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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 25 Apr 2013 (Thursday) 04:50
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Legal action for commercial useage of photo's oversea's ?

 
mlech
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Location: Vancouver, BC
     
Apr 25, 2013 04:50 |  #1

I'm going to try and make this as brief as possible,

-I did a shoot for a company showcasing their products on a vehicle (modifications). The company is based out of Europe.
- It was arranged by a local distributor to shoot the car, I know the guy, so It benefited me getting photos for my portfolio. So I did a free shoot.
- There was an agreement between all parties and the company that my photo watermarks were not altered, they would only be given a resolution size for web purpose, and ultimately can only use the photo's for general usage such as posting on their facebook page, around forums, etc. The company owner in Europe was very clear on this.

They removed the watermark and used the photos for advertising the product on their website, pictures were also altered. Then they made prints of 4 photos in their company catalogue/brochure which is currently all over the world (no watermarks). Also a couple other things.

The company owner's first excuse was the photo's have their product in them so he is entitled to the copyright!


As things stand right now he was contacted and he is making excuses to the whole situation. I'm asking for a certain amount of $$$ to settle (which is very reasonable especially for what the photo's were used for). He initially agreed over the phone eventually, after an e-mail was sent to him with invoice and details he was been avoiding the situation.

It has been about 50 days since the photo's were originally taken.
The company is based out of Europe and I'm in Canada.
I had a friend talk to some lawyers but to me it didn't seem like they knew all that much about copyright infringements, especially with an international company.

I'm trying to figure out what can be done in my situation. I need to do something, this is too much.

I really appreciate any of your responses before hand, cheers!


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sspellman
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Apr 25, 2013 07:59 |  #2

Legal action with a international company is obviously complicated and will often be expensive. Still, it would probably be worth a consultation fee to review with a real lawyer.

A second strategy is to try to use file DMCA takedown requests to have the images removed from the company FB, website, and other Internet presence. Many webhosts and social media, even if they are not based in the USA, still follow copyright violation policies similar to the US DMCA laws that allow a copyright holder to file a violation complaint and have the problem material removed or the profile shut down. This is a serious legal step and may end any chance you have of payment-use carefully.

Here is info on DMCA and copyright violation tools:

http://www.sfwa.org …edown-notice-demystified/ (external link)

http://help.instagram.​com/454951664593304 (external link)

https://www.facebook.c​om/help/40028785002771​7/ (external link)

http://www.stahlelaw.c​om/h-help-work-stolen/ (external link)

http://webdesign.about​.com …yright/ss/fight​_theft.htm (external link)


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PhotosGuy
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Apr 25, 2013 09:16 |  #3

Univ of Texas Copyright Sample Agreements and Forms (external link)

Letter to hosting company:

Stock DMCA letters (external link)


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adam8080
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Apr 25, 2013 10:32 |  #4

I've been in a similar ongoing situation, and I'll add a few things.

Take screen shots as evidence.

You can use whois and see where the actual website is hosted and then use a DMCA take take down notice or similar.

You should refresh yourself with the laws of the country that the infringement actually took place in regards to the legality of the contract, and their claim to copyright. They are probably part of the Berne Convention.

You also may need to register the image in Canada, the offending country, or both depending on the law.


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mlech
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Apr 25, 2013 16:01 as a reply to  @ adam8080's post |  #5

I have screenshots and physical copies of the prints they made

and thanks I'm going to take a look at these sites and forms and see what next step I can take.


Also the company has tried removing a lot of the images online, but I feel like the damages have already done, especially with the prints I have copies of. So either they pay or I will have to take some kind of legal action.


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Legal action for commercial useage of photo's oversea's ?
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