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Thread started 29 Oct 2013 (Tuesday) 12:05
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Licensing/Pricing for Forensic/Fire Images & Video

 
Jay_Z
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Oct 29, 2013 12:05 |  #1

I'm seeking some advice/guidance on pricing/licensing for some images & video. Hoping some of you from this group might have some experience, advice or guidance!

I have the single largest collection of photos/video from a recent fire that destroyed several structures - 3 large (agriculture) grain warehouses plus stored commodities in addition to 2 other buildings. One of the insurance companies would like all my photos/video - there is no pending litigation/lawsuits, they just want them in the event (and likelihood!) that these will be needed in the future. While the focus is on early photos/video, they want everything - and, I have about 800 photos (some redundancy in images) and maybe 150 minutes of video clips (10sec-20min) from over a 5hr period.

Any recommendations on how you would price something like this? Primary use will be for any upcoming legal issues - otherwise, they'll not be used for other purposes.

Never priced out the whole lot (one price for all), I'd greatly appreciate any advice on putting together pricing for high res images & HD video for something like this, considering the usage & quantity of media.

Thank you,
Jeff




  
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i_am_cdn
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Oct 29, 2013 13:15 |  #2

You don't indicate where you are located, so I don't know what particular laws exist that may compel you to provide evidence.

You also don't really indicate if your photos are of the fire underway or the aftermath. But I will assume it is fire underway.

That said, typically if an insurance company wants the photos it is because there is a claim. normally the insurance company for the building owner will send their own adjuster out to get photos and do the required adjusting.

In all likelihood the only value photos/video of the fire itself would have is if there were some claim that the fire was perhaps fought in an manner that was negligent and caused more damage, and the insurance company is hoping to offset some of the claim by suing someone else.

The photos and video would be helpful in determining that, but the insurance company is not likely to pay an obscene amount for something that.

As for a value, It may be fair to ask a couple hundred for the photos but I don't know for sure. However I have a brother who is an insurance adjuster for National Insurance firm. I can ask him and post a follow up tomorrow.


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Jay_Z
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Oct 29, 2013 13:41 as a reply to  @ i_am_cdn's post |  #3

Thanks i_am_cdn

I am in Seattle, WA area - this event took place in Idaho. The images & video are about 20-30 minutes from the beginning of the fire until nearly all the damage was complete 5-6 hours later.

The company interested is where the fire began, causing other properties to catch fire. So, while there isn't current litigation, there is sure to be soon.

And, this is the insurance company requesting the images - vs, local, state investigators. They found out I had these and want them collected (or, purchased) knowing they'll likely be needed - and, they'll have these if needed. A forensic fire investigator was onsite for 2 weeks - the difference, is that I have great photos from near beginning to end, they have the aftermath.

So, they are more for future defense and claims than for them suing - well, unless they found something that caused it from their end.

Yes, if you do have other resources, such as your brother, I'd be so greatly appreciative for your follow up.

Any questions/clarificatio​n, let me know.




  
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jwhite65
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Oct 29, 2013 14:17 |  #4

Or you could just ask them what they're willing to give you for them and work from there.


Jeff
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i_am_cdn
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Oct 29, 2013 18:18 |  #5

Talked to my brother who is an insurance adjuster, for this very type of building insurance claims. I will repeat what he has said, I am just paraphrasing what he told me.

he said he gets this kind of thing all the time, generally when someone approaches them saying they have video or photos they are usually someone looking for money and the evidence is not all that useful. In the cases where an insurance company is aware of images or footage and can find the shooter to get copies they generally ask for if, if they think it will speed up their job. When someone is unreasonable and wants large amounts of money they just decline and gather their own evidence. He said it is extremely rare that they can't find evidence of how or where a fire started and went, so unless the photos would substantially speed up the investigation it isn't worth buy it. Mostly they ask because people will just give it to them.

He did say people think because an insurance company is involved they can get a huge payday. That is not the case. In the event someone has such photos or video, and something will go to court, they will usually just subpoena the photographer and compel them to provide the photos.

Finally he said the best way to get anything is be reasonable and suggest that if the photos were to be offered to the media you would get $150 for the newsworthiness, as such you would like to get that fee. They may say yes, but also may say no.

The thing he couldn't stress enough is that anything that is that important can just be subpoenaed anyway. So if you ask for $1000 they will tell you take a hike, but the $150 is about an hours work on their part and may be worth it to pay.

Hope this helps


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jwhite65
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Oct 30, 2013 09:01 |  #6

They can't subpoena something which has been deleted... :-)

I think $150 is a little low, but I agree $1000 is more than they would pay. I still think OP should ask what they are willing to pay and negotiate from there if necessary.


Jeff
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i_am_cdn
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Oct 30, 2013 09:36 |  #7

LOL, i knew that the "deleted" comment would be the first one that got posted. That said, I agree with you on that Jeff, and would feel the same way if I got subpenaed, but who is actually going to delete photos to prevent them from being used in a legal case. If you did that then you are telling yourself that they really did have no value.

As you suggest asking them what they are willing to pay is not a bad suggestion, but if what I was told was any indication they will say they are willing pay nothing for it. still I am very curious to see if the OP does make a deal.


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CMfromIL
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Oct 30, 2013 21:20 |  #8

jwhite65 wrote in post #16410613 (external link)
They can't subpoena something which has been deleted... :-)

I think $150 is a little low, but I agree $1000 is more than they would pay. I still think OP should ask what they are willing to pay and negotiate from there if necessary.

And I'm not a lawyer, but I can play one on the internet. At this time, because the photo's are known to exist, and could potentially have information about the cause of the fire, the photographer could possibly be destroying evidence if it were to become an arson investigation.

I would advise against deleting the images now that the OP has acknowledged they exist.


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J ­ Michael
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Oct 30, 2013 21:32 |  #9

I would be sure to register the copyright on the set of images. If you sell them to the insurance company, sell specific rights as to their use, such as for their use in settling claims associated with that specific incident. If they then decide to sell or use those images for other purposes, such as training films, you should be entitled to licensing fees for such use. You never know when their marketing department might want to advertise how much they care, even if they denied the claims due to "water damage" from the fire hoses.




  
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Archbob
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Oct 30, 2013 22:19 |  #10

You really shouldn't destroy evidence, that could get you in trouble.


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jwhite65
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Oct 31, 2013 08:42 |  #11

Jay_Z wrote in post #16408657 (external link)
The images & video are about 20-30 minutes from the beginning of the fire until nearly all the damage was complete 5-6 hours later.

OP... You were on-site when the fire started? Was this something that was staged and got out of hand? Or just lucky to be driving by when it started?


I'll play lawyer too.... Absent a court order prohibiting it, there's nothing illegal about deleting a file which is legally yours.
I'm curious what you think about this hypothetical scenario... OP and insurance company don't work out a deal. Is OP now required to maintain those files indefinitely since they may be evidence? I find that train of thought to be absurd.


Jeff
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i_am_cdn
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Oct 31, 2013 11:31 |  #12

from what my brother said, there is usually very little information that can not be derived from the scene itself, and videos or photos are not required. It would be highly unlikely that the insurance company really needed the photos or video at all, unless it was exceptional unique.

When I asked my brother how many times he bought video or photos from witnesses, he said - "Never", he has been given files some times, but has never in the 20 years he has been doing this ever had need to buy any as he could always determine what he needed from the scene.

so would it ever be subpenaed? very unlikely, but as he said it "Could be"


Douglas Portz Photography
www.portz.ca (external link)
www.winnipegsportsteam​photos.com (external link)
www.winnipegsportsphot​os.com (external link)
www.winnipegeventphoto​s.com (external link)

  
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