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I was surprised to see one of my images being used, without permission, on ScubaBoard.com's website. I contacted them and they immediately removed the image, but didn't acknowledge my email, apologize, or offer payment.

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I was surprised to see one of my images being used, without permission, on ScubaBoard.com's website. I contacted them and they immediately removed the image, but didn't acknowledge my email, apologize, or offer payment.

 

Was it being used by ScubaBoard, as part of their site? Or had a user posted/uploaded it to a forum?

 

-Gina

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I was surprised to see one of my images being used, without permission, on ScubaBoard.com's website. I contacted them and they immediately removed the image, but didn't acknowledge my email, apologize, or offer payment.

 

It might have been better to ask for payment instead?

 

Removing it is nice, but the image has been used and benefit gained for the site........so a retrospective license fee should be quoted, plus another fee for ongoing use, if they wish to continue to use.

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Also surprised to hear this. I know they have revamped their site and maybe the photo somehow got on by accident. They've not been known to do this type of thing so the benefit of the doubt may be a good thing to apply. However, they were wrong in not sending you an apology email, at the very least. Or maybe a new rebreather.

Steve

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It might have been better to ask for payment instead?

Simon, Where would we find a good example to help with this by the way?

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Simon, Where would we find a good example to help with this by the way?

 

A one line answer? Hmmmm.... very much depends on the site, the location of the image, the size of reproduction and to a greater or lesser degree the attitude of the site owner as to if there is a charge at all.....there is no one answer if that's what you are looking for I'm afraid.

 

Here's a link to guideline fees:-

Freelance fees guide

 

And there is a section dealing with online use. Remember these fees are for guidance only, but they can be a good starting point. With infringement, fees are normally non-negotiable - the time to negotiate with the owner is before use, rather than after and to a certain extend post-infringement negotiations rewards infringing - but on a personal note this aspect depending on the attitude and commercial nature of the infringer. Retrospective licenses to cover infringement are also sold in blocks of 12 months with that as the minimum for any single infringement. Fees for ongoing use is negotiable. Taking an image down does not provide adequate redress either - the infringer has benefitted in the past from the unpaid image use.

 

Finally, unless your images are registered with the US Copyright Office, significant damages are not enforceable unless there are a few exceptional circumstances. In other words, you may need to demonstrate what charges you are seeking are reasonable and are what you would have charged if permission was sought beforehand. This means infringers only pay what they would have paid had they asked so there is little in the way of financial penalties to deter infringement. The result of this is it really helps to have a pile of high value invoices for similar use as it helps demonstrate your fees are reasonable. In other words, it is not in the photographers' interest to license images royalty free or on the cheap.

 

You know where I am if you need specific advice......

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I captured an image before scubaboard took it down. The picture on the right, of the diver with the pyramid, is mine. It was being used as part of their advertising. I was surprised that such a popular website would steal images - I guess I am naive.

 

post-2250-1306500474.jpg

Edited by jlyle

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Did you have it on your Flickr or Facebook account? Many people now use it as a "free source!"

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Then just send them a bill. No need to be kind.

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This is where adding a watermark is useful; if someone used your photo and removed the watermark, they could not claim it was an "accident".

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Hey Jim,

 

Sorry to hear about that. I would send them a bill.

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Hey Jim,

 

Sorry to hear about that. I would send them a bill.

 

Hey, Todd!

 

I wonder if they are going to be in Long Beach for the Scuba Show. I could hand deliver the bill...or, even better, have them served for small claims court.

 

Jim

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I don't know much about ScubaBoard. I know it was on their site but is this an advert that they put together or was it supplied to them by the advertiser?

 

Going diving this weekend? :)

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I don't know much about ScubaBoard. I know it was on their site but is this an advert that they put together or was it supplied to them by the advertiser?

 

Going diving this weekend? :)

 

I don't know whether it was an advertisement they created or what. I've had no response from them other than taking the images off the website.

 

Forecast is not good for this w/e - big swell and windy. Bummer. I need to get wet.

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I was surprised to see one of my images being used, without permission, on ScubaBoard.com's website. I contacted them and they immediately removed the image, but didn't acknowledge my email, apologize, or offer payment.

 

Post a thread on their site and see if you get a response. I doubt this is the first time they have done this. And I think this was for a house ad so they would be responsible. Heck, ultimately they are responsible for everything on their site.

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I haven't been back there since that fiasco with the contest w/ "NetDoc" defending Dive Chronicles so stupidly....

 

Sad to see they're borrowing your work Jim, especially if they borrowed it off a trip report site not even hosted there, so they can't claim they got it off their own galleries and you didn't set permissions right or something (e.g. they had a hidden 'we can use it' in their TOS).

 

(Of course the use of the word "borrow" is a bit of a joke. They "gave it back" but never paid for usage, not even a courtesy apology?)

Edited by rtrski

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The issue was finally settled. A donation was made in the name of Scuba Board to my favorite charity, the USO ( USO.org/donate ) and the image was taken down. Hopefully this was a learning experience for many people. Thanks for your support.

Edited by jlyle

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Good to hear it was settled to your satisfaction. What I don't understand is why it takes public announcement of such an issue before action is taken. I suppose it's a wake up call.

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Hi jlyle,

Good to hear they responded....I know everybody has automatically the right to their own pictures but I don't know what happens when you post the pics for the public to see, without either watermark or copyright stamp ( on your link I couldn't find either)....the watermarks are usually destroying the pictures beauty and I don't know how solid a copyright statement is....I guess we can only be careful and hope for the courtesy of others...

 

Cheers,

 

Henrik

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Hi jlyle,

Good to hear they responded....I know everybody has automatically the right to their own pictures but I don't know what happens when you post the pics for the public to see, without either watermark or copyright stamp ( on your link I couldn't find either)....the watermarks are usually destroying the pictures beauty and I don't know how solid a copyright statement is....I guess we can only be careful and hope for the courtesy of others...

 

Cheers,

 

Henrik

 

From the moment you press the shutter, the image created is yours. Its your exclusive intellectual property to do with as you and you alone see fit. You do not need to assert your ownership, its inherent. By publishing an image you are not waiving your rights to it.......unless you do so in writing.

 

Trouble is, not everyone realises or understands this, or if they do they choose to ignore. Watermarks do degrade the image, but that's the whole point - speaking from personal experience it compels users of your images to ask permission first if they really want to reproduce the image in a meaningful way. just like the inherent protection you enjoy permission first is another misunderstood but fundamental aspect of intellectual property law.

 

Its for these reasons a bold-yet-subtle watermark is recommended for anything published.

 

Glad to hear a satisfactory outcome was achieved.

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Mazeltov!! Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and call it an 'error' on their part.

Steve

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