Photo being used for Promotional use without consent

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by Epiphany, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Epiphany

    Epiphany TPF Noob!

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    Ok, no idea how to handle this. I am a hobby photographer currently, would love to work on becoming professional.

    Anyway, my in-laws own a hobby farm. They raise grass fed beef cattle and belong to a state organization of farmers that do the same. While visiting their farm I went out and photographed some of their herd. I, being their daughter-in- law sent them a photo I thought they would enjoy. In turn, it was passed on to this organization. At this point the organization is using my photo on printed brochure, website and have made it into a banner for trade shows without my consent. What do i do? I don't want my image to continue being reproduced without consent. I have had several people approach me prior to this to have copies made into canvases. I thought of maybe selling a copy in a local boutique.
    Kind of feel violated.

    P.S. Do I see just any small business attorney to get a print release written up for future photography business? Are there attorney's that have backgrounds or specialties dealing with photography business?


     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  2. Cody'sCaptures

    Cody'sCaptures No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd work up a price for licencing (including back pay) and contact the company. They might not realize what they are doing is wrong. You created the image and own the copyright of the photo even if its not registered. Personally i would take the soft route first, as this become an avenue for you to become "pro". If they want to play hard ball you might end up needing a attorney to send a strongly worded cease and desist letter or more. That's just IMHO but there is some actual professionals here with much better info/experience that will hopefully chime in.
     
  3. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    this is worth persuing.
     
  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Send them a bill.

    Itemize it with a certain amount for the print, an amount for the website, and an amount for the banner. (be sure to find out how many of each). i.e.: how many brochures in the first print run, how many views the website gets, and how many banners were made. Write it out as; ($o much for print x #, etc.) Make it look professional, and send it via registered mail.

    Also, make a preliminary contact with an attorney so he will know what is coming.

    If you feel angry now, make it a sizable amount. If you just want to be paid, make it for a reasonable amount. Give them 30 days to respond, and wait for the phone to ring.

    Meanwhile, tell your in-laws what you're doing so they aren't surprised.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Before you run out and lawyer up; how did they get the image? Your description sounds to me like it may have been passed to them innocently by your in-laws, who likely don't understand copyright. Depending on how large an organization is, they may or may not have people who understand copyright either. Now, none of that excuses their action, but it could be seen as a mitigating circumstance. Many people genuinely believe that if you give them a print or digital, they own the photograph. So...

    First of all: Is the organization worth going after financially? Many of these producers promotional groups don't have a lot of money behind them, so even if you get a judgment, you cant can't get blood out of a stone. Is there a way that you can turn this into a win? I would approach them with a, "Hey... I see you're getting a lot of mileage out of that image. That's great... unfortunately <whomever> didn't actually have the right to send it to you. Rather than fighting over costs, could we talk about future work for the organization?"

    Often it's better to sacrifice something small for larger gain later. Now, if there's no potential for gain, and/or if they get all cranky with you, THEN drop the gloves.
     
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  6. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ugh, so reasonable...
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Absolutely the worst thing to do, because it locks you, legally, into a dollar amount.

    Help! I've Been Infringed! |
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    .
    Absolutely the worst thing to do.
    There may be more un-authorized uses by them you have not yet detected.
    Here's what a qualified attorney says you need to do:
    Help! I've Been Infringed! |
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
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  9. Epiphany

    Epiphany TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for your help! I have learned my lesson and any pictures I send out to family or friends will be copyrighted and watermarked. I sent my in-laws a copyrighted/watermarked file and asked that they send it on to the organization to be used instead of the original they sent. I see on the website that they are using a watermarked image. Not my watermark but they must have remarked it due to sizing issues I assume. None the less, my name is on my image. Considering it a win!
     
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