What should I do? Lab reproducing/selling my photos without permission....

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by BadRotation, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. BadRotation

    BadRotation TPF Noob!

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    Well, today I was at work (I work restoring and operating steam locomotives), and while we were sitting inside playing around on the computer looking at my photos, when a visitor came in to take a tour of our shops.

    We had the following image on the screen, and she said that it looked an aweful lot like the photo hanging up in the photo lab of the local meijers. (one of our locomotives is very popular with the public, since it was used to create the CGI model, and sounds in the 'Polar Express' movie.)

    She said the lab manager claimed to have taken the photo himself during our polar express excursions in november/december, and he was offering to sell prints to interested people.


    This really got my curiosity going, since the only people that have my permission to reproduce the photo are the people I work with for our advertising, etc.

    Another guy from work went down there and checked it out, and said it was my photo as well. I personally have not had the chance to check it out yet, but I am stopping in on the way to work tomorrow to verify.

    If he is in fact displaying my photo/selling it/ taking credit for it, what exactly can I do? Should I make an offer of him either paying me a decent chunk of money for the rights to it, or go to court? What legally can be done?


    I do not mind people using my stuff if they ask, but when someone is selling my work (although it is not the best work) crediting themselves for it, it kind of irritates me.


    I have the original negatives for the photo BTW....


    [​IMG]
     
  2. ShelleySnapz

    ShelleySnapz Photographer for hire!

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    definately consult with a lawyer!! You can haand a lawyer a $5 bill and ask them what kind of advice they can give you...heck you can procur a lawyer for $1!! Anyhow get legal advice first and see what your options are, the first step Id take personally is to provide the proof and have a lawyer draw up some papers legally stating that the work is yours..asking for compensation etc. Im sure others here will hve more feedback for you as well.
     
  3. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Personally; I would confirm that it is your photo. Of course you will need hard evidence since the train has been photographed often. Confront the owner. More often then not it is a miss understanding. Lawyers should always be the last course. If it comes down to that consider that he may not have any money. Plus I do not recommend making the lab mad. I always try and be super nice.
     
  4. JohnMF

    JohnMF TPF Noob!

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    did the guy in the lab take the photo himself from the same angle or did he take a copy of your photo when he was developing it?
     
  5. AIRIC

    AIRIC TPF Noob!

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    Make 100% sure it is one of your photos. I shoot a lot of trains and my dad and I have very familiar looking images with only minor changes to the back ground because we stand a few feet apart.

    Eric
     
  6. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Look for things which are demonstrably likely to be unique such as the steam and the crankshaft (or whatever they're called) positions. I believe the normal thing to do is to get a certified copy from your original negative - lawyers should be able to do this for a couple of quid. Then you get a copy which he's sold and you can get a couple of experts to testify that it's the same. Then you sue the bastard for everything he's got. Well, maybe not everything! :)

    Rob
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I don't think lawyers should be a last resort. By then people often either get themselves in trouble or do something that makes it harder to procede. I don't think people should be sue happy, but getting a firm understanding of the law should be one of the first steps.

    First I would take a print of the image down to the shop and do a direct comparision. If it is yours, you could ask the lab owner to stop, but he should be fully aware of what he's doing and should know better. Personally I would not talk to him and go see a lawyer to make sure it goes on record. He may advise you to talk to him, but a registered letter will be something that you can show a judge if it comes to that.
     
  8. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    I'd consult a lawyer first.

    If you go in - yourself then maybe take a picture of the poster. Because if he removes it you don't have hard evidence that the picture is yours.
     
  9. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Hence my suggestion maybe get a friend to buy it if it's the same.

    There's every chance it's a different picture - train pictures can be quite samey!

    Rob
     

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