The short version:
An image of mine is being used -for commercial purposes- without permission. I ask for payment; I'm being accused of extortion.
The back story:
I took an image at a boxing weigh-in a few years ago; woah and behold it's now being used on a series of promotional posters.
The long version (an edited version of my correspondence with the promoter) :
I'm <me> the owner/operator of SnapLocally.com, a MN-based "Combat Sports Photography" website. It has come to my attention that <fight promotion> is using and has been using an image of mine for promotional purposes, that being of <a fighter>.
While I'm glad that the said image is to your companies liking, I am the photographer/copyright holder of this image, and no one has contacted me for commercial usage within your company of my work.
I'm hoping to solve this issue amicably, hence my contact to you here. I'm willing to offer you the same deal I offered <another promotion> when we were in a similar situation- $XXX for the use of my image, and the licensing for this image for this event is officially yours.
With all due respect <boxer's manager> doesn't own my work- I do. My camera, my photo, my copyright. Nobody but me has the original copy of this image. It doesn't matter if <manager> gave someone in your arts and crafts department permission to use the work of a 3rd party- you didn't get MY permission. Now as it stands you don't have my permission, and will not, until I'm paid for my work. My asking price is more than a fair one.
He stood in front of me and posed for it. That is implied permission, and I have photographic evidence, among several other photos he posed for.
Let's not convolute the issue. You're using an image of mine for COMMERCIAL USAGE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.
Please pay your bill, and have a nice day.
<promotion> Boxing is using MY work without permission, not <the manager>. I don't care what <manager> told you, you didn't get MY permission to use MY work for commercial purposes.
I will be contacting you again- with an invoice for services rendered. Please pay it.
Sorry, but everything I do is going to be in writing. It leaves little room for words being subject to interpretation.
The invoice has been sent.
Govern yourself accordingly
See, this is why we're not talking on the phone. The written word is perfectly clear, and you're still confusing the issue.
My correspondence with you is neither threat nor harassment- I'm informing you that
1. Someone in your company took it upon themselves to use an image of mine for commercial usage without consent.
2. That I offer commercial usage of my work (licensing) when I am financially compensated for work rendered.
3. That since this oversight was made- that my image was and is being used for commercial usage- that I expect to be compensated for said commercial usage.
4. That I've encountered this situation before, that I realize mistakes can be made, and how it came to an amicable resolution.
Again, I'm respectfully requesting that you pay the reasonable price I've set for the unauthorized usage of my intellectual property.
Plus if that is indeed you photo it absolutely horrible
I nor my company would never choose a photo like that
Go extort <the boxer's manager>
"Extortion" is heavyweight legalese, and in this instance and of my opinion, misappropriated.
So you think the image is "absolutely horrible". Yes, I agree. That's what happens when someone takes a low resolution image off the internet- without permission- manipulates, and incorporates it into promotional posters, which was never it's designed purpose.
Since we're discussing legal terms, you may care to familiarize yourself with the words "copyright", "copyright infringement", "intellectual property", and "unauthorized use" to name a few.
Now if I were less than a gentleman I would accuse you of blatant theft, which I have not. I've given you the benefit of the doubt that this could indeed be an honest mistake, offered an amicable and respectful solution, and in return have my integrity insulted, my photography insulted, and quite frankly, my intelligence insulted.
I apologize for repeating myself, but please bear with me- <manager> isn't the copyright holder of my intellectual property, and as such doesn't have any legal, moral, technical, or any other right to grant 3rd party permission for promotional usage of my work.
Now please, as a gentleman I'm asking you to pay me for my work that you're using. Just because the internet is wide open and an easy place to acquire images, it doesn't make it the lawless Wild West where anything goes.
I am open to thoughts on the matter, and how you'd handle the situation.