View Full Version : Using photos for advertisement without permission
19th of November 2008 (Wed), 12:36
Hey POTN members,
I was hired in October to do event photography for a 700 person upscale Halloween party, I had a mutual agreement/contract with the promoters and everything is fine with them.
I was recently informed that the owner of the dance crew that danced that evening has ripped my picture either off Facebook or Flickr and printed it to hang in the dance studio. What makes this worse, I was just informed that she has now made a flyer for their upcoming show and is using my image without ANY permission or communication to me.
Do you guys have any advice on what I should do? Do I start off with an e-mail asking for her to destroy all physical and digital copies and suggest that if she wants to use my images that she will need to purchase a license use from me? I've heard of others just sending an invoice...I'm quite clueless at this point.
I appreciate any and all suggestions or help you guys can provide me.
19th of November 2008 (Wed), 12:51
Get shots of the poster in her studio before you contact her. If you think you realistically have a chance to recover damages register the work with the Canadian copyright register (http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/en/h_wr00003e.html).
You can file a small claims action and then go to the mandatory settlement conference and negotiate a fair price for the work there or proceed if you can't come to an agreement.
Invoicing her for the print is a good idea if you follow up. Copyright is only as strong as you make it. Defending it can be expensive.
19th of November 2008 (Wed), 13:00
I would contact her and ask her if she is aware that she does not have the right to use the picture without your permission. If she was able to lift it off Facebook or Flicker she may think that what she is doing is O.K. Making her aware may settle the situation. If not then you have the right to proceed with legal action.
In future I would make sure that anything I posted on the web was protected a little better so you will not have a repeat of this situation.
19th of November 2008 (Wed), 13:04
Another thing would be to make any images you put on flickr very low resolution to discourage people from printing them. 500px with a transparent watermark is a good start.
19th of November 2008 (Wed), 13:16
Try not to burn any bridges or ruin potential future work. I'd politely call her and inform her that your images have been used without permission and if you can come to an agreement on compensation for commercial use of your work. If she isn't interested, then you should ask her to stop using the images.
This can either turn into a dispute or into future work depending on how you handle things. I agree about only putting a small res. image online and also a watermark as well.
19th of November 2008 (Wed), 14:10
What's a mutual agreement/contract? And what were the terms?
Could you selling images of the troop tp the attendees be commercial usage...Do you have a release to do so?
I'm not trying to be smart, I'm legitimatly curious?
19th of November 2008 (Wed), 14:37
Be nice, remind them of the illicit use of a copyrighted photo (and you are the owner of that copyright). Recognize that they have a fair amount of money already invested in printed materials, so that helps you leverage your ownership into a fair fee to be paid to you for continued usage of those materials. Have a fair price in mind, and know your bargaining power to get that fee is improved by them having already sunk costs!
The fact that YOU need model releases to use anyone's recognizeable visage 'for profit' or for 'promotion' of your business, does indeed make this a bit stickier situation to handle. And you many also need to have a 'property release' from the owner of the property upon which the dance troop was dancing during the photography.
In retrospect, you might need to strike a 'mutual benefit' exchange agreement, consisting of proper acknowledgement credits made for the parties involved, and no money exchanged!
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