Photo Use Infringment ... ?? copywrite copyright
/forum/topic/905375/0

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RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13373
Country: United States

A couple months ago someone requested to use a photo of mine from my Flickr account in a non-profit publication. They made the request via Flickr email, which I didn't notice until yesterday.

I went to review the source for the request, only to find out they had already used the image.

http://www.ourplanet.com/tunza/8.1/en/Tunza8.1_22-3Seven%20species.pdf

As you can see from the photo credit, it clearly came from my flickr account (Rusty Bug), but I had never given permission ... and my account is "All Rights Reserved".

As it is, this would be my first 'tear sheet' from a publication, so I have mixed feelings about it. However, having a tear sheet with a photo credit of my Flickr account username is of little value professionally speaking.

It's not that great of a photo, but it is one that very few people ever get to shoot. I travelled very far (on different business), drove & hiked long and waited very long to get that shot with the limited gear I had with me (2008). It literally was a 20 hour effort that day & night ... an experience, I'll never forget.

Btw, it's not so easy searching a beach in PITCH BLACK (no moon) till 2 AM to find a nesting leatherback turtle. Actually, you find one coming ashore ... then go far enough away (40-50 yards) that she doesn't turn around and go back to sea (first one did) ... and wait for over an hour ... checking progress at 20-30 minute intervals without scaring her off.

Of course, you can't see her because it's so dark and she is too. You have to move VERY SLOWLY to approach or you'll startle her and off she'll go without finishing the nesting process ... not good for conservation.

It would cost me thousands to replicate that shot due to the travel costs alone.

So ... what now ??



mdude85
Registered: Apr 12, 2004
Total Posts: 4402
Country: United States

Please link us to the image on Flickr



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13373
Country: United States


http://www.flickr.com/photos/25965178@N04/2465211144/







mdude85
Registered: Apr 12, 2004
Total Posts: 4402
Country: United States

Thanks



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13373
Country: United States



http://www.flickr.com/photos/25965178@N04/2465211144/



mdude85
Registered: Apr 12, 2004
Total Posts: 4402
Country: United States

All Rights Reserved refers to you reserving the rights granted to you by the creation of your own copyrighted work -- in other words, you have not forfeited your own rights (such as distribution, copying, etc). It appears the publication could construe the use as being fair use as part of an educational publication. Going after a claim for copyright infringement might be a waste of time.

I'm pretty sure on your Flickr page you can specify that your permission must be granted before images can be used. If you don't want your images to be used elsewhere, you should probably not upload them to Flickr. Or at the very least, they should be watermarked so that whoever wants to use them must obtain a clean version.

It seems like this publication was produced by youth, who probably consider copyright to be a minor deterrent to publishing their intended work.

Not intended as legal advice.



cwebster
Registered: Oct 03, 2005
Total Posts: 3425
Country: United States

Here's Flikr's Copyright and IP policy, including instructions about how to deal with infringement

http://info.yahoo.com/copyright/us/details.html

If you did not register the photo with the US Copyright office, you cannot collect damages beyond actual ones, which seem pretty minimal here. You will probably spend more money pursuing this with an attorney than you can possibly recover.

Ask the kid to take the PDF down, and let it go at that.

<Chas>



E-Vener
Registered: Jun 18, 2009
Total Posts: 4260
Country: United States

a) Register your copyrights right now.

b) get a copy of "Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age" by Edward C. Greenburg, J.D. and Jack Reznick ihttp://www.amazon.com/Photographers-Survival-Manual-Artists-Photography/dp/1600594204

c) Call Ed Greenburg.

One of the cases discussed in "Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age" specifically addresses a case where a photo was lifted from a flickr.com gallery.



Osai
Registered: Feb 22, 2005
Total Posts: 1527
Country: United States

cwebster wrote:
Here's Flikr's Copyright and IP policy, including instructions about how to deal with infringement

http://info.yahoo.com/copyright/us/details.html

If you did not register the photo with the US Copyright office, you cannot collect damages beyond actual ones, which seem pretty minimal here. You will probably spend more money pursuing this with an attorney than you can possibly recover.

Ask the kid to take the PDF down, and let it go at that.

<Chas>


You are allowed up to 90 days after publication to register your images.



wsmeyer
Registered: Mar 30, 2010
Total Posts: 108
Country: United States

I'd be pissed too. The fact that it is a publication "by youth - for youth" makes it even worse. What exactly are they teaching these youth about copyright laws? I wonder what they think of businesses that treat environmental laws with the same respect?

I'd start by demanding to know the extent of the distribution of the magazine, and a copy of their written policy on acquiring permission for third party material that is given to contributors and editors.

It's also here:

http://www.unep.org/pdf/Tunza_8.1_Eng.pdf

William.



TT1000
Registered: Sep 16, 2007
Total Posts: 364
Country: N/A

"If you did not register the photo with the US Copyright office, you cannot collect damages beyond actual ones,"

I assume by collecting you are referring to using the court system in some manner. If so, be aware that you have to register before you can sue for copyright infringement [Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act]

"You are allowed up to 90 days after publication to register your images."

For post-1977 work you may register a copyright at anytime during the term of the copyright. In general the term equals the life of the author + 70 years. [Section 408].

If you want to request statutory damages instead of actual damages and/or recovery of your attorney fees then: (1) for published work, you have up to three months (not 90 days) from first publication and (2) for unpublished work, you must register prior to the infringement. [Section 412]







RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13373
Country: United States

Their cover copy of ...

“We should not be afraid to fight for what we believe is right”

... presents a bit of irony to the situation.

I'm fairly certain I'd have given them permission for proper photo credit, but for some reason now I've got a little bit of an "attitude" ... just not sure how best to handle it. I don't want to do something that makes me feel like a jerk that I'll have to live with, nor do I want to do nothing and feel like a 'doormat' that I'll always regret doing nothing.

Maybe they can send me a receipt for a charitable donation for equivalent time and money it took to produce that shot, if actual monetary compensation is not likely.

However, if they would like to commision me for a future assignment ...



sjlocke
Registered: Jul 18, 2006
Total Posts: 83
Country: United States

Unlikely they'll ever come back to you anyways, so exert your rights, and send an invoice for proper payment (x2 for not getting permission). CC: your lawyer.



martines34
Registered: Jun 23, 2008
Total Posts: 3026
Country: United States

May I suggest that you visit:

asmp.org

uscopyright.org

Pay attention to anything you can read on the "Orphan Works Bill" going through congress now.

asmp is a professional organization and one that professional photographers should consider. There is a lot of good stuff on their web site that is free.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13373
Country: United States

Maybe I could write up a photo-J on the experience for proper publication / credit in lieu of ?? I'm not looking for a fight (albeit a proper one) ... just something that's right. And how does the fact that this has an international flair to it come into play vs. solely a U.S. one?



E-Vener
Registered: Jun 18, 2009
Total Posts: 4260
Country: United States

sjlocke wrote:
Unlikely they'll ever come back to you anyways, so exert your rights, and send an invoice for proper payment (x2 for not getting permission). CC: your lawyer.
That is a terrible idea and here are three quick reasons why:

You immediately limit any and all compensation to whatever dollar amount you set , and it is anumber you set blindly without knowing how they have used it how much they have prrofited from it, or where else the photo(s) have ended up.



E-Vener
Registered: Jun 18, 2009
Total Posts: 4260
Country: United States

RustyBug wrote:
I'm not looking for a fight (albeit a proper one) ... just something that's right. And how does the fact that this has an international flair to it come into play vs. solely a U.S. one?


no you weren't looking for a fight but by doing what they did they brought the fight to you, so unless you enjoy dropping your trousers and and balling up on your hands and knees and hoping they don't hurt you much while these cyberbullies take advantage of your exposed nether regions you need to need to let them know they can't get away with it.

Read the book. Empower yourself.



GPirnat
Registered: Jul 21, 2003
Total Posts: 353
Country: United States

Rusty,
Consider this... "IF" they had not used your photo before you saw the e-mail would you have given them permission? If you can honestly say yes, there's no issue as you would have given them permission anyway. If you can say "no", I would not have given them permission then a letter to the young lad educating him abou the rights and wrongs of extracting a photo without permission would be in order. Anything else beyond that may be futile.
My view.
Gary



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13373
Country: United States


I figure the non-response from me (no assumed responsibility, just facts) prompted them to take the perspective of "Easier to ask forgiveness, than get permission." and rolled the dice accordingly.

"Cyberbullies" probably would have never asked for permission to begin with, so that might be a bit 'over the top' to utilize the 'hand and knees' metaphor.



sjlocke
Registered: Jul 18, 2006
Total Posts: 83
Country: United States

E-Vener wrote:
sjlocke wrote:
Unlikely they'll ever come back to you anyways, so exert your rights, and send an invoice for proper payment (x2 for not getting permission). CC: your lawyer.
That is a terrible idea and here are three quick reasons why:

You immediately limit any and all compensation to whatever dollar amount you set , and it is anumber you set blindly without knowing how they have used it how much they have prrofited from it, or where else the photo(s) have ended up.


You know how they have used it as the OP found it, you wouldn't know how much they would have profited if they had contacted him in the first place, so best to charge the amount for the uses known (x2).



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