my face got published in an ad, what to do

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Calgary_life, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Calgary_life

    Calgary_life TPF Noob!

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    I have an interesting question:

    I participated in a Run for the Cure, one of the official photographers at the event took a picture of me, as they did for the other few thousand people who participated. Now about 8 months later, i see myself featured for an ad of one of the hair products companies who wasn't even present at the event, advertising for this years run. This ad got published in one of the large magazines who has nothing to do with the event either.

    So I never gave permission to take my picture in the first place, then I never gave permission to use it for an ad. Maybe i hated those products, for all they know.

    So I am interested in receiving some compensation from the hair products company, but do i have a right?

    Or does it work this way - since i participated, i probably waived all rights for everything, thus person who took the picture actually owns the copyright and thus got paid from the hair products company?

    I do enjoy being beautiful, but still...
    Any ideas?
     
  2. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    It is a public event and the photographer would have the right to use the pictures for EDITORIAL use. IE something that counts as "news" or "reportage" to the general public.

    For commercial use as advertisements he would need a model release from you saying that you do approve your likeness appearing under such and such circumstances...

    I'm no lawyer, it's not legal advice.

    I'd milk it for all it's worth. Contact an attourney and sue them.

    You're looking minimum at 3-5 grand just for the payment if it's a big magazine. Plus you might claim emotional damages, distress or some other cr@p like that.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum (flames suck ;) )

    The Run was probably in a public place, which I think, means that anyone can take your photo. There is usually some law that has something to do with "fair use" which means the photographer can use the image for new reporting or stuff like that. However, I don't know if that applies to image sold for advertising purposes.

    If you are clearly identifiable, I would thing that they would need a model release to use the image for advertising...but I'm not 100% sure of that. You might have given away those rights by competing in the race though.

    The best thing to do, would be to get some legal advice. It may not be worth taking it to court, as it would probably cost more than you would receive with a favorable verdict.

    *edit* Since this was taken during a 'Run for the Cure'...you might think about trying to get them to donate money to the cause, on your behalf.
     
  4. Calgary_life

    Calgary_life TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much, this gives me some direction to proceed and it is ELLE magazine which is pretty big, and Revlon is a big company too!

    I will update you on the process once it moves anywhere, pretty interesting though ;)
     
  5. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    I am no lawyer here either... and what was said above is true... they can use your image for editorial use... BUT something that may be a loop hole is that since you signed up for the event you may have signed a disclaimer that the event photographer may use your photos for promotion of the event by upcoming sponsors of the event. I hope you end up with the result you wish...
     
  6. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I have a friend who when she was young was an aspiring child model. She posed for some baby product and did not get the job, however she found out they used her image on a later product and tried to take legal action. It has been a year so far and nothing has come out of it except for legal fees. I imagine she has a strong case but when your fighting a large company they have retained lawyers to deal with these type of cases. Who know how long it will go on for. Her case is a bit different because she poses for a company specifically for an ad. I would look at the sign up form you must have signed for the race and see if it says anything about sponsors using your image for their products, it may be buried pretty deep. You may have a case but like others have said it may cost you more than you will recieve. Get the ad though and frame it, not many people get their faces in major ads so thats a pretty cool thing by itself
     
  7. Oldfireguy

    Oldfireguy TPF Noob!

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    If you filled out an application for the run you might double check and see if it says anything about photos being used for advertisments.

    If you pursue this, I for one am interested in the outcome. Please post any follow-ups if you can.
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Contact a lawyer. Also contact the Run for a Cure folks. They may help you find the photographer. I think that he is the only one that can be held responsible. Consider how identifiable you are in the picture. If you are a face in the crowd then your chances go down hill fast.
     
  9. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Great suggestion...

     
  10. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    I personally wouldn't contact a lawyer first as that will cost you money. Give them the benefit of the doubt and contact the magazine or the advertiser. Obviously whoever took the shot had no idea who you were and had no way of contacting you. Write a pleasant letter saying what a great shot the photographer took of you and would a person normally get paid for this sort of thing. You may find they are grateful for your contact and offer to pay you. I don't believe in litigation just for the sake of it. If they reply and tell you where to go, then I may take legal advice.
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I think that's the first step. You may have already signed a release. That's why it pays to really read and understand everything you sign.

    If whatever you signed for the run didn't give them transferable rights to your image, then I would contact the organizer and the magazine. Unfortunately, if you don't hire a lawyer, you might get the run around.
     
  12. Hyperion

    Hyperion TPF Noob!

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    I found this on a different website and thought I would re-post it here as it seems relavent.

    On the subject of a public place… In Canada, the Criminal Code defines a public place as “any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied.” So that would include areas which are defined as public property, such as parks, streets, stadiums, etc, and commercial venues such as bars, restaurants, malls, and so forth.
    (Side note: In fact, in laws pertaining to prostitution, the definition of a public place is extended to include a privately owned motor vehicle situated in a public place!)
    If the general rule applies, then a photographer is within his or her rights to take a photo just about anywhere. It’s worth noting, however, that in Canada, in order to (commerically, at least) publish a photograph of a person where that person is clearly the true subject of the photograph, you must obtain that person’s consent. However, if that person is part of a crowd or, beyond the ability of the photographer, ends up in a shot taken in a public place, consent is not required.

    So, as I read that, even though you may be the subject of the photo the photographer may argue that it was beyond his ability to get your consent at the time.

    I would still persue it though. It would be interesting to know what the outcome is.
     

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