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Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - t...
  
 
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


So, about a month ago a local lifestyles editor interviewed my Wife about the dance troupe she is apart of. She provided him a single photo. About two weeks ago it was printed (both paper and online). I noticed that there are four of my photos in the print version and 6 in the online version.

At this point we go through her emails and find an email from the editor asking I would mind him using some of the photos from her Facebook. She never saw the email before it was printed (she has 60,000+ emails) and thus never responded. The editor took it upon himself to use the photos from Facebook. Two of the photos have my watermark, and those two appear online. One of the photos that is watermarked appears in the print version, but it is cropped to the point you cannot see it legibly. The photos are all marked "Contributed photos" in the paper and online version, my name never appears anywhere (other than the two watermarked images on the website). Sidenote: According to my Wife, she never signed anything of any sort. I'm aware that verbal contracts exist, but she never even knew about him using the Facebook images until it was printed.

What do I do? I've already typed up a partial email pointing this out, I'll include it in the below post. Honestly, in my opinion one of these is one of the best shots I've taken and the rest are pretty decent. I'd like to be paid. Do I send the email after completing it or go a different route? I'm looking for honest, sincere advice because I'm conflicted. On one had I don't want to make a huge ordeal or to come across as "that guy". But I do feel as if they knowingly "stole" my work (not assigning proper credit, obscuring watermarked images in print, not requiring permission from me before running story).



Jul 17, 2017 at 03:48 PM
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


Here is the draft email:

To whom it may concern,

My name is [retracted]. I see that for [retracted date]'s paper, in an article titled "retracted", four of my photos were used in this article. I also see that for the same article online, six of my photos were used. I see that for the watermarked image in the print version, the photo was cropped and my watermark does not completely appear in print and is completely illegible. I also see that instead of attributing the photos to me, they all state "Contributed photos". All of the photos appeared without permission (written or verbal).

My Wife and I noticed that an email was sent to her requesting my permission for use of the photos but she never responded to the email. The email itself was not noticed until after publication. The photos themselves were taken from her Facebook.



Jul 17, 2017 at 03:51 PM
voidsherpa
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


Find out how much they play their stringers and bill them in relation to that number. I'd go a bit over to make a point, but I'm a commercial guy and wouldn't expect them to pay out in good faith.


Jul 17, 2017 at 04:20 PM
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


voidsherpa wrote:
Find out how much they play their stringers and bill them in relation to that number. I'd go a bit over to make a point, but I'm a commercial guy and wouldn't expect them to pay out in good faith.


No, I don't expect that they would pay out in good faith either. So in as much as how much they are paid, I suppose I'll just have to call them up and ask. I don't know much of any other way to find that out.



Jul 17, 2017 at 04:41 PM
leethecam
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


Dear Sir / Madam

I see you have used 6 of my images for which you do not have a licence to use.

Please find attached my invoice for the use of these images at market rate. As a kindness I am not yet seeking further costs and I am sure the issue can be resolved with your prompt payment for said use.

I trust full payment can be made within 7 working days as per my T&C



Jul 17, 2017 at 05:37 PM
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


leethecam wrote:
Dear Sir / Madam

I see you have used 6 of my images for which you do not have a licence to use.

Please find attached my invoice for the use of these images at market rate. As a kindness I am not yet seeking further costs and I am sure the issue can be resolved with your prompt payment for said use.

I trust full payment can be made within 7 working days as per my T&C


So, determing market rate for a local newspaper is difficult to me. $50 per image? Half that? As stated, two are watermarked, and while the other four match the watermarked two in terms of quality/style, without showing that I have the original RAW images, it's a crap shoot showing that the images are mine. Do I address any of that, or simply invoice for the images as stated?



Jul 17, 2017 at 05:43 PM
rw11
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


add interest

to really make them pay attention pay an attorney $100 to write a demand letter

you can file a suit in small claims court also which will be really bad publicity for them



Jul 17, 2017 at 06:55 PM
rw11
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


add interest

to really make them pay attention pay an attorney $100 to write a demand letter

you can file a suit in small claims court also which will be really bad publicity for them



Jul 17, 2017 at 06:55 PM
mdude85
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


Since your wife already provided one photo for free, that puts a bit of a damper on how much real value the photos have. But it's definitely a clear case of a non-permitted use of your material -- lifting photos without permission and then cropping out the watermark is a pretty brazen offense. Newspapers lift Facebook photos all the time, and then wrongly claim that the photos are in the "public domain". Their ignorance of copyright law is astounding given that they, themselves, are in the business of creating and distributing original work.

My advice is first get on the phone with the editor in question to discuss the matter personally. Say you'd like to be paid fairly for the photos. The newspaper's employees won't work for free, so why should you?

Then, as a follow-up to the phone call, send an email.

If that's met with pushback, I would then publicly shame the newspaper by posting your account (along with the response you receive from the editor, if any) on your Facebook page, making sure to tag the newspaper's Facebook page in the process.

You could also make a threat of legal action via small claims court, but that might require more time and/or effort than it's worth.

Edited on Jul 17, 2017 at 07:33 PM · View previous versions



Jul 17, 2017 at 07:21 PM
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


mdude85 wrote:
Since your wife already provided one photo for free, that puts a bit of a damper on how much real value the photos have. But it's definitely a clear case of a non-permitted use of your material -- lifting photos without permission and then cropping out the watermark is a pretty brazen offense.

It seems like the first course of action would be getting on the phone with the editor in question to discuss the matter personally and saying you'd like to be paid fairly for the photos. The newspaper's employees won't work for free, so why should you?

If that's met
...Show more

Well, the photo she provided was a portrait style photo done by another photographer, whom happened to take portraits of all the teachers of her troupe. My photos were stage style photos of actual performances. The value, of course, depends

However, I do like this idea. I should give him the benefit of the doubt. He knew he needed permission since he did ask permission, but he also went with them without permission since he wanted them for his story. To me, that shows that they are decently desirable pictures in regards to the story, so they are/worth something.



Jul 17, 2017 at 07:30 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



rw11
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


if you registered the copyrights, then some damages are presumed

and it would be in federal court - that will get their attention



Jul 17, 2017 at 09:20 PM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


There is no small claims. It's federal. It's typically worth more when timely registration has occurred. If you haven't waited too long, it may still be possible to take advantage of the better penalty situation but registration is a must before you could do anything in court. I believe showing they removed a watermark is an important factor but you'd need someone really familiar with the law and it's costs and may be costly to ask before you'd really know. But i agree, a newspaper should be sensitive to copyright law and infringements.


Jul 17, 2017 at 11:17 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


It depends if you want to have anything to do with the newspaper in the future-if you don't then pursue it, if you ever think they will benefit you or your wife in any way, I would not bother other than maybe mention it in a cordial email or phone call. You could also just ask to be featured in an article or similar type of advertising trade.


Jul 17, 2017 at 11:45 PM
glort
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?



Whatever you do, you need to realise that the theft of the images was deliberate and planned. The guy thumbed his nose and disrespected you by thinking his wants and self interest was more important than paying you the basic respect deserved.
Anyone says Fk you by stealing from me and I find out, I will seek the fullest remedy I can

These scabs of people work like this all the time knowing in many cases they will get away with it. They would call the cops and go on with all sorts of moral high ground if you stole a pen off their desk but they treat you like they are superiour and you don't matter.

As far as being " That guy" what guy is that? Another sucker they ripped off and got away with it? I sure as shit would do all I could to avoid being that guy I can tell you.

I think Lees's suggestion is a good one but I wouldn't be mucking round either. I'd either be paying the lawyer and doing all I could to get compensation or just forget about it.
Anything else makes the naive and already proven wrong assumption that this POS has some scruples and sense of decency which if they did, they would have not used the pics without permission.
Given that, I'd hit them hard as I could straight up. They had no hesitation to screw you over, why should they deserve any consideration or leniency?

The first thing is decide if you want to persue it or not?
If you are worried about anything then just roll over, take it up the nether regions and smile.
If you do want to do something about it, go in all or nothing.

I don't like people treating and playing me as a sucker, I would crucify the guy as best I could whether it cost me money or not. You let them get away with it this time and you are setting yourself up to be disrespected and taken advantage of again any time it suits them.

This is the exact sort of thing that is ruining the industry and undermining the respect for what we do.
Some may be good with letting it go, I'd be doing all I could to send a message that if you try your shit on with me, don't expect to get away with it.





Jul 18, 2017 at 01:32 AM
Arka
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


Were the photos printed in connection with a story about the dance troupe? Were the photos lifted from your wife's Facebook profile depicting her likeness only, or were they in some way depicting her work with the dance troupe at some performance or event? Clearly some unauthorized copying has occurred here, but depending on where you live there may be some non-frivolous defenses.

Also, what is your wife's desired relationship with the paper or editor? How much is that relationship worth to you (or her) in cash? What do you expect or hope to get paid? I understand the desire to be compensated for your work, particularly when the facts of the unauthorized use appear to be so clear-cut. But I wonder if it makes social or economic sense to pursue remedies under these circumstances. Hard to advise in the absence of more facts though.



Jul 18, 2017 at 07:30 AM
glort
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


Arka wrote:
Were the photos printed in connection with a story about the dance troupe?
Also, what is your wife's desired relationship with the paper or editor? How much is that relationship worth to you (or her) in cash?


While I do see what you are getting at and feel it is a valid point without question, I also feel that even if the editor was doing the OP's Mrs a favour, It would have been right and proper to wait for permission to use the pics.

The thing is this guy has probably done this 100 times before and would well know he IS supposed to get permission, but chooses not to worry about such things which are inconvenient to him.
Is the school dependent on the paper running the occasional story about them? I'd say not and the paper would only do it when it suited like when it rained all weekend and they now have 4 pages allocated to local sports results which never happened.
Back in the day when there was a rained out weekend in the local area, I'd be ringing the local rag Monday morning doing deals on ad space! :0) I would Submit the odd Local event pit to the paper that they wouldn't bother paying their shooter O/T for but at least back then you never had to worry about your pics getting stolen. :0)

If the paper sponsors the troupe then I would give the guy a kick in the backside rather than a smack in the head with a shovel.
Either way. The money would be the last thing I'd be worried about. For something like that it would be chicken ship and always would have been. Not the front cover of a major metro after all.

What would get me would be the insult and disrespect shown in stealing the pica and the contempt therein that would have me furious.
To the degree one may want to temper that along the lines of your point would be an individual case. Being short on smarts and big on aggro, I'd still go for the throat myself.

Others would have to make their own decisions on how hard would be wise to go at this.



Jul 18, 2017 at 10:05 AM
tcphoto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


His stupidity is no excuse for Copyright Infringement. I would bring it to his attention that you know what he did, see how he responds but do not quote a fee yet because it will limit any settlement. Put the ball in his court and make his boss aware of the infringement. I'd start reading actual Copyright law and get an idea of what's at stake. I've only had one occurrence in my career and the Attorney required no upfront fee but took a percentage of the $500 settlement.


Jul 18, 2017 at 03:33 PM
DanBrown
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


LinuxHack3r wrote:
I'm aware that verbal contracts exist, but she never even knew about him using the Facebook images until it was printed.


What you mean is an oral contract. The term verbal contract is sometimes incorrectly used as a synonym for oral contract. However, a verbal contract is one that is agreed to using words, either written or spoken, as opposed to an implied contract.



Jul 18, 2017 at 09:24 PM
rw11
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


Right.

The real issue here (besides him proving an oral contract existed, if it comes down to that) is whether your wife is part of your photo business or somehow can otherwise enter into a contract for your photos

I agree on teaching this guy a lesson, as IP theft is all too common.



Jul 18, 2017 at 10:58 PM
mogud
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Newspaper Used 4-6 of my images without my permission - thoughts?


IMHO, burning bridges with threatening letters, attorneys and copyright infringement suits might be a regrettable action in the future. My friendly advice is to send the editor a letter and ask him to acknowledge your photographs with a photo credit if your work is published again.

just sayin......




Jul 18, 2017 at 11:06 PM
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