Legal Question

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Goldeneyes, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Goldeneyes

    Goldeneyes TPF Noob!

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    I recently did a event shoot for a group of people in Washington DC. Being a new photographer, I started extremely cheap, 100 dollars for 5 hours. An hour before the shoot, they cancelled but said I could come shoot anyway. I sent an email stating sure I would come (I had nothing else to do) I got some great shots and sent them a link from Picasa. With the email, I said they could use the photos if they included my name, company name and contact information. Didn't hear any word back from them. Afterwards, I found out they were using the photos without satisfying any criteria laid forth. Do I have any legal ground to stand on?

    -Pedro
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You have it in writing (e-mail) the terms of which they could use the photos. They're violating copyright. You could threaten with legal action but unless you're good friends with a lawyer who's willing take your case for free, I'd think or another way to take care of it first. Where are they using the photos? If it's in another source like a magazine or website, call the magazine or site provider and tell them they're using copyrighted photos without permission and they might take their site down.
     
  3. Goldeneyes

    Goldeneyes TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick response. They are using it on their website. In addition, I have it all via email. I also have pre-paid legal so I may ask them to quote me on some rates. Thanks for the confirmation though. Times like these are when my heads gets wrapped up in unnecessary details. TG for this forum though.
     
  4. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    (1) Send them a cease and desist e-mail or letter, reiterating the terms for their use, emphasizing that they are violating US and International copyright laws by using it without your permission.

    (2) If they continue, contact the site provider telling them that the site is violating your copyright and they need to remove the images. In addition, if they are a local group that is a member of a much larger, national group, you can contact the group's headquarters and inform them of the situation. They may take it more seriously than the local group and do something about it.

    (3) If it gets to step 3, then you have the lawyers come in.
     
  5. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    AW STICK IT TO THE BASTARD'S! People anymore have no shame. Lettum have it.
     
  6. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    You should have realized there was a problem right at this point. They cancelled but you could shoot anyway??????? This immediately suggests that they wanted your shots but did NOT want to pay for them...even at a bargain basement price. A pro with experience would have backed out IMMEDIATELY...seeing the warning signs.

    skieur
     
  7. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    oh and dont correspond in email-send by registered mail if you do send them further communication
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    +1

    +1 again
     
  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I would say you have no ground to stand on and you made a very poor business decision. Certainly you do not value your work so why should they give you credit? Why are you even surprised at the out come? Please, please, please begin to understand the business of photography before hurting your self and the field in general.

    Love & Bass
     
  10. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    +1 All communication with these people from this point on should be documented. Courts are known to accept and not accept certain forms of documentation, so the registered letter is a good way of covering yourself.

    Also, the lawyer letter is a great idea. With that company you have, they're only, like 20 bucks, and a letter from a lawyer can really scare people. Remember, they're just as afraid of going to court as you are probably, and chances are they aren't willing to risk some photos over it.
     
  11. Goldeneyes

    Goldeneyes TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the great advice. I REALLY appreciate all the people who have given me the advice I needed to move forward.

    -Pedro
     
  12. FitzTML

    FitzTML TPF Noob!

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    I'm not a lawyer, I don't play one on TV. My understanding is that they are violating copyright. If they are using the pictures for commercial use (i.e. a website) a model release would be needed. However, unless your pictures are registered with the copyright office, it will be very difficult to move forward with any legal action.

    Basically, talk to a lawyer.
     

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