pursue if I am not compensated appropriately.

Stay tuned....




Sep 29, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Scott Sewell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


Russ Isabella wrote:
The real problem would be if the check was sent to the wrong person. But there was no check, so that trumps all.




Bingo!!!

That is the REAL issue here. Is the check made out to YOU and sent to YOUR address and will it cash in YOUR bank. Looks like you're making progress and it's a good sign if the editor actually asked if you might file suit against them. What that tells me is they know they screwed up and are at least thinking along the lines of some form of compensation (whether it be through a lawsuit or directly from them to you). But I still get the sense you may still be hung up on credit (through a correction at this point). Honestly, what good is a correction? That's going to be less likely to be seen than the original credit. I don't understand why some find credit so appealing, but if you've figured out a way to make photo credits pay the bills, please let us know that here.



Sep 29, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Pixel1970
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


I gotta agree with Scott. What good is getting a caption correction going to do for you? It sucks that they got it wrong in the first place but the correction will be a small blurb and those don't play very well in a clip portfolio if that's what your after.
Lesson learned.



Oct 02, 2012 at 03:25 AM
indiginess
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


Widgic wrote:
If you don't do this already, I would suggest that for every photo you put out there you update the appropriate IPTC fields with you name, contact information, the copyright and distribution rights for the image (with a link to the license details).

Denis
www.widgic.com


+1

I should, I know, I don't... I'm headed for the same situation. I get mis/un-credited or unpaid all the time. The stakes are small and I'm getting a portfolio out of it, but...

... begs the question, though... would it have been printed if it wasn't a possible 'freebie?' Something to consider when considering legal action. They will likely settle 'cheap.'

I'd ask for 2.5 times the "market value" if you get to name a price in negotiations. 1 for the value, 1 for the saved legal fees for settling directly, 0.5 haggle/retainer fees.

If you have the original files (and can prove it), get them to an attorney if you think the publication is angling for 'due credit is enough.' If you pay a retainer, you have a minimum to recoup, so use it as your bargaining chip in preliminary negotiations.

i'm not a lawyer, but I play one on the internet... badly.



Oct 04, 2012 at 04:35 AM
John Korduner
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


As a disclaimer, I don't want to play any role in your decision making process, but the financial burden of pursuing intellectual property litigation is astounding, and an important aspect to consider before negotiating. A double truck in SI will net you about $600....a retainer for an IP attorney will run about $10,000.

This quote has always struck me as profound:
"What’s the cost? Here’s a very rough estimate of the average cost to prosecute or defend an
infringement action all the way through trial, but short of appeal: Copyright: $250,000 to $325,000"



Oct 04, 2012 at 05:40 AM
Carl Auer
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · UPDATE: My first cover! Wrong person credited! Advice?


If your image is registered with the US copyright office, that $600 SI double truck submitted by someone else with credit and pay going to someone else could net you up to $24000 per infringement. I have heard in the past of one person, who is a contributor to this board, have a photo lifted from his website, and used multiple times in various ways, and lets just say, $10,000 for a lawyer is chicken feed to what he ended up with. It is very worth going after unauthorized use of your images. You could, at the minimum get paid for the image, and at the maximum have enough to buy a 1DX and 400 2.8 plus a Ferrari to carry them in.... I am just saying, it is worth it to explore the options.


Oct 04, 2012 at 06:17 AM





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