My photos used without permission!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by robinkay6573, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. robinkay6573

    robinkay6573 TPF Noob!

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    I have an exfriend who is using photos I took without permission on their website. Many years ago I was friends with a couple who bred and sold horses. I took almost all their promotions photos. They NEVER paid me and rarely paid for my supplies. It was just fun because I was their friend. Well they ended the friendship and I wrote them a letter making it clear I wanted my photos taken off their site and I wanted all the negatives back. I got a firm letter saying "SOL" from the husband and they are STILL using my photos for promotion 2 1/2 years later.

    I really feel used and taken advantage of. It is like all that work was wasted and I got NOTHING from it. Anything I can do NOW...they are still using the photos.

    Should I chalk this down as a lesson learned?
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Depends on how passive you want to be about it. You can certainly let it go at this point, and never do anything like that again without a clear understanding of how your images will be used.

    Or you can fight this, get your negatives back, and demand remuneration of some kind. It doesn't sound like it would be hard to prove you are the photographer here. It might be worth exploring your options.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The only option you have is to hire and lawyer and try to force them to stop. I don't see how that is going to help your income any. It might get your negatives back. How much are the worth to you?
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Save that sol letter, it is your proof that the negatives do belong to you.

    As for the images it seems as though you let it go on knowing you weren't going to be paid for them, so I doubt you can make much headway on it. If you live in the same town sue them in small claims court for the return of your negatives and what you think the images should be worth.

    Most likely you will get your negs returned or a monitary value of them. Raw stock and processing. Paid for their use will be up to the judge. Sometimes you win and still can't collect though. Good luck... Make sure everyone understands the difference between a gift and work done as a professional next time though. It will make your life a great deal more simple.

    I always charge up front or gave it away. Trying to collect on the backside is very difficult..
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Figure out the role that your photos play. If your photos are the Main focus of their site and they are getting huge amounts of hits per day and they are generating oodles of dollars because of it you may have a case. At any rate it is your fault for not making the terms and conditions absolutely clear before starting the work.
     
  6. kkart

    kkart TPF Noob!

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    Well, how about going about this the REAL easy way and do a 'whois' on their website to see who hosts them. After ya have that info, go after their hosting and send them a letter saying they are using your photos/artwork without YOUR permission. Want results? I bet you get them in 24-48 hrs this way! :) Hosting company's are VERY fast to react to things like this as they know they too can be held liable.
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    ah now the suggestion above me is just evil <<<AND I LOVE IT... MY KIND OF SOLUTION>>> take his site away and he wont be using your pictures....

    Even the suggestion of a problem should be enough to get his attention. If there is a question about ownership forward the sol email to the providers administrator. What a great solution.
     
  8. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Could be difficult.

    Without knowing the law where you are, i'd suggest that as you took the pictures for them, presumably at their request, then depending on where you live the copyright may belong to them.
    In the UK if you take images for your employer at his request then your employer owns the copyright, not the photogrpaher even though the photographer shot the images.Check this site out - point number 1
    I know they weren't your employer but since they asked you to take the images, and you agreed it may constitute the same thing even though no money changed hands.

    I'd also think that since you shot them after they asked you, and you handed over the negatives and then gave them permission to be used, you might find it difficult to prove beyond doubt that you own the photos....but it comes back to my first point - you may not own the copyright if you shot them for a 3rd party.

    If that's the case then I'm afraid you'll be REALLY struggling.
     
  9. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I think your sol. As your original contract with them (verbal "just by giving them to them!! ") you did not specify a time limit to the "free" license of the photos or any use limits on them by you. So basically they can continue the use them at the original contract terms. And yes just giving them the photos is a contract. By giving them the photos and knowing they were to be used in the way they are (even then if it was just print, and now internet), you gave them the rights to the photos.

    Where the line gets thin is if you still have the negatives. And you can prove you gave them the photo in good will for a specific purpose. But it sounds like you just gave them to them and you were doing it as a favor. If thats the case, best not to dwell on it and just keep them off your x-mas card list.
     

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