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decosnapper

Member Since 19 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active May 30 2014 12:04 AM
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#344929 Underwater Photography Challenge

Posted by decosnapper on 24 March 2014 - 01:35 AM

Hi Decosnapper or should I say Hi Simon, I haven't heard from you for a few months, well not since you last asked to come diving with us at Studland to take pictures of seahorses to sell (I seem to remember you wanted to help promote the work of the trust), even though you knew we do not allow flash or light under licensing conditions. Funny how you were happy to accept my 'opinion' when you wanted to come and get a dive, interesting that.

 

 

Are you sure you have the right 'Simon'? Apart from helping me ID some Hippocampus I photographed in Bulgaria's Black Sea last year, I can't recall being in touch with yourself for a very, very long time indeed?

 

As already stated, I have precisely no interest in photographing seahorses in the UK and have have nothing to lose or gain by a lifting or imposition of a ban on the use of flash. Equally, I cannot see there is nothing wrong with questioning the opinion of others who hold a particular view. Reason and debate is just part of a functioning democracy. 




#341060 BBC Natural History Request

Posted by decosnapper on 24 December 2013 - 01:06 PM

Places like this help hold the line...credit to the OP for a) asking and b) declining to give away and devalue.

 

Merry Christmas everyone.




#340964 Your Favourite/Best Image of 2013

Posted by decosnapper on 22 December 2013 - 12:43 AM

Apologies for really breaking the rules here...elsewhere I have been doing a 12 Days of Christmas meets Advent Calendar posting, revealing a new door each day...so rather than make Wetpixelers sit through the 12 doors again, I'm showing the first and last calendars. Here goes:-

 

2013AdventCalendar0.jpg

 

And now for all the doors opened:-

 

2013AdventCalendar12.jpg

 

1. The model Ivory Flame. Shot in a swimming pool.

2. Sunset over Brough Sound, Orkney.

3. Westland Wessex XS122 in NDAC, UK.

4. Alvis Stalwart in NDAC

5. Aquaman Cometh. Vobster Quay, UK. An image from this shoot now graces the front cover of this month's Canadian Diver magazine.

6. SMS Coln. Scapa Flow, Orkney.

7. Underwater iPhone with bubbles. Vobster Quay, UK.

8. HMS Scylla. Cornwall, UK.

9. Forward guns, SMS Karlsruhe. Scapa Flow, Orkney.

10. Bows of HMS Scylla. Cornwall, UK.

11. Ivory Flame again.

12. Fellow photographer Tony 'Goose' Neal. Tattoo based on an image by Alex Mustard. Inking of the tattoo by Kirsty Peake.

 

Just 36 dives this year. Would have been more, but a broken collarbone kept me out of the water for a bit...

 

 




#340098 Agency vs agency

Posted by decosnapper on 30 November 2013 - 12:47 AM

I have withdrawn all my work from stock libraries. The business - at the moment - is working on a race to the bottom whereby each competitor appears to be cutting fees in an effort to maintain market share. The business model does not work in the creator's favour. Here's why:-

 

1 x image sale at $1000 = $1000

Terms are 50% so agency make $500 and photographer gets $500

 

Now consider the 'secure market share' option:-

 

100 x image sales at $10 = $1000

Same terms so agency makes $500 and the photographers get $5

 

There is no incentive whatsoever for an agency to maintain fees as long as volume sales rise...

 

The best agent is yourself. Sell direct and sell high. If you have stock of clownfish images then maybe its time to shoot something else...if you have something unique and in need then cut out the agency, pick the phone up and negotiate the best terms for yourself.




#339790 Morel v AFP & Getty

Posted by decosnapper on 23 November 2013 - 12:44 AM

The jury has found AFP and Getty guilty of wilful infringement of Daniel Morel's images, awarding maximum damages. Full story here:-

 

http://www.epuk.org/...s-daily-reports




#338750 Stitching images

Posted by decosnapper on 28 October 2013 - 11:41 PM

Try Hugin Bob. I used it to stitch some of a mosaic together.


#337865 Strobe "Shutter speed"

Posted by decosnapper on 07 October 2013 - 12:40 PM

Remember the camera has limitations; the shutter will only sync up to 1/250th of a second (or thereabouts). The camera won't (shouldn't at least) allow you to select a shutter speed in excess of what the mechanical curtain can cope with.


#336483 Getty Images Copyright Extortion

Posted by decosnapper on 31 August 2013 - 12:23 AM

At risk of inflaming what has become a quiet thread, I will add another step - more overhead of time when I could be diving/photographing/contacting a legitimate client - to the already long-winded process of setting with someone who does not want to pay:-

 

 

1. Find the infringing use.

2. Document and record the use

3. Contact the infringer detailing the use, required payment etc

4. Be ignored, send a follow -up letter

5. Respond to their solicitor's letter denying liability

6. Respond to their solicitor's letter offering a paltry fee

7. Repeat steps 6 and 7 as required

8. Prepare court papers

9. Serve papers on infringer, add costs such as court fees, paperwork etc

10. Be paid just before the case is heard

11. Prepare, sign and send to infringer (for their signature) a consent order* before submitting said order to the court for the judge to review before closing the case.

 

*Basically a letter that says you both agree with the settlement

 

I wasn't aware of this step until my first case has (nearly) completed. 

 

The infringer could have caused a lot less hassle for everyone - the courts, the photographer and themselves - had they not published without prior consent, or settled quickly when first contacted.

 

Eleven steps just to get paid. Is it any wonder not doing the right thing is more expensive?




#335852 Getty Images Copyright Extortion

Posted by decosnapper on 15 August 2013 - 11:06 AM

 

I very much doubt whether such fees would be awarded by a court in the UK

 

Paul et al - have a read of this:- Stolen Photos - what to do?

 

Its written by a lawyer-turned-photographer who has taken the legal view on what to do. The courts can and do award damages, but the trouble is most cases settle on the steps of the courthouse and judgement/case law is lacking on this point so both parties have precious little examples of what judges actually think and award. What is perhaps most interesting in the article are aspects of law often overlooked that would readily apply.

 

 

If the photographer could demonstrate the fees were reasonable...

 

Most photographers are micro business, operating in their own way and under individual terms. One will have a trail of paid invoices that will show 3,4 or perhaps 5 times the base fee is reasonable and some will have no such evidence. What one will think is reasonable - be it related to contract terms, licensing or even when to get out of bed and ring a client - will be different.

 

Getty think 10x is reasonable and named their price. Like others, I will negotiate if I think the other party is treating me fairly and - crucially - are not ignoring me. The point at which I dig my heels in is when I am ignored. Its impossible to negotiate with a unresponsive party and reach a settlement, so at that point I am left with two choices; forgetting it or taking up a case. Neither are attractive, but one does result in cashflow for the business.

 

 

I am not a fan of this approach as it smacks of real heavy handedness which can be very counterproductive

 

Each infringement will be unique and in an ideal world needs to be assessed on its own merits. Like you Paul I can't say I'm a fan on the bulk one-size-fits-all Getty approach and its one I would hesitate to use.

 

But as I have already stated, Getty must be faced with millions, perhaps tens or hundreds of millions of potential cases and trying to assess each one on an individual basis would be I suspect very, very difficult. And for difficult, read expensive. Its not unreasonable to pay more to receive a personal/individual  service and the overhead to business would need to be recovered from somewhere. Considering how unpopular it is to pay at the current rate, any adjustment  to take into account an individual service to the fees claimed would probably be most unwelcome. 

 

Just to reiterate; I do not think a one-size-fits all approach is helpful or the preferred solution. I am simply explaining what may be the business issues Getty face and why things are the way they are. I honestly do not know what solution or alternative is available?




#335837 Getty Images Copyright Extortion

Posted by decosnapper on 15 August 2013 - 04:24 AM

 

I'm sure you'd consider it inappropriate if your plumber demanded 10x more than his fee for an unpaid bill, particularly when it was an oversight and you immediately agreed to pay the normal rate.

 

If the plumber had to engage debt recovery services, or suffered consequential losses  - bank charges, for example, due to my non-arrival of payment - then said plumber would be entitled to recover said losses*. Furthermore, we have something called the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interests) Act that allows businesses to charge statutory fees and interest over and above the base rate for late payment.

 

So I would not be surprised if a plumber charged me more if, for any reason, my payment was missed. And it would not take too long for these costs to escalate, particularly with bank charges, or losses to others such as missed salary payments to employees. I feel these charges would not be seen as extortion, or illegal, but US law might be different.

 

Would I pay 10x the rate? If the plumber could demonstrate the fees were reasonable (a prerequisite of Pre-Action Conduct* (AKA taking someone to court)) then I think payment would be the cheaper option. Again, this is not crookery or scamming. Its seeking legal redress for losses of what the claimant thinks their image is worth.

 

As soon as legal counsel receive instruction and prepare a case costs can spiral dramatically, so if said plumber shows 10x is reasonable then yes I would pay and stay out of court and avoid losing legal costs. As in the case of Getty and the theoretical plumber, it all depends on what evidence each side must disclose* and how strong they feel the case is, if there are any precedents and if they wish to use this case to apply the precedent in future to others.

 

If you want to test if Getty's fees are reasonable, then I wish you luck.

 

*Relevant in the UK. Unknown elsewhere.




#335801 Getty Images Copyright Extortion

Posted by decosnapper on 14 August 2013 - 10:16 AM

 

You clearly agree with scamming someone out of 10x your own going rate by agreeing with Getty, I do not. 

 

All I have done is try to indicate there is an alternative view to the situation you unfortunately find yourself in, using reasoning and examples to clearly articulate why things might be so. I do not agree its a scam, of that I will state, but equally I have not been in the situation you find yourself facing.

 

Speaking personally, I treat every infringement on a case-by-case basis. If the infringer is quick to offer redress and save both mine and their time & energy then I have been known to settle quickly too, for considerably less than what a court might be inclined to award. The volume of infringements means I can do this, but Getty probably have a far greater volume to cope with than I and the one size fits all model may be the most cost-effective way for both parties, although I can see why you might not see that viewpoint.

 

For the record, the most I have increased a fee by was x 4 - but this case was special; no prior permission, ignoring my embedded contact details but reading & publishing the embedded description, something called 'consequential losses' (this one was special...) and moral rights infringement of no credit. If I were to find a particular case that required a higher fee, I would seek it.

 

I can't speak for Getty. Its their business. They will be aware of the return on time/effort invested and charge a rate that they presumably feel would stand up in court. 

 

 

Ruining businesses as described in the article you posted is certainly very heavy handed. 

 

Either way, someone is ruined; either the creator for not being paid, or the infringer when they are caught. It is a situation that no one really benefits from. Who should stand the losses? The creator? The creator's legitimate clients? The infringer?




#335774 Getty Images Copyright Extortion

Posted by decosnapper on 13 August 2013 - 10:50 PM

 

This was a truly inadvertent use of an image with no clear copyright noted

 

Copyright requires no assertion. Protection is inherent from the moment the shutter is released. A decision was taken to publish an image so there was no inadvertent use. Someone took a conscious decision to publish something that suited their needs. The question of 'innocent infringement' was settled in the case of Hoffman v DARE here in the UK; a user either has permission, or not. There may well be a US precedent on this point too.

 

 

Pulled off the internet by an ignorant staff member

 

Ignorance of the law - particularly in the course of a business - is no excuse. At least here in the UK that's the accepted reasoning, but it might be different in the US...

 

 

A simple request to remove the image and/or a request for payment of the actual advertised fee of $150 if I were to purchase it today to use on a blog,

 

A request to remove an image does not earn any money. What would you suggest to ensure payment is made?

 

And the point of additional costs/overheads has appeared to been completely overlooked. A four step process is cheaper for all than the alternatives.

 

 

Getty clearly has this all automated

 

Considering the volume of infringements Getty must be faced with I suspect an automated process is the only cost-effective way of dealing with infringements. If a non-automated process is what you prefer, would you be prepared to pay more to support the associated costs a manual, human driven process would demand?

 

 

Any photographer who would practice this way or condone this practice is just as much of a crook in my opinion

 

Here in the UK using copyright protected works in the course of a business is a criminal offence. I will leave it to others to determine who the crook might actually be. 

 

Finally I will reiterate a point; I deal with infringements but the process is about as unwelcome and undesirable as it gets. It is a deeply unsatisfying process that is far more stressful and unpleasant than dealing with clients. Clients are a joy to deal with and once a month I sit down to lunch with one not to sell/buy anything but just for a chat and catch up on the gossip. Its a very nice way of doing business and I wish more lived close enough to meet more of them.

 

But without these payments I would have shut up shop and given up whilst at the same time businesses, who are getting content for free, keep their overheads artificially low (by not paying for images they also gain a competitive advantage over those business who acquire legitimate content) and continue to derive profits for their owners. So I am dammed if I do, and starved if I do not. What would you suggest I do as an alternative?




#335729 Getty Images Copyright Extortion

Posted by decosnapper on 13 August 2013 - 12:18 AM

So here is why this is just BS extortion. If one goes on the Getty site and chooses a similar image (but much better quality and higher res than the one my staff used inadvertently) the cost is $150. So why not just ask, or even demand $150? For them to simply demand 10x what their standard asking price would be is extortion. As I said, this is what pisses me off, not them simply asking to be paid their standard fee. And somehow justifying it as maintaining shareholder value is also BS.

 

As others have said, the cost of sale to a legitimate purchaser would probably be lower than managing the cost of infringement. If the operating costs are to be split equally between clients (those who do the right thing) and infringers (those who don't) and everyone pay the same fee, why should legitimate users bear the additional costs? Why should infringement be as cost-effective as doing the right thing in the first place? If the cost of doing something right (legitimate up-front right-to-use) or wrong (publication without permission), are the same, where is the incentive to do the right thing in the first place?

 

I'm a small business, licensing images to clients. The scale is different, but the principle of seeing a shareholder return (in my case income) is the same as any business. I regularly find my images used without permission and it goes something like this:-

 

1. Find the infringing use.

2. Document and record the use

3. Contact the infringer detailing the use, required payment etc

4. Be ignored, send a follow -up letter

5. Respond to their solicitor's letter denying liability

6. Respond to their solicitor's letter offering a paltry fee

7. Repeat steps 6 and 7 as required

8. Prepare court papers

9. Serve papers on infringer, add costs such as court fees, paperwork etc

10. Be paid just before the case is heard

 

You are right on one point; there is a lot of BS floating around. Its present in steps 5 & 6 as the infringer tries to avoid liability and actually paying. I usually welcome their BS. Generally, it provides more evidence of wrong-doing than defence...

 

Steps 1 - 10 usually take between 1 and 10 months.

 

Step 8 alone requires diligence and takes typically a half day. This is time when I could a) be out creating something new or b) selling something else. And this is a serious point; dealing with infringement is a significant overhead preventing me from being out diving/creating something new...but without the fees from infringers, the creative process is completely unsustainable and I would have stopped had redress not been possible.

 

Now let us consider the legitimate route:-

1. Respond or pitch image use to a prospective client.

2. Ship high res image(s) under agreed use rights & fee.

3. Raise invoice

4. Receive payment.

 

What route do you think is more cost effective for both parties? Why should my legitimate clients bear the additional costs on their business? The subject of business ethics has been raised, and I would question just who exactly is being the ethical party? The infringer? The business who does the right thing and publishes content they have a legitimate right to?

 

And as we are discussing the cost of business, this might be worth a read. It details the cost of trying to defend a Getty claim here in the UK:-

 

http://copyrightacti...by-getty?page=3




#331092 An open apology

Posted by decosnapper on 09 May 2013 - 01:55 AM

The UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published a pdf that claims to "bust" the myths around this legislation. It seems that in order to use an orphan work, the prospective user will have to obtain a license to do so, and the process involved in doing this will be both complicated and more expensive than going direct to the owner in the first place. Full details are on the IPO's site:

http://www.ipo.gov.u...-orphanmyth.pdf

 

The IPO are beyond useless. The IPO is staffed by career civil servants with career plans, pensions, paid sick and paid holidays. They will lose precisely nothing if the changes go ahead, and have a skid mark across their career if it fails...there is a vested interest in seeing everyone agree with their thinking. But they have consistently ignored photographer's concerns and this is just the latest attempt to placate the masses.

 

From Stop43 page, a considered view from the creators of the images the IPO consider fair game:-

The IPO says..

"There have been several reports and commentaries in the media incorrectly claiming that new Orphan Works provisions in the ERR Act will remove the automatic right to copyright for owners of photos posted online."

"In fact:"

"1. The powers will not remove copyright for photographs or any other works subject to copyright.
2. They will not allow anyone to use a copyright work without permission and free of charge."

... To correct the IPO... Except in a very few narrowly defined exceptions, Photographers work is currently AUTOMATICALLY protected under copyright legalisation and agreed by international statue. However, this Act will mean that unattributable works can now be supposedly exploited to benefit the economy, in a state sponsored scheme that could see them redistributed and used, without the author's permission or ability to negotiate their own payment with the user, or consideration of the author's moral rights (e.g. the right to withdraw permission for usage). These are rights which are currently protected under copyright.

... When the IPO refer to "permission", it is not the creator's or rights holder's "permission" they are referring to. Permissions currently protected in the Berne convention as 'the exclusive right of authorizing the reproduction of [their] works, in any manner or form' The "permission" they are referring to is that given by someone, or a body, as yet unknown and undefined unconnected with the author or rights holder. What qualification do they have to grant such permissions? Who's interests are they acting in? How will they judge the rate to be charged? What gives them the right to skew the free market in their or other's interest? No one knows. However, on the basis that the IPO and HMG have ignored every recommendation made to them by photographer's organisations during the consultation process, we have no faith they will be acting in our interests.

"A licence will be needed to use a work as an "orphan". This requires an applicant to undertake a diligent search for the copyright holder, which the Government appointed independent authorising body will have to verify, and then pay a fair price for the licence."

... No workable system of a diligent search has ever been tested and shown to work, let alone accepted any creators. The attempt at a definition recently made by the EU falls woefully short. Yet such a search is the cornerstone of this new Act. Without it the system fails, because a "diligent search" is what defines an Orphan, and it is the failure of that search which then classifies an image (or other work) as an Orphan. It is therefore in the interests of this scheme, and any would be exploiters, to design a search system that fails. Otherwise there would be no point in this legislation! Alternatively if we adopted the Canadian methodology where a board makes the decision, then there would only be a handful of licences granted per year . That won't happen because the promised economic gains of the scheme would be reduced to all but zero, having already been cut by 97% (!) from Hargreave's ludicrous assertions. 

... And of course we have already covered the issue of "fair price"! Who's decides what is fair? The buyer or the seller? Certainly such a system would never be expected to consider that any value could be attributed to the authorship. By definition it can't! A "Gursky" photo sells for millions, but an "orphaned Gursky" would have no value worthy of the creator. So what happens when an image is de-ophaned? If Bailey found an orphaned image of his being used under this scheme, would he be able to negotiate his normal rate? No.

"The Act itself contains a number of protections for photographers and other creators, described in the document below. In addition, the detailed rules are being developed with representatives of the photography sectors and other stakeholders. You will also have the opportunity to have your say on the draft Rules in a public consultation."

... We have been told many times that we will have our say over the past year. We and nearly every photography organisation has taken part in the consultation process. But virtually every objection or suggestion from us has been ignored. On that evidence it is extremely unlikely that having a "say" will have any meaningful impact on the scope of the Act and we will simply be included to legitimise due process.

... The IPO have no intention of protecting photographer's IP. Their aim is to see it exploited without considering what we would like to do with our property.

 

More here:- https://www.facebook.com/Stop43




#330579 An open apology

Posted by decosnapper on 30 April 2013 - 05:14 AM

As we are signed up to align with EU copyright law and to EU human rights I can't see how the UK can take this forward into actual practice without legal challenge. What a waste of money and parliamentary time. Will we see another 'U' turn I wonder? Lets hope so.

 

A coalition of creators (ITN, Getty, Pathe News plus others) have delivered a Letter Before Claim to the Minister responsible, threatening a Judicial Review...I would like to see this action proceed.