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DIVE Magazine (UK) non-payment; legal options in the UK?

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#1 Michael


    Moray Eel

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:26 AM

Hello Wetpixel,

I reluctantly post this here after basically running out of patience with DIVE, the UK-based dive magazine that is now available only online. In the magazine's last print issue (Jan 2012), I had a nine-page feature (text and photos) on South Australia, plus a full-page image for the TOC. I've contributed to DIVE many times in the past. It was always late in paying (by several months), but it paid. The page rate was lousy, like all dive magazines, but it was pennies from heaven, as I saw it, helping me offset the expense of gear, trips, etc.

The article was commissioned by Simon Rogerson (editor at the time). Jo Mattock took over when Simon left, and Ryan Wantling (sp). was the finance manager then and continues in the same role today.

Ryan has informed me the magazine/publisher (Circle Publishing) went bankrupt, liquidated, and has now resurfaced as a new entity. He claims the digital magazine does not have the funds to pay my fee (but if you look inside there are plenty of ads, so they are receiving some revenue).

I wasn't going to bother with this third-rate publication, but the catch is that I register all my images with the US Copyright Office before submitting to agents, publications, etc. Non-payment constitutes a copyright violation, and this can bring very heavy punitive damages to the infringer on a per image basis. They used lots and lots of photos that had previously been registered with the US Copyright Office.

I believe the UK respects US copyright laws, and would like to see what my options are. If anyone is familiar with any copyright attorneys in the UK, please get in touch privately via email: mpo@msn.com

I would like to take this forward to a small claims court or beyond.

Many thanks in advance for any possible assistance.

Best fishes,

Michael Patrick O'Neill

#2 decosnapper


    Manta Ray

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:02 AM

Email sent.
Simon Brown


#3 Trevor Rees

Trevor Rees

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:18 PM

I can't offer any assistance Michael but I'm sure that Simon B will be able to offer some useful comments. I was also a contributer that never got paid. For for me it was only a couple of pictures, and they were not worth a lot. I had conversations with Grahame Gourlay at the magazine but apart from a few limp promises of possible payment nothing came of it. I decided not to pursue anything, but in principle it should be chased.