Instagram Photo Thief's

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by doskophoto, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. doskophoto

    doskophoto TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I'm new to this forum and happy to be here with people that have the same passion as mine.

    I wanted to find out what you all think about people using your photos on Instagram, tagging you or not without your permission.
    I am an outdoor photographer and do a lot of kayak fishing work.
    Recently, I asked a prospective client if he would like me turn one of my trips into a photoshoot for his brand of pfd. I gave him a pretty good rate even for the outdooor industry. He thought about it, had me send pfd sizes for the guys and create a treatment for him then at the last minute decided to back out saying that the it wasn't in his budget.
    I went on the trip and got some awesome photos then posted a blog with my favorite images which is what I normally do so that my friends can look at and use the images for their social media. Then not 1 but 4 different companies took the images that my friends had posted and used them for their social media.

    The company that I had asked to join us on the shoot used 3 images on Instagram. Cropping into my logo on 2 and cropping out my logo on one completely then not tagging me as the photographer in one. I called the marketing manager and left a message. After 2 days went by with no return call, I sent an invoice for the 3 images. $100 for the tagged and $150 for the not tagged photo. $350 total. Two days later the social media guy for the company hit pm'ed my buddy that he took the images from and slandered my name saying that I sent a "nasty" email and told him that I charged them $3oo a shot.

    They have since then took down the images but I feel like I've been taken advantage of and that Instagram is not the wild wild west of photography. It's not worth the time and money plus I don't want to sue but I really think that if it puts a dent in or even creates awareness about a photographers creative rights to an image that it should be done.

    Any thoughts on this subject.

    Thanks,

    Dustin Doskocil


     
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  2. loonatic45414

    loonatic45414 TPF Noob!

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    It sounds like you're entitled to some damages on top of your asking price.

    I'll let others with more experience respond, but I don't think you should let this go.
     
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  3. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Before you sent an invoice, you should have sent a DMCA Cease & Desist demand.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yep. Huge tactical mistake.
    By doing that you documented & fixed the actual value you might recover in court.

    If you want legal protection you would need to immediately register your copyrights with the US Copyright Office to establish the ability to pursue statutory compensation.

    Just as important is:
    Help! I’ve Been Infringed! |

    http://www.photoattorney.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Excuses-excuses.pdf
    What’s An Infringement Worth? |
    Five Things You Can Do to Protect Your Online Images |
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  5. jsecordphoto

    jsecordphoto Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's also really cheap prices you quoted them. Unfortunately a lot of times these companies hire people to handle their social media accounts that don't really understand how copyright infringement works, so that's another annoying thing to deal with. Start registering any images that you care about, and sign up for a pixsy account. Pixsy does take a %, but they also do all the work outside of you filing the claim through their website, I love using them.
     
  6. doskophoto

    doskophoto TPF Noob!

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    Good to know. So How long after the Cease & Desist do you sen the invoice? And what if they don't Cease & Desist?
     
  7. doskophoto

    doskophoto TPF Noob!

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    Good stuff. I'm going to register my copyrights today.
    I take it that it doesn't matter what I do now if they pay the invoice it's all said and done?
     
  8. doskophoto

    doskophoto TPF Noob!

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    Good to know. I'll check out Pixy. Also, what are your rates for social media use. I know mine are low but I'm dealing with small businesses in the outdoor industry and have a hard time selling an image for that.
    What should I be striving for?
     
  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Tou send copy of the C&D lettet to the site's host.
     
  10. jsecordphoto

    jsecordphoto Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It really depends on the company, and if it'll be strictly for social media. If it's a really small company with an audience of less than 10k, $250 would probably be the lowest I'd go for. Most of the work like that I've done, they typically want a small collection (5-10) of images to post over time. I also love trading gear for those smaller companies that don't have a huge budget, if it's gear that I would use anyway, which works out well for everyone as their costs to produce that gear are obviously lower than what they retail for- but I usually ask for a little more gear than what my cost would be. So if I would charge them $250 for the image, I'd want like $300 in gear.

    Commercial work is crazy and I don't do a ton of it, but when I saw what my buddies who mostly do commercial work charge, I realized how low I had been charging at first. Lots of people practically give their work away for free, so it's getting harder to get what's fair these days- but personally I won't sell myself short just because a bunch of hacks are willing to sell their images for pennies. And don't get me wrong, I accepted offers that were very low when I first started, just because I didn't know any better.
     
  11. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Get informed about copyright and how to issue DCMA takedown notices, etc. Try American Society of Media Photographers - Homepage or PPA for resources.

    Look at Terms & Conditions on websites you're considering before posting your photos to see what you might have agreed to allow the site or third parties to do with your photos.

    It doesn't seem like watermarking is necessarily a deterrent but I'm selective about what and where I post and customize watermarks to cover the photo in a subtle yet thorough way. (I feel like if someone wants a photo without the watermark they can license usage of the image, or decide it's too much trouble to remove 3-4 marks throughout the photo and probably not bother, but that's me.)

    Or I know photographers who post select sample images and then link to their own sites, which might be a better option than posting so much on other websites. Same with your blog/website - think about what photos to post and how to thoroughly watermark and protect your work.

    And I agree your pricing is way too low, learn on pro sites like ASMP and PPA how to price and license usage.
     
  12. doskophoto

    doskophoto TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, that sounds about right. I do do some trades with a few clients but trying to get some of these companies to even pay the $100 for a one time social media use is like pulling teeth.
    I assisted for 7 years in the advertising and fashion industry where I've had lunches that cost more than some of these guys are willing to pay for a shoot and images. Maybe I'm just barking up the wrong tree.
    Thanks for your input.
     
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