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My photo is being used without permission


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#1 scubamarli

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 06:42 PM

I was looking around the net, and discovered a photograph of mine on a website for a small hotel that caters to divers (in my home province). It has never been on my website, so it was probably scanned from the original publication, and cropped. There is a hidden credit that shows in a rollover. (Gee, thanks)
Any recommendations on how to confront them? For all I know, they've been using it for years.
Cheers,
Marli
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#2 craig nelson

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 04:14 AM

Hi Marli

I take it you did not give them permission to use it.

firstly you must address the matter direct with them, ask them where and who gave them permission to use this image and state the obvious to them.

I have had this often happen to me during various assignments.

If your happy for them to use the image, state you conditions of usage to them and you terms/payment and see what happends next. (you will more than likey find that they will remove the image) (people dont like paying for images these days, the internet is a big place)

I sometimes have jumped in with both guns blazing and often found that they didn't even know as the image was given to them by someone else.

If you not happy about them using this image, then state that too them and ask for it to be removed or you will take proceedings further.

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#3 Snappy

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 01:14 PM

I'd simply say: bill them whatever you fancy.

Using a picture that isn't approved with the photographer is stealing. You may not be a big record company going after napster. But the principle is the same, someone is violating your copyright.

The size of the interenet, their lack of willingness to pay, peoples ignorance about copyright or confusion about where the image originated, is IMO irrelevant. Certainly when it comes to businesses using images to promote themselves. I am pretty sure they know they should pay for the services they use. Be it the design, the pictures, webhosting or whatever it takes to promote their business. They are trying to cut some corners, hoping to get away with it.

These are trying times for photographers trying to keep track of where their images are being used. And getting duly paid for them. But unless we want to contribute to the devaluation of photography in general, we should make known, as loud as we can, that stealing pictures is not accepted.

If you steal pictures, you pay!

:unsure:

(could you guess from the above i am currently taking a newspaper to court over a bunch of pictures..? :D
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#4 scubamarli

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 10:46 AM

Needless to say, they didn't want to pay for use, begged ignorance and their webmaster, and promised to remove it. If it's still there by tomorrow, an invoice will be sent. Thanks for the comments.
Cheers,
Marli
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#5 Kelpfish

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 05:29 PM

Also, castration works for idiots like that, and if it is a female, I have other ideas!!! :unsure:
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#6 craig nelson

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 10:47 PM

HI Marli

Same old story then, nothing changes, as i suspected, no payment. no suprise.

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#7 John Bantin

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 01:11 AM

If people feel they can download music without paying anything to the artist, why should they feel they need to pay to download pictures? It's the way the world has gone. Students write their dissitations by cutting and pasting from the internet. Art is now thought of as free - until such times that it become so rare people will want to pay for it again.
Art renaissance rarely lasts for more than a period of thirty years and that last period is temporarily over.

Better be a bean counter. They now get paid more than the people who make the beans!

PS I sue regularly for breach of copyright and have never lost one yet!

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#8 DeanB

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 01:31 AM

Interesting.

I took some photo's of a friend who was playing at a music festival last year. It was for his website and CD cover.

My shots came up in the festival magazine/guide and also in two local papers.

How innocent of me not to sue or complain. I was just chuffed they liked my work.

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#9 John Bantin

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 02:58 AM

It certainly is a nice feeling when you first see your work published. However, it does mean that a corollory is that all work must be supplied by well-meaning amateurs. What business are you in? Do you have the same problem competing for work with those who will do it for no payment? The idea takes me back to the days when Britain was run by well intentioned aristocrats who did it from a sense of duty rather than being paid. (They couldn't do a worse job I suppose...) Why do lawyers, doctors, airline pilots and accountants etc need to be paid?

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#10 stewsmith

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 07:02 AM

I am not 100 % sure of this but my wife will be as she works within the Patent - trade mark - copyright industry.
The comparison that was being made with music downloads cannot be done. " unless it has been filed with a Patent Attourney who then in turn would file it with a Patent Office"
As far as I am aware a record - song - track - lyrics - melody usually gets copyrighted and registered in various patent offices around the world. which is a costly affair. Did the photograph in question get copyrighted and filed in the country to where it was being used.
I will ask her to get her legal head on when she gets in and i will give you the exact details that apply for the Uk.

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#11 scubamarli

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 10:12 AM

I have figured out that they probably downloaded it off the magazine website, when it was first published. The image is no longer on the magazine website(in fact hasn't been since early 2004), so the thieves have probably been using it all this time. (The magazine has since changed ownership). My understanding is that all art, including photographs, is intellectual property of the artist, and that all rights remain with the artist unless tranferred via licensing. Of course the magazine's website had the copyright notice on it at the time, as did the magazine in which it was published. (I still have a copy). Ironically, the website that this is STILL on has a copyright warning to protect the thieves' website, so they are well aware of copyrights. If it is still online by Wednesday (one week after notification), then the invoice for unauthorized use will be sent, with the intent to pursue legal channels should it not be paid.

Cheers,
Marli
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#12 RebreatherDave

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 06:42 AM

Why give the thieves a week?! Make them pay for past use!
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#13 RogerC

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 07:09 AM

in the US, no registration is necessary. You own the copyright as soon as you create the work. This is enough to sue for usage fees. Registration (google for it) is $15 or $25, I forget, and it can be for a CD full of images or even more. Regsitration gives you a stronger position in court and the ability to sue for damages.

#14 Snappy

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 11:07 AM

stewsmith: There is a difference between patent and copyright. Inventions need to be patended because they are (potentially valuable) ideas, and how can your prove you had an idea first unless it is registered.

A photograph is not an invention that needs to be registered for protection. In Norway (and I believe most of the world) the copyright automatically belongs to the one who creates an image. And it does so in the instant it is created.

If your theory was right, that music (and photos?)"gets copyrighted and registered in various patent offices around the world. which is a costly affair" then only rich artists would be protected by copyright laws, because they were the only ones able to afford such registration. That is not the case. Everyone who creates something, be it photos or music, is equally protected by the law. (Still, not everyone can afford taking matters to court, but that is a different story. )

Registering for copyright is a US, voluntary practice, not done/nessecary most other places. NOT regestering doesn't mean you don't have copyright, but doing so will probably make proving you were the first, original owner and maker of the material somewhat easier.

A patent, like a trademark, is (in my understanding) mainly a way to doucument and signal to others: I was here first, don't you dare!
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#15 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 06:19 AM

If the image has been registered with the register of Copyrights at the Library of Congress, you can sue for statutory damages and cost of legal representation. If the image has not been registered, you can only sue for customary fees (including the 3x base fee for unauthorised use), and costs are usually not awarded to the complainant.

But... customary fee for website usage is not all that high. Given that you're going to win 3x not very much, many people end up not pursuing these sorts of infringements, as the cost of winning the open/shut case will eat up the amount won.

Write to the ISP of the site, tell them what is happening, and they'll probably shut down the site pretty fast. The ISP is exposed here as well as the owner of the site.

Oh yes, IANAL. But I have read about this stuff a fair bit. And I register images with the Library of Congress every 6 months, for this very reason.

Some stuff straight from the .gov's mouth
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#16 scubamarli

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 10:16 AM

Invoice sent yesterday, ISP provider contacted today: Image deleted. I doubt I'll ever see payment, unless I bother to go through small claims court. Of course, I'm sure that this is what these freeloaders count on.
Thanks for the ideas and info everyone,
Marli
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#17 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 10:36 AM

<Mr Burns Voice>
EEEeexxxcccellllllent
</Mr Burns Voice>

Glad to help.
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