Am I being sued?!!!????

fwellers

TPF Noob!
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
440
Reaction score
6
Location
Northern VA
Website
www.fwellers.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The August 2012 issue of Rangefinder magazine discusses this very subject in their regular article of Legal Lens: "How Public is Public Art".

Rangefinder - August 2012


God, what a depressing article.
Call me the ugly photographer if you want, but I don't intend to pollute my brain with that kind of stuff. I'd sooner throw my camera in the trash than have to constantly be looking around to see whose copyright I may be violating, apparently just to even post it on my website. Already I am really careful around people. But I like shooting scenes, architecture, urban and rural stuff, and I literally can't be bothered to concern myself with someones petty bs copyright on something I can see from any public place.
If they don't want it photographed and shared, then they should put it in their attic.
 

mjhoward

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
414
Location
Bowling Green, KY
Website
www.michaeljeremie.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Quite honestly, I don't see what the problem is. Someone doesn't like the fact that the name of the work was changed. Okay, I can understand that. Think how pissed off Zeppelin would be if someone decided to rename "Houses Of The Holy" and call it "Little Church Ditties".

But they've informed you that they're going to contact an attorney, and that you would hear from them. Okay, so wait and see what they, or their attorney, has to say. Doing anything else, including taking the photo down, is premature. There's certainly nothing to indicate that you're being sued. Someone talking to an attorney is an ocean away from suing someone, so don't sweat it.

I wouldn't send them a thing, or contact them in any way. They told you that you would hear from them. Okay, then wait for that...

Exactly. They threatened you. ANYBODY can type out the words, "my lawyer" and then slap a vague threat behind those two words. But, you've apparently already caved. No worries.

I think the OP's question was mainly whether or not it was even a possibility that he'd broken any laws since the art was in a public place, not whether the curator would actually go through with a lawsuit. Whether or not they actually go through with a lawsuit is only going to be speculation and time will tell. Whether or not the OP infringed on copyright is NOT speculation and he apparently DID infringe on copyright giving them grounds to sue him if they wanted.
 

unpopular

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
May 17, 2011
Messages
9,504
Reaction score
2,002
Location
Montana
There don't have to be any monetary damages, which is in part what statutory damages are all about.

I was under the impression that statutory damages are only awarded in the case of mechanical reproduction, not derivative work. I'm pretty sure that's the case, I could be wrong.

Not all copyright violations are the same.

Also, what constitutes an "editorial"? KMH - you kind of make this all out like it's cut and dry: that if you register your material you can pretty much just bank on $100,000 coming in through your door whenever anyone comes even close to a copyright violation. This couldn't be further from the truth.
 
Last edited:

unpopular

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
May 17, 2011
Messages
9,504
Reaction score
2,002
Location
Montana
Exactly. They threatened you. ANYBODY can type out the words, "my lawyer" and then slap a vague threat behind those two words. But, you've apparently already caved. No worries.

Getting your ego wrapped up in it is a foolish position to take. Getting your panties all in a knot over an image that isn't really worth anything is just a liability.

If you're willing to comply, then taking it down until the issue is resolved. You can always put it up again later.
 
Last edited:

Tony S

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
2,094
Reaction score
598
Location
Eatonville, Washington
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
You've deleted the image from your site, so now delete the email you got and go on with life. I would only spend any further thought or effort on this if you got a real notice from a real attorney.
 

gsgary

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
16,143
Reaction score
2,978
Location
Chesterfield UK
Website
www.gsgary.smugmug.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
A public park you pay to get in ? i would be sueing them you shouldnt be paying to get into a public park
 

unpopular

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
May 17, 2011
Messages
9,504
Reaction score
2,002
Location
Montana
No. It's a sculpture park. It's more like a museum.
 
OP
Tight Knot

Tight Knot

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Nov 30, 2010
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
159
Location
Boca Raton, FL
Website
www.lensphotoworld.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Quite honestly, I don't see what the problem is. Someone doesn't like the fact that the name of the work was changed. Okay, I can understand that. Think how pissed off Zeppelin would be if someone decided to rename "Houses Of The Holy" and call it "Little Church Ditties".

But they've informed you that they're going to contact an attorney, and that you would hear from them. Okay, so wait and see what they, or their attorney, has to say. Doing anything else, including taking the photo down, is premature. There's certainly nothing to indicate that you're being sued. Someone talking to an attorney is an ocean away from suing someone, so don't sweat it.

I wouldn't send them a thing, or contact them in any way. They told you that you would hear from them. Okay, then wait for that...

Exactly. They threatened you. ANYBODY can type out the words, "my lawyer" and then slap a vague threat behind those two words. But, you've apparently already caved. No worries.

I think the OP's question was mainly whether or not it was even a possibility that he'd broken any laws since the art was in a public place, not whether the curator would actually go through with a lawsuit. Whether or not they actually go through with a lawsuit is only going to be speculation and time will tell. Whether or not the OP infringed on copyright is NOT speculation and he apparently DID infringe on copyright giving them grounds to sue him if they wanted.
They sure did threaten, and if there is one thing I have learned in life, is to choose my battles. If I feel what I have done is wrong, I do what I can to fix it. If I feel what I have done is not wrong, but will cause me troubles beyond what it is worth, I will pull out.
In this case, I don't see anywhere that the sculpture or name is copyrighted, I certainly would not have put it on my website had I known there even was such a law, and the reality, is, it is just not worth bringing my ego into something that I have not, and chances are, never will, make money off of, as it is so below par (ie. such a terrible photo), that I am still not sure why I even had it on my site. I must have overlooked it.
So, there definitely is speculation on whether or not I infringed on a copyright, and at this stage, I took it off the site, and will wait to see what happens, because there is nothing more that I can do.
 

Kolia

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
682
Reaction score
54
Location
Ohio
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Playing devils advocate here

What if we imagine a scenario where an evil photographer takes pictures of statues, rename them and put those pictures for sale for profit ?

Wouldn't THAT be a copyright infringement ?

Because, apart from the intention, that is basically what the op did.

I'm not making any accusation. Just trying to see the situation in a different way.
 
OP
Tight Knot

Tight Knot

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Nov 30, 2010
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
159
Location
Boca Raton, FL
Website
www.lensphotoworld.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Playing devils advocate here

What if we imagine a scenario where an evil photographer takes pictures of statues, rename them and put those pictures for sale for profit ?

Wouldn't THAT be a copyright infringement ?

Because, apart from the intention, that is basically what the op did.

I'm not making any accusation. Just trying to see the situation in a different way.

No-one is saying that what I did was righteous, we are just trying to find out whether it was wrong, and based upon this, there will be those who don't care, and those photographers who will be more careful in the future, myself included.
Either way, other than remove it from my website, there is nothing else that I can do , except wait for them to either have a lawyer contact me, or for them to do nothing.
The ball is in their court.
It just goes to show how careful a person has to be to learn the laws, when they venture into new ground to try and make a living. Scary, considering I was really not trying to hurt, injure or cause harm to anyone.
It also makes a difference whether the item/sculpture was copyrighted or not.
 

gsgary

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
16,143
Reaction score
2,978
Location
Chesterfield UK
Website
www.gsgary.smugmug.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Tight Knot said:
No-one is saying that what I did was righteous, we are just trying to find out whether it was wrong, and based upon this, there will be those who don't care, and those photographers who will be more careful in the future, myself included.
Either way, other than remove it from my website, there is nothing else that I can do , except wait for them to either have a lawyer contact me, or for them to do nothing.
The ball is in their court.
It just goes to show how careful a person has to be to learn the laws, when they venture into new ground to try and make a living. Scary, considering I was really not trying to hurt, injure or cause harm to anyone.
It also makes a difference whether the item/sculpture was copyrighted or not.

Personally i would tell them to **** off im sure they can do nothing
 

skieur

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 14, 2007
Messages
5,071
Reaction score
204
Location
Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Even in the US, you cannot photograph a copyrighted work and, as the main subject in your photograph, try and sell it. Whether you want to sell the photo or not, it IS on your site for sale right now. Landmarks and statues are 100% copyrightable. Hell, photographing the Eiffel tower at night is even considered copyright infringement because of the lighting design on it.

Incorrect,. :D You certainly can photograph a copyrighted work in the US if it is a work of art, permanently situated in a public place, a statue, landmark and for that matter a "copyrighted" building.

skieur
 

unpopular

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
May 17, 2011
Messages
9,504
Reaction score
2,002
Location
Montana
Provided that the photograph is non-commercial and editorial, as well as several other provisions concerning ownership.

we all like to play Perry Mason from time to time. But seriously, at least do a little research.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

PlanetStarbucks

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
406
Reaction score
55
Location
Salt Lake City
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Playing devils advocate here

What if we imagine a scenario where an evil photographer takes pictures of statues, rename them and put those pictures for sale for profit ?

Wouldn't THAT be a copyright infringement ?

Well, that actually is exactly why copyright laws are the way they are. The law is meant to protect people. In that case, it's meant to protect the copyright owner from having their work abused by another person. On the other hand, the intention of law is to protect people, not persecute them. Unfortunately, civil law doesn't work in the civic interest the way criminal law does, so you end up with copyright owners feeling that they can use the law to persecute anyone who uses their work. IMO, this isn't what the law was meant to do. Doesn't mean they can't though...
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap
Top