Need advice about my ingames being used, but not credited.....

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by DaEvilChelle, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. DaEvilChelle

    DaEvilChelle TPF Noob!

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    Long story short - I shot candids for two CD inserts last February, and gave a copy of the images to the person / company that produced the CDs so that she could use them on her website and bring good quality images to the printer for the inserts. I did not give her a written copyright release, and the only true agreement that we had was that my work was for the CD, and for an gallery on her business' website of the "Making of the CD."

    About a week ago, I found that she'd used the images in a slideshow that is on Youtube that promotes one of the CDs. She hadn't let me know she was doing this, and she did not credit me for the photography in the rolling credits at the end of the slideshow.... but she HAD credited others. When I brought this to her attention, she denied any wrongdoing, didn't I give her "ownership" of the pictures, oh she didn't credit herself either for writing the spoken word CD script that was used on there, but she'd be sure to "include" me on future projects. Huh? WTF is that supposed to mean? :er:

    Now, I know I'm an idiot for not putting things in writing (this was one of my first gigs) about the use of the photos.... But am I unreasonable to ask her to at least edit the credits of the slideshow/vid to include me? She's toally stonewalled me at this point, and is STILL in denial that she's done anything wrong.

    My example to her was this - "If you buy a pretty Ansel Adams print and stick it on your wall, you may own the print, but Ansel Adams STILL took the photograph, and his name is credited on the print!"

    My plea to everyone: First off, don't be a dumbarse like me and not get crap in writing.

    Second - Can anyone maybe give me some ideas on what action I can take against her? I'm not looking for monetary gain at all - I just want credit for the work that I did!

    Thanks everyone for taking a moment to read my sob story..... ;)
     
  2. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Not only did you not get it in writing, you didn't make things very clear as to what she could use the images for.

    You said she could use them for her website? Did you require her to put recognition on the website? Yeah, this was a big screwup on your part for not getting things in writing and selling certain usage rights (in writing).

    HOWEVER, because there is nothing in writing, she technically has no rights to the photos at all. If she doesn't have something in writing where she purchased some of the rights to use those photos then you still retain the rights to those images. You could definitely threaten her with a lawsuit if credit isn't given or payed for the usage that wasn't previously agreed upon.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yup.

    Bill her. She probably won't pay though... The next step would be court. That might be more costly than it's worth though.

    Chalk it up as a lesson learned.
     
  4. DaEvilChelle

    DaEvilChelle TPF Noob!

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    (just realized how bad I typo'd the subject, gah.)

    Man you don't know how many times I've kicked the crap out of myself for not getting things in writing!

    The thing that's hard for me is she is a friend of mine.... soon not to be, at this rate. I should have known better, but I was just such a freaking happy to have some work rookie (I'd been laid off for some time!) that I really just didn't think at all..... *sigh*

    I just really don't think that she gets it that she's in the wrong for not properly crediting the photos. She didn't credit another person, and I'm pretty sure he's not aware that she's used his work either. I very nicely brought it all to her attention, and her answers were less than nice, and completely clueless. My immediate reaction is wanting to lose it and flip out on her, but I'd like to keep this particular avenue open for referrals for further work.

    What do you think would be my best approach for getting her to take notice? I tried a very formal business letter that outlined what was improper (I didn't use the word "wrong" just for the purposes of not pointing fingers or being confrontational) about the use of the photos... and she blew me off.
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't think anything short of a summons to appear in court will get her attention.

    It will most likely not be finacially wise to take it that far though.


    I would ask her to at least credit you as the photographer. I wouldn't expect much more than that.

    This is a case of "better luck next time". Get yourself a contract. Don't let this happen again.
     
  6. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Yes, you were an idiot but don't feel too bad about it as a lot of us did similar idiotic things at some point in time. :(

    So, the question now is what can you do about it. And that would depend on who is on that CD as far as I am concerned. I mean, is this band/musician local with little chance of ever getting famous or what?

    In either case I would tell the person you dealt with that you want credit for the photos immediately or you will notify youTube of copyright infringement and shut down the slide show. You can always threaten a lawsuit but if the band has no money, what will that do for you?

    Whether or not to try to negotiate payment (and how much of one) depends on who the musicians are and your position in the photography world. Only you can tell. Unless you give us more details. Keep in mind that unless you are dealing with people with money and you can reasonably expect a nice settlement, your lawyer (if he is any good) is going to cost you more than you'll get in return.

    There could be a lot more to say about this but, I think, this is a good start.
     
  7. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Stop doing work for friends. Friends are friends, I have learned that. They are usually the last ones willing to pay. Keep business as "business". Friends and relatives are the worst.
     
  8. DaEvilChelle

    DaEvilChelle TPF Noob!

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    I was never interested in being paid for the images - just trying to get out there drum up some business. It was a fun trip, we touristed around the LA area for days and had a blast.

    Montana, you're totally right - DON'T WORK FOR FRIENDS. I'm so freaking turned off by this experience! I don't think this is anything that's going to ever make any money, they were spoken word CDs so there's only a small niche market for their content.

    I actually did think about going the route of reporting the youtube vid for copyright infringement. It's really not effing hard to go back into a little vid like that (especially a freaking slideshow!) and change one panel to have the photographer info. I just really think she either doesn't have any clue just how in the wrong she is, or she doesn't care.

    And if she doesn't care, I might just have to be a jerk and report her and get her vid pulled.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's probably a bit of both.

    I would politely let her know that you can do that, and ask that she credits you. Beyond that - I don't think there's much you can do.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If the images are not registered with the US Copyright office you can't sue for very much and can't sue for infringement at all. Were talking small claims court, a couple hundred bucks.

    Send her a DCMA takedown notice.
     
  11. DaEvilChelle

    DaEvilChelle TPF Noob!

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    I like the idea of the DCMA notice. It might actually take something like that to get her attention at this point.

    In all seriousness, what are the odds of me REALLY getting her to remove the images or get the credit put on there where it belongs? Not too good. Trying to get my point across to her has been like talking to a piece of concrete!

    Again, I'm not interested in suing her for any payment, I'm only interested in either having her properly credit my photos or remove them from her vid completely. I think I'll refer her to the DCMA info and see what she says after that, other than repeating her very sad offer to "Include me on future projects."

    As if I really want anything to do with any more of her projects?!?? *eyeroll*
     
  12. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    As you said yourself, it wouldn't take much to add the line giving you credit for your photos so go for it. Threaten this person with a complaint to Youtube and you'll probably get what you want. If you don't, call Youtube and threaten them with a copyright infringement suit.

    I've never dealt with them but I can't imagine they would keep the video on. As far as they are concerned, what is one stupid video? They will probably drop it faster than you can say "hot potato."
     

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